Austin News



A changing of the guard for Weird Wednesday.


On January 8th we will screen my favorite Weird Wednesday movie, SNAKES, one last time and then I will step away from programming the series that has been one of my greatest joys for more than 12 years. I have asked Laird Jimenez, who occupies one of my old jobs as preshow coordinator, to take over programming and hosting. Laird is exactly the right man for the job and I look forward to his ideas.

Sometime back in 2001 or so Tim League took a blind stab in the dark and bought a colossal lot of 35mm film prints from a dealer in the midwest. He trucked them all back to Austin, except for the ones he had to jettison on the way to get up hills. On that long drive he had the idea to start a new series called Something Weird Wednesday. It was a sort of varied exploitation series where horror films and sexploitation films could exist side by side with odd European art movies and hillbilly car chase movies.

For the first few months Tim hosted the series and I'm afraid I was a little bit of a backseat driver. I would recommend titles from the list and occasionally Tim would play those titles. Eventually he asked me to host every week and before too long I was doing the first pass of programming, subject to Tim's red pencil. Beginning in 2003 or so I was doing it all myself. It has been that way until this day and even though I quit as a full-time programmer at the Alamo in March to occupy the same role at the Austin Film Society I held on to the Weird Wednesday position in part because I didn't know who else would have the passion for this kind of series.

Now I know. Laird has come to every practically every Weird Wednesday since moving here last year. He has a serious love of these films and his knowledge is already astounding. If I were to create a successor in a genetic modification lab he could not possibly be more suited to the task of programming and hosting Weird Wednesday. Though Weird Wednesday's variety may at times make it seem like a haphazard catch-all, in fact it has been programmed with meticulous care. Laird gets that, and will continue the tradition.

It's been a lot of fun. Weird Wednesday is unlike any other film series. I hope that it can continually grow a new audience of open, receptive people who appreciate its strange frequencies and mutant messages from that oddest of all countries - the past.



December 4th - THE DRIVER'S SEAT

December 11th - LOADED GUNS

December 18th - THE SILENT PARTNER



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