Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

 

The former Tower Records building on The Drag is undergoing a renovation to house three new eateries, and owners are preserving the building's artwork, which has become a landmark for University of Texas students and Austinites.

Local artist Federico Archuleta created his first set of murals in 2003, at the intersection of 24th and Guadalupe. He used stencils and spray paint to portray iconic artists such as Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.

 

Video courtesy of MTV

Photo by Dan Reese for KUT News

Conservation work is underway on three of the dresses worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie, "Gone with the Wind." The work at UT's Harry Ransom Center comes after the institution raised $30,000 for the restoration.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The mission of KUT News is to bring you news about the issues important to people living in Austin. But we also know that news just can't always compete with everyone's favorite bespectacled wizard. The last Harry Potter film opens at midnight tonight. KUT News brings you a roundup of reviews for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

By Jeff Proctor, courtesy MONDO/Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse’s poster company, MONDO, is partnering with the archiving arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Photo by WEBN_TV http://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalpulse/

Jesse Eisenberg, an actor who recently portrayed Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network", served free pizza to Home Slice customers this afternoon. The promotion was intended to draw attention to his new movie, "30 Minutes or Less." Can you guess what the movie's about?

Eisenberg has been doing this in several other markets with his co-star Aziz Ansari, including at Goat Hill Pizza in San Francisco and Lincoln Road Pizza Rustica in Miami. 

Here is some of the response on Twitter and Facebook from Austin fans who lined up today to have a famous guy hand them their slice of cheese and pepperoni.

Photo by Andy Uhler for KUT

A West Texas judge says she will not accept a plea deal between the Hudspeth County prosecutor and Willie Nelson’s lawyers because she says it’s not harsh enough. The deal would have required Nelson to pay a $500 fine and $280 in court fees for possessing marijuana.

Judge Becky Dean-Walker told the New York Times that county attorney Kit Bramblett let Nelson off easy because Bramblett is a huge fan.

“He’s supposed to file the charge he feels is appropriate,” Judge Dean-Walker said of Mr. Bramblett in a telephone interview. “Not what he feels he should do for his favorite singer. It is up to the judge to agree or not.”

Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Correction: The original version of this article mistakenly placed the Violet Crown Cinema inside the W Hotel Building. It is, in fact, a block away at 434 W. 2nd St. We regret the error.

Earlier: With the W Hotel closed indefinitely after glass  from the high rise crashed to the ground below yesterday for the third time in just over two weeks, ACL Live is now having to cancel today’s edition of Wine Down Wednesdays. However, the future dates set in July are still on schedule.

Meanwhile, other businesses in the Second Street District, such as the Violet Crown Cinema, a block away on Second Street, remain open for business.

flickr.com/photos/rampantgaffer/

With cities and towns across Central Texas canceling Independence Day fireworks because of tinderbox conditions created by the drought, San Marcos has decided to call off its patriotic pyrotechnics show.

But it's not because of fire concerns; it's a crowd control issue. San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell feared too many people would show up to the show, creating a logistical nightmare. 

Photo by KUT

City officials in Kyle were expecting they would have no choice but to ban their Fourth of July fireworks display, thanks to the ongoing drought. But after talking about it with firefighters and the county, the show is moving ahead after all.

“We thought for a long time it would be [canceled],” City of Kyle spokesman Jerry Hendrix told KUT News. “We have a very safe location. We have clearances from all the fire jurisdictions here in our area. We have contingency plans in place to prevent fires and address them quickly should they start.”

Local entrepreneur Milton Verret bought the jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the iconic video for "Thriller" (above) at auction yesterday for $1.8 million, Reuters reports. Verret plans to put the black and red calf leather jacket on display at Dell Children’s Medical Center and then send it around the world for charity events.

Last month we reported on a group of filmmakers creating a remake of Richard Linklater's 1991 cult classic Slacker. Now the trailer is out, and the movie is set to make its debut in August.

Photo by sailingseas http://www.flickr.com/photos/sailingseas/

Austin City Council gave the green light today for Fun Fun Fun Fest to continue through Sunday when it opens the festival gates this November at Auditorium Shores. The resolution directs city staff to do three things:

  • Give Fun Fun Fun Fest organizers an extra day
  • Find a way to accommodate other events displaced by the closure of Waterloo Park
  • Develop a policy for charging a “mitigation fee” to events for park maintenance and upkeep

A portrait of Farrah Fawcett painted by Andy Warhol and valued at $30 million was spotted on actor Ryan O’Neal’s new reality show on Sunday, and now the University of Texas wants it. Fawcett bequeathed it to the university in her last will and testament. According to Star Magazine, a celebrity gossip publication, UT hired a private investigator to track down the 1979 portrait.

The Blanton Museum said it had no comment on the missing portrait or any private investigation. However, a spokesperson said the museum already has one of the two originals, which is currently on display.

When O’Neal’s show debuted on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network this Sunday, the artwork was spotted on the wall of Fawcett’s former partner.

Photo by Robert Banh http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertbanh/

There are plenty of art studios in East Austin, but not all of them comply with city, state or federal building codes. A local non-profit, the Austin Creative Alliance, says is launching a resource center and low-interest loan program to help artists on the East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) bring their workspace up to code in time for the tour in November.

Austin City Limits announced today that is has scheduled six tapings over August and September at the Moody Theater on Second St. In a post on its blog, ACL released these dates:

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

The Texas Memorial Museum will be closed for about 4 months starting today. The air handling system needs to be repaired.

Margaret Fischer, the director of museum operations, told KUT that replacing the system was strongly recommended by the University of Texas’ facilities management staff to avoid unplanned closures in the future.

During the maintenance, the air conditioning will be turned off on all but one floor where the employees will continue normal hours. They will move their offices to a higher floor to avoid the heat.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin's Franklin Barbeque has been named the best BBQ in America by Bon Appetit Magazine.  If you haven't been there, just look for the long lines in front of a small blue building on East 11th Street about a block east of I-35.

We thought it might be fun to call pit masters at some of America's most famous barbecue joints and rub it in (pun intended). Turns out, most of them are pretty humble about their world famous 'que.

A film that explores the global popularity of sushi and its devastating effect on the Bluefin tuna population won a special jury award at the Seattle International Film Festival. “Sushi: The Global Catch” premiered at the festival last week.

Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League was apparently shocked by how much attention he got from a "Don't Text During the Movie" PSA that used a voicemail from an ejected patron to make its point. The video was quickly picked up by the national media after its release. CNN's Anderson Cooper joked that League deserves the Nobel Prize. The story was also posted to Yahoo! News and was mentioned by the ladies on The View.

Someone even started selling "Magnited We Stand" t-shirts online, a reference to a mispronunciation of "United States of America" during the voice mail. Proceeds from the shirts will go to an "Austin-based education charity."

League says he's pleased the video sparked national discussion about appropriate behavior in movie theaters, but he thinks some people crossed the line by attacking the person who left the voicemail.

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