Light, Shadow, and Music
There aren't easy categories for what Austin film artist Luke Savisky does with celluloid. He shows material in galleries and in movie theaters, stages his own events, and collaborates with friends, but the event never quite seems to match the usual expectations of the venue hosting it. San Antonio audiences are most likely to recognize him as the guy who created multimedia backdrops for Butthole Surfers shows, but even in terms of rock music that's just the tip of the iceberg: After getting started projecting films behind late-'80s Austin sensation Poi Dog Pondering, he was recruited by bands from the Surfers to Ed Hall and Sixteen Deluxe. Sometimes trance-inducing and sometimes invigorating, his films turned rock shows into events.
As Savisky told the Austin Chronicle years ago, "Some shows, I'll create a definite thematic structure, some I'll be concentrating on a particular neural/optical response, others I'll try to make as boring and tedious as possible. I really enjoy playing with the contrast of the instinctual and intellectual. Sometimes I'll induce a trancy feeling ... then when everyone is fully blissing, throw a wrench into it. Like life does sometimes." Infatuated with the physical properties of film, he often roughs up his loops before threading the projector. (Malfunctions are not unheard of.)
Wednesday, for the first installment of the Wiggle Room's "Projector Jam" series, Savisky's film installation will be accompanied by music from the ever-shifting Golden Arm Trio. It's impossible to say what the program will look like, but it won't be like anything else going on in town. — John DeFore
Nuevo Cine Mexicano
Director Zambrano, graduate of a Cuban filmmaking school founded by author Gabriel García Márquez, says this is: "A film that seems pessimistic on the surface, but which in fact is not," and it is just this balance of tone that makes things work: he and the actors refuse to overplay a premise that could be ruined easily by sentiment. Alvarez-Novoa, especially (as the bearded old neighbor whose only friend is a dog), is able to charm the audience without manipulating us. The result is a quiet, touching film that deserves the awards that have been heaped upon it in Europe. — John DeFore
Call For Entries
The San Antonio Underground Film Festival is currently accepting short and feature films of all genres for its upcoming 10th annual event. The festival is scheduled for June 25 through 27 at Sunset Station. Submission deadline is April 23; the entry fee is $25. Deadline for late entries is April 30; the entry fee is $35. Previews must be formatted on DVD or NTSC-VHS; foreign language films must be subtitled.
Anyone who enters will receive a festival T-shirt. The grand prize winner will receive a lowrider bicycle or $200 cash. Entry forms can be downloaded from the festival's website: www.safilm.com. Completed applications can be sent to San Antonio Underground Film Festival, 8065 Callaghan #611 PMB, San Antonio, Texas 78230. •