New Releases: October 2013


This month, we are excited to announce the addition of several new films to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, including unedited interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the Ruddy and Miller Collections, documentaries from the Texas Prison Museum and Rogelio Agrasánchez, home movies from the Easterwood Collection, and more!

Several new videos this month highlight Texas' strong history of feature film production. Start exploring with behind-the-scenes footage from the Jim Ruddy Collection of the filming of Reality Bites in Houston in 1993. In this interview Ben Stiller, who was both the lead actor and director of the movie, discusses working with actress Winona Ryder and growing up in the entertainment industry. Stiller then takes Ruddy on a tour of the set, where they run into actor Ethan Hawke. Watch Stiller and Ryder rehearse a scene in this clip, then watch as the same scene is filmed in this video. Fred Miller documents another 1990s Texas film classic in this set of interviews with the cast and director of 1996's Lone Star. Director John Sayles and actors Chris Cooper and Ron Canada discuss the film's unique look at Texas-Mexico border culture, their roles in the film, and their experience filming in Texas. As Ron Canada puts it, "call a movie ‘Lone Star’, the Texans had better like it.”

Moving on to Texas music history, Ruddy's unedited footage from the Selena murder trial sheds light on the huge impact of the young Tejano star's death and the sensational trial that followed in Houston. Here, Harris County District Court Administrator Jack Thompson explaining the lottery system put in place to choose who could sit in during court proceedings due to the overwhelming turnout from Selena fans anxious to be in the courtroom. For some varying perspectives, this interview with Abe de Jesus, the Production Manger for Telemundo Network, speaks to trial's effect on the media and Latino community, and this interview features a Selena fan who drove across Texas for the trial. On a lighter note, catch this interview with Stevie Nicks as Fleetwood Mac deplanes in Dallas in 1980. Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie sign autographs in the background (even the pilot snaps a few pictures) as Stevie talks about the band's concerts in Texas and dispells rumors about continuing conflict among band members. 

Catch some of your favorite Texas sports stars in these Accidents Don't Just Happen PSAs.  The PSAs encourage families and children to practice safety with household poisons, guns, helmets, drinking and driving, and immunizations and feature coaches Bum Phillips and Tom Penders alongside football player Earl Campbell and baseball players Will Clark, Kenny Rogers, Luis Gonzalez, Craig Biggio, and Mike Felder.

New documentaries this month shed light on two distinct Texas populations. Vaquero explores traditional Mexican-American cattle ranching in South Texas. The documentary examines the history of the Mexican vaqueros, who taught early Texas cattle ranchers how to work on the unruly land of the region, describes life in "la corrida", and features insight from present-day vaqueros, authors, professors, and, notably, King Ranch heir Tio Kleberg (who also has a very notable mustache). The second documentary captures scenes of a much different demographic--the Texas prison population of 1955. The film primarily focuses on the Texas State Penitentiary’s Huntsville Unit, commonly known as “Walls Unit”, and documents meetings of the Texas Prison Board, inmate interviews with their wardens, and many inmate activities, such as working factory machinery, haircuts, hospital visits, recreation activities, and planting and harvesting crops on many a prison farm! Also included are scenes of a prison rodeo where Texas Governor Allan Shivers is present to kick off the festivities. 

Our newest home movie collection, the Easterwood Family Films, paints a picture of rural life in the Texas Panhandle. This film captures scenes of Paul Easterwood throwing around a football on the family wheat farm with future NFL player Junior Coffey, who at the time was in his senior year of high school at Dimmitt High, the year before he began his football career at the University of Washington. The family's wheat farm is also featured in this home movie that documents a harvest among picturesque images of free-roaming horses and ponies and in this film of the wheat fields burning after harvest (a common agricultural practice), an Easterwood family reunion, and a field of Airstream trailers. The latter film was double-exposed, likely on accident, giving it a beautiful aesthetic quality. 

Enjoy watching and check back next month for more new releases from the Texas Archive!