Short Cuts

Nude models, big awards, big movies, dead rock stars. Just another week in Austin film.

X All This and Dead Rockers, Too, Dept.: The hits just keep coming for the University of Texas Department of Radio-Television-Film and its alumni. Hot on the heels of last month's Guggenheim Fellowship win by Ellen Spiro and Mitko Panov comes word that Scott Rice, a 2003 Master of Fine Arts alumnus and lecturer in RTF has been named a finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 31st annual Student Academy Awards competition. As if that weren't cool enough, Rice has not one but two films nominated, which makes him the first filmmaker ever to reach the finals in two distinct categories within the same year: "The Adventures of Mad Matt" in the documentary category, and "Perils in Nude Modeling" in the narrative category. ("Perils," by the way, recently picked up a win at the Austin Music Network's Student Filmmakers Showcase, as well.) The final winning filmmakers will be announced at the prestigious Los Angeles awards ceremony on June 13, which if you ask us (and probably Rice, as well), is a long time to be holding our collective breath.

X Just when you were getting your synapses back online after having your mind blown by Waking Life, the official announcement/open secret regarding Richard Linklater's next project has been made, via Variety's May 3 online edition, and it looks like it's going to be a lulu: Linklater will be adapting Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly for Warner Independent Pictures from his own script. The picture, which will be shot in Austin (natch), will reteam the director with his Waking Life honchos Tommy Pallotta – who will be producing with Anne Walker McBay and Section 8 partners George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, and Bob Sabiston, who is onboard as the film's animation director. Heavy-hitters all, and the cast is nothing to trifle with either: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Rory Cochrane have been announced so far. Like Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly will be shot on film and/or DV, and then turned into animation via Sabiston's visionary software program. More on this as shooting commences.

X What's up over at the Alamo Drafthouse these days? Jesus – you got an hour? During last Saturday's Ultimate Buster Keaton Experience event, some 350 audience members boarded a train for a two-hour ride into the middle of nowhere to watch Buster Keaton's Civil War comedy masterpiece, The General, beneath the deep black blanket of the springtime-Texas sky, accompanied by the absolutely magnificent sounds of the Guy Forsyth Band, whose original score for the film really ought to be on CD as soon as possible. Alamo owners Tim and Karrie League, along with their genius rock & roll programmer Kier-La Janisse, have perfected the art of making moviegoing an adventure all over again, something not experienced in this country since the drive-in theatres' heyday back in the 1950s.

X Forties femme fatale Ann Savage and astonishingly prolific film noir chronicler Eddie Muller will be in town – Austin, not Dark City – on Saturday, May 15, for two screenings (7 and 9:45pm) of Edgar Ulmer's Detour. Don't miss it.

X Monday, May 17, 7pm, also at the Alamo's downtown location (409 Colorado), sees the premiere of You're Gonna Miss Me: Casualties of Rock, another highly recommended docu-comp from the fine folks who brought us the phenomenal I've Come to Tell You I'm Going: The Serge Gainsbourg Story and the equally enticing glam-rock-doc Pretty Things, namely the Alamo's musical appreciation contingent of Janisse, Lars Nilsson, and Anne Heller. This time out they're tackling the always-fun subject of dead rock stars. More info? Yes, please: www.drafthouse.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

A Scanner Darkly, Kier-La Janisse, Ann Savage, Lars Nilsson, Anne Heller, You're Gonna Miss Me: Casualties of Rock, Scott Rice, The Adventures of Mad Matt, Perils in Nude Modeling

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