TV Eye

A Look Back

A Girl's Own Story
"A Girl's Own Story"

Dynamic, intriguing, entertaining, edgy, and now 30 – The Territory, the Texas-produced showcase of independent film and video, returns for a new season on Friday. Though the screenings are limited to Texas PBS affiliates, the films come from around the world. This year's program is a retrospective of favorite experimental, documentary, narrative, and animated shorts that excite with their reminder of film's limitless possibilities.

Several Texas or Austin-based filmmakers' works are featured: Robert Rodriguez's "Bedhead"; "Waiting for Trains" (D: Alejandro Gomez, Andrew Cadelago, and Jason de Leon); and Tasca Shadix's charming "Twenty-Five Cents." Dancer Dee McCandless' dance in water is sublimely captured in "Aquamirabilis" (D: Gene Menger, Suby Bowden). Several of Francesca Talenti's highly graphic and animated films capturing poems and spoken word occur throughout the season.

The Territory is a project of SWAMP (Southwest Alternate Media Project), the Austin Museum of Art, Houston PBS, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The 30th season premieres April 28 at 10:30pm on PBS. The schedule follows with Texas films highlighted. For full film descriptions and more information, go to or

Program 1 (April 28): Experimental work by John Sanborn: "Sitting on Top of the World" (1993); "Untitled" (1986); "Sixth Sense" (1985); "Luminaire" (1985).

Program 2 (May 5): Australian filmmaker Jane Campion's "A Girl's Own Story" (1986) is the sole feature. A coming-of-age story under less than idyllic circumstances.

Program 3 (May 12): "How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels" (D: Craig Welch, 1996); "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase" (D: Joan Gratz, 1992); "Portrait of a Woman With Tomatoes" (D: Julie Zammarchi, 1987); "Love Defined" (D: Francesca Talenti, 2001); "I Reason" (Francesca Talenti, 2002).

Program 4 (May 19): "Grijs/Grey" (D: Christophe Van Rompaey, Belgium, 1996); "Choreography for a Copy Machine" (Chel White, 1991); "Copy Shop" (D: Virgil Widrich, Austria, 2001).

Program 5 (May 26): "Face Like a Frog" (D: Sally Cruikshank, 1987); "The Ball Bearers" (D: Julie Zammarchi, 1987); "Strings" (D: Wendy Tilby, Canada, 1991).

Program 6 (June 2): "Cockfight" (D: Sigalit Lipshchitz, Israel, 2000); "Waiting for Trains" (D: Alejandro Gomez, Andrew Cadelago, and Jason de Leon): In his final moments, a POW flashes back on his early life; "With Raised Hands" (D: Mitko Panov, 1985): A young boy magically escapes boarding a Nazi death train.

Program 7 (June 9): "The Open Luggage" (D: Javier Rebollo, Spain, 1999): A con artist encounters a stranger's suitcase.

Program 8 (June 16): "If Every Girl Had a Diary" (D: Sadie Benning, 1990); "Damnation of Faust: Will-o'-the-Wisp" (D: Dara Birnbaum, 1983); "Warp" (D: Steina Vasulka, 2000); and "Twenty-Five Cents" (D: Tasca Shadix, 1998): Loose change, a young boy, and a trip to the store in rural Texas becomes a charming odyssey.

Program 9 (June 3): "Styx" (D: Jan Krawitz, 1976); "Mapping a City of Fragments v.2" (D: Chip Lord, 1997); "Damnation of Faust: Charm-ing Landscape" (D: Dara Birnbaum, 1987).

Program 10 (June 30): "Aquamirabilis" (D: Gene Menger, Suby Bowden, 1985); "Birds of a Feather" (D: Kathrin Nowak, Germany, 2000); "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War" (D: Joan Logue, 1984).

Program 11 (July 7): "Neo-Geo: An American Purchase" (D: Peter Callas, Australia, 1989); "Talk About the Passion" (D: Jem Cohen, 1989); "DJ Asylum" (D: Benjamin Stokes, 1997); "The Post Modern Man" (D: Jason LaMotte, 2001): A fable about living in a media-saturated world; "In the Land of the Elevator Girls" (D: Steina and Wood Vasulka, 1989).

Program 12 (July 14): "A La Otra" (D: Sandra Solares, Mexico, 2001); "Life Jacket" (D: Francesca Talenti, 2001); "Still Revolutionaries" (D: Sienna McLean, 2000); "A Rilke Poem" (D: Francesca Talenti, 2003).

Program 13 (July 21): "Bedhead" (D: Robert Rodriguez 1991): Rodriguez's hilarious first film, cast with his younger siblings in a wacky tale of a bad-hair day gone awry; "Snack and Drink" (D: Tommy Pallotta & Bob Sabiston, 2000): Computer-generated rotoscope is used to illustrate an autistic boy's fondness for convenience-store beverages; "Epiphany" (D: Joseph Ambrosavage, 2003): Droll tale of a man who makes an important discovery; "What's Wrong With This Picture" (D: Jeffrey Travis, 2003): A young boy's creation turns on him; "On Writing Hat Poems" and "I Exist" (D: Francesca Talenti, 2001): Visual reflections of two Texas poets' work.

Cinco de Mayo, Tejano Style

Austin-produced PrimeTime Tejano airs a live Cinco de Mayo special on PACT Channel 16. Featured bands include Los Texas Wranglers, Son de Rey, Carolina, Medaya, Grupo Salaman, and Pinche Amor. Tejano radio veteran Marcelo Tafoya joins PrimeTime Tejano host Jerry Avila to chat with the musicians and interview special guests including Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos – who recently launched a Don't Mess With Tejano Music campaign to regain a Tejano presence on local radio programming. The PrimeTime Tejano Cinco de Mayo special airs from 10am to 6pm on PACT Channel 16.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More TV Eye
TV Eye: That's What She Said
TV Eye: That's What She Said
After 10 years in print, 'TV Eye' has its series finale

Belinda Acosta, July 8, 2011

TV Eye: Go LoCo
TV Eye: Go LoCo
Awards, and a word about what's on the horizon for 'TV Eye'

Belinda Acosta, July 1, 2011


The Territory, Robert Rodriguez, Southwest Alternate Media Project, Francesca Talenti, Tasca Shadix, Primetime Tejano, Cinco de Mayo, Ganzalo Barrientos

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle