Short Cuts

Spy Kids home in on the Paramount Theatre this Saturday, and the Alamo Drafthouse homes in on the former Village Cinema Art.

My Dad Can Blow Up Your Dad Dept.: Just because SXSW 2001 is over doesn't mean anyone is going to get more than a couple of days' breathing room before Austin's film scene dives back into its normal, manic operating mode. A case in point is local hero Robert Rodriguez's newest film Spy Kids, which will have its regional premiere this Saturday, March 24, 5pm, at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress). The film, which was shot in various Austin locales (including the then-brand-new Austin Studios at the airport), looks to be not only a probable smash for Rodriguez, but also the beginning of a franchise for Miramax subset Dimension Films, which took the extremely rare position of green-lighting a sequel months in advance of the first film's opening weekend. A vote of confidence like that is virtually unheard of in the current Hollywood climate and speaks not only to the wily Weinstein Brothers' canny foresight but also to Rodriguez's (and wife/producer Elizabeth Avellán's) ability to bring such an effects-laden production in well within budget and schedule. Corporate titan McDonald's has even signed on to license novelty gear from the film (Spy Meals! Yay!) for the fast-food front, a first for Rodriguez, who, as you may guess, is psyched about the obvious thrills of having a carload of kids pull up to the drive-thru and load up on plastic replicas of the film's countless gadgets. How cool is that? Spy Kids opens Friday, March 30, but as mentioned above you can be the first on your block and catch it at the Paramount premiere this Saturday (which includes a street carnival outside the Paramount, 2-5pm, featuring rides, food, and general chaos) for a measly $25 ticket. Tix are available at the Paramount box office and through Star Tickets (469-SHOW), and all proceeds benefit the Austin Film Society and the Ronald McDonald House. For you big spenders, VIP packages including a March 31 tour of the Spy Kids sets is also available. Call 322-0145 for more info… When the Village Cinema Art shuttered its doors this Feburary, local cineastes issued a collective groan, inveighing against the Man and generally being bummed about the closing of such hallowed ground. Groan no more, fanboy: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema owners Tim and Karrie League have announced that they will be taking over the site and creating the Alamo Drafthouse North, where they'll show first-run films on three of the four existing screens and utilize the other for a rotating schedule of more eclectic programming. A complete renovation from seating to sound is scheduled, and the theatre should have its grand opening somewhere around mid-June of this year… The Austin chapter of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) will hold its monthly meeting this Monday, March 26, 7 pm, at the Bad Dog Comedy Theater (110 E. Riverside). Susan Kirr and Rusty Martin will present segments from their documentary work-in-progress Bike Like You Mean It!, which explores the world of Austin's non-petrol-powered underground and longtime Austin Chronicle "Postmarks" stalwart Amy Babich (among others). Admission is free, and more info is available by calling 507-8105… Local small-gauge upstart, the Flicker Film Festival, will have its next outburst/happening next Wednesday, March 28, 8pm, at the Blue Theater (916 Springdale). Local and mail-in film submissions will be screened with "linear narrative butting up against radical experiments" and plenty of under-15-minute experiments gone horribly awry. Check out their site at www.flickeraustin.com for more info… Finally, congrats to Eric Saperston, whose pleasantly bizarre documentary The Journey was picked up by Seventh Art Releasing during SXSW.

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