"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
was the first real “slasher” film, and it changed many things—the ratings code of the Motion Picture Association of America, the national debate on violence, the Texas Film Commission, the horror genre—but it remained a curiously isolated phenomenon. The film itself, involving five young people on a twisted drive through the country, is a strange, shifting experience—early audiences were horrified; later audiences laughed; newcomers to the movie were inevitably stricken with a vaguely uneasy feeling, as though the movie might have actually been made by a maniac—but the story behind the film is even stranger." We begin with a couple of stolen barbecue chicken wings....
Melton Barker and the Kidnappers Foil.
From the late 1930s into the early 1970s, Dallas native, Melton Barker and his company, Melton Barker Juvenile Productions, traveled all over the country – from Texas and New Mexico to North Carolina and Indiana – filming local children acting, singing, and dancing in two-reel films that Barker titled The Kidnappers Foil. (NY Times story
) [more inside]
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky
, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme
pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley
, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre
to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense
. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky
, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads
, including David Byrne
and Tina Weymouth
. Later, Byrne
on his bike
and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie
. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head
. The song was heard by Thom Yorke
and became the name of his band
. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence
. [more inside]
An awe-inspiring time-lapse sequence of the Milky Way rising and falling above the plains of South Dakota. (Place Vimeo in full-screen mode before you play. You’ll thank me later. Much more, including technical info, at the photographer’s website.)
The Very Large Telescope Array
in Chile, previously mentioned
, is also the subject of a new film
that documents the most remarkable contrast between science and politics, wonderment and hate. [more inside]
"It's a human drama thing."
This is a documentary film about a group of people in Texas who enter a competition to win a new "hardbody" pickup truck, merely by keeping one hand on the truck the longest. (via Kottke via waxy) [more inside]
Two segregated film crews,
one black and one white, used the perspective of race to create a documentary centered on the dragging death of a black man by three whites five years ago in Jasper, Texas. The New York filmmakers behind the "Two Towns of Jasper"
found the differences in perspective before filming began and the divide only grew more distinct during the two-year project. Premieres January 22nd on PBS
and has already won multiple film awards.
Ain't It Uncool News?
Seems like all the film scoopers
want to start scooping all over Harry Knowles
, Austinite poster boy and all-around huge self-promotion machine. And it ain't about money, it's about credit and credentials. Now the AICNers are hacking
and slashing other sites...