Austin News


WHOLE SHOOTIN’ MATCH Opens At The Ritz! Chuck Norris fans DO NOT READ THIS.

We're very excited and honored to be able to present the all-time Austin outlaw classic THE WHOLE SHOOTIN' MATCH, made in 1979 and thought to be lost for many years, at the Alamo Ritz this weekend.

Reading Marc Savlov's hilarious interview with Lou Perryman and Sonny Carl Davis will give you an idea of why we're so excited. In The Onion there's an even longer interview, in which Lou and Sonny go OFF, in great detail and with more profanity than I've ever seen in print before. It's one of the greatest things I've ever read.

Sample quote: "Chuck Norris is a pussy! I'd flush that cocksucker down the toilet!"

Pick up The Onion right now. The story is not online yet so you'll need to pick up the street edition. Page 32. Do it now!

We can't wait to see the film again. The fact that anybody is able to see it at all is a minor miracle. Up until a couple of years ago it was thought to be a lost film. But now a High Def presentation has been completed using a rescued 16mm print and sound elements.

But what is THE WHOLE SHOOTIN' MATCH and why do we care? First of all, the film is completely and utterly fascinating. It provides a window into an earlier time in Austin. Many, many things have changed. But something fundamental is the same. The late writer-director Eagle Pennell had a poet's ear for dialogue and an artist's eye for the beauty of the commonplace. The story of two proto-slackers, kind of a cosmic cowboy take on Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, is humorous, moving and utterly of its place and time even as it feels timeless. We witness Loyd and Frank, two goodhearted Austinites who pursue get-rich quick schemes, deal with family issues, get drunk and deliver some of the most sublime lines you'll ever hear. Whether they were scripted or improvised we do not know, but they are music to our ears. The story feels less like a novel than a story told in a bar over a couple of Lone Stars by a great liar with a heart of gold.

If the film seems modern now in many ways, consider the fact that the film influenced not only Robert Redford's creation of the Sundance Foundation (so he could give films like THE WHOLE SHOOTIN' MATCH a chance to be seen), but also Richard Linklater. It's easy to see the roots of SLACKER in TWSM's loose yet comprehensive approach to narrative. But the problem with discussing any work of art (sorry Eagle) in terms of other works of art is that you can only sketch the parameters and suggest the power of the work. In the case of THE WHOLE SHOOTIN' MATCH we don't need to suggest anything other than we suggest you see it on the big screen while you have a chance. And that chance lasts through next Thursday December 6.

We are honored to welcome Lou Perryman and Sonny Carl Davis to our Sunday 4pm screening. We will have a comprehensive Q&A featuring Lou, Sonny and some other members of the cast and crew. Buy tickets to the Sunday screening or any of the others HERE.

Here's Louis Black's appreciation of the film also from the Chronicle.

Roger Ebert's review.

The New York Times loved it too.

News Categories: Austin


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