America’s Parking Lot

Austin Cinematic Limits

As many of you probably know, I have been juggling an all-consuming day job with various writing gigs, essentially leaving no time for anything else (life, sleep); and, as the saying goes, all work and no play makes Don a dull boy. We have enough Jack Torrance’s in this world, and before I start running around abandoned hotels with an ax, I figured it was in my best interest to start hacking away at my current workload.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

How many movie fans does it take to paddle down the Guadalupe River to a Drafthouse Films screening of Klown? Even after the Ultimate Klown Canoe Trip on Saturday, there’s still no answer for that. All I know is that film critics are much better at being witty and snarky than they are at canoeing. Nonetheless, the endless amounts of free beer definitely helped distract us from the fact that we were outside and exercising. The weather was even somewhat pleasant — low 90s and cloudy. Twitch’s Josh Hurtado and I did not know each other beforehand, but everyone else had already paired up and we were the odd men out. So, we grabbed our life jackets, paddles and canoe, hit the river and became fast friends. Right at the onset of our journey there was a massive pile up of canoes (and we had not even reached the “canoe-eating tree” yet!). Once we cleared ourselves of that mess, Josh and I opted to distance ourselves from the pack and never look back… We navigated the shallow river quite well — only having to get our feet wet a few times — and if it was a race, Josh and I won (just barely beating Tim and Karrie League who came out of nowhere in the closing quarter mile). Sure, we did not get to paddle in the pack of critics alongside Klown‘s Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam (though I did sit beside Hvam on the bus ride), but Josh […]

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I first became aware of Jonny Mars during SXSW 2010, thanks to his role as Donnie in The Happy Poet. I have never been one to judge an actor on one performance, so it was not until I saw Mars the next time – as Steve Worth in Wuss – that I realized his talents as an actor. I remember wondering to myself, why hasn’t Mars run off to Los Angeles to become a big star? Then, after watching Mars truly own his couple minutes of screen time in Hellion, I knew it was time to pose that question to the man himself. Before I got a chance to speak with Mars, a funny thing happened: I learned that Mars is also a director, and his directorial debut, America’s Parking Lot (which premiered at SXSW 2012), is a multi-faceted documentary about the renowned Dallas Cowboys’ Gate 6 tailgaters. Mars once again astounded me, this time for his astute understanding of the documentary form. In terms of its narrative arc and development of conflict, America’s Parking Lot is damn near perfect. If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed America’s Parking Lot was directed by a seasoned veteran, not a first-time director. Now I really needed to chat with Mars, post-haste!

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