The Happy Poet

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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The Reject Report

The Machete Spanish title worked so well a few weeks back, we figured we should probably stick to a dialect a little closer to home this time around. Therefore, in honuh of The Town, as well the othuh fine films in contention this box office weekend, we’re shipping up to Boston, Dropkick Murphys style. It should be a fairly close race between the newbies. M Night is producing a horror film about some people in an elevator. Lionsgate’s got a new animated flick to drop bomb on us. Easy A is a nice throwback to John Hughes’s comedies. Some of them will hit the Green Monster (this week, that title denotes cold, hard cash) solid, and some will slip into the Charles River without so much as a whimper. Let’s see how it shapes up. It’s about to get wicked retahded in he-uh.

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