Short Cuts

XL ent's "The 20 Greatest Car Movies of All Time" gets "Short Cuts" all in a tizzy, and an upcoming production from the Wilson brothers.

Bring Me the Head Gasket of Chris Garcia Dept.: Last week's XL ent in the Austin American-Statesman listed "The 20 Greatest Car Movies of All Time" by Film section Editor Chris Garcia and freelancer John DeFore (with an intro from Arts Editor Jeff Salamon) and immediately stirred up some high-octane controversy behind the counter at various video-rental outlets we frequent, most noticeably the Movie Store on 43rd and Guadalupe, where Employee of the Millennium Neal Chandler was downright apoplectic over the relegation of 1971 cult hit Vanishing Point to the No. 4 slot in the "Car Stars" list, with that film's 1970 Dodge Challenger sandwiched between the infinitely less appealing Charger from The Fast and the Furious and Steve McQueen's Mustang GT of Bullitt fame. As gearheads everywhere know, that's all messed up, man -- Vanishing Point, which later inspired an entire album of speedy sleaze from Brit rockers Primal Scream, is such a wantonly bizarre slice of carbon-monoxized Americana it ought to be, at the very least, on the main list, preferably somewhere before George Lucas' perpetually overrated American Graffiti, and just behind cinematic demigods Monte Hellman and Warren Oates' utterly perfect Two-Lane Blacktop. We won't even get into the audacity of putting Spielberg's nifty but generic cat-and-mouser Duel in the No. 2 slot, or ignoring altogether Robert Rodriguez's sophomore effort Roadracers, because we've got 10W30-weight Pennzoil all over our hands, and the keyboard's getting awfully slick. Instead, we suggest a quarter-mile of macadam, preferably outside the city limits, on a bluff, at midnight (à la the also-grievously-unlisted Rebel Without a Cause): Our Subie WRX vs. your, uh, whatever it is. Unless, of course, you're ... chicken. Yeah, toreador, that means you... Dallas/Hollywood sibs the Wilsons -- Andrew, Luke, Owen, but not Flip -- have announced plans to begin shooting The Wendell Baker Story in Austin this fall, with Luke scripting, co-starring with Owen, and co-directing with Andrew. Variety reports the film takes place in a "retirement hotel ... with good-hearted ex-con Luke battling corruption" and pining for his lost flame, which sounds oddly reminiscent of Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep, but without the Elvis Presley and killer mummy. Sounds promising... Finally, our beloved Cinemaker Co-Op and their offshoot the Center for Young Cinema have merged and moved, becoming the Motion Media Arts Center, at 906 E. Fifth #106, in the 501 Media Block. The move springs from Cinemaker's desire to embrace "any artistic output that incorporates a moving image" and not just Super 8 and small-gauge filmmaking. The new and improved MMAC promises to offer everything from workshops, equipment rentals, transfer services, and education programs. See the magic, read the mission statement at www.cinemaker.org, or call 236-8877 for more info.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Wendell Baker Story, Andrew Wilson, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, XL ent, "The 20 Greatest Car Movies of All Time", Chris Garcia, John DeFore, Jeff Salamon, Neal Chandler

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