Film News

Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman on the ropes at Lord's Gym

Wiseman quietly shoots Lord's Gym

I'd heard whispers through the grapevine that famed documentarian Frederick Wiseman (High School) had turned his lens on Austin, but nobody would cough up the subject matter. Seems it's Lord's Gym on North Lamar where Wiseman spent about six weeks last May. Richard Lord has no notion why the small gym behind a Goodwill store was chosen and was previously sworn to secrecy. "It's a primitive workout, raw training," Lord says. "It's a real gym, not a foo-foo place. There's lots of sweat and grind. He didn't ever get in the way." Wiseman may have been interested in the gym's mix of amateurs with professional boxers and the large number of women who train there. One of the film's female subjects ran into Wiseman on the streets of Paris recently, Lord says. Wiseman is there shooting a doc on ballet and told her he expects to finish editing – usually the longest process in his observational style of filmmaking – after that.

Other film stuff I forgot to tell you

What? I never mentioned the great cast of Robert Rodriguez's kid flick Shorts? According to Variety, the just-wrapping film has brought to Austin Jon Cryer, James Spader, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, and Rodriguez's son Rebel. The story is about a boy in a cookie-cutter world who is hit in the head by a magic rock that grants wishes to anyone who holds it... University of Texas grad James Hibberd, whose day job is at The Hollywood Reporter, co-wrote with Rupert Wainwright (The Fog) the film Waco, about the Branch Davidian raid in 1993. Hibberd says the event has become a cable-news memory for most, but his script aims to tell of the larger drama of David Koresh's followers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He spent more than a year researching for the script. "The enormity of the raid, the assault, and the fire has never been captured because it's expensive to shoot," he told me. Some reports have Waco budgeted at $30 million... The folks at Z: A Zombie Musical have an undead bone to pick with Troma. Director John McLean says they once approached the schlocky horror-meisters with Z – for which the catchphrase is, "All singing! All dancing! All zombies!" – but were told the company had its own zombie musical involving chickens in the works (presumably the recently released Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead). Now they note the new tagline for Troma's 1996 Trey Parker and Matt Stone film Alferd Packer: The Musical (better known as Cannibal: The Musical): "All singing! All dancing! All flesh eating!"

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Frederick Wiseman, Lord's Gym, Richard Lord, Robert Rodriguez, Shorts, Jon Cryer, James Spader, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, James Hibberd, Waco, Z: A Zombie Musical, Troma, John McLean

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