Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Dazed and Confused

not to mention appalled.

I was cruising the channels over the w/e and caught the end of a this movie by Richard Linklater. I pressed the “info” button and the description said, Coming to age movie filmed in Austin TX. I scanned through the guide and set-up to record a later showing on HBO.

Seeing “The Unforseen” gave me a great insight into some old Austin politics, places and history. Dazed and Confused, with a long list of todays movie stars including Matthew McConaughey, Jason London, Ben Affleck and an uncredited part by Renée Zellweger, did none of that. There were a few glimpses of the Austin of what was 1993 when the film was made, rather than 1976, when the film was set, but nothing much.

I’d like to hear from folks. Was there any approximation to reality in that film? Did American teenagers really act anything like that in the 1970’s or worse still today? Were any of you extras in the film??

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude, I’ve even got the pictures to prove it. Back in the UK I’d gone through the skinhead phase, the Bowie phase and was into disco by 1976 and sure there were some less than shining nights out now I look back. But the hazing stuff, the beatings, the humilation of the girls? Really, in the 1970’s – Wow. No wonder the rasied the drinking age to 21 in the US.

As for the claim in this trailer, the film featured the best music of the 1970’s, actually I’d say the music was mostly offset by 2-4 years before the film was set.

Or was this film about as close to reality as Friday 13th?? Discuss.

More Unforseen

Sometime today my pre-ordered Unforseen DVD should show-up via UPS Ground. According to Laura at Two Birds Film, they had contractual AND technical issues both conspired to hold the release back until September 30th.

By coincidence, this Thursday, October 2nd, Alamo Drafthouse will be holding a showing at Barton Springs itself and presented by The City of Austin and The Austin Film Society.. The pool will be “closed” from 7pm to 10pm, and during that time normal BS charges will apply for entry to watch the film(thats $3 to you and me). I can’t wait to see it again, but have plans for Thursday and Friday, so I guess it will have to wait for the weekend!

the Unforeseen – Seen

At the risk of just seeming like another Cheerleader, or a bore, I thought I’d follow-up on Lauratex Metblog Austin post about the Unforeseen movie.

I’d seen a trailer for the film at a previous visit to the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, I hadn’t actually got around to going to see it, you know, busy life and all that!

the Unforseen movie poster imageLauratex said “it should be required viewing in Austin”. I say, if you moved to Austin after 1995, or were not old enough to remember the Circle C/Barton Springs fight, maybe like me you thought George Bush only started to mess up when he got to the White House, this is the best use of 90-minutes of your time this week!

I know I don’t really know much about Austin, I know “keep Austin weird” isn’t just a bumper sticker but really I had no idea.

While I can see that there are many people who wouldn’t agree with the main message and direction the film takes, as someone that swims a Barton Springs two or three times a week, I found this film really profound and found myself weeping twice during the film. I won’t pretend to do a balanced review of the film, I don’t think I could.

The main thrust of the film is about the development of the Circle-C ranch, apparently a sub-division(another good reasons why I couldn’t turn in a balanced view of the film, I don’t understand much of the terminology used) and the impact it could have on Barton Springs. While the film could have demonised developers, it didn’t for me. It did fairly show that the balance is out of kilter when it comes to developing new, green field sites.

The film is a thought provoking cross over between documentary, story telling and historical record. I suspect that editorial changes made some of the things the people interviewed seem even more prophetic, the small boy who liked living in the new house but was concerned they’d finish the rest of the houses, as he’d have no space to play; the couple who were complaining about their inability to water their new lawn, but “people come first”; the old farmer who seemed wise well beyond his education, if not beyond his years.

The best speaker for me wasn’t Robert Redford, erudite though he was, journalist and author William Greider summed it up best for me, “Growth itself is not the enemy, it is the nature of that growth—the quality within.”

the Unforseen is still showing at the Alamo Drafthouse South, although screenings are getting fewer and fewer as the weeks go by. The current screening list is here. Yes, and that means you ttrentham.

Tree of Life Sightings

2280200328_88f9f4d5c1Austinite Terrence Malick’s latest, Tree of Life, has been filming in here since February.

The Wife was in the GNC in Sunset Valley a couple of weeks ago and was told by one of the clerks that she had just missed Brad Pitt.

Today, she’s at ABIA heading out of town and spotted Sean Penn who she described as “taller than I thought”. I told her to tell him that she loves Bad Boys (no, not the one with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith) & Fast Times and to give him props for his appearance on the “Fort Knoxville” episode of Viva La Bam. We won’t speak of I Am Sam, Shanghai Surprise or the overacting in Mystic River. Penn also had a small part in Malick’s last film, The Thin Red Line, along with a ton of other well known actors.

Matt Dentler, who just recently moved on from doing the programming for SXSW Flim. blogged last year about an unexpected dinner with Malick that also included Richard Linklater and Francis Ford Coppola at Vespaio. Malick also produced the documentary about development and Barton Springs, The Unforeseen, which is currently playing at Alamo South Lamar (and mentioned earlier this week on this blog).

Aloha, Mr. Hand.

"The Unforeseen" Should be Required Viewing in Austin

Ever wonder why Austin’s traffic has gotten so bad? Perhaps you don’t think it’s that bad if you’re from L.A., but it’s definitely much, much worse than it used to be. If you’re a central Austin inhabitant, you may not venture out to the ‘burbs much. Maybe you’ve been to Barton Springs Pool or hiked along Barton Creek? All of these things may not seem related, but to anyone who’s been in Austin awhile and cares about the natural environment – it’s definitely all related. And now there’s a film that starts to bring it all together – The Unforeseen. You now have another week to go see it at the Alamo Drafthouse South!


Sorrows of a late adapter

Show World is no longer a weekly section in the local daily. Quietly and with no announcement that came to my attention, the little tabloid disappeared from the Sunday edition. The Life section contained an abbreviated television page that highlighted certain programs for the week to come and showed the evening schedule only, and only for yesterday. We’re now going to have to go out of our way to make sure not to miss such recent gems as Daredevil: el hombre sin miedo (“the man without fear”) or The Atomic Fireman (a Cantinflas item).

There is now an on-line listing, which does show the Spanish-language stations but doesn’t show their non-cable or non-broadband numbers. It’s going to be a big nuisance to boot up the computer just to make sure not to overlook those American movies dubbed into Spanish with a certain verve. Most are action movies, but there are movies of other kinds, including a Herbie movie recently. Other occasional Sunday favorites are enjoyed in their original language; among them are charro movies and society comedies from the golden age, as well as any and every Cantinflas movie that appears on the schedule.

Television came into my life late and has been a presence only sporadically. I think it’s been almost a decade that we’ve been enjoying our first color TV, a great change, although it boasts the 13-inch screen that the old black-and-white model did, and brings in only those channels that a rabbit-eared antenna can capture.

I don’t think we’ll be buying a converter box before next February, when, without one, ordinary television reception for people like me will disappear. That’s when television itself will probably disappear from my life. I’m not late about everything and I still remember all the DOS commands, but I don’t have a cell-phone. Yet.

Blade Runner Redux at The Paramount


Blade Runner: The Final Cut is coming back to the Paramount for a third week, so if you missed it last month, you’ve got one more chance. It’s impossible to describe the influence of this film, particularly on my generation. I remember seeing it the first time in the summer of 1982 in a small two screen theater in Dallas. It had a huge impact on me.

I caught it on the first run at the Paramount and it’s a must see. I don’t care if you saw it when it was originally released or if you already saw the director’s cut or if you own one of the many versions on DVD. Go see it at the Paramount on the big screen. There are subtle differences to this cut and I do think they’ve finally gotten it right. You won’t be disappointed.

Show Times:

January 16-20
Wed-Fri @ 7:30 pm | Sat @ 4:30, 7 & 9:30 pm | Sun @ 2, 4:30 & 7 pm

Purchase Tickets Online or at the Paramount Theatre Box Office on the day of show.

Something Alamo This Way Comes

1473637222_66df85f5b1_o.jpgAlamo South Lamar’s Saturday Morning Film Club is featuring the film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes tomorrow at noon. It’s free, as in beer, so you’ll want to get there at least a half an hour early to make sure you get a seat.

I’d be all over it, but I’ve got a school carnival that I can’t escape. I saw this in the theater when it was released in 1983. It’s just creepy enough, but not terrifying for the kids and there’s plenty for adults as well. I’d have no qualms bringing my 8-year-old. It’s borderline for a 5-year-old, depending on the kid. The visuals are really great (the whole movie oozes autumn, something we don’t get much of here) and it’s got Jason Robards AND Pam Grier. What more do you want? You have to see it if only to hear Robards deliver the title line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Rant on Reynolds

I was one of the lucky few who got tickets to go see Friday’s screening of The Nines at the Alamo with John August (the writer/director) and Ryan Reynolds (the star) live in attendance, and since Ryan’s kinda the love of my life (along with some other guys) I was MORE than happy to go.

John and Ryan gave a brief talk/explanation of the movie beforehand and once the film was over, I had a million questions for the Q&A we all though was going to be next. To our horror when the lights went up a lady was standing in the front of the house telling us that there was supposed to be a Q&A but Ryan wanted to leave, and since John was traveling with him he had to leave too. BOO! Why did we all pay extra money to see your movie if you won’t let us ask about it, and why couldn’t Ryan just hang around for 30 minutes after? Sixth street’s not going anywhere, buddy. Bad form.

I wish there was some way to get ahold of John August, though. I really liked his movie.

Fantastic Fest Round-Up

ffposter.jpgEvery year for the last several years, I’ve longingly gazed at the Fantastic Fest schedules before the event and then jealously read the reviews coming out of the festival. If you’re like me, your “real life” (work, family, etc.) doesn’t allow you to commit the kind of time that you need to really take advantage of Fantastic Fest. On top of that, it always falls right around the same time as ACL and who has the kind of cash to shell out for both of these things? I might have a better chance next year as my four e-mail addresses falied to win the $50 3 day passes this week (Did anybody get them?) and I’ve decided that I’m going to wait for the lineups and decide if a single day pass is in order for next year.

Anyway, I digress. Even though I couldn’t make Fantastic Fest, which ends tonight, there’s a slew of local bloggers who’ve been posting their impressions. Here’s just a few of them:

Update (2007.09.28 18:16 CDT): I would’ve linked SXSW Flim organizer, Matt Dentler’s, blog, but I didn’t have a good way of linking just his Fantastic Fest posts. You should check out his blog anyway. Also, last night’s surprise closer was Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood.

PS The Alamo Drafthouse newsletter says that VIP badges for next year’s Fantastic Fest are already half gone. So if you want to get in on this stuff yourself next year, you’d better get on it.

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