Film News

Updates on Robert's and Rick's adaptations, Texas on TV, and 'Dot' plays L.A.; plus, have you ever considered a double bill of 'Tarnation' and 'Mrs. Doubtfire'?

• WARNING: Obligatory Rodriguez/Linklater fawning ahead. While the dynamic duo deserve credit as the tent poles of the Texas film industry, they're now changing the way film looks by artfully combining live action with animation techniques. Robert "Bluescreen" Rodriguez has created an amazing reproduction of Frank Miller's noirish Sin City comic book world. It's all black-and-white smudges with just a sprinkle of color here and there. Plus, Mickey Rourke is unrecognizable yet dead-on as square-jawed Marv. For proof, check out the trailer at www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/sin_city.html. Meanwhile, early photos of Richard Linklater's Philip K. Dick adaptation, A Scanner Darkly, show a refinement of Bob Sabiston's rotoscoping look toward realism minus the dream world goonies of A Waking Life. See some snaps on p.50, as well as on our cover.

• Get Real: They loved us with 1997's Austin Stories but quickly left us despite getting their highest series ratings of the day. (Where have Howard Kremer and all the McBubblies gone?) Now MTV's back. No, I'm not talking about the Real World taping soon to crank up at an undisclosed downtown location. Instead it's Call to Greatness, a series that has people driving across Texas, where everything is indeed bigger, and trying to break inane records. I'm holding out for the world's largest sock monkey competition. Meanwhile, A&E is rolling out Roller Girls, which follows Austin's hotter 'n Hades women's Roller Derby trend right here in the town that gave the sport new legs.

Tarnation Meets Mrs. Doubtfire: In the oddest film news of late, Matthew Lawrence, star of Mrs. Doubtfire and TV's Boy Meets World and brother of former teen heartthrob Joey, is directing Fat Girls in the Dallas area. Described as What's Eating Gilbert Grape? meets Ghost World and goes on a date with Saved!, the flick's about an outcast, small-town Texas high schooler who dreams of Broadway. He's encouraged by his drama teacher, portrayed by Houston's Jonathan Caouette, the guy behind family dysfunction documentary Tarnation. Thora Birch also stars, as does the littlest Lawrence, Andrew, who's actually the tallest of the bros now.

And the Rest: Carolyn Pfeiffer, head of Burnt Orange Productions, was recently in L.A. for a screening of the UT film branch's first flick, Dot. Burnt Orange plans to begin shooting its second film in March, but which film is still a deep, dark secret... Sundance-bound documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room will be released by Magnolia Pictures. It's the first feature from HDNet Films, which, like Magnolia, is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban... One to watch at the upcoming Slamdance is Houston director/producer Scott Dalton's La Sierra, a documentary about youth gangs in the heart of war-torn Medellin, Colombia.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Sin City, A Scanner Darkly, Call It Greatness, MTV, Matthew Lawrence, Fat Girls, Jonathan Caouette, Thora Birch, Andrew Lawrence, Carolyn Pfeiffer, Dot, Burnt Orange Productions, Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room, Magnolia Films, Mark Cuban, Scott Dalton, La Sierra, Sundance

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