Austin Texas

Grow Up Tony Phillips

It’s not often that you get to see an exciting filmmaking talent growing and developing before your eyes, but one such example can be found in Emily Hagins. It’s impressive enough that she’s directing a film at the age of nineteen, but when you realize her latest will be her fourth feature? It’s enough to make a person wish for a time machine so they could go back in time to light a fire under their own ass. Hagins’ last movie, My Sucky Teen Romance, was a popular feature on the festival circuit and saw a DVD release last month from Dark Sky Films. Again, impressive for a film featuring no name talent to speak of. (Apologies to the two hundred and forty eight Austin bloggers who appeared throughout the film in various capacities.) She’s stepping up her game for her new film with both a more mature story and some recognizable talent in front of the camera. Genre and indie favorites Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) and AJ Bowen (The House of the Devil) have signed on to star in Grow Up, Tony Phillips which is scheduled to begin production in the next month or so. Even better, you can have a hand in the film’s production too. Check out the full press announcement below or go straight to the film’s Kickstarter page to help make Grow Up, Tony Phillips a reality (and score some pretty cool swag in the process).

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Ever since I moved to Austin 14 years ago, the summer has meant one thing to me (well, besides several months of brutal triple digit temperatures): Paramount’s Summer Classic Film Series. More recently, Cinema East has developed into a staple for my Sunday evenings during the summer months. While I anxiously anticipate announcements from the Paramount and Cinema East regarding their 2012 summer programming, the Alamo Drafthouse is the first out of the gate with a couple of announcements that have pushed my calendar well beyond its cinematic limits for the next few months. First off, Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo announced their partnership with Martin Scorsese’s film preservation organization, The Film Foundation. Created in 1990 by Scorsese, The Film Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. By working in partnership with the leading archives and studios, the foundation raises awareness of the urgent need for preservation and has saved over 560 films.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Up until last week I never heard of Adventure Time. (I will chalk this up to not having easy access to cable television, specifically Cartoon Network, rather than my utter lameness.) So, it was not until the announcement that Mondo Gallery was opening an Adventure Time themed art show — featuring 40 pieces of original art and posters from 31 artists (the show is on display through May 26) — that I first heard of Finn and Jake and the Land of Ooo. Considering that Mondo’s tastes are typically in line with my own, their love for Adventure Time intrigued me. Luckily, the gallery opening was to be paired with an Adventure Time Marathon Screening and Feast — hosted by Mondo and featuring series creator Pendleton Ward and voice actor Tom Kenny (Ice King) — at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. What better way to get introduced to Adventure Time than with a two-hour immersion into nine episodes (including two world premiere episodes), served up with a three-course menu (including “Everything Burrito”, “Wizard Rainbow Dogs”, “Decorpsinator Puffs” and “Meatman Meat”) designed by Alamo Executive Chef John Bullington, and seated alongside a sold out audience of rabid Adventure Time fans? Oh, yes, the fans! Seeing all of the fans decked out in Adventure Time costumes got me all the more excited to experience whatever it was I was about to see. I mean, how often do people dress up like characters from bad television shows? (Okay, don’t answer that.) I was […]

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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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Austin Cinematic Limits

I know you are all wondering which local film was my favorite at SXSW 2012, and though I know that you know that by asking that question you are placing me in a very awkward position because I do not like to play favorites I will oblige your request nonetheless. Kid-Thing. There, I said it. Are you satisfied now? I suspect I will find a severed horse’s head in my bed courtesy of Jonny Mars (America’s Parking Lot) and/or Bob Byington (Somebody Up There Likes Me) as early as tomorrow morning. Thanks a lot! Well, can I backtrack and say that they were all great?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with stuntman legend Vic Armstrong (who brought to life Indiana Jones, Superman and James Bond). We also chat with camera operator/cinematographer Peter Simonite (Skateland, Tree of Life), and we dig deeper into the monster-making world of effects master Shannon Shea. Plus, Matt Razak from Flixist spars off with Mike Smith from Examiner.com for our Movie News Pop Quiz, and we all learn an important lesson. By that, I mean a lesson about re-imaginings, reboots and re-re-re-makes. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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All three actors are signed up to reprise their original trilogy roles for the upcoming The Hobbit, so feel free to wet your geek pants. After all, you can’t get any uncooler.

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Young fans and wannabe filmmakers take to the web to show off their sweding skills just like Jack Black and Mos Def in Be Kind Rewind! Are you one of them?

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