movies

Journalism
5:00 am
Wed February 27, 2013

UT Journalist Searches for the Story Behind 'The Searchers'

Glenn Frankel's book "The Searchers" weaves the real story of Cynthia Ann Parker's abduction and rescue into the story of the making of the iconic John Ford-directed film.

It's John Wayne at his John-Waynest. In the film "The Searchers," Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, who relentlessly pursues his niece Debbie after her abduction by Comanche Indians in Texas.  The film's story is based in the life of Cynthia Ann Parker, a nine-year-old girl kidnapped by Comanches from her family's East Texas settlement in 1836. End of story, right? Wrong.

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Arts and Culture
6:15 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Sundance Festival has Texas Tinge

Elise Gardner in "Spark," playing at Slamdance Film Festival.
Annie Silverstein

The Sundance Film Festival gets under way today in Park City, Utah. The 10-day festival features more than 100 films by directors from around the world. Ten of those are Texas filmmakers, and Austin’s film community helped bring those films to the silver screen.

A group of local filmmakers and critics assembled in a screening room at Austin Studios last week. They were there to watch short films and clips from a full-length feature making its debut at Sundance. But it was a little hard keep track of just who did what.

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Austin
12:37 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Faces of Austin 2013: Experience Inspired By City Life

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2013.
City of Austin

Well-known as a place that boosts creativity, music and art, Austin is always searching for new talent and inspiration. 

Faces of Austin 2013 is calling for short-films, fiction and nonfiction alike, that reflect the "voices, faces and experiences of our city". Faces of Austin is a short-film program of the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, which has showcased short films by local filmmakers since 2005. This year the City of Austin is inviting all Austin-area filmmakers to submit their work to Faces of Austin 2013.

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Movies
7:58 am
Thu January 10, 2013

'Lincoln' Leads With 12 Oscar Nominations

Daniel Day-Lewis, in the lead role of Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 8:20 am

Update at 9:00 a.m. ET:

Lincoln, director Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed look at the 16th president's push for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, has been nominated for Oscar awards in 12 categories, it was announced this morning in Hollywood. That's the most for any single film.

Life of Pi is up for 11 awards. Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are up for eight.

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Austin
10:53 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Zac Efron Headed To Austin

Hollwood actor and general babe Zac Efron is heading into town in 2013.
facebook.com/ZacEfron

Another Hollywood heartthrob could be heading to town soon. Zac Efron has joined the cast of "Parkland," a drama revolving around the John F. Kennedy assassination which is set to film in Austin.

The historical drama, which also stars UT alum Marcia Gay Harden, Texas Film Hall of Fame honoree Billy Bob Thornton and character actor Paul Giamatti, recounts events at Dallas' Parkland Hospital on the day in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was murdered. The film is co-produced by Tom Hanks.

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Austin Film Festival
12:57 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

String Quartets, Brett Favre and Bodyslams: Art and Sport at the Austin Film Festival

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken star in "The Last Quartet," playing at the Austin Film Festival.

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

The Austin Film Festival is underway, and KUT News is featuring guest blogs from festival staffers. Today we hear from Stephen Jannise, AFF film program director. “Every year when the Austin Film Festival rolls around, my passion for film pretty much overwhelms all the other interests in my life,” Jannise says. “That's why I'm so excited that we are presenting several films related to sports and fine arts, two of my ’second loves.’"

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling – The year is 1986, and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) is about to burst onto the scene as the first ever all-female wrestling show on television. GLOW was a prime-time wrestling series, complete with elaborate costumes, skits, personalized raps, and, most importantly, incredible characters like Mountain Fiji, the Samoan giant with a heart of gold, and Matilda the Hun, the evil German with a taste for raw meat, battling it out for the GLOW crown. By 1989, the GLOW girls were an international phenomenon, attracting over seven million viewers worldwide, touring the nation, and making big bank for the show's producers. One year later, GLOW was gone. This remarkably well-researched documentary chronicles the rise and fall of this once-successful television show through the stories of those who lived it. Playing Sunday, Oct. 21, 3:45 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.

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Austin Film Festival
12:42 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Three Writer/Director Movies at the Austin Film Festival

Bullied middle school kids band together in "Murt Ramirez Wants to Kick My Ass," playing at the Austin Film Festival.
facebook.com/MurtRamirezWantsToKickMyAss

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

The 19th annual Austin Film Festival is underway, and KUT is bringing you guest blogs from fest staffers highlighting personal picks. Today, assistant programmer Bears Fonté points to films from three auteurs playing the fest. “These writer/directors draw the audience into their own world with a confidence seldom seen in seasoned veterans,” Fonté says.

If you want your mind blown, make sure you make it to “Idol is Dead”, especially on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 10:15 p.m. at the Bob Bullock's Texas Spirit Theater. Writer/director Yukihiro Kato will be in attendance, direct from Japan. In the grand tradition of “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park,” and “Spice World,” “Idol is Dead” showcases the talents of J-Pop stars Brand-new Idol Society (BiS in Japanese shorthand). A fantastical origin tale involving murder, mad scientists, and a killer soundtrack, “Idol is Dead” is full of humor, hand-to-hand combat and horror. It’s a bit bizarre, a bit sexy, and a bit disgusting. This will be its one and only U.S. theatrical screening before its release with BiS’s new CD. You can check out the trailer on the AFF website.

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Austin Film Festival
3:14 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

'The Muslims Are Coming' to the Austin Film Festival

Looking for love (in all the wrong places): Director Negin Farsad (left) and a friend in a still from "The Muslims Are Coming," premiering at the Austin Film Festival.
themuslimsarecoming.com

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

The Muslims are Coming” is a documentary that follows a group of Muslim comedians as they travel through small towns in the South. Their goal is to foster a dialogue about Muslim-Americans through humor.

“We go to places like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia … you know, places where they love 'the Muzzies,'” says comedian Negin Farsad, the film’s director and star.

Even before the jokes start, as a viewer it’s difficult not to think, “what are they doing?” Early on, Farsad stands in front of a retirement-aged crowd in a sterile church community room, starting her set by detailing what the New York City club scene is like for a Muslim woman. It’s only when the crowd breaks into laughter the audience can take a breath, as tension begins to melt through Farsad’s self-effacing charms.

In a similar manner, vignettes like “Name That Religion” – hosted in town squares by Farsad and his troupe, in a booth labeled “Ask a Muslim” –may cause viewers to cringe a little in anticipation of any controversy. Our stomachs take a rollercoaster ride through the routines.

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Austin Film Festival
4:01 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Making Sense of the Austin Film Festival, One Panel and One Screening at a Time

James Franco stars in the meat-documentary "Francophenia" at this year's Austin Film Festival.
Austin Film Festival

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

The Austin Film Festival kicks off today. Over the course of the festival, KUT News is featuring guest blogs from AFF staffers pointing to festival highlights. Today, Conference Director Erin Hallagan delivers her take on the festival, which she says is like convincing mom to stop at the candy store AND ice cream parlor all in one day.”

The crossover participation of those involved in the festival and conference this year is remarkable. Panelists are presenting films; filmmakers are speaking on panels; and of course registrants do their fair share of double-dipping as well.  And that’s what it’s all about.  The blend of the overall experience and its accessible interactivity is what makes Austin Film Festival truly unique. With a platter of incredibly active screenwriters and filmmakers, there is something for everyone and plenty of room for ideas to blossom.

Here’s some events and speakers that I wouldn’t miss:

SCREENING: Eric Roth presents “The Insider”

Friday, October 19th at 8:15 p.m.

Texas Spirit Theater

PANEL: A Conversation with Eric Roth

Saturday, October 20th at 9:00 a.m.

Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

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Austin Film Festival
4:00 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Four ‘Family’ Flicks for Grown-Ups at the Austin Film Festival

Character actor Lance Henriksen stars in "It's In the Blood," playing at the Austin Film Festival.
facebook.com/pages/Its-In-The-Blood

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

The Austin Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and KUT News is featuring guest blogs from AFF staffers pointing to several festival highlights. Today we hear from festival founder and Executive Director Barbara Morgan on “family” themed films at the festival. But we’re not talking CGI pandas here - these films explore the bonds of family and community in a decidedly adult way:

As the Executive Director and founder of the Austin Film Festival, I have had the joy of “discovering” many films over the last nineteen years. The excitement that emanates from the perspective of these fresh voices is what makes my job unique. Anticipating the new talent which we get to introduce to the public is the inspiration that makes my job so thrilling. One of the themes which jumped out from this year’s crop of films was the idea of “family.” Each of these films is infused with the spirit of the most elemental aspect of the human existence.  Enjoy!

Liars, Fires and Bears

Nine year-old Eve, hardened by years of neglect as a foster child, never misses an opportunity. 

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Film
12:56 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Man Behind 'The Master'

Paul Thomas Anderson (left) works with actor Joaquin Phoenix on the set of The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:38 am

For Paul Thomas Anderson, moviemaking is not just an art; it's also about time management.

"At its best, a film set is when everybody knows what's going on and everybody's working together," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "At its worst, [it's] when something's been lost in communication and an actor's not sure how many shots are left or what's going on, and the makeup department's confused."

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Arts and Culture
1:04 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Resistance is Futile: Fantastic Fest Invades Austin

Dredd 3D is among the big budgeted genre movies getting a boost from Fantastic Fest.
Lionsgate Entertainment

Today marks the start of the largest genre film festival in the United States – Fantastic Fest.

The festival is known for being a little out there, but Fantastic Fest and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League says that’s what makes it special.

“In the last five years or so it seems like it’s been the rise of the nerd,” League tells KUT News. In light of the comic book-based blockbusters filling theaters, League says the nerd demographic represents “a pretty significant arm of the spending economy and a lot of the movies coming out from Hollywood are geared towards us."

Many films set to premiere at this year’s festival many are highly anticipated by nerds and non-nerds alike. For example, writer/director Rian Johnson’s time-traveling  Looper is sure to get genre crowds excited. Also making a debut at the festival is a remake of the 1984 ‘the Soviets are invading’ flick Red Dawn

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Arts and Culture
11:24 am
Thu May 24, 2012

How Wes Anderson Soundtracks His Movies

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman star in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 3:28 pm

If you see the new Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom, you'll hear background music from composers Benjamin Britten and Alexandre Desplat, as well as several songs from Hank Williams.

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AM Update
7:29 am
Thu May 24, 2012

AM Update: Texans Support Death Penalty, Summer Film Series Starts, Cattle Loose on Dallas Freeway

Texans strongly support death penalty; an accident sets cattle loose on I-35; and the Paramount’s summer film series begins.
Gavel photo courtesy flickr.com/safari_vacation; cattle photo courtesy Fox News 4 Dallas; Paramount photo by Teresa Vieira for KUT News

Poll Finds Most Texans Support the Death Penalty

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows that a majority of Texans support the death penalty.

The poll found 73 percent of respondents were strongly or somewhat supportive, while 21 percent were somewhat or strongly opposed. Five percent were unsure.

According to the poll, 51 percent of Texans believe the death penalty is fairly applied. Some 28 percent disagree, and 21 percent were unsure.

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Arts and Culture
11:04 am
Fri March 2, 2012

'Tim & Eric': Cult Comedians Boldly Go Gonzo

Eric Wareheim (left) and Tim Heidecker apply their boundary-pushing style of sketch comedy to the long-form narrative when they play fictionalized versions of themselves who must find a way to raise a billion dollars in Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 5:54 pm

Picture in your mind John C. Reilly, dressed in a filthy shirt that is five sizes too small, rainbow suspenders holding up his shorts, facing off with a wolf he has lured out of hiding by duct-taping slices of pepperoni pizza to his torso.

Then imagine a 90-minute film in which that's one of the least bizarre images to pass before your eyes. Now you have a fairly accurate sense of what to expect of the first feature film from the creators of the cult-hit sketch-comedy program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

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Arts and Culture
3:11 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Alamo Drafthouse World Domination Continues: New Theaters, Wine Line, Reserved Seats

Patrons at the Alamo Drafthouse's Lake Creek location.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/chrisgallevo

You'd think owning the distribution rights to an Academy Award-nominated film might be enough, but the Alamo Drafthouse has never been known to rest on its laurels.

The Drafthouse Films distribution of “Bullhead” is only part of the story. In addition, the venerable local theater is announcing new developments almost daily.

Alamo Slaughter Lane Opens in March: The Circle C Alamo outpost will be opening in mere weeks, with an elaborate, “Little Shop of Horrors”-esque design. (It’s a nod to the nearby Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Drafthouse CEO Tim League tells Austin360 in a victory-lap interview.)  The grand opening is March 22, but an open-to-the-public soft launch begins March 8.

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Arts and Culture
12:05 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Cinema Weekend: Horror, Supernatural and Familial

A triptych of chilly flicks blows into Austin theaters this weekend. Among the new releases: Indie-horror auteur Ti West’s “The Innkeepers;” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” an austere drama anchored by Tilda Swinton; and “The Woman in Black,” released under the storied Hammer Films franchise with an up-and-coming young actor named Daniel Radcliffe. (Maybe you’ve heard of him?)

Austin audiences have had a few chances to catch “The Innkeepers” previously, having screened at South by Southwest and the Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest. The follow-up to director West’s well-received “The House of the Devil,” “The Innkeepers” shares a similar retro-horror sensibility to his breakout film. Two slacker clerks at a storied northwestern inn investigate reports of workplace hauntings on the weekend the inn is slated to close. Suffice to say, mysterious visitors check in, nerves slowly fray, and plenty of things begin to go bump in the night. Light on gore and long on tension, “The Innkeepers” is certain to keep audiences unnerved.

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