Friday, March 30, 2012

Houston, we've got a James Franco problem

Actor James Franco won't actually be studying for a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Houston this fall after all. He does have a book of short stories out. Anyone read it? The Amazon reviews are mixed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

David Gordon Green moved to Austin?

I'm definitely out of the loop on this development. Director David Gordon Green (George Washington, Pineapple Express) has moved as close as he can to Terrence Malick, which means right here in Austin, Texas. Apparently he loves breakfast tacos. And he's not ruling out shooting a film hereabouts, according to folks who attended Green's talk with John Pierson's University of Texas film students.

And did you know he directed that Clint Eastwood commercial for Chrysler that ran during the Super Bowl?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Everything's better with bluebonnets

Spring is officially here and the bluebonnets are popping all over central Texas after a particularly rainy winter.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'Carried Away' and blurbed

That Dallas Morning News blurb you see on the cover of the DVD of Tom Huckabee's film Carried Away is from a column written by yours truly back in 2010.

The last time I was blurbed was long ago for Tim McCanlies' Dancer, Texas.

Here's wishing great success to Huckabee and the film. It's set to come out on DVD, video on demand and television through Vanguard Cinema in June.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The king of SXSW

We were wandering South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, during the final weekend of South by Southwest when this guy loomed above at the Hotel San Jose. I thought it was somehow the perfect shot of SXSW. You can see a lot more SXStrangeness here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

'John Dies at the End' may be Coscarelli's best film

Don Coscarelli, Bob Ivy (aka Bubba Hotep himself) and stunt guy Gary Kent.

I had the pleasure of seeing John Dies in the End, the long-awaited followup to Don Coscarelli's Bubba Hotep, this week during the South By Southwest Film Festival. Here's my review for The Austin Chronicle and why you should check this flick out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

100 Strangers completed

For the past seven months I've been taking part in the international 100 Strangers project through Flickr. Last night I shot this photo of actress Fabianne Therese after a South by Southwest Film Festival screening. She was Stranger #100.

It's been a fun project. You can see my full set of photos here:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Willem Dafoe cites passion as driving force

Dafoe takes a question at SXSW.

Want Willem Dafoe to star in your next indie film? Show him your passion and don’t ask hollow questions.

Dafoe spoke about his acting passion to a large SXSW crowd and was mostly cordial until one audience member asked for Dafoe’s favorite and least favorite acting experiences. “That’s about personal preferences,” he said. “I don’t give a shit.”

Instead he sees film as a “living thing” and looks for the next experience, or as he termed it: “I think vegetarians should eat a cheeseburger every now and then. I’m by nature a jackrabbit,” Dafoe said. “I work from fear, excitement and not knowing.”

Read the rest on The Austin Chronicle blog.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Charlie Sheen aka Mark Wahlberg wanders into SXSW

What was Marky Mark doing at the South By Southwest Film Festival with Seth MacFarlane and what could Charlie Sheen possibly have to do with it? The answers are here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Viola Davis as Barbara Jordan?

I got to see Barbara Jordan talk when I was in college and was blown away by this very powerful congresswoman from Texas. Now comes word that Viola Davis, Oscar-nominated for The Help, is considering playing Jordan in a biopic. That's a film I want to see.

Meat Loaf moves to Austin

That's what he said last night at the Texas Film Hall of Fame awards show.

Here's Angie Dickinson, who accepted an award for the film Rio Bravo.

See more photos from the event here.

Here's my report from the evening for The Dallas Morning News:

Dallas native Meat Loaf is moving back to Texas


AUSTIN — The Dallas native behind “Bat out of Hell” is moving to Bat City.

Legendary rocker and actor Meat Loaf was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on Thursday, but perhaps the bigger news is his purchase of a home in Austin, a city famous for its large downtown bat population.

“Who better to live in Bat City than Meat Loaf?” he told a crowd in the Austin City Limits studios, referring to his 1977 album that has sold 43 million copies.

Just as big a lure is Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Meat Loaf said he met Rodriguez 11 years ago and the director talked of putting him in a film. It has yet to happen.

“I will be in a Robert Rodriguez movie come hell or high water,” Meat Loaf joked.

He was serious when recounting discovering theater as an alternative to the too-quiet confines of study hall at Thomas Jefferson High. That led to a lead role senior year.

His big break came in Los Angeles when he applied for a job parking cars at the Aquarius Theater the same day as auditions for the musical Hair and talked his way into a part. He went on to roles in films including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Austin-shot Roadie and Fight Club.

“Acting is about truth,” he said. “It’s what we all attempt every time we walk onto the movie set.”

The man born Marvin Lee Aday explained Meat Loaf isn’t so much a stage name as a moniker given to him as an infant.

Joining Meat Loaf in the Texas Film Hall of Fame’s 12th class were actor Barry Corbin (Urban Cowboy, No Country for Old Men) and director Douglas McGrath (Emma, Infamous ).

The Austin Film Society stages the event yearly in advance of Friday’s SXSW Film festival opening, and uses proceeds to aid independent filmmakers.

Corbin is also in the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, but, while he can ride a horse, he said he’s only likely to do it for an acting job these days.

“I’m a fake; I’m not a cowboy,” the Lamesa native said, and urged “Let’s keep up the good work and bring more films to Texas.”

Actor Danny Trejo, a regular in Rodriguez’s films including Machete, was named an honorary Texan, while Angie Dickinson accepted the Star of Texas Award on behalf of the film Rio Bravo.

The classic western was Dickinson’s big break. “What made it great was two words: John Wayne,” she said of her much more experienced co-star. “I stretched and got on my toes and got all I could while I was there.”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What the leap year looks like

The sky over Taylor, Texas, on Feb. 29--Leap Year Day.