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The Thursday Roundup Goes To The Movies

by Jerome Weeks 29 Aug 2013 5:27 AM

Two local guys are producing movies — really — and Fort Worth is starting to produce the kind of bulldozer frenzy that's knocked down older Dallas neighborhoods: We call it the Thursday roundup.


NORTH TEXAS MOVIE-MAKIN” NEWS. That up there is the first trailer for the Matthew McConaughey film, , and everyone was already talking yesterday about (he lost 30 lbs. to play a real-life HIV patient). But there was other North Texas movie news worth relating. F”r”nstance: Dallas newscaster-turned-executive-producer Gary Cogill”s first feature film, Refuge, has gotten picked up for distribution by Strand Releasing. The coming-of-age drama about a young woman caring for her young siblings after their parents skip town was written-directed by Jessica Goldberg, based on her stage play, and stars Krysten Ritter from Breaking Bad and Don”t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. No word yet on when it”ll hit the screens.

THEN THERE”S THIS GUY. Fort  Worth”s James M. Johnston has a couple of gigs, in addition to serving vegan food at his Spiral Diner. Not only is he one of director David Lowery”s producers for Ain”t Them Bodies Saints, he”s also producing Listen Up Philip, which stars Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss, while also working on Seize the Body, his first feature as a writer-director. And because he hates anyone calling him lazy, he”s spent the last four years trying to give Fort Worth a $3.5 million art-house cinema, the Citizen Theater.  Got the land, just needs a couple more investors. 

WHAT”S THE REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FT. WORTH AND DALLAS? Fort Worth kept many of its older buildings and homes; Dallas — with what have traditionally been weak neighborhood associations and weak preservation efforts — Dallas let its developers have their way, whatever way that was. That”s helped define the two cities” downtowns, their neighborhoods, their culture. Now, it”s welcome to a free market, Fort Worth! Older neighborhoods there are getting bulldozed like older Dallas neighborhoods, one preservationist tells FWWeekly.

In West Fort Worth, an empty lot is all that remains of a 100-year-old house on Broad Avenue that belonged to Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon G. Carter Sr. Next door, the award-winning house that belonged to his daughter Ruth Carter Stevenson met a similar fate a couple of months ago.

The homes are just two of a handful of culturally significant Fort Worth landmarks the city approved for demolition in recent years.