movies

Texas
4:33 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Judge Agrees to Release Murderer "Bernie" Backed by Austin Filmmaker

Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term.
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout. 

CARTHAGE — On Tuesday, more than 17 years after Bernie Tiede shot 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent in the back and tucked her body under potpies in a deep freezer, a judge released him on bond, agreeing with lawyers that his life sentence should be reduced.

But his release comes with strict conditions, among them that he live in the Austin garage apartment of his moviemaking benefactor, Richard Linklater, and receive counseling for sexual abuse.

State district Judge Diane DeVasto agreed to allow Tiede's release after she heard evidence that sexual abuse he suffered as a child contributed to his crime and after a psychiatrist said Tiede would not pose a danger to society.

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Life & Arts
12:30 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Cine Las Americas Brings Films to Austin You Won't See Anywhere Else (Update)

A still from "Pelo Malo" / Bad Hair by Mariana Rondón.
Cine Las Americas

Update: Today Cine Las Americas announced the award winners for the 17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. The grand jury awards went to:

  • Best Narrative Feature: MATEO, Dir. María Gamboa, Colombia/France
  • Best Documentary Feature: ROQUE DALTON, ¡FUSILEMOS LA NOCHE! (Roque Dalton, Let's Shoot the Night!), Dir. Tina Leish, Austria/El Salvador/Cuba
  • Best Narrative Short: PADRE (Father), Dir. Santiago 'Bou' Grasso, Argentina/France
  • Best Documentary Short: TRAZOS EN LA CUMBRE (Drawing on the Heights), Dir. Alejandro Victorero, Carlos Alejandro Molina, Venezuela

There's details on other winners and the audience awards on the Cine Las Americas website.

Original Story (April 22, 2014): The 17th Cine Las Americas film festival gets underway today.

The nearly week-long fest focuses on films by or about Latinos, indigenous peoples of the Americas and those from Spain and Portugal. They’re films you probably won’t see making the rounds later on in theaters.

KUT sat down with the festival’s Executive Director – Eugenio del Bosque to learn more.

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Life & Arts
7:01 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Movies Unplugged: Fest Brings Live Music to Silent Film for One Night in Austin

A screening/performance in New York of Alexander Payne's film "Carmen."
Kim Schlechter

Seth Boustead started the Sound of Silent Film Festival in Chicago almost 10 years ago. It features newly composed music performed live to modern silent films.

Think about that: newly composed music to modern silent films.

Boustead is in Austin for a one-day event featuring this concept. He sat down with KUT to explain what it's all about.

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Movies
2:29 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Paramount Theatre Marks 100th Anniversary With Massive Film Series

"Paramount 100" condenses a century worth of film into a year-plus film series.
Teresa Vieira for KUT News

If you ever missed out on taking a film history course in school, you might just be in luck.

To celebrate its 100th birthday, the Paramount Theatre will be kicking off a year-and-a-half-long film series. “Paramount 100: A Century of Cinema” begins tonight with an exploration of the silent films of the 1900s through the 1920s. It’s a new undertaking for the theater, which is well known for its summertime repertory film series.

“Doing a series like this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, I just never really had a good reason to do it,” says Paramount film programmer Stephen Jannise. “Right after last year’s summer classics series, I started to realize that we have Paramount’s 100th birthday coming up in 2015, so I thought it would be a great reason for me to sort of jump start this Paramount100 series and do a chronological trip through film history.”

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Life & Arts
3:05 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Austin Film Society Names New Texas Hall of Fame Inductees

Five inductees have been named to the Texas Film Hall of Fame.
Jerry Hayes, Austin Film Society

The Austin Film Society has announced its 2014 inductees into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.

The honorees will be awarded at the 14th annual Texas Film Awards kicking off the South by Southwest Film festival, for contributions that have “placed Texas on the world stage of film excellence.”

Austin actress Amber Heard will be recognized with the Rising Star Award. Ms. Heard first gained recognition for her role in the 2004 film “Friday Night Lights.” She's since gained recognition for racy roles in movies such as Machete Kills and “Paranoia,” starring opposite some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

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Life & Arts
6:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Interview: Redhead Looking For Love And Confronting Past Bullying in New Film

Scott Harris discussing his romantic pursuits in a still shot from his film "Being Ginger."
Scott Harris

A film is holding its U.S. Premiere in Austin Monday night. It’s a documentary called “Being Ginger” and it’s all about what it’s like to be a redhead – or as they say across the pond – a “ginger.” Texas Ex – and redhead – Scott Harris directed, produced and stars in the film.

The premise of “Being Ginger” is a redhead – Harris – looking for love. Harris says he wanted to make the documentary because of some of the strange, even disturbing experiences he's had that were based solely on his hair color.

On Some of His Strange "Ginger" Experiences:

"I was walking down the street one night... and these two, random drunk girls come out of a club and they start calling me 'ginger' and sort of harass me – it's playful harassment – but it was a little harassment and I ignored it and I kept walking. And eventually they caught up to me and one of them eventually says, 'You're quite sexy for a ginger.' And I was standing there thinking, 'Is that even a compliment, what do you mean for a ginger?' And then while I was thinking about it she said, 'Do you wait to kiss me?' And I was like, yeah, sure so we kissed for about two or three seconds in the street and then she walked off with her friend going, 'I kissed a ginger, I kissed a ginger.'"

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Austin Film Festival
7:35 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Hundreds of Volunteers Take a Starring Role at the Austin Film Festival

Adolfo Bernal puts his computer skills to work in registration for the Austin Film Festival.
Laura Rice, KUT News

Disclosure: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

Actors, writers and directors will be making their way to Central Texas over the next week for the Austin Film Festival.

The 20th annual festival will screen more than 180 films and feature more than 80 panels with industry pros.

About a dozen staffers work year-round to make it all happen. But the Austin Film Festival also relies on hundreds of volunteers. A contingent of those volunteers have been doing this for years – and donate countless hours to the fest.

Sara Ricke has been volunteering with the Austin Film Festival for the past seven years. And it’s safe to say, she loves it.

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Austin Film Festival
10:30 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Austin Film Fest: Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan Teams with Will Ferrell

“Breaking Bad” showrunner Vince Gilligan is bringing an unproduced script of his to the Austin Film Festival.
flickr.com/tomdog

Where has “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan chosen to take a post-finale victory lap? Here in Austin – resurrecting his feature-length screenplay “2 FACE” with none other than Will Ferrell reading the lead role.

In honor of its 20th anniversary this year, the Austin Film Festival has pulled out all the stops. Besides the staged reading of Gilligan’s “2 FACE,” the eight-day festival also recently announced feature appearances by director Jonathan Demme, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Mad Men” actor Linda Cardellini, and this year’s Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Actor awardee, Susan Sarandon

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Austin Film Festival
4:45 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Video: Behind the Scenes at the Austin Film Festival

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Austin Film Festival – one of the first fests to focus on screenplays and writers’ contributions to film. 

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Austin Film Fest
1:06 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Austin Film Festival 20th Anniversary Lineup Features More Premieres Than Ever

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in "12 Years a Slave," one of this year's Austin Film Festival features.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Austin Film Festival has released the full lineup of films slated for this year's event. AFF says this 20th anniversary lineup features more world and U.S. premieres than ever before in the festival's history.

At the top of the lineup is "Inside Llewyn Davis." The new film by Joel and Ethan Coen won the Grand Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It stars Oscar Isaac as the title character. Isaac will be in Austin for the festival. Academy and Grammy Award-winning music producer T-Bone Burnett will also be in attendance.

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Movies
12:04 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Meet Brandon Darby, Grass-Roots Activist (And FBI Rat)

Brandon Darby, a onetime leftist activist who eventually became an FBI informant, has had his share of both detractors and admirers — many of whom appear in a new documentary about his life and work.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:13 am

For a while in Jamie Meltzer's mesmerizing documentary Informant, I wondered whether subject Brandon Darby, the lefty activist turned FBI informer, was being played by an actor.

But no: It's Darby, and he's a handsome fellow, with haunted eyes blazing out of a bone structure to die for, and with a Montgomery Clift dimple in his chin. Staring straight into the camera, he testifies with the intense calm of a messiah or a madman, which all too often comes to the same thing. Among other things, this powerfully confused man is a study in American extremity.

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Arts and Culture
4:30 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Writer/Director Maggie Carey's To Do List For 'The To Do List'

Aubrey Plaza (L) and Alia Shawkat in "The To Do List," which opens July 26 nationwide.
CBS Films

For writer-director Maggie Carey, having the "The To Do List" in theaters nationwide is the last box she has to check off on her own To Do list.

The movie takes places in Idaho, but has roots in Austin. Carey is a graduate of UT's School of Radio, Television and Film, and the movie's script got off the ground at the Austin Film Festival in 2010. 

Here's Carey's own To Do List to make the "The To Do List," based on her interview with KUT News.

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Movies
3:45 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

'Sharknado' Dares To Ask: Is It Going To Rain Giant Man-Eating Sharks?

Aubrey Peeples as Fin's daughter in Sharknado. Which really happened.
Syfy

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 9:27 am

If you have a Twitter account, there's an excellent chance you already know about Sharknado, SyFy's meteorological-marine horror movie that premiered last night. When I tell you that a lot of people were tweeting about Sharknado, I'm not lying.

Not to mention ... well, you know. Possibly NPR personalities.

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Arts and Culture
5:35 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Heard of Tugg? Austin Startup Changes How People Go to Movies

Gonda says movie theatres like Tugg because many screenings are on weeknights – when they're more likely to have open seats.
tugg.com

There’s a screening tonight in Austin for a movie you probably haven’t heard of.

It’s not part of a film festival or a private event. It's happening in prime time at the Alamo Drafthouse on Research Boulevard.

"’GrowthBusters' is an independent documentary film that brings attention to the fact that we’ve outgrown the planet and it’s time to embrace the end of growth," Director Dave Gardner said.

"GrowthBusters" is Gardner's first big documentary. As a small fish in the big pond of the movie industry, he has limited options for getting it on movie screens. So he turned to an Austin-based startup: Tugg.

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Movies
2:50 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Ray Harryhausen, Master Of Stop-Motion Animation, Dies

American film animator and special effects creator Ray Harryhausen with one of his creations in 1965.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 12:51 pm

Ray Harryhausen, who brought sword-fighting skeletons to the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts and was known as the master of stop-motion animation for his work on that and other films such as Clash of the Titans and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, has died.

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Austin
12:52 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

May the 4th Be With You, Austin: Star Wars & Free Comics Collide

A stormtrooper idles outside the Texas Capitol. This May 4th, comics fans and Star Wars aficionados will both find cause for celebration.
flickr.com/jdhancock

Obi-Wan Kenobi lied.

When the Jedi Master said “The Force will be with you, always,” he wasn’t exactly correct. Around the country, the force get its own special day: May the 4th.

Yep, that’s right, young Padawans. Tomorrow is National Star Wars Day. And this year it falls on the first Saturday of May, which – as any devotee of pulp yarns will tell you – is another storied celebration in the pantheon of nerddom: Free Comic Book Day.

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Austin
8:15 am
Thu May 2, 2013

'Trash Dance:' Documentary Puts Austin Waste Workers in Limelight

A scene from the climactic, nighttime performance in "Trash Dance."
trashdancemovie.com

If the film "Trash Dance" has a mantra, it’s simple: Power to the people. Those people and that power, however, don’t conjure up the familiar themes of power through politics but, strangely enough, dance.

And garbage trucks. 

The film follows choreographer Allison Orr’s work with Austin Energy and Solid Waste Services to make meticulously synchronized dance routines featuring everyday utility service vehicles. So it’s power to the people, who give you power and haul your trash.

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Arts and Culture
6:40 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Cine Las Americas Film Fest Readies 16th Year In Austin

Jean Anne Lauer and Eugenio del Bosque with the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Listen to the story as it aired on KUT 90.5.

The film world is changing. That’s according to the principals behind the 16th annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, running April 16-21 here in Austin, Texas.

With more films coming out of Latin America and indigenous America, Austin audiences will have a range of films to choose from this year. Cine Las Americas includes features and shorts, documentaries and narratives, and works from emerging talents. All the films are subtitled in English.

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Texas
3:10 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Sebastian Junger Screens Film About Journalist's Death in Libya

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Sebastian Junger has written bestselling books including The Perfect Storm. His documentary, "Restrepo" was nominated for an Oscar.  But none of his works was as personally powerful as the film he’ll introduce tonight at the LBJ Library.  

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Borderlands
3:23 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Narco Cinema Finds Growing Audience in Austin

Low-budget movies about narcos, or Mexican drug dealers, are displayed on a shelf in Video Mexico, a video rental store in Austin.
Tamir Kalifa, Texas Tribune

After the arrest in 2010 of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who the authorities said was the head of a violent Mexican drug cartel, customers at Video Mexico in Austin told Eduardo Betancourt, the owner, something he should have known: The man’s life was already the subject of a low-budget movie.

Betancourt’s video-store customers are part of a legion of aficionados of Mexican narco cinema, hastily made films that are inspired by the cartels. The films usually skip theaters, going directly to home video.

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