Short Cuts

Austin institutions: Hippies. The bats. Kelso. Ethan Hawke and Russell Crowe? Rumor has it the two River City regulars have signed on for The Alamo, the not-yet-greenlit, big-budget remake tentatively set to film just outside Austin.

Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here Dept.: Leave it to Barna Kantor and the Cinemaker Co-op gang to screw up my weekend plans yet again. Instead of my planned jaunt to Mustang Island to scour the beach for sand fleas and random bits of driftwood suitable for mounting plastic seagulls on, in order to hawk 'em to the tourist rubes (you didn't think I got by on writing alone, did you?), it looks as though I'll be sticking closer to home, the better to catch legendary El Paso-based avant-garde filmmaker Willie Varela, who will be in town screening a selection of his Super 8 films on Saturday, May 25, 6pm, at the Hideout (617 Congress). The following day, Sunday, May 26, at noon, Varela will be holding a workshop titled "Developing a Personal Vision in the Moving Image," as well. If you're not familiar with Varela's films, he's been working in the medium since 1971, and to date has racked up an impressive 100-plus short films, many of which incorporate found footage, video/text, and assorted other avant-gardisms. Along with Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, and Bruce Conner, Varela -- currently an assistant professor of Film Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso -- has created one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking bodies of film work around. Co-sponsored by the Austin Film Society and the Cinemaker Co-op, Friday's screening is $6/public, $3/Cinemaker and AFS members. Sunday's workshop is $10/public, $5/Cinemaker and AFS members. (For more information on Varela, check out Athina Rachel Tsangari's Chronicle interview with him here: austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/1999-10-29/screens_feature9.html .)... Congratulations are in order for University of Texas at Austin student Helen Haeyoung Lee, whose film Sophie won a Narrative Category Award in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 29th Annual Student Academy Awards. Whether Lee won bronze, silver, or gold will be determined at the June 9 ceremony at Los Angeles' Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Alamo, Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Michael Bay, John Sayles, Ron Howard, Marcus Nispel, Russell Crowe, Ethan Hawke, Billy Bob Thornton, Barna Kantor, Cinemaker Co-op, Willie Varela, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Helen Haeyoung Lee, Sophie, Academy of Motion Picture Ar

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