Called “the unofficial kickoff to SXSW” by the sort of folks who call things stuff like that, the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards dinner went down Thursday night at Austin Studios. Items were auctioned, money was raised for the Austin Film Society, clips were shows and yes, people were inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. Here are a few highlights:The biggest news of the night came from AFS co-founder Richard Linklater, who announced that, after 30 years of showing movies in various locations around Austin (most recently at The Marchesa Hall and Theatre), the AFS is building its own two-screen arthouse, thanks to a donation by John and Amy McCall. Linklater said more details would be forthcoming soon.
Mike Judge served as the master of ceremonies for the second year in a row. He noted that Tommy Lee Jones (inducted last year) was not wild about Judge’s performance. He then proceeded to tell a knock-knock joke about Jones. It goes as follows: The crowd: “Knock-knock.” Judge in Jones’ voice: “Get the hell off my property.” Well, I laughed.When presenting her “Friday Night Lights” co-star Jesse Plemons with the rising star award, Adrianne Palicki said she remembers meeting Plemons about a decade ago and thinking “This is the most mature 18-year-old I have ever met in my life.” Plemons said he imagined the Hall of Fame award as “a really big cowboy hat” descending on his head.Maya Rudolph inducted Carol Burnett into the HoF by busting out a somewhat funny, somewhat dire Texas accent, but also noted that, as a child, she aspired to be Burnett: “cross-eyed and dressed to kill,” referring to her as “the Beyoncé of comedy. For her part, Burnett noted that she knew Rudolph’s husband Paul Thomas Anderson when Anderson was “about 4 years old.” As for her San Antonio roots, well, “once a Texan, always a Texan”Actress and Houston native Chandra Wilson noted that the nice thing about organizations such as AFS is that it lets Texas actors and actresses feel they can stay in their home state and still express themselves as artists. Ethan Hawke spoke about his long friendship with Sony Pictures Classics co-founder Michael Barker, noting the he “achieved greatness by being excellent over and over and over and over again.” Barker spoke of his and Hawke’s friendship with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and quoted an interview he read with Linklater, in which the latter said, “the more friends you have, the wider the vision.” Amen.