Short Cuts

Harry Knowles takes over British airwaves … and magazine ads … and the sides of busses … and pretty much anywhere else that those clever lads in the SkyTV marketing department can manage to fit him.

Knowles/Ball Love Child Nixed -- Fatboy Slim Cries UNKLE Dept.: If you're in the UK anytime soon, or if you happen to have a satellite television link with a subscription to England's SkyTV, you'll want to check out Harry Knowles' new gig as "the Robert Osborne of the British airwaves." That from Knowles himself, who monthly has a SkyTV film crew show up at his home to badger him with topical film questions of the day. Cheekily described on the SkyTV Web site (www.skymovies.com) as "a big, ginger geek who scares the hell out of Hollywood," the Austin-based Internet film guru nabbed the position some months back when a planned five-minute spot on a film program hosted by Fatboy Slim's former paramour and Radio 1 DJ Zoe Ball fell through in the wake of the Slim/Ball breakup. (Why Knowles didn't immediately take up with the leggy, blond BBC media darling once Fatboy né Norman Cook was out of the running is beyond us, although presumably the difficulties of transcontinental snogging played a role.) The current incarnation of Knowles' show has him commenting on what's up at the stateside box office, although he says he instead uses the prepared line of questioning as a jump-off point for delving into upcoming releases he's slightly more passionate about, such as the Robert Englund-starring 2001 Maniacs, a forthcoming sequel to Herschell Gordon Lewis' splatsploitation grindhouse classic Two Thousand Maniacs! "It's really subversive as hell," crows Knowles, who's caught something of a break now that the British era of the "video nasty" is well behind the queen's censors (as the success of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later has so ably proven). And not only is Knowles' face on the telly, but also, apparently, on the sides of busses, magazine ads, and pretty much anywhere else that those clever lads in the SkyTV marketing department can manage to fit him. Ah, swinging London, we hardly knew ye. Unfortunately for us Yanks, SkyTV is unavailable in the U.S. at this time, although, according to Knowles, you might be able to nail it down if you have a top-end satellite system. Maybe. It's good to know that our favorite über-geek is tormenting poor Tony Blair for a change, though... Final Notice Dept.: The absolute final deadline for the 2003 Austin Film Festival's film competition is Tuesday, July 15. Their trailer competition deadline remains Friday, Aug. 15. (And that's for AFF-specific trailers, not regular old film trailers, should you wonder.) Film semifinalists will be announced in August, and you can find all other info on the fest and sundry deadlines at www.austinfilmfestival.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Harry Knowles, SkyTV, Zoe Ball, Fatboy Slim, Austin Film Festival

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