Austin Cinematic Limits

Summer is almost here. Are you still looking for something to keep your movie-loving kids (ages 9-18) busy this summer? Sure, you could drop them off at the multiplex every morning on your way to work, but allow me to recommend something much better — Austin Film Festival’s Summer Film Camp.

Don’t worry, I am thinking exactly what you are thinking. “Why didn’t something like this exist when I was a kid?” Yeah, I know, kids have it so much easier nowadays! For example, I remember when I had to walk barefoot in the snow, uphill for ten miles to get to some lame-ass summer camp when I was a kid. Twenty years from now, do you really want your kids to be stuck in mindless office jobs reminiscing about their oh-so-boring childhoods while stressing out about what to do with their kids over the upcoming summer? Yes, that’s right, maybe if you enroll them in AFF’s Summer Film Camp they won’t grow up to have tedious office jobs; but, first and foremost, they certainly won’t have bad memories of their childhood summers.

Running from June 11 – August 3 at Austin High School, the 10th annual program features classes such as Filmmaking 101, Claymation Creations (and Extreme Claymation Creations), Funny Shorts, Shorts That Go Bump in the Night, Silence is Golden: Silent Shorts, and Comedy Shorts. Apart from learning from industry professionals, the campers are also given the opportunity to participate in panel discussions with special guest speakers.

All completed camp films will premiere at the Summer Film Camp Showcase. Family and friends are invited to attend and celebrate these films on the big screen. Students will also receive a DVD copy of their film.

To find out more about Summer Film Camp go to the Austin Film Fest’s Young Filmmakers Program website.

For those of us over 18-years of age, I guess we just have to rely upon the Paramount Summer Film Classics and the Alamo Drafthouse’s Film Foundation and Summer of 1982 series to further our cinematic educations this summer. Speaking of which, I am incredibly excited to watch John
Cassavetes’ Shadows (1959) and Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1979) on 35mm at the Paramount this week. These two gritty-yet-poetic, black and white portraits of urban life feature two of favorite jazz scores in the history of cinema. I consider both films to be essential to anyone’s education in film history; in fact, I might go both nights (May 29 & 30) to get a double dose of this double feature. More in the realm of guilty pleasures, I am also looking forward to finally seeing Michael Cimino’ Heaven’s Gate (1980) projected in 35mm on the Paramount’s majestically large screen (June 3).

Okay, back to talking about children… Well, kind of. Alamo Drafthouse is partnering with ATX Television Festival for the Ultimate Childrens Hospital Marathon! All three seasons of Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital will be screened back-to-back on Saturday June 2, 2012 at the Alamo Ritz. Stars Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino and Erinn Hayes as well as Executive Producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern are confirmed to attend the event. The $65 ticket price includes admission to a pre-screening discussion panel with the cast and producers of Childrens Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV:: at the Stateside Theater, the marathon screening at the Alamo Ritz, and the after-party at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel. With your ticket purchase you will also receive a limited edition Mondo poster by Graham Erwin. For more information check out the Alamo Drafthouse website.

Austin Movie Events This Week:

5/31 – Rolling Roadshow (Austin’s Park) - Mondo presents a FREE screening of John Lasseter’s Toy Story (1995). (More info)

5/31 – Cheer Up Charlies - I am anxiously awaiting June 10th because that is the first screening date of Cinema East 2012. In the meantime, Cinema East presents their Summer 2012 kickoff party, giving us the opportunity to hang out with the producers, programmers, food vendor curators, DJs, and collaborators of Cinema East Austin. (More info)

6/1 – Alamo Ritz - The Alamo’s Summer of 1982 series continues with one of my personal faves of 1982, Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist. (More info)

6/1 – Alamo Ritz - The Late Show presents one of my favorite John Cusack films, George Armitage’s Grosse Pointe Blank. (More info)

6/1-6/3 – Various Downtown Locations - The ATX Television Festival makes its premiere run in Austin. Confirmed guests include Dax Shepard (Parenthood), Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warehouse 13, Battlestar Galactica), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Jose Molina (Firefly), Rob Corddry (Childrens Hospital), and many others. (More info)


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