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Antone's: Home Of The Blues Review


OK
I didn't spend nearly as much time as Antone's as I should have during the eight years I lived there, but it was -- and is -- a great place to go to hear the blues. It's really the only blues place in town worth a damn, and Dan Karlok's documentary about the legendary establishment is here to tell you that it may be the only blues place in the world that you should care about.

Karlok's documentary is pretty straightforward: Talking heads like Marcia Ball and Jimmie Vaughan explain why Antone's is so important, and founder Clifford Antone himself takes Karlok (and us) on a lengthy tour of Antone's history and the blues in general, road-tripping around the south to Port Arthur and Louisiana. Naturally, copious musical acts break the monotony of the talking heads.

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Slacker Review


Extraordinary
To understand Slacker is to understand Austin. If you see the film and you don't enjoy it, you might consider a visit to the burg next time you're in Texas. Although the buildings are bigger, chain stores have replaced the indies, and the traffic is worse, Austin -- as a populace -- is a town that never changes, no matter what gets thrown at it.

I lived in Austin when Slacker was made in 1991 -- I was a junior at The University of Texas at the time, not cool enough to personally know anyone involved with the production but certainly aware of it when it came out. You couldn't avoid it: The film earned a miniscule release and was ignored at the national level, but in the town of Austin (population about 800,000 at the time), it got the red carpet treatement, playing in local theaters all year long.

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Waking Life Review


Good

Watching "Waking Life" is like eavesdropping on a theoretical discourse between Kierkegaard and Kerouac, while standing in a modern art museum as the paintings come to life and melt into your visual cortex.

An eye-popping, mind-blowing, groundbreaking piece of stream-of-consciousness pop-art philosophy, director Richard Linklater has created a film that turns the notions of dreaming and reality inside out, both visually and conceptually, while telling an absorbing tale of a off-beat teenage boy (Wiley Wiggins) trying to wrap his head around a ponderous waking dream from which he can't seem to escape.

Linklater ("Slacker," "SubUrbia") shot the film on digital video with dozens of actors (some of note, some unknown) playing nameless denizens of the real world and of the kid's subconscious. They're characters from whom he soaks up random abstract ideas on everything from transcendence and reincarnation to collective memory to the existence of free will.

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