Short Cuts

Upcoming events and workshops of interest to the Austin film community

There was a time about 10 years back, right after I'd moved to back to town from Amarillo, that I spent many a late summer night climbing around the ruins of Austin's once-thriving drive-in theatres. The Rebel, the El Capitan, and the Longhorn had long since closed at that point, but for some reason the marquees still stood, along with the projection booths, the snack bars, and, yes, those mammoth, white screens, even then gone to seed, scratched and torn by innumerable seasons of neglect. I remember rooting through a ghostly projectionist's booth one night, playing my flashlight around the clutter and filling my pockets with forgotten scraps of 35mm film, spider-webbed castoffs from a time when a perfect Saturday night meant borrowing dad's car and tooling down south to check out the newest offering from American International Pictures (usually featuring Vincent Price, or occasionally some new firebrand by the name of Jack Nicholson). Those days are so far gone now that the idea of watching a new release from the comfort of your SUV seems downright antiquated. Still, there's a lot to be said for the experience, and no one knows this more than aGLIFF (Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival) artistic director Scott Dinger, who's offering the second in what appears to be an ongoing series of drive-in movie experiences this Tuesday, July 11, at the MACC (600 River St., one block south of Cesar Chavez, on the west side of I-35). Gates open at 7pm (and the film begins at dusk) for a special drive-in showing of the classic Rock Hudson/Doris Day vehicle Pillow Talk, complete with car hops taking concession orders from your window, vintage drive-in promo spots, and even an FM stereo soundtrack so you don't have to remember to replace that tinny speaker on its post before you drive off. Admission is $5 general, $4 for aGLIFF members, and more info can be obtained by calling 302-9889 or by checking the aGLIFF Web site at You may recall our coverage of native sons Duncan Nappan and Rusty Kelly's short film "Toy Car" when it was picked up by HBO Films as part of their ongoing Kid Flicks program. Now the network has taken the show on the road with the Kid Flicks Studio Tour, which is in town with their "mobile film studio" on Saturday, July 8, when they will put in an appearance at Barton Creek Square Mall from 9:30am-1pm. The tour promises a "state-of-the-art, 34-foot mobile film studio filled with touch-screen iMac stations that help kids navigate their way through the filmmaking process," and offers interactive tutorials on such aspects of film as the pre-production, production, and post-production processes. The tour also includes a free screening of the amazingly great film The Iron Giant (scripted by Austinite Tim McCanlies, no less) at the Barton Creek Square General Cinema at 10:30am, so parents, do your kids (and yourselves) a favor and drop 'em off for half a day. After all, we're still waiting for that next Orson Welles... Austin's bastion of small-gauge filmmaking, the Cinemaker Co-op, has issued a call for entries for Splice of Life: The Super-8 Documentary Festival. This is the Co-op's first-ever doc fest, with entries due at the Cinemaker offices (1705 Guadalupe, Ste. 201) by 5pm, August 11. Official rules, regs, and whatnot are available by calling 236-8877 or by e-mailing

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