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Staff Recommendations

Staff Recommendations

When I was in high school and worked as a video store clerk, it was always fun to create our own “staff recommendations” shelves every few months. We’ve all seen them. My choices were definitely odd for a town like Brownsville, TX. This was primarily because I think I was the only one who rented my recommendations.

Some of the ones I remember included: Hal Hartley’s Surviving Desire, John Woo’s The Killer, Bruce McDonald’s Highway 61, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams and High and Low, Eric Schaeffer and Don Ward’s My Life’s In Turnaround, Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace… and Rose Troche’s Go Fish.

Troche’s 1994 classic was one of the films that had a profound affect on me when it came to defining what “independent film” meant. It was influential to me, as well many others. It was probably one of my very first realizations that a film didn’t have to look polished to get a national audience.

I bring this all up because Troche is coming to Austin this weekend to serve as a panelist for the annual Texas Filmmakers Production Fund application review, sponsored by the Austin Film Society. This is a big deal every year, when a group of film experts join forces to decide which Texas film projects get some extra funding. Recent projects to get TFPF funding include Kyle Henry’s Sundance/Cannes selection Room and Bryan Poyser/Jake Vaughan’s Independent Spirit nominee Dear Pillow.

Meanwhile, AFS is hosting special screenings of some of the panelists’ work. In Troche’s case, this includes a screening on August 15 of her 2001 feature The Safety of Objects. For more information about these screenings (and who else is on the TFPF panel), check out the site.

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