Alison Macor’s Chainsaws, Slackers and Spy Kids: Thirty Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas (University of Texas Press) fills in the gaps that you might’ve missed had you not been on the crew of, say, such influential films as Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Slackers or Spy Kids. But Macor’s book delves deep into more than just Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez. There are detailed chapters documenting films like Last Night at the Alamo (and Eagle Pennell’s destructive demons); Red Headed Stranger, a Willie Nelson project; El Mariachi; Dazed and Confused and the Newton Boys; Dancer, Texas Pop. 81; and Office Space. Macor also offers succinct analysis of Houston and Dallas filmmaking efforts in the last 30 years along with a summary of the most important film companies to operate in the capital city during the 20th century.
Macor puts the reader in the driver’s seat. If someone smoked a joint on the set we know about it yet this isn’t a Peter Biskind style expose. We learn how money is distributed after a low-budget film, made with salary and fee deferrals to crew and equipment houses, sells. Chainsaws, Slackers and Spy Kids unfolds with a warts and all sensibility. There’s a passion to this craft and occupation and Macor knows how to spell it out.
On Tuesday night at the local Museum of Fine Arts, at 6:30 pm., Macor will answer questions and sign copies of her book. The event is free and open to all.
“Alison Macor is a freelance writer and former film critic for the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman. She holds a Ph.D. in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and has taught film courses at the University of Texas, Austin Community College, and the Austin Museum of Art. She lives in Austin with her husband and son.”
– Michael Bergeron