Pictures of Superheroes

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

A New Orleans native, writer-director Todd Berger moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas. After graduating from UT’s Radio-Television-Film program, Berger was quickly swept away to the always sunny shores of Los Angeles. With The Scenesters (2009) and It’s a Disaster (2012), Berger has become yet another success story to come out of UT’s film program; and even though he did not spend very much time in Austin, Berger has maintained very strong ties with the Austin film community. So, when we heard that Berger was coming to Austin for the regional premiere of his latest directorial effort, It’s a Disaster, at the 2012 Austin Film Festival we thought it would be fun to get his outsider perspective on the Austin…

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Like an absurd psychological study of the multiple personalities of modern life in Austin, writer/director Don Swaynos’ Pictures of Superheroes cleverly juxtaposes a slackerish man-child with a self-absorbed entrepreneur. Joe (John Merriman) and Eric (Shannon McCormick) reside in the same house together but have grown so far apart that Eric no longer recognizes Joe’s existence. Literally, Eric is so busy that forgets that he has a roommate; all the while, Joe stays around the house all day, haunting Eric by perpetually messing up the house. On one fateful day, Eric discovers Marie (Kerri Lendo) hopelessly wandering down the street while donning the maid’s uniform in which she lives, sleeps and dreams. Eric hires Marie as his personal maid, thus dragging her into the absurd world in which he exists. Swaynos’ script is saturated with dry and subtle humor built upon the surreal situation of someone no longer realizing that they have a roommate. Pictures of Superheroes delves deeply into interpersonal relationships, specifically focusing on the disconnections and selfishness that seem to have become inherent in our oh-so-hectic modern society. In Swaynos’ unique cinematic place, there is a moral responsibility to obtain a work/life balance, to pay attention to one’s surroundings, and to exist. Despite the fact that Eric and Joe’s approaches to work and life are so drastically opposite, their choices have stuck them in the same exact place. Their house is in a bizarre limbo in which they must reexamine their life philosophies in order to escape. I sat […]

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I have been anxiously awaiting Fantastic Fest 2012 (September 20-27) ever since the carnivalesque tomfoolery of the Fantastic Fest 2011 closing party. Year after year, Tim League and the Fantastic Fest programmers have totally blown me away with their impeccable curating of genre films. And the parties… Oh, the parties! If my liver could talk, the stories it would tell… If history serves, Fantastic Fest 2012 will continue to expand upon its awesomeness, so this year will probably be ten times more amazing than last year’s festival. The announcements that Fantastic Fest has made so far with the first wave and second wave of programming have already solidified the fact that this will be the best damn Fantastic Fest of them all. First off, Tim Burton will be in attendance at the world premiere of Frankenweenie on the opening night of Fantastic Fest 2012. Sure, I have not been a fan of most of his recent work, but that makes him no less of a cinematic genius in my mind. And, while on the subject of this year’s festival guests, I pretty much peed my pants with excitement when I heard that Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be coming to Fantastic Fest with their film Looper. Color me thrilled!

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Occasionally, Austin Cinematic Limits is going to post interviews with key players in Austin’s film community. It might be common knowledge that there is a rich pool of directors in Austin, but there are also a ton of fantastic actors, cinematographers, composers, animators, make-up artists, and other cinematic people with whom we also want to converse. Maybe — just maybe — we will gain a better understanding of why all of these talented people have chosen to live and work in Austin rather than Los Angeles or New York City. We are starting with producer Kelly Williams — partly because there are only a handful of producers who actually live and work in Austin, but also because he is currently juggling so many great projects. Since resigning from his role as Film Program Director at the Austin Film Festival in June 2011, Williams has already produced Kat Candler’s Hellion (premiered at Sundance 2012), the anthology film Holiday Road (premiered at Slamdance 2012) and Mark Pott’s Cinema Six (scheduled to premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival in April 2012). Don Swaynos’ Pictures of Superheroes just completed post-production and Williams has two more films already in the pipeline, the feature-length version of Hellion and Yen Tan’s Pit Stop.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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