Film News

Are the Coens coming back to Austin? Plus, Anne Rapp and 'Double Wide,' Jenn Garrison in Italy, and Jacob Vaughan kind of gets hit on by Dave Carradine.

The Coens Abide

Filmmaking siblings Joel and Ethan Coen (right) are looking to Austin as a potential filming site for their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's latest novel, No Country for Old Men. The pair has signed to write the adaptation and do a symbiotic version of directing/producing the story of a Vietnam War vet who happens upon $2.4 million in drug money, flees with it, and is chased across Texas by both a lawman and a deranged killer. Plenty of bloodshed and literary musings on the meaning of life ensue. The project could mark a return to the Coens' roots. Their first feature, Blood Simple, lensed in and around Austin in 1982.

Spring Forward

Film projects are circling the capital city with eyes on spring start dates. Gregory Smith of the WB's Everwood is a producer and potential star for Wieners, a road trip comedy involving a vehicle shaped like a hot dog. Twentysomething Smith was last in Austin in 2000 for filming of American Outlaws. Austin resident and former Robert Altman screenwriter Anne Rapp (right) has been scouting local locales for her directing debut, Double Wide. And in the almost-as-cool-as-a-Coen-flick category, the Platinum Dunes folks quietly (and bloodily) filming a prequel to the 2003 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake in Eastern Williamson County are rumored to be mulling sticking around to shoot a remake (naturally) of The Hitcher.

Rest in Peace

Kate McCarley, location manager for Austin-shot films ranging from A Perfect World to Waiting for Guffman to Office Space, recently succumbed to cancer. "Kate lived a big life, and she was a very loved and loving person," says Carol Pirie, interim head of the Texas Film Commission. "This is a great loss." Her sentiments are echoed by others who knew McCarley.

You May Already Be a Winner

Jenn Garrison, filmmaker and disc jockey, is in Bologna, Italy, as you read this, receiving the Immaginaria Film Festival's special award for her short film "Standing Up"... Scott Rice's "Perils in Nude Modeling" took the jury award in the college category at the Savannah Film Festival. Also showing were films by his fellow UT student Keun-Pyo Park ("Wake") and UT professor Ellen Spiro (Troop 1500)... Speaking of 40 Acres folk, Miguel Alvarez's short film "Tadpoles" was feted as best graduate-student film by the Hamptons International Film Festival.

And the Rest (Plus David Carradine)

The Return (formerly known as Revolver), with Sarah Michelle Gellar as a reincarnated woman looking to solve her earlier self's murder, is back in town for reshoots... Two years after its Austin shoot, The Ringer is set for release to theatres in time for Christmas. When else for a comedy starring Johnny Knoxville as a guy who tries to rig the Special Olympics?... Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock, a documentary from Austin filmmakers Mike Wilson and Damon Brown, rated a third screening at the recent American Film Institute Fest in Los Angeles... Austinite Mari Marchbanks' film Fall to Grace, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, will get theatrical distribution through 2929 Entertainment's Truly Indie program... Argentina's Habitaciones Para Turistas, which premiered at the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival in April, has a video distribution deal with Condor Media... Joining Pepe Serna and Daniel Baldwin in Clean Sweep are comedian John Farley (younger brother of the late Chris), singer Jose Jose, and Evalina Fernandez of American Me... Dec. 12 is the deadline to enter the Texas High School Film Competition, sponsored by South by Southwest. If you're suffering the peer pressure/ringing bells of high school firsthand, and you've got a short film, you're eligible. More at Need some support creating that award-winning flick? Go to Bryan Poyser and Jacob Vaughan's Dear Pillow is part of Indiewire's Undiscovered Gems Film Festival, which is touring the country spreading the gospel of all things indie through screenings in cities ranging from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco to New York. For Vaughan, I doubt this honor can beat being a caveman extra in the latest Burnt Orange film, Homo Erectus, and having star David Carradine tell him he looked more like a cavewoman.
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Coen Bros., No Country for Old Men, Anne Rapp, Gregory Smith, Kate McCarley

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