Canoeing with Klowns, Cinema East, and Austin’s Best Movies So Far

By  · Published on July 2nd, 2012

How many movie fans does it take to paddle down the Guadalupe River to a Drafthouse Films screening of Klown? Even after the Ultimate Klown Canoe Trip on Saturday, there’s still no answer for that. All I know is that film critics are much better at being witty and snarky than they are at canoeing. Nonetheless, the endless amounts of free beer definitely helped distract us from the fact that we were outside and exercising. The weather was even somewhat pleasant – low 90s and cloudy.

Twitch’s Josh Hurtado and I did not know each other beforehand, but everyone else had already paired up and we were the odd men out. So, we grabbed our life jackets, paddles and canoe, hit the river and became fast friends. Right at the onset of our journey there was a massive pile up of canoes (and we had not even reached the “canoe-eating tree” yet!). Once we cleared ourselves of that mess, Josh and I opted to distance ourselves from the pack and never look back… We navigated the shallow river quite well – only having to get our feet wet a few times – and if it was a race, Josh and I won (just barely beating Tim and Karrie League who came out of nowhere in the closing quarter mile). Sure, we did not get to paddle in the pack of critics alongside Klown‘s Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam (though I did sit beside Hvam on the bus ride), but Josh and my reward was to have a much deserved jump start on drinking more free beer before the intimate riverside screening of Klown.

But I was not actually going to write about Ultimate Klown Canoe Trip this week… Though I do blame that event (mainly the four miles of paddling and the preponderance of free beer) for my lackluster creative state of mind and my overall achiness today. Let’s just say that if my brain is a canoe, it is currently grounded in shallow water and my feet are treading water in an attempt to get it moving again…

Okay, now I remember… I wanted to mention this Sunday’s Cinema East screening, which happens to feature two Austin films that screened at Sundance 2012: the Zellner Brothers’ Kid-Thing and Kat Candler’s Hellion. Both films have done extremely well during the Spring 2012 festival circuit (I have written about them countless times in the last five months), and now Austinites will finally have a chance to see the films without dealing with the overcrowded insanity of SXSW. In fact, Yellow Jacket Stadium could probably fit a crowd of over 1,000 people comfortably (the first two Cinema East screenings averaged audiences of about 500–600), eschewing even the slightest fear of people being turned away. Besides it only costs $3 to get in and it is BYOB. It really does not get much better than that.

On a related note – it being the beginning of July and all, I figured that I would do a rundown of my favorite Austin-produced films that I have seen during the first half of 2012. I actually hate doing lists (because in what universe could I actually compare any of these films?), but these halfway lists seem to be the new trend nowadays…and you know me, I am such a trendy guy. Rather than totally playing favorites, I am just going to list the seven films alphabetically.

So, here we go: America’s Parking Lot, Cinema Six, Hellion, Kid-Thing, Satellite of Love, Saturday Morning Massacre, and Wolf.

Austin Movie Events This Week:

7/2 & 7/4 – Alamo Ritz – Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious screens as part of a miniseries of The Alamo Ritz’s favorite Hitchcock titles. (More Info)

7/3 – Violet Crown Cinema — Criterion Presents: Arthouse Monthly screening of Jim Jarmusch’s Down By Law. (More info)

7/3 – Alamo South Lamar — AFS’s Essential Cinema Series features Soy Cuba. (More info)

7/5 – Alamo South Lamar – I expect this Mondo Mystery Movie will be something special, being that it is the tenth one and all. (More info)

7/5 – Salvage Vanguard Theater – Cinema41 presents Gerardo de Leon and Eddie Romero’s The Walls of Hell. (More info)

7/5 – Stateside at the Paramount – Surviving High School double feature with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (More info)

7/5–7/8 – Paramount Theatre – Four James Bonds in four Bond films: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The Living Daylights. (More info)

7/7 – Texas Spirit Theater – Austin Film Festival’s “Made in Texas Family Film Series” features Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant with writer Tim McCanlies in attendance for a Q&A. (More info)

7/8 – Alamo South Lamar – One of my favorite films of all time, Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera screens with a live score by Austin musician Justin Sherburn and six-piece group Montopolis. (More info)

7/8 – Yellow Jacket Stadium — Cinema East presents the Zellner Brothers’ Kid Thing, Kat Candler’s short film Hellion opens. (More info)

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