Short Cuts

Cinemania implodes at the last minute; plus: South by Southwest moving to Dallas?!

Antonio Fargas
Antonio Fargas

Bad Day at Lake Creek Dept.: Despite the best efforts of all involved, this past weekend's much-anticipated tandem Alamo Drafthouse/ Emo's Cinemania event, which was slated to bring together film and music in a whole new way out at Two River Canyon, fell through at the last moment when Emo's pulled the plug on the music front after abysmal ticket presales failed to live up to the real-world cost outlays. After months of planning, securing the site, and lining up everyone from a reunited Sebadoh to Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Emo's management realized there was no way that they were going to offset the approximately $80K the venerable Red River club had tied up in flying in bands, putting them up, and paying them. While band-rescheduling efforts got under way (look for Explosions in the Sky at Emo's June 26 and Sebadoh and Zykos in late July), the Alamo Drafthouse did indeed go on with the show(s), to one degree or another, transplanting their Cinemania film lineup to its Lake Creek location in far North Austin for the Friday and Saturday evening screenings of Napoleon Dynamite, Baadasssss!, and others, as well as moving their 25th anniversary reunion screening of The Warriors to the downtown location Sunday night. Alamo programmer and Cinemania mastermind Kier-La Janisse says the scrambled event ended on a good note Sunday evening, with the Warriors screening selling out and people having to be turned away. Friday and Saturday, however, didn't pan out so well, "especially [Saturday's] Huggy Bear event, which drew a paltry 30 people for Baadasssss!," says Janisse, "which was a premiere, the regional premiere of this movie." Granted, the Alamo Lake Creek is about as far away as you can get from downtown Austin and the campus area and still be in Austin, but 30 people? C'mon, Austin, you can go tubing on the Guadalupe any weekend this summer, but you only had one chance to hang out with Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas. As for the future of Cinemania, which was proposed as a possible annual event for the city, Janisse says "Tim [League, Alamo owner] said we were going to try and do it again at some point, but probably not on Memorial Day weekend due to all the competition we encountered. We're still all trying to figure out what went wrong." Much of the problem, at least from the Emo's end, is that all of the out-of-town bands that were booked to play were going to have to be flown in, which puts a financial damper on any major event of this sort. To that end, said Janisse, it's likely that any future Cinemanias will stick to touring outfits that are already in or around the Lone Star area.

* Former Austinite Robert A. Burns, profilic art director and production designer, has passed away. For more, see “Page Two.”

* Dallas Is for Carruthers Dept.: If you happen to be up in Dallas this Saturday, June 5, you might want to swing by the Southwest Arts, Film, and Television Conference and Expo at the Dallas Convention Center, where South by Southwest will be hosting "A Conversation With Shane Carruth," the winner of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for his feature film Primer, a Dallas-based production that was eventually picked up for distro by ThinkFilm and will be released to theatres this fall. For more info, go to www.swaftconvention.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Southwest Arts, Film, and Television Conference and Expo, South by Southwest, Cinemania, Kier-La Janisse, Alamo Drafthouse, Emo's, Antonio Fargas, Tim League

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