Rick Perry

In December of 1991 a fire swept through a small home in Corsicana, Texas. Cameron Todd Willingham escaped with minor injuries, but his three small children, none older than a toddler, all perished in the blaze. Willingham was a known bastard who slapped his wife around more than once, and two weeks after the fire he was arrested and charged with the murder of his children. Thirteen years later he was executed for the crime. The years between those two events saw substantial changes in the forensic field, particularly in regard to fire investigation, but every effort to revisit the case by those who believed the evidence now showed Willingham to be innocent were ignored, refused, and stopped in their tracks. Documentaries about arguably innocent men and women are nothing new, and while they all have value beyond the images on the screen their arguments are usually based on recanted testimony, evidence of corruption, and other examples of intentional human fallibility. Few make their case for the subject’s innocence on the power of evidence alone. And fewer still come to such a potentially tragic conclusion as Incendiary: The Willingham Case.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It is a nightly movie news recap column that would like to make it all the way to the end of this thing without getting controversial, political or mentioning how much skinny Jonah Hill looks like President Obama. It’s just not likely. We begin tonight with the story that’s on everyone’s mind — no, not the Obama speech — the fact that Mel Gibson is developing a movie about Jewish hero Judah Maccabee, who led a second-century revolt against Hellenistic overloards in the name of the Jewish people. He’s brought Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas on for the script work. There will be nothing controversial about this project.

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Even though I’m no longer in the bunker of Reject HQ in Austin, I still like to keep my ear to the ground to catch the political rumblings. So far there’s been a lot of talk about how much mansions are worth, how you get 8 pounds of hair to stay put, and something about an amendment to create a committee to look into committee creation. Boring stuff, I know. Nothing was all that interesting until I hit upon an entry on the Alamo Drafthouse’s calendar for October 5th (after the mad, mad, mad, madness of Fantastic Fest is over) that claimed to be a showcase of political short films made especially for the current gubernatorial race between Rick Perry and Bill White.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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