Short Cuts

Bill Maher flops in onscreen attempt to cut Harry Knowles down to size.

And the Winner Is Not Bill Maher Dept.: Surprises at the 73rd annual Academy Awards were predictably few and far between this year. The real fun occurred during a live post-Oscar broadcast of ABC's Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher. The hourlong show featured two revolving quartets of guests, the first of whom included Austinite Harry Knowles of the Internet film site Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com), actress Lynn Redgrave, filmmaker Ted Demme (Blow), and E! Entertainment Television journo Aisha Tyler. The program began well enough with a brief discussion of the night's winners and losers before taking a decidedly ill-tempered sidetrack courtesy of Maher, who admitted to never having seen Knowles' site ("I'm not on the Internet," he said) but nonetheless took to sniping about rumors that Knowles had cozied up to Ron Howard when the director flew him out to attend an advance screening of the director's How the Grinch Stole Christmas last fall. Despite protests from Knowles (and Demme), Maher -- in the past an equal-opportunity offender -- stated several times that he had heard "rumors" and implied that Knowles was something of a studio stooge. The severity of what seemed to be a very personal attack on Knowles was exacerbated by Maher's repeated admission that he had never even visited the site in question, which as a longtime viewer ofPolitically Incorrect struck me as odd. A call to Knowles offered no real explanation, although the Internet icon noted that both he and Maher currently share the same producer (Knowles is slated to have his own show on Comedy Central this fall), and the tense panel may have been a result of Maher feeling "threatened." As if that weren't odd enough, the next panel featured an all-but-unrecognizably beefed-up Clive Barker, who apparently has been working out in leatherman bars of late. Weirdness abounds… Registration for the Austin Museum of Art's Summer Media Workshops program has commenced. Co-sponsored by the UT Film Dept., AMOA will feature a collaborative series of workshops for young people ages nine to 16 on such topics as Japanese Animation, Web Design, and Laff TV. Classes run June 5-29 in one-and-two-week, half-day formats, and classes are guaranteed to fill up quickly. So hop to it and call 323-6380 for registration info… On a similar note, the AMOA is seeking volunteers to help with the above-mentioned summer classes. Duties will include class setup and cleanup, working with the kids on art production, and generally assisting the instructor. Both adult and teen volunteers are needed. Call 323-6380 for more info… Writer/filmmaker K. Bradford will be teaching a feminist film class titled Woman Make Movies: It's a She-Shoot at DiverseArts (1705 Guadalupe, Suite 234), Mondays, April 2-23, 7-9:30pm. Cost is $80-150 sliding scale. Complete registration info is available by calling 708-8744 or e-mailing ruckusprod@aol.com…The Action/Cut Directing Film Seminar, April 7-8, 9am-6 pm, at the Norris Conference Center (1016 La Posada), promises to teach fledgling filmmakers all they need to know to get that all-important first project up and running. Taught by filmmaker Guy Magar (Stepfather III, USA Network's La Femme Nikita), the seminar covers the entire directing process "from script to prep to shoot to final film." Cost is $350 with an early-bird special of $75 off available. Call 800/815-5545 for more info or check out their Web site at www.actioncut.com.


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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Harry Knowles, Politically Incorrect, Bill Maher, Clive Barker, Austin Museum of Art summer classes, K. Bradford, She-Shoot, Guy Magar, Action-Cut Directing Film Seminar

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