Sunday, July 17, 2005

Look who's listed...

I happened to be looking up something in google and decided to check on new results for my own name. (Why not? It's one efficient way to find press reviews and blog notices about my work, which i can then include on updates of my bio, etc.) So, what do i find? Apparently, on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website, my name is listed as "cast member" for Rick Linklater's first (pre-Slacker) full-length feature film. What?!! I was not believing that i would ever actually be listed as an actor in this film, even though--once i'd read the premise of the film, which is titled "It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books"--i'd had my suspicions about some of my ideas possibly being included in Rick's first long project. You see,
back in the day (being actually the mid-to-late 1980s), i'd hung around with Rick and some of his go-see-films-during-the-day-at-the-Texas-Union-and-go-to-hear-bands-at-night vintage slacker buddies. These folks were, at the time, wanna-be filmmakers, who were doing experimental shorts (super 8, 16mm) around town in unlikely unconstructed scenarios and locations. I had alot of interest in these guys, cuz their reading/film/music tastes pretty closely aligned with mine. For instance, we were similarly drawn to writers J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick and punk-industrial sounds like SPK, Throbbing Gristle, Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid and others.

Rick and his housemates also launched the Austin Film Society the year after I graduated from college, so I was an early film series fan--going to the Dobie Theater for midnight screenings, sometimes offering a flower freshly-picked from the UT-Austin campus flowerbeds as admission payment. Who knows what the guys thought of me: resident film groupie? literary somnambulist? wanna-be scenester? I just remember that the films they screened were so amazing and diverse, and their following grew quickly over the years. (The Austin Film Society is now a mainstay, a veritable institution, known not only to Austinites but to cineastes nationwide.)

Anyway, on to my point, to the present: I remember hanging out with Rick at the house ('round the corner from Les Amis, which is also now-defunct), and being a little wound-up cuz i'd just left my modern dance class across the street. I started dancing around, full of crazy energy, and talking jibberish about my day. Typical 22-year old, I guess. Rick, always a good listener, seemed amused and drawn to my stories. At one point, after i'd detailed a particularly emotional concern of the moment, an outpouring that had moved me to tears, Rick perked up, as if with sudden concern. He merely asked, "Is it okay if i set up my camera--a beta video camera on a low tripod)--and shoot you saying again what you just said. Over there, by the window...just like before....." Happy to go along with this distraction from my own verbalized musings, I shifted into performer mode. It kinda pleased me that Rick had taken an interest in what i had to say. After all, i was only talking about boyfriends and an audio cassette recording that i'd recorded and mailed to an ex-boyfriend, only to get it mailed back to me at a time when i was experiencing a new heartache. The recycle value of my own recorded spoken encouragements was what i was so intrigued by. The concept of comforting yourself with a tape you recorded being mailed back to you was almost poignant, a little pathetic. I guess Rick recognized the pathos in this and wanted to document it for further study, for consideration later. Or perhaps i just looked a little visually interesting standing at the window. Whatever. I agreed to pose and reiterate for the camera what i'd just casually shared with Rick.

And now, years and years later, I'm seeing that my name is on the credits list for his 1988 film "It's Impossible....." Okay, i think i have to check this out further. More soon.

No comments: