Short Cuts

Marjorie Baumgarten

By way of highlighting a couple of film series currently getting under way this summer, I'd like to present the following quote from a 1985 issue of the Chronicle. It was an introduction to a survey of the Paramount Theatre's Summer Classics schedule written by our resident "revivals" expert George Morris. How appropriate that last week when the Austin Film Society kicked off its Summer Free-for-All tribute to Morris and his film criticism, the opening-night film (Kiss Me Deadly) played on the Paramount's fabulous screen (although the rest of the series continues at the Texas Union Theatre, Tuesdays at 8pm -- see last week's Screens section for the full schedule. This week's film is John Stahl's 1934 version of the Fannie Hurst novel Imitation of Life, introduced by yours truly). This week our Screens section pays tribute to the pleasures offered by the Paramount's 1999 summer schedule. The words Morris wrote 14 years ago (6/14/85) still apply: "The Paramount Theatre is the best place in town to see movies. I ought to know; I grew up doing just that. My happiest hours in the Fifties and most of the Sixties were spent in its darkened enclaves, watching the great films of that period blaze forth from a screen that was truly larger than life. In the best of all possible worlds, the Paramount would still be showing movies all year 'round, but that's another story. At least Austin film buffs are lucky enough to get a chance for three months during the summer to see representative works of the classical American cinema presented in good 35mm prints, and in their correct aspect ratios, instead of the standardized format modern theatres are forced to use, which often chop off heads and feet to such a degree that every movie resembles an exercise in avant-garde filmmaking." The point is: Go out and see movies this summer. It would make George happy. There are plenty of options in addition to the uniform multiplex offerings. Celebrate cinema...

Some deadlines: If you missed submitting your digital film to Austin's own digital festival Conduit (http://www.conduitfest.com) last March, RESfest, a touring digital festival that travels to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago has extended its call for entries until June 15. Info and submission forms are available at http://www.resfest.com...

Fran Harris -- local writer, entrepreneur, and basketball star -- has announced the formation of a new screenplay competition called the Semi-Annual Fantasy Screenwriting Contest. (The "fantasy" part of the contest refers not to the fantasy genre of filmmaking, but rather to Harris' fantasy basketball camp for women over 21. I told you she was an entrepreneur.) Prizes, which include airfare or registration to the October Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference, will be awarded. Deadline is August 1; for details and registration forms go to http://www.franharris.com...

Here's another reminder about the approaching July 1 deadline for application submissions for 1999 Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grants administered by the Austin Film Society. Awards up to $5,000 are provided to Texas artists whose work shows "promise, skill, and creativity." Over the first three years of its existence, the TFPF has awarded over $130,000 to 49 individuals. The funds are derived from those splashy benefit premieres held throughout the year and from private and corporate donations. Application forms and guidelines are enclosed in the current issue of the members' newsletter "Persistence of Vision." The info can also be downloaded from the Web at http://www.austinfilm.org, or you can call 322-0145 for details.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Movie, Marge Baumgarten, Marjorie Baumgarten

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