Heaven Is a Place on Earth Dept.: After the hell-spawned Pandora's Box o' Funlessness that was 2001, this past year seemed a downright cakewalk, with all sorts of nifty film-related events jockeying for position on your PDA virtually every weekend. Sure, there were some bumps in the two-lane blacktop, like Regal Cinemas' decision to shut down beloved North Austin arthouse the Arbor 7, as opposed to fighting for the lease (the site now houses a Cheesecake Factory, which we think would make a great place for a Russ Meyer retrospective, hint hint), and, uh, Regal Cinemas' announcement last month that they would be integrating some "20-plus" minutes of pure, unadulterated advertising into their pre-screening slots in a clever ploy to sap the will of the people and make us all marketing pawns in an unholy alliance with, uh, the Fox network, or someone. (What is it with Regal, anyway?) But enough negativity -- this is supposed to be the Super Happy Funtime Parade of Top Tennery. So without further ado, and in no particular order, we present the "Short Cuts" Top 10 Austin Film(-Related) Events of 2002. Huzzah!
1. The 48-Hour Film Project and the Cinemaker Co-op's "Make a Film in a Weekend": two great ways to get kids on the streets. With, uh, cameras, we mean.
2. Austin American-Statesman overlords screw over Dildo Diaries filmmakers by refusing to print the "D" word: dumb and dumber indeed.
3. Werner Herzog at Cinematexas: godlike in all he does.
4. Gossip mongering about Disney's The Alamo: more fun than those nasty Chainsaw set reports and twice as filling.
5. Russell Crowe's engagement: to a non-Austinite, no less. Go figure.
6. Dobie Theatre's new digital high-def projection system: BMW commercials never looked so good.
7. Mad local production slates: Lions and Chainsaws and Alamos -- oh my!
8. Lance "Fever" Myers' Riddlin' Kids Vid: It looks fine!
9. Peter Bogdanovich at SXSW: Next year he's doing a cage match with Peter Biskind.
10. Udo-mania: The dapper Mr. Kier loves Austin, vampires, and gallons of house merlot. But please, "Could you tell me where are the dirty boys?"