Jonathan Demme Presents Made In Texas

Jonathan Demme Presents Made In Texas

The two highlights of this collection are the first, Speed of Light, and the last, Invasion of the Aluminum People (which I created a page for a while back because it deserves it).

The four shorts in between have a less arresting stylistic vision, but they've nonetheless got an energy that is wildly endearing - especially Fair Sisters, which of all six films feels the most timeless.

There is a binding element here, though I could very easily be projecting this without real evidence. Each film feels totally electric with a sense of discovery about the camera in the hands of the filmmaker. These shorts pre-date the supposed "film boom" Austin experienced post-Slacker. Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the works of Eagle Pennell must have seemed more like anomalies and not yet stitched into the fabric of the city itself. Making a movie wasn't yet something that people in Austin just do.

I imagine being a young Texan making a movie in the late 70s felt like a way to really stand apart from the landscape, a landscape that Brian Hansen watches over with radioactive distrust in Speed Of Light.

I think each one of these shorts are masterpieces in their own way - maybe just for existing at all, but especially for being a time capsule of sights and sounds (almost all of them have stellar punk/no wave soundtracks by overlapping bands) that few others would have wanted to preserve.