Thursday, March 12, 2015

'Made In Texas' is Back: Jonathan Demme and Louis Black's Shot Heard Round the Film World


For most of the 20th century, Texas had a mostly-pretty-well deserved reputation nationally as a cultural wasteland. There were bright spots of course but the image of the Texan that prevailed for most Americans was of a cowboy in overstuffed western clothes talking in a loud voice about the many wonders and natural advantages of Texas. Now that Austin is one of the recognized cultural capitals of the world, the Texan image has undergone a makeover.

One of the many milestones in the evolution of Texas culture was the 1981 "Made In Texas - New Films From Austin" presentation at New York's Collective For Living Cinema. Filmmaker Jonathan Demme assembled the series of shorts with Louis Black. These shorts showed Austin as a vibrant place full of creativity and punk attitude. It was the beginning of something important.

This selection of short films will re-premiere at SXSW on Friday night March 13 at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre with Demme, Black and others in attendance. Additionally, the films have been released by the University Of Texas Press on DVD.

Here's the (appropriately rough) trailer for the event:

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