Screened at SXSW last year, after a restoration overseen by Demme and festival co-founder Louis Black, the six short films presented together in “Made in Texas” (UT Press, $19.95) came out of Austin’s cultural hothouse of the late ’70s and early ’80s, when punk/new wave music and avant-garde filmmaking were de rigeur. The result was the creation of a regional space in which innovative, indie cinema could thrive—as evidenced by the steady stream of directors to come out of the U.S. South since, from Texas-born Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Wes Anderson to Arkansan Jeff Nichols and the New Orleanian brothers Duplass.
The films, several of which Demme saw in Austin in 1981 and brought back to New York’s Collective for Living Cinema, earned positive notices from the likes of Carrie Rickey and Amy Taubin—and comparisons to Godard and Sirk, though filtered through the politics and aesthetics of their particular historical moment.
In addition to the shorts (listed below), the DVD/Blu-ray release includes an introduction by Black, Linklater, and Demme from the 2015 SXSW premiere, a Q&A with Black, Demme, producer Mark Rance, and the “Made in Texas” filmmakers, and a booklet with Black’s foreword and program notes by Louis
Black, a 1982 essay by Demme, and archival images from the “Made in Texas” collection.
INVASION OF THE ALUMINUM PEOPLE (Super 8mm, 30 minutes) by
LEONARDO, JR (16 mm, 7 minutes) by Lorrie Oshatz.
DEATH OF A ROCK STAR (12 minutes, 16mm) by Tom Huckabee and
Will Van Overbeek.
FAIR SISTERS (16 mm, 7 minutes) by Missy Boswell, Edward
Lowry and Louis Black.
MASK OF SARNATH (16 mm, 20 minutes) by Neil Ruttenberg.
SPEED OF LIGHT (16 mm, 30 minutes) by Brian Hansen