The Austin Chronicle

Short Cuts

By Marc Savlov, July 14, 2000, Screens

The Hills Have Thighs Dept.: It has famously been called everything from The Sound of Mucus to The Sound of One Hand Crapping, but Rodgers and Hammerstein's much-maligned (and, let's face it, loved) saga of those indefatigable Von Trapps is finally getting its due here in Austin. Although The Sound of Music recently played in a regular screening as part of the Paramount Theatre's Summer Film Classics series, Robert Wise's film will take on a whole new vocal dimension in a "sing-along" screening -- a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- benefiting the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (aGLIFF) and Project Transitions, an agency that provides housing and hospice care for people living with HIV/AIDS. A full-length showing of the film in its sing-along format is scheduled for Sat., July 29, 8pm, again at the Paramount. Attendees to the Austin premiere (the sing-along version has already played to enthusiastic response in London and will be moving to New York in the fall) are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters from the film and actively participate in the theatrics of the event. Charmian Carr, who portrayed Liesel Von Trapp in the film, will be on hand at the Paramount as guest of honor, and will also be participating in a number of related events, including a book-signing at Book People that afternoon from 2:30-3:30pm. Tickets to what sounds like a thoroughly rousing (not to mention bizarre) benefit are available in advance at BookPeople, Book Woman, Vulcan Video, and elsewhere... As I mentioned the other week, the deadline for screenplay submissions to the 2000 Austin Film Festival Competition has come and gone, but if you've managed to turn those 120 pages of incisive prose into an actual film, well then, you still have a couple of weeks to submit. Aug. 1 is the final deadline for film submissions in the categories of independently produced feature, short, and student short. Registration will run you a paltry $40, and who knows, you might even end up scoring a massive distro deal like previous Fest fave Lewis & Clark & George (okay, bad example, but you know what I mean). More info, budding filmmaker, is available online at or by calling 800/310-FEST... Austin already has more filmmaker support groups ("My name is Bob and I'm a -- sob! -- filmmaker.") than most cities have Starbucks, but one relatively recent addition is the Digital Storyteller's Alliance, which meets the second Tuesday of every month, 8pm, at CC Digital (6549 Burnet), with an emphasis on the emerging field of non-nitrate filmmaking. Digital filmmakers are encouraged to show up with their tapes to screen for others, and everything from the Bob Sabiston/Tommy Pallotta-produced animations Roadhead and Snack and Drink to the recent Wee Pirate Films' "prospective cable television series Delirium has made the rounds since the group's inception. "Basically the concept is similar to an open mike at a comedy club," says DSA head Drew Mayer-Oakes, with participants frequently screening works-in-progress as well as completed video pieces. "I wanted to offer that same sort of opportunity for people shooting DV and doing storytelling productions on video, and since we already had the equipment and the space, things have kind of fallen into place." The group's next meeting is slated for Tue., Aug. 8, and interested DV-ants can check out DSA's web page at for more info.

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