Film & TV

Incisive criticism, features, and news related to Texans on the screen—and behind the camera
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Film & TV|
April 30, 1998

Filminism

I thought it would be hard to make movies in this macho state, but we’ve come a long way, baby.

Music|
April 1, 1998

Full Nelson

Ain’t it funny how time slips away? Before you know it, you’ve made two hundred albums, thirty movies, and had one amazing career. What follows is the Compleat Willie: a discography—including every U.S. album release as well as his early 45 rpm singles (before he signed with RCA in

Film & TV|
April 1, 1998

Greg Germann

My dad teaches theater at Southern University in Baton Rouge now, but we lived in Austin for a while when he worked on his master’s degree at the University of Texas. He directed plays on campus and also wrote children’s plays that were performed there and in Houston. When I

Film & TV|
March 1, 1998

Joan Crawford

All her life, Joan Crawford raised other people’s eyebrows as often as she reapplied her own. From the time she arrived in Hollywood, the temperamental Texan provoked hostility and gossip, and her wide-eyed flapper persona soon hardened into that of a sleek, steely sophisticate. But the arrogance accompanied a massive talent;

Film & TV|
March 1, 1998

Jensen Ackles

As a kid, Jensen Ackles used to poke fun at the “mushy” daytime dramas his mother regularly watched, but not anymore. Since last June, the Richardson native has starred on the hit NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives as Eric Brady, a mature-for-his-age teen who keeps his emotions bottled

Film & TV|
March 1, 1998

Robert Benton

We moved to Waxahachie in the early forties, when I was about ten years old. I was a seriously dyslexic child, and no one quite knew what dyslexia was in those days. People just thought I wasn’t too swift. And my way out of it was drawing. It was something

Film & TV|
January 1, 1998

Pulpit Fiction

HE MAY LOVE the smell of napalm in the morning, but Robert Duvall also has a certain affection for Texas. Over the years, some of his best-known films have been made here, including Tender Mercies (1983) and Lonesome Dove (1989). Now the 67-year-old has returned to the state again for

Film & TV|
December 1, 1997

Austin, Storied

Just as Austin is the Dallas of the nineties—a booming cultural icon bordering on cliché—Austin Stories may be the Dallas of the nineties. The MTV sitcom, which debuted this fall, is weekly television’s first credible portrayal of Texas and Texans since J.R. got shot. (Walker, Texas Ranger? Kung fu in

Film & TV|
December 1, 1997

Ara Celi

“When I was little,” Ara Celi says, “I used to watch TV and ask, ‘How do you get on there?’” At 19 the El Paso native set out for Hollywood to answer that question; once there, she quickly learned the three most important words in show business: audition, audition, audition.

Film & TV|
November 1, 1997

Patricia Richardson

I thought that moving to Texas would be the worst thing that ever happened to me, but it saved my life. It happened during my junior year in high school, which was really traumatic. All my life I had never been at the same school for more than two years,

Film & TV|
September 30, 1997

Reneé O’Connor

Their mission is to save the world, not conquer it, but the stars of Xena: Warrior Princess are winning television-ratings battles from San Angelo to Slovakia. The two-year-old syndicated show airs in more than eighty countries, making Lucy Lawless, who plays Xena, the first leather-clad TV lead since the Fonz—and

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

No Show

Cash-poor PBS stations can’t seem to come up with innovative new ideas, so they ought to resurrect an innovative old one: Newsroom, the best local public- affairs program in Texas history.

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

Elka

Like sadistic teenagers who introduce fire ants into an otherwise docile ant farm, the producers of MTV’s voyeuristic soap opera The Real World make casting decisions based not on avoiding conflict but on encouraging it. This season’s stereotypes are a jock, a poet, a comely lesbian, a city girl, a

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

Barbara Barrie

I enrolled at the University of Texas in 1950 during a post-war period that produced many talented individuals. Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones, Liz Smith, Robert Benton, Pat Hingle, Word Baker, Kathryn Grant (later Mrs. Bing Crosby), and I all graduated with degrees in drama. We did lots of dance concerts

Film & TV|
July 31, 1997

Heeeeeere’s Gary!

After years of laboring in virtual anonymity as Mr. Amy Grant, Texan Gary Chapman has his own talk show on The Nashville Network and is known by a vastly more flattering moniker: the David Letterman of country.

Film & TV|
June 30, 1997

Stick a Rourke in It—It’s Done.

Most nights it’s an ordinary shopping center, but during the months of May and June, Fort Worth’s Town Center Mall became a war zone. That was the principal location where Mickey Rourke, the brawl-prone star of 9 1/2 Weeks and Diner, knocked out the indie feature Recoil. Rourke plays a

Film & TV|
June 30, 1997

F. Murray Abraham

I arrived in El Paso as a small child and grew up within sight of the Rio Grande. Juárez was part of our lives, and it was comfortable and easy to cross the border. My friends and I were part of rat packs: We had jackets, and zip guns were

Film & TV|
May 31, 1997

Jack Valenti

When I got out of high school at three o’clock each day, I went to work giving away movie passes and hanging up posters in barbershops and drugstores for coming attractions at the Iris or the Texan or the Ritz theaters in downtown Houston. Unfortunately, when I graduated I didn’t

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Sundance Across Texas

Breezeway, Suburbia, and Words of Our Ancients may have been our only pure-pedigree entries in Park City, but other films boasted Lone Star connections. Most notable was director-screenwriter Morgan J. Freeman’s sweet but hard-hitting teenage street drama Hurricane, which won three awards. As they did for Bottle Rocket, fellow Dallas

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Pair of Aces

Last January, when senior editor Gary Cartwright flew to the Hawaiian island of Maui to see Kris Kristofferson, it wasn’t just to interview a movie star and hit songwriter—it was also to visit an old acquaintance (see “A Star Is Reborn”). The two met in 1984 through author Bud

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Jennifer Love Hewitt

She only turned eighteen on February 21, but Jennifer Love Hewitt’s résumé is beginning to read like that of a show biz veteran: At the moment, she has a starring role on a hit TV series, Fox’s Party of Five, and a self-titled pop album in record stores, and her

Film & TV|
February 1, 1997

Ink Big

Drawn by the success of The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head, three of Texas’ top cartoonists are going Hollywood. Houston’s Michael Fry, for instance, has sold the television rights to two of his comic strips—Committed and When I Was Short—to production companies in Toronto and Los Angeles, respectively, and both

Film & TV|
January 1, 1997

Stephen Herek

I went to the University of Texas at Austin to play baseball. In high school I wanted to be a pro baseball player, and I never really thought about movies outside of taking dates to them and stuff like that. And when I tried to walk on to the UT

Film & TV|
December 1, 1996

Viz Kids

Texas A&M is churning out a new crop of students who aren't farmers or vets. They're the computer aces of the Visualization Lab, and they're Hollywood's new masters of special effects.

Film & TV|
September 30, 1996

Next of Kinski

When she works in Texas, Berlin-born Nastassja Kinski brings a link to her native Europe. When she made Paris, Texas in 1984, her comrade was German director Wim Wenders; this time, it was Italian director Antonio Tibaldi. In August and September Kinski was in Austin shooting Little Boy Blue, the

Film & TV|
September 30, 1996

Peri, Trouper

Waco, Houston, Dallas, Austin, London, New York, Hollywood: Peri Gilpin was all over the map before finding stardom on NBC�s hit sitcom Frasier.

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