Critical Darling

Who’s afraid of Danny Trejo? Not the folks at the Texas Film Commission, apparently. The TFC recently denied film incentives to the producers of Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s 2010 wanna-B-movie, in which Trejo starred as the title character. FYI: Incentives can be withheld if the TFC determines that a film “portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.” Critical Darling and others suspect there’s a distinct possibility that it was Robert De Niro’s portrayal of his third-terming-highness, Governor Rick “Good Hair” Perry – er, I mean “Senator John McLaughlin” – that cost Machete producers 1.75-million big ones.

“It’s going back on your word,” Trejo recently told The Hollywood Reporter re: the TFC’s decision. “And that’s not Texan.” The Los Angeles-born actor is right. This is truly the biggest switcheroo we’ve pulled since the mid-1800s, when, in a span of less than 20 years, Texans went from “Hooray, man, the United States let us in!” to “Dude, let’s blow this popsicle stand.”

Seriously Rick and Danny, doesn’t it all seem so petty in light of the global tragedy that’s just occurred? I mean, ScarJo and Ryan Reynolds broke up. Heave. Meaning they will never produce that handsome, pillowy-lipped male offspring I was planning to totally go cougar-town on in like, 20ish years. A Jolie-Pitt simply will not do.

No? No one cares? Moving along then. Looks like the Mission Drive-In marquee is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and will be restored. But with the original mural or a new thing? In the words of my favorite awkward deflector (me), “Who’s to say?”

Texas Public Radio Cinema Tuesdays’ evil genius and friend of the column Nathan Cone says he’s programmed some off-season action at the Bijou. So mark your calendars, San Antonio cinephiles, as Cone’s wrangled together a Charlie Chaplin vs. Buster Keaton mini-festival for February 19, and a Black History Month movie event for the following day.

And while I’ve got you thinking about the February page of the 2011 calendar you probably don’t even have yet, allow me to issue a first warning: The deadline for submissions for the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project is February 18, 2011. A press release from the Office of Cultural Affairs calls for “local student and non-student filmmakers to submit original pieces that capture the flavor and authenticity” of the Southside, Eastside, Westside, and Downtown North River “neighborhoods.” Two cash prizes will be awarded per neighborhood: $1,000 for students and $3,000 for the rest of you jerks. Genres and formats, come one, come all. Films will screen at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on March 26, 2011.

For more details, visit Seriously, save me a trip. It is Critical Darling’s dearest hope that the official rules are more exclusive about genre than the PR material is — unless the judges are looking to score loads of Eastside-art-deco-themed porn. Happy holidays. XO.

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