Short Cuts

Upcoming events and workshops of interest to the Austin film community

I awoke this morning to the very odd sound of a wayward, panicked pigeon flapping its way around around my loft, alternately settling atop my bookcases for its morning movement before taking wing and attempting the first of several kamikaze rendezvous with my well-scrubbed, double-paned windows. As any downtown dweller knows, a pigeon in your loft is a sure sign that summer is almost upon us, and although I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the experience (by simple virtue of the bird glop currently besmirching my copy of Pauline Kael's Reeling), there's truth to this bird-brained notion. Case in point, Austin's venerable Paramount Theatre will begin its annual summer movie program May 16, a tradition that seems to grow in popularity with each successively blistering summer. What better way to while away the sultry early evening hours than by checking into the Paramount's own air-conditioned version of heaven, revisiting old film favorites and perhaps discovering some new ones? None that I can think of. The Austin Chronicle will provide more exacting coverage of the Paramount's lengthy series in an upcoming issue, but for now we're delighted that the kickoff is right around the corner... The Paramount isn't the only revival house in town, of course, as a deuce of special screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse prove. The wildly successful Chronicle/Big Brothers/Big Sisters/HumanCode/Ain't It Cool News co-sponsored Saturday Morning Film Club is screening the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet -- simply one of the best summer films of all time -- this Sat., April 29, at noon. You don't have to be a kid to enjoy this one, but no one ever walks away from Dr. Mobius and Robby the Robot unchanged (usually into a gleeful preteen moppet with visions of flying saucers in their head) and exhilarated. As this is the Alamo, the film will be accompanied by "a barrage of space-themed shorts and cartoons," with a spaceman-costume contest for the kids (who get in free, natch). Adults sans kids, sadly, must pay, but that's a small price to see the best adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest yet conceived. On May 7 at 8 and 10pm, the Alamo, the Chronicle, and Vulcan Video are teaming up for their new Hong Kong Sundays, which will presumably fill part of the void left when the draconian overlords at UT abolished the Texas Union Film Program over a year ago. Long before John Woo and Tsui Hark were household names, the Union Film Program was instrumental in securing print after print of hard-to-find Hong Kong cinema, and now that sacred duty falls to the Alamo. The first screening will be the legendary Heroic Trio, featuring Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh, and Anita Mui, and is required viewing for anyone even remotely interested in Asian cinema. Call 867-1839 for more info... The Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) is seeking donations for their upcoming garage sale. Proceeds go to help pay for a new projection system and should be directed to Bobette Mathis at 444-8137 or Pickup is available... Finally, the weekend of May 5-7 begins (and ends) the Cinemaker Co-op's MAFIA (i.e., Make a Film in a Weekend) festival, a "mad spree of Super-8 filmmaking" open to one and all for a paltry $20 (including processing). All necessary information is available by calling 236-8877 or e-mailing Go get 'em, Tiger.

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Paramount Theatre Summer Classics, Saturday Morning Fun Club, Alamo DrafthouseHong Kong Sundays, Cinemaker Co-op MAFIA, aGLIFF

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