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I went to the Texas Film Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Austin on Friday night; turns out they've run out of people to put in that thing. (Which is where again? Oh, a Web site. How fancy. Least the rent's cheap.) Actually, not so much: There's still Dallas native L.M. Kit Carson left to put in there (his 1968 mockumentary David Holzman's Diary essentially created the genre, and it's in the National Film Registry), not to mention Wes Anderson (hey, if Owen Wilson's in there...), Martin Jurow (produced Breakfast at Tiffany's, c'mon) ... or ... uh, Robby Benson? Ice Castles, anyone? The Chosen? Hey, he directed six Friends episodes.
No, wait -- Morgan Fairchild. Now, she was great on Friends. Dang, we are so running out of road -- hence, perhaps, Friday night's induction of Ann-Margret for one of the worst movies ever made in Dallas, 1962's State Fair. Perhaps next year Ron Howard'll make the cut for Cotton Candy. (One observation: If Ann-Margret didn't insist on dressing like the world's oldest Kilgore Rangerette, she'd still be awfully hot.)
Making the cut this year were two Fort Worth natives: Betty Buckley (who's best known for Eight is Enough, right?) and Bill Paxton, who actually delivered one of the more sincere (and one of the shortest) speeches in the Hall of Fame's six-year history. Bringing along his wife, kids and folks, Paxton said that "being from Texas has currency," and that his home state's a "land of dreamers and visionaries." Paxton, who will be attending the AFI Dallas International Film Festival at the end of the month, recalls spending childhood days at the Worth Theater and nights dreaming of getting out of Texas. "Coming back here," he said, "this is personal." It's worth nothing that when Paxton was introduced with a clip reel highlighting his career thus far -- Apollo 13, Aliens, Big Love, Titanic, True Lies -- he got the biggest cheer for Weird Science.
Also getting in this year were the Dixie Chicks -- two of whom showed. "Where's the interesting one?" asked a tablemate; hey, outta-stater, not nice. Besides, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison were the band's founders; no need for Natalie Maines to show and hog the spotlight. And as Maguire noted, "Natalie woulda said something to get us in a lot of trouble." The evening was also an extended dance remix tribute to the late Ann Richards, who probably would have found the clip reel featuring movies made in Texas during her time in office a little too much. Still, it was nice to see a few seconds from Bottle Rocket, probably the best movie ever made in Dallas. And Wes Anderson isn't in the Texas Film Hall of Fame...why? --Robert Wilonsky