Archive for October, 2006

Viva Les Amis

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Continuing with a series I started yesterday as foreplay to SXSW in March, there’s another KLRU special on the nostalgic drag hangout and restaurant, Les Amis. I spent a lot of time there. OK. Call me a slacker. One of my exes worked there. I was there for the last day celebration. Les Amis was part of the axis of slackerville, consisting also of the Kenny and Joni’s Omlettry and the Magnolia Cafe.

Here’s from the KLRU site cited above.

If LizLambert’s snappy hotel do-over and its resulting documentary film confirms that not all of old Austin should be considered sacred ground, then Nancy Higgins’ elegiac, heartfelt Viva Les Amis is the flipside of that particularly well-thumbed coinage.

Using footage filmed at and interviews with former employees, regulars, and assorted hangers-on of the late, lamented Les Amis Cafe (now, cruel irony, a Starbucks), Higgins’ film both mourns the passing of the UT area’s artistic and intellectual (and drunken) nexus and celebrates the plainly odd notion that a Parisian-style sidewalk cafe-cum-lifestyle could blossom so deep in the heart of Texas in the first place.

As for this third season of SXSW Presents, festival producer Matt Dentler notes, “The big difference is that we are expanding the episodes to include not just the films themselves but related conversations and panels with the filmakers and figures in the local film and arts community who will be hanging out, talking, and just kind of sharing their thoughts on the films.
The idea of this whole show in the first place was to try and bottle what an experience at a film festival – particularly South by Southwest – would be like. But on your television.”


Times for episode premieres are 9pm, unless otherwise noted. In January, BBQ: A Texas Love Story, Pedal, and two shorts programs will air, but dates and times are TBD.

South by Southwest Presents – Schedule

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The Last Days of the San Jose

Last days of the San Jose Dir: Liz Lambert

October 10, 2006 · 9:00pm – 10:30pm

A loving portrait of the residents in an Austin motel, as it undergoes changes reflecting an American trend.

Bumper

SXSW Presents

HIGH · Quicktime 7


MEDIUM · Quicktime
(Optimized for iPod)

LOW · MPEG 4

Film Promo

The Last Days of the San Jose
HIGH · Quicktime 7
MEDIUM · Quicktime
(Optimized for iPod)

LOW · MPEG 4

See the next project of the San Jose Hotel

reviews of the Last Days of the San Jose

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Sergio Padilla in http://austinist.com :

“Some of you who are new to Austin may not know of SoCo’s previous life as a drug and crime infested sector of the city. The Last Days of the San Jose chronicles the transformation of the little motel from prostitute and junkie hangout to chic and trendy boutique hotel. The renovation of the San Jose helped spark the revival of South Congress into the fashionable neighborhood it has become today.

The movie will be showing tonight at the Alamo downtown. Afterwards we recommend heading over to the San Jose and having some drinks in their enjoyable outdoor patio.”

From the Original Alamo website:

LAST DAYS OF THE SAN JOSE
Theater: Alamo Downtown

LAST DAYS OF THE SAN JOSE
(D. Liz Lambert, 2005)
LAST DAYS OF THE SAN JOSE is a documentary about the San Jose Motel, a notoriously seedy joint on S. Congress Ave. in Austin, which Liz Lambert bought with the idea of tearing it down to build a cool boutique hotel. But it took her two years to get a bank to loan her the money, and in the meantime she decided to manage the old motel in order to make ends meet. She used a digital video camera to document many of the colorful characters and odd experiences she encountered during that time, which were cut into this documentary. If you have lived in Austin for many years, Last Days of the San Jose is a kind of loopy Valentine to the days when S. Congress was more disreputable, before anyone ever thought about using the abominably pretentious term “SoCo” to describe the area. (Jette, Celluloid Eyes)

Read the full Celluloid Eyes review here.

The Austin Chronicle Screens: SXSW Presents: ‘Last Days of the San José’

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Start your tivos . . .

SXSW Presents

‘Last Days of the San José’



KLRU, The Austin Chronicle, and South by Southwest have teamed up for SXSW Presents, an independent film series airing Tuesdays at 9pm on Channel 18 (Time Warner Cable Channel 9). Hosted and co-produced by SXSW Film Producer Matt Dentler, the third season of the series runs through January. This week’s installment is Liz Lambert’s Last Days of the San José. For more information, see the Austin Chronicle Screens, and www.klru.org or www.sxsw.com.

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