Archive for the ‘Smithville’ Category

WedApr201218

DOONBY, filmed in Smithville, TX Opens

Review:by the Christian Movie Guide

DOONBYis a very intriguing story about a holy fool character. The holy fool is a medieval and Renaissance Christ character used in French and even Russian literature as a Christ figure who comes from nowhere to transform people’s lives.John Schneider plays Sam Doonby, who drifts into a small Southern town (Smithville, TX) and starts to protect people from one disaster after another. For instance, two thugs hold up a bar where he gets a job, and Doonby saves the owner from being shot. Doonby saves a baby from being hit by a Mack truck. He also saves a young woman from being killed by a deranged killer who’s escaped a mental asylum in New York. During all this, Doonby attracts a following as a bartender and a singer. Several women throw themselves at Doonby, but he acts with the utmost chivalry and respect.As the story develops, there are flashbacks to Doonby’s youth. Doonby thought his mother was a beautiful blonde angel, but she hung out on the wrong side of town at the wrong bars and with the wrong men. Eventually, she abandons him.

Beneath all the good that’s happening in the small town, there’s the deeper story of who is Doonby. When the girl who loves him refuses to accept love and denies him, the audience finds out the shocking truth.

The first half of DOONBY flows very well. There are some extra plot issues inserted at that point. These issues create a few minor plot diversions. Even so, the Twilight Zone ending is compelling and designed to help people understand the value of life.

DOONBY has a good cast of known veterans and newcomers. Jenn Gotzon does a wonderful job in her role as Laura Reaper, although there are one or two scenes where the direction of her scene is over the top. John Schneider gives one of his better performances, which could have been improved by better direction. Norma McCorvey, who was the legal “Jane Roe” in the landmark American lawsuit Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion, plays a strong pro-life first role in the movie to help proclaim her faith and change of heart in real life. Overall, however, DOONBY is a movie with an important story that’s interesting to watch.

DOONBY displays a lot of latent talent on the part of the filmmakers. Movieguide® commends them for all their hard work. That said, there’s a lot of drinking, carousing, and some scary violence in the movie, so caution is recommended, especially for pre-adolescents. Even so, DOONBY has a very strong Christian worldview with a pro-life message.

 
(This movie was filmed in Smithville Tx.  The bar, Huebel’s,  near the Katy House Bed and Breakfast was used as the bar in the movie where Sam Doonby found a job.  You will see many areas of Smithville in the movie. For info on the town of Smithville see the chamber page at http://www.smithvilletx.org/   Sallie Blalock)

SatMar201210

Travels with Oscar, Smithville TX shines

 

This article is from the Orange County Register, Feb 23, 2012

 

Best Picture town: Smithville, Texas, in “The Tree of Life

People tend to either think Terrence Malick is one of the few artists left working in film, or the maker of insufferably obtuse movies. I have to admit I’m conflicted.

Though I’m a big military history buff, I couldn’t endure the endless shots of waving grass in “The Thin Red Line” and dropped out about 45 minutes into it. I know a lot of people didn’t make it that long into “The Tree of Life,” Malick’s defiantly nonnarrative rumination on the battle between the states of grace and nature over endless time. The opening sequences of the creation of the universe (dinosaurs?) and the corner of the world where Brad Pitt and family will live out their lives feel a lot like the start of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Maybe “The Tree of Life” just hit me at the right moment – it’s my favorite movie of the year. Battling congestion one late night in January, I popped “Tree of Life” into the DVD player. Maybe it was the combination: cold medicine, alone, dark and quiet house, Blu-ray on high-definition TV. I couldn’t take my eyes away.

The heart of the film is the town where Pitt alternately hugs and bullies his boys. I was transfixed by the simple beauty of the town – the trees, the houses, the shadows, the road and the faces. At the end of the movie, I scrambled to find where the film was shot. Though some shots were done in other parts of Texas, the core of the story is told in Smithville, just outside of Austin. I’ve explored the Hill Country west and north of Austin but never ventured to the east. The town of wide streets and an old-style downtown has been featured before, in “Hope Floats.” I want to go, though I don’t know what I’ll do when I get there or what I would see. Just life, I guess. Sounds like a Malick film.

P.S. Our B&B, the Katy House is eight blocks from the house used in “Tree of Life”  The Smithville Chamber has a new brochure listing most of the places in town used in the movies filmed in Smithville.


FriFeb201224

Review of Malick’s Tree of Life, filmed in Smithville

Back Stage

SASA MAJUMA

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?
The Tree of Life (2011) is one of the best films from last year. It is being shown at the Gaborone Film Society tonight at 7 pm atMaru-a-PulaSchool in the A/V Centre. It is by the great director Terrence Malick who only makes about one film every decade.

He is famous for Badlands(1973), Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998) and The New World (2005). With The Tree of Life his approach has changed: he currently has four new films in production.
 
At the 64th Cannes International Film Festival The Tree of Life swept the Palme D’Or (but not without boos, jeers and great applause from a divided public). The line that divides reactions to this film is strong for it begins with the cosmos, the Supreme Being, the meaning of life, birth and death, and how life may be lived.

The catcalls come from viewers who want modern entertainment, not Great Issues. Nick Pinkerton writing in The Village Voice says of Malick that, He’s one of the few American filmmakers operating on the multiplex scale who makes movies feel like undiscovered country.

In Genesis, 3:22-24 in the Garden of Eden the tree of life has fruits that give eternal life. In science the image is used to represent the evolutionary divergence of all living creatures.

In Kabalism the spheres of life or the 10 attributes of the infinite belong to the tree of life. This film spends considerable time probing images of the past. From the Hubble telescope, the birth of the universe is observed. At one point the earth belonged to the dinosaurs (an injured plesiosaur contemplates his wounding), then they were extinct.

“I made him feel shame …how did I lose you?  Mother was I false to you? …. Where were you? Who are we to you? 
  From the Red Centre, to the nebulae of outer space, from eruptions, to the feeding frenzy of circling hammerheads and Saturn’s rings, We cry to you, my soul, my son”. 

Light of my life I search for you. At the start and in conclusion the audience can see only a flickering flame Ð is this the beginning and end of our universe?

The creation leads us to a family inWaco,Texas, in the 1950s Ð yes, the same town of the famous massacre, but there is no link established between it and this movie. It was actually filmed in Smithville, nearAustin,Texas.

A gentle, warm, loving Mother O’Brien (acted by Jessica Chastain, inGaboronepreviously in The Help in Texas Killing Fields, The Debt and Wilde Salome) is the lodestone for her three sons. Her path is the opposite of her husband’s. “Love everyone. Love every leaf, every ray of light,” she tells her sons.

The demanding, harsh and judgemental father O’Brien (played by Brad Pitt) imparts survival lessons that are intended to promote individualism, competition, and Looking Out For No. 1. Pass the butter please, Sir.  

O’Brien disciplines his sons like the family was an ancient military camp and the offspring the uncouth foot soldiers. 

They must learn how to avoid being bullied, to fight back, and to master the art of self-defence, to face DDT spray without flinching. Do you love your father? Yes, Sir. His message to his sons is one of loyalty and obedience coloured by cunning. The world lives by trickery … if you want to succeed, you can’t be too good.

As they grow a little older, Number One, Jack (played by Hunter McCracken) becomes a bully with his two younger brothers R L and Steve (Laramie Eppler and Tye Sheridan). He also articulates his rebellion and his hostility against his father’s repressive regime.

“You can hit me if you want.” O’Brien tells Jack, I want you to grow up strong, be your own boss. Jack becomes the axis of the film. He even tries to talk to God. Can we hear the answers?

O’Brien has 25 patents, a thankless job, that comes to an end, loves classical music, but is a failed musician. His sense of failure permeates the film. He wants more for his sons. To accompany its unfamiliar images The Tree of Life is filled by some of the best In music by Bach, Couperin, Mozart, Mahler, Smetana, Gorecki, Respighi, Holst and others.

To find the young actors, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan and Hunter McCracken, who play the three preadolescent brothers, months were spent searching and 10,000c non-professional applicants interviewed. The results are a credit to this prolonged search.

Sean Penn gives a taut portrayal of the troubled first son, Jack, now an adult, who struggles to find the best in his harsh, disciplinarian father. As an actor he somehow expected more. He is quoted as saying: I didn’t at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I’ve ever read.

A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What’s more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly.

The adult Jack keeps looking back on his past. One of his younger brothers has died. He is working as an architect in a glass skyscraper in downtownHouston,Texas(little is really explained about who he has become, as it is his remembered past that occupies the screen).

Still, this is a film about mysteries, well worth watching and debating.  It is a poetic movie, but you don’t have to be a poet or a true believer to watch it.

Thus may be The Tree of Life, but in this resurrection it is the American suburb of half a century ago with its green lawns, cars to wash, and sibling rivalry to be transcended. It is a coming-of-age story with a difference. 

The Tree of Life is two hours and 13 minutes long. It is rated 12+. The director is Terrence Malick who also wrote the script. The cinematographer is Emmanuel Lubezk. The editor is Mark Yosikawa. The music is both by and arranged by Alexandre Desplat. 
sasa_majuma@yahoo.co.uk

(our bed and breakfast, the Katy House is 10 blocks from the home used in Tree of Life. Sallie Blalock)

 


TueJun201121

Smithville, TX Goes Hollywood

 Who would have thought that we would get to meet movie stars and have them stay in our Bed and Breakfast?  Check out  this new  article from the Houston Chronicle. I love the last line: “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

Texas’ quaint Smithville goes Hollywood

By MELANIE WARNER SPENCER
Copyright 2011, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

June 21, 2011, 12:09AM

 Road trippers, business travelers and other rambling types who have driven the stretch of highway between Houston and Austin likely have spied the big “Smithville, Home of Hope Floats sign off of Texas 71. Despite the town’s proud history with the 1998 Sandra Bullock movie, Smithville likely isn’t the first place to spring to mind when most people think about Texas film. Since 2008, however, when Texas writer/director Terrence Malick shot much of his Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or award-winning opus The Tree of Life in Smithville, the sleepy hamlet has served as the backdrop for nine feature films and a variety of shorts, commercials and Web series. “It’s a beautiful town,” says John Patterson, location manager for The Tree of Life. “For six weeks, we filmed in one neighborhood. Part of the idea was having a neighborhood in the ’50s where the boys could run yard to yard without fences and without knowing whose yard they are in.”The film is set in the Midwest and focuses on the relationship of the eldest of three sons, Jack (played by Sean Penn), with his father (Brad Pitt). It tackles questions about relationships, faith, innocence lost and the meaning of life. Smithville offers a wealth of virtually untouched ’50s-era architecture, as well as Victorian, ’60s, ’70s and contemporary suburban streetscapes.The former made it a natural location for the movie, but according to Patterson, Smithville had much more to offer than just a great look. “We really got to know the town,” Patterson says. “Some of the cast and crew lived right in town and rented houses and rode their bikes to the set. It’s a pretty unique way to make a film.” Rather than using the ubiquitous trucks and trailers for hair and makeup, wardrobe and stars dressing rooms, they rented out a house for each department or actor to use as a base. While logistics and location are key, there is one thing that comes up every time you talk to a person who has worked on a film in Smithville: “It comes down to the people who live there,” Patterson says. “They all know it’s a special place. They are happy to be there and happy to show it off.” Quenby Iandiorio, a wardrobe supervisor and set costumer who moved to Austin from Los Angeles in 2010, has worked on three movies in Smithville in the past year: Beneath the Darkness, a thriller starring Dennis Quaid; Doonby, a drama featuring John Schneider; and Natural Selection, a dark comedy starring Rachael Harris by writer-director and Houston-native Robbie Pickering.The latter swept Austin’s South by Southwest film festival in March, nabbing the Grand Jury Prize for narrative feature filmmaking, the festival Audience Award and jury prizes for music, editing and screenplay, as well as breakthrough performance honors for Harris and Matt O’Leary. Iandiorio has both commuted to Smithville and lived there during production. (Beneath the Darkness is due in theaters in October; Doonby and Natural Selection are awaiting distribution deals.)”I totally dug it,” Iandiorio says. “It was a small town, and it’s really easy to get to work every day and change locations. When I was living there, it was magnificent. To be able to ride your bike to set blew my mind, coming from L.A.”While it was at times challenging to find clothing at the last minute, Iandiorio says it’s just part of doing this kind of work in Central Texas. “No matter how much you prepare for a trip, something comes up,” Iandiorio says. “Even in Austin there aren’t the resources that I’m used to having (in L.A.). It’s more challenging to get what the director wants if it’s not already in your collection. But nobody is going to have everything. … You have to shop for it and go secondhand and vintage.”Echoing Patterson’s sentiments, Iandiorio says it’s all about the residents, who are quick to assist the crew and for whom hometown hospitality is matter-of-fact. “Everyone lends themselves to the production,” Iandiorio says. “The small filmmakers wouldn’t be able to do these productions without their assistance. Film commissioner Sheila Tamble really rolls out the red carpet for people and opens up her house. Her husband’s cooking is amazing. Robert would cook for 70 people for lunch at night when we are shooting.” For Tamble, a Smithville native and real estate broker who got into the business quite by accident after showing a house to Malick prior to the shooting of The Tree of Life, it’s about bringing something unique to her community. “What I like is exposing our youth to different opportunities,” Tamble says. “They use the kids a lot in the films. They see the hair, the wardrobe. Our school district, like a lot all over Texas, can’t afford the arts. It’s the best way to show the children up front what it is.”Tamble and other enterprising community leaders in Smithville also recognize the economic benefits of being a film-friendly community. They have made permitting, security and other processes and procedures quick and easy for filmmakers. The mayor allows crews to office out of and hold casting calls at City Hall, and the police department is available to lead directors through the proper steps of a crime scene investigation. In return, thousands of movie-making dollars flood into the town and into the hands of its business owners and residents, who rent out their businesses, homes and guesthouses to crews. They have been known to lend or lease personal property, including planes, vehicles, a bottle of champagne in the middle of the night, farm equipment and even livestock to productions. Tamble’s rooster, Colonel Sanders struts his stuff in Doonby and Five Time Champion. (The latter was an indie favorite at SXSW and Dallas film festivals.)Local nonprofits reap the benefits from the industry, too. Tamble says producers from The Tree of Life, donated fruit trees to the community gardens. During the filming of Beneath the Darkness, Quaid participated in a Blue Santa benefit that raised more than $10,000. And Darkness director Martin Guigui is planning to return in October for the Smithville Music Festival. “The economic impact is something we see more because we are a small community,” Tamble says. “Tree of Life’s impact was about $725,000, not including what cast and crew spent on their own time.”The chamber of commerce has also gotten in on the action, creating a city map that pinpoints locations from the various movies and revamping its website, http://www.smithvilletx.org/, to include up-to-date details on current and past movies. Its tagline is: “A film-, family- and business-friendly community.” “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

melanie.spencer@chron.com
Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/7618946.html#ixzz1Pwdol9q9


MonApr201118

“Sell Smithville”, May 7, 2010 – Buy Smithville, TX

You are invited to the largest Real Estate Event in Bastrop County history.

Sell  Smithville

Visit the Smithville area for a preview of our available Real Estate, whether residential, commercial, farm or ranch.

Realtors and owners are holding the doors open so you can view property – From 10 AM  to 4PM

Learn about Mortgages, Title Companies, Home Warrantee, Insurance, Home Inspections and MORE at the Smithville Recreation Center.

Free maps to all open locations are available at the Smithville Recreation Center, Hwy 95 at 1st Street on Saturday, May 7.

For more information or to hold an open house (RSVP by April 22, call 512 678-1131)

Realtors and owners are here to help you BUY SMITHVILLE!

Get a piece of your dream. 

 For more information on Smithville, visit the Chamber site.

GREAT COMMUNITY * GREAT SCHOOLS * HOSPITAL * RECREATION CENTER * PARKS * RIVER * FRIENDLY PEOPLE


TueJan201118

Poetry Readings in Smithville, TX

Spoken Word Reading  

Samantics2  

Join us for Poetry Readings   

206 Main StreetSmithville, TX   

 512-377-9244   

www.samantics2.com   

Ring in the New Year   

 Fourth Saturday in January January 22, 2011  

6:30pm – whenever  

 206 Main Street  

Smithville, Texas Come stay in one of Smithville’s Bed & Breakfasts   

512-377-9244

www.samantics2.com  

    


TueJul201020

This Weekend in Smithville, TX

Friday, July 23, 2010 – opening night for Playhouse Smithville

Saturday, July 24, 2010 – Casino Night

It’s almost here….Casino Night 2010! Thanks to all our generous donors who have not only supported us with sponsorships but also by contributing some wonderful silent auction items! We can’t wait for the event this Saturday at the Smithville Recreation Center! We are again using Casino Connection for our equipment and dealers so that we can bring our attendees the closest experience to Vegas within the borders of Texas.

It’s not too late to buy a ticket! They are still on sale at the pre-sale price of $25 each by calling the Chamber office at 512-237-2313. Come enjoy the Italian buffet, adult beverages, and gaming excitement.

The Katy House still has rooms available. Give us a call (512) 237-4262


SunApr20104

50 Mi Trail Run at Rocky Hill Ranch, Smithville

While most of our Katy House guests this weekend were antique shopping at Warrenton and Round Top, we had a couple from Denmark visiting. They were here to run in the 50-mile Hell’s Hills race held at Rocky Hill Ranch on Saturday, April 3. This was a trail run consisting of a 50-mile, 50k, and 25k race and one of the Tejas Trails series. There will be three more events at Rocky Hill this year. Rasmus and Tracy Høeg, natives of Denmark and living temporarily in Wisconsin stayed three days at our bed and breakfast. They didn’t come to relax, they came to win. And win they did! Tracy was third in the 50-mile run women’s division, and Rasmus was first overall. Breakfast on Sunday was a celebration of treasures found at the antique shows, stories of a great family reunion nearby and certainly the victory at Rocky Hill Ranch. A great time was had by all.


WedMar201031

Wildflowers Seeds in Smithville, TX

“Go Wild in Smithville!”  The Smithville Business Association is sponsoring its Second Annual Wildflower Event.  The merchants in Historic Downtown Smithville will be giving away FREE packets of wildflower seeds (while supplies last). Each of the 18 locations will have a different variety. Start out on Main Street for your first free packet and a map of the participating locations.  The “GO Wild in Smithville” celebration is being held on Saturday, May 1st from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The Katy House Bed and Breakfast is one of the participating merchants.  We are not on Smithville, Texas’  Historic Main Street,  where all the antique shops are located, but one block away on Ramona and Second Street.


SunFeb201021

Smithville, TX off the beaten path

This is from a cute couple that just stayed with us. This is Dave’s blog:

An Occasion To Remember

Many men fall victim to their own memory when it comes to anniversaries. Fortunately, my anniversary falls in the same ten-day period as Valentine’s Day and my wife’s birthday. While making this easy to remember, it does have its issues, but nothing I can’t handle.

On our wedding day, we drove to Smithville Texas, the site of the movie “Hope Floats” featuring Sandra Bullock (yes, it is a chick-flick, but it is a good one) and stayed at a bed and breakfast called The Katy House. Now, for those who read this blog (yes, I am talking to you) you may remember that Michelle and I love to tour small towns off the beaten path. Well, Smithville—with a whopping population of 3,900—certainly qualifies as small and it does sit just off of state highway 71, which is a beaten path.

This town has a quaint old style main street with buildings built around the turn of the century (not the recent one, mind you) and a train depot (which is not really a functioning depot anymore, but it serves as the chamber of commerce and a railway museum). Most of the buildings that are occupied house antique stores or craft boutiques, while many sit empty. The other streets are filled with old houses dating back to the late 1800’s when this town was built by the MKT railroad. The Katy House is one such home.

Built in 1909, it was originally named the Chancellor Residence after its first occupant. Many others have lived in it since, but it is now a very comfortable B&B run by Sallie and Bruce Blalock. They made our wedding night stay quite pleasant, setting us up with a bottle of bubbly and getting us reservations at the town’s pre-eminent restaurant, The Back Door Café (make the trip if for no other reason than to eat here, it is that good). Because the stay was so memorable, we come back every year to celebrate our anniversary with them….


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