In her July 13 Arts & Style commentary, “Enduring lessons deep in the heart,” Ann Hornaday suggested that Richard Linklater’s arrival in Austin and his founding of the Austin Film Society in 1985 turned the Texas capital into a hotbed of movie fandom. In fact, the city had been that intense a cinematic experience for at least a decade before that.
When I began graduate studies at the University of Texas in 1974, I hadn’t been much of a filmgoer. I had lived where only a couple of films a week could be seen within easy reach, so I was lucky to see a dozen or so films a year. During my time in Austin, it was often possible to see 30 films within a half-mile of the university, thanks to several campus film societies and nearby movie theaters. Suddenly becoming a movie buff because of this, I spent my time in Austin often seeing four films a week.
Mr. Linklater may have become the center of the Austin film scene when he arrived, but it was there already.
Wendell Wagner, Greenbelt