The Austin Chronicle

Short Cuts

By Marc Savlov, February 28, 2003, Screens

Rock en Español Dept.: In a daring move that's sure to win them south-of-the-border accolades and the wrath of not one but two ornery governments, local video artists and animation whiz kids Paul Beck and Jason Archer have shot a music video for Mexican hip-hop/metal politicos Molotov. The two animators got the gig on the strength of their work on Richard Linklater's Waking Life. (That's a trend in the making: Divya Srinivasan, another Waking Life animator, made Spoon's "Everything Hits at Once" video in 2001.) Beck and Archer shot the band in Austin on digital video and then used Bob Sabiston's rotoscoping software to create the animation for the song "Frijolero," which has the bilingual, squeeze-box, hip-hop quartet getting nailed by INS and sharing the back of a deport-o-van with el presidente Vincente Fox (a gag that hasn't gone over too well in Mexico). Beck and Archer previously collaborated on the State of the Union animation profiled here last July -- parodying a talking head President Bush's vapid policymaking -- and on a video for (former Talking Head) David Byrne's "The Great Intoxication," and it's become abundantly clear that they enjoy tweaking authority whenever possible. "We hooked up with Molotov through [Los Angeles animation house] Film Roman," says Archer. "Tito [Fuentes, Molotov member] was a big fan of Waking Life, and they asked us to do the video, which we shot over on the east side of town in an empty parking lot. There's been a little bit of controversy, though. We were told there's two things in Mexico you don't make fun of, the Virgin Mary and President Fox, so that ruffled a few feathers, but generally the reviews we've read have been great." Beck and Archer will be screening the video (along with other new videos, installations, and artwork) at Gallery 1313 during SXSW. Check out the video for yourself at Have Sword Will Travel: Monday's Hollywood Reporter noted that Universal Pictures has optioned Texan author Michael Moorcock's hugely popular 11-volume Elric series with About a Boy sibling directing team Chris and Paul Weitz slated for the production helm. Bear in mind the brothers also made the ribald teen sex comedy American Pie, which gives the lusty "Elric of Melnibone" a whole new, um, slant. "Sha-zam!" as Jim Nabors would say.

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