Short Cuts

Landmark Theatres makes some changes, Laura Dunn wins gold (or silver, or bronze), Alison Macor teaches film theory, and the Cinemaker Co-op visits otherwordly places.

Now Under Old Management Dept.: Landmark Theatres, the national arthouse cinema chain that locally owns the Dobie Theatre, announced last week that they were bringing back chain founders Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari (but not Steve Jobs) to "lead them out of bankruptcy and into the future." Chances are you were unaware the chain was sliding into peril, though Landmark's woes are essentially only mirroring the downturn that exhibitors have been bemoaning nationally for more than a year now (just ask the Regal chain). What does this mean for the Dobie specifically? Manager Kristin Bomstad says one of the first goals is to get "all the theatres back up maintenance-wise," as well as compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and a possible sound upgrade from their current Ultra-Stereo setup to a more sternum-rattling Dolby system. "Originally, what made us Landmark was the specialized grassroots marketing, and you'll see a lot more of that kind of stuff coming out of the theatres soon," says Bomstad… You may recall two issues back we mentioned that UT film student Laura Dunn had her documentary Green -- a depiction of "environmental injustice in Louisiana" -- nominated for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 28th Annual Student Academy Awards Competition. Now comes word that, hey hey, she won. Green was produced in large part with funding garnered from the Austin Film Society's Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund, to boot. Presumably out in Los Angeles as we write this, Dunn will be participating in the promised "week of industry-related events that culminates June 10 with the awards presentation at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater." Unlike the Oscars, the student awards are broken down into "gold, silver, and bronze" levels, and Dunn won't know which medal she'll actually end up with until the final ceremony. Regardless, our congratulations go out to her -- again… How many times have you sat in a darkened theatre on a Memorial Day weekend and wondered aloud, "If they can put a man on the moon, why can't they make a decent large-budget, love-triangle action movie?" only to have the gorilla behind you rattle his popcorn tub and shush you, resulting in a hasty bout of verbal swordplay and your forcible ejection from the premises by an assistant manager who looks to be fresh out of Stridex High and wouldn't know where Alphaville was if you handed him a map and an RTF degree? Well, okay, maybe not that last bit, but I think you get where I'm going with this. That, and many of the other key conundrums that frustrate film fans will be resolved, or at least mulled over and heatedly debated, during the Austin Museum of Art's summer series of three film theory courses taught by former Chronicle scribe (and recent Ph.D. garnerer) Alison Macor. "Cinema Eye: Film Appreciation" runs June 4 through July 2, 6-8:30pm, for $85; "Film Theory Goes to the Movies" runs July 16 through Aug. 13, 7:30-10:30pm, for $125; and "Hitchcock in Hollywood" runs July 18 through Aug. 15, 6-8:30pm for $85. All classes are held at the AMoA downtown campus (823 Congress Ave.) and discounts are available to AMoA members. Registration is limited. Check out www.amoa.org or call 323-6380 for more info… The Cinemaker Co-op is presenting another of its Super-8 mini-fests, this one titled "Through the Looking Glass," Sunday and Monday, June 3-4, 7:30 and 9:30pm, at the Ritz Lounge (320 E. Sixth St.). The program features 20 Super-8 films exploring "fantastical otherworlds," and admission is $5 ($2.50 for Cinemaker members).

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Landmark, Laura Dunn, Green, Alison Macor, Cinemaker Co-op

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