Thirty minutes east of Downtown Austin, along the winding frontage road FM 969, three inconspicuous steel-frame buildings house what could become the next filmmakers' paradise. At least, that's the vision for the new owners of Elgin's storied Spiderwood Studios 969.
Anti-Queer Laws Just Keep Coming at the Texas Legislature
From singling out transgender athletes at state universities to attempts at defunding public libraries that host drag queen story hours to banning health care for trans youth, the 88th Texas Legislature will go down as one of the most hostile sessions toward the LGBTQ+ community in the state's history.
The Ethics of AI Art
For thousands of years, art has been an endeavor of the human race. From Rembrandt to Basquiat, from the Benin Bronzes to the new wave cinema of Hong Kong, art has been recognized as creative expressions of human intelligence. With the public release of DALL-E 2, a neural network that generates images from phrases, the definition of art might be due for reevaluation to include media produced by artificial intelligence.
Imperfections or Revealing Mistakes on Twitter?
On April 4, 2022, billionaire business and tech mogul Elon Musk published a Twitter poll with a simple question: Do you want an edit button (Musk, 2022)? The resounding answer: “yse” – a sly, tongue-in-cheek response indicating what would come from a Musk-owned Twitter.
Will Texas Expand Medical Marijuana Access?
When the Texas Department of Public Safety announced in January that it would accept new applications to license medical marijuana dispensing organizations, a budding chorus of advocates and patients celebrated the potential for greater access to cannabis. But as the April 28 deadline to apply approaches, many of them worry it may not be enough, given that current access to the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) is extremely restricted.
Bill of the Week: Texas GOP Targets Transgender Youth
Many LGBTQ advocacy groups in Texas say that if there’s one anti-trans law to rail against this legislative session (and there are dozens), it’s this one: House Bill 1686.
Austin Hackers Group Gets Recognition From Global Body
On the last Thursday of every month, in the walled-off back room of an unassuming North Austin sports bar right off I-35, a variety pack of 40-some-odd information sector types – computer programmers, web developers, and the like – convene for a couple of evening hours to present the latest coding bugs they've uncovered. They call themselves Austin Hackers Anonymous, abbreviated as AHA! like the Eighties pop act (leave it to hackers to claim the URL takeonme.org).
Local Architecture Firm Opens $20K Grant Application for Nonprofits
Community nonprofits looking to expand their services have a unique opportunity this month. The Michael Hsu Office of Architecture – the firm behind a slew of iconic Austin buildings – is accepting design proposals and will grant one winner $20,000 in pro bono consultation.
APD Victims Services Unit Calls on Local Therapists for Help
Local therapists, the Austin Police Department wants you to help with long-term intervention for survivors of crime. The incentive? Free professional training – cost of textbooks not included.
Ahead of SXSW Chat with Chelsea Handler, Jen Psaki Talks Life After the White House
Before her tenure as White House press secretary under President Joe Biden, Jen Psaki could walk across downtown Austin without being recognized. In 2008, she did exactly that, campaigning and working for then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
In Push for Cheaper Student Housing, Fifth Time’s the Charm?
For the fifth time in 13 months, UT-Austin's Student Government is begging university leadership to get on board with building more affordable housing on campus. And for the fifth time, they find themselves waiting for a response that might not come.
Students Rally Behind Earthquake Aid Relief
The instant Busra Dokmen, a freshman engineering student at UT-Austin, heard about the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Turkey on Feb. 6, she called her mother to ask about her relatives who live in a small town in the region. Her grandparents were caught in the rubble and debris, but luckily, she said, her aunt helped recover them to safety. Elsewhere, her mother's cousin died beneath a sunken building before rescue teams could extract her.
Short & Sweet: “When You Left Me on That Boulevard”
Welcome to "Short and Sweet," our look at short films playing at SXSW. Every day during the festival, we'll focus on a different film and filmmaker, kicking off with Kayla Abuda Galang. An Audience Award winner at SXSW 2021 for her last short, "Learning Tagalog With Kayla," the writer, director, producer, and editor now brings home her Sundance 2023 Short Film Grand Jury Prize winner, "When You Left Me on That Boulevard."
A Contemporary Prometheus in The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster
Death is a disease. At least, that’s how the heroine of SXSW selection The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster views it.
SXSW Film Review: My Drywall Cocoon
“You live in a pink-colored world,” the disillusioned teenager Gabriel (Daniel Botelho) tells his wealthy childhood friend Virginia (Bella Piero) at her 17th birthday celebration. And while on the surface her opulent debutante bash in a lush São Paulo penthouse glows like neon, not all that glitters is rose gold.
SXSW Film Review: Chronicles of a Wandering Saint
“Baby, you're all that I want / When you're lyin' here in my arms, / I'm findin' it hard to believe / We're in heaven.” Dutch singer Do floats atop a techno dance beat halfway through SXSW selection Chronicles of a Wandering Saint.
SXSW Film Review: Until Branches Bend
Canada's Okanagan Valley may look like a Bob Ross oil painting, but when a curious factory worker discovers an invasive beetle burrowed inside the stone fruit, things quickly become less than peachy keen.
Rodeo Austin: Everything You Need to Know
Don your cowboy hat, pull up them bootstraps, and head to the fairgrounds: Rodeo Austin returns to the Travis County Expo Center this Friday, March 10, and runs through March 25.
Movie Review: Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant
How soon after a military operation gone awry can Hollywood depict it on the big screen? With Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, his first conventional war film, the answer seems to be: as soon as the event begins to fade from public consciousness, if not sooner.
Movie Review: 65
Take one part space voyage, one part dinosaur caper, double the dosage of jump scares, and throw in a smidgen of reluctant found-family kinship. Half-bake it for 93 minutes and you get 65, the latest high-budget thriller from A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods.