Movies This Week: November 9-15, 2012

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America's Parking Lot still photo

This coming week offers some special offers for Austin Film Society (AFS) members with discounts to special screenings. AFS Selects series is partnering with the Violet Crown Cinema to present Smashed with a $2 discount on tickets purchased by phone or at the box office during the run of the selection excluding the first show of the day. Find out more about this film later in this article.

To kick off the opening weekend of the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, AFS members can enjoy $5 off the $15 regular ticket price for a sneak peek screening at The Paramount on Thursday, November 15, of a new documentary, 1, featuring interviews with Formula One icons including Mario Andretti, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Using rare archive footage, 1 features the drivers who raced during the dangerous era in the from the 1960s into the 1970s, and fought to improve safety standards for their sport. Expect to see racing celebrities on the red carpet including Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and Emerson Fittipaldi. 

The Texas Independent Film Network presents a special screening of one of my favorite documentaries of the year, America's Parking Lot, on Tuesday, November 13, 7 pm at Violet Crown, with director Jonny Mars in attendance. Bring a canned food item and receive a free popcorn to enjoy while enjoying an up-close experience with two diehard Dallas Cowboys fans and their tailgating tradition during the last season to take place at the historic Texas Stadium.

Movies We've Seen

The Sessions  -- Inspired by a true story, John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star in this drama about a 36-year-old man in an iron lung who seeks out a professional sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. Don says in his review, "I can't say enough great things about this terrifically funny and deeply moving film, one of my favorites of the year and a shoo-in for my annual top ten list. Don't miss it." (Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, Violet Crown, Regal Arbor)

Smashed -- In this story about addiction, a married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol must deal with the impact to their relationship when the wife chooses sobriety. Don states, "Smashed shows us nothing we haven't seen before. But the film is as potent as any in its genre, with plenty of cringingly authentic scenes, a completely believable narrative arc and absolutely no melodrama." Read his review for details. (Violet Crown, Arbor)

The Other Dream Team -- This documentary reveals both the brutal history of Lithuania under Stalin's regime as well as the inspiring stories of athletes who helped their country find its own identity. For more on this film, read my review. (Violet Crown)

Skyfall  -- Director Sam Mendes takes on the challenge of a Bond film, and delivers a solid installment in the Bond legacy with action, intrigue, and plot twists that make the 143 minutes run-time fly by from the opening action sequence to the surprising but fitting denouement. MI6 is under attack by an unknown enemy from M's past, and Bond's loyalty is tested as the British Secret Service is under scrutiny. Elizabeth says, "Skyfall is the most masterfully shot film about James Bond I've seen." Look for her review this weekend. (wide)

Other Movies Opening in Austin:

Simon & the Oaks -- Swedish melodrama about the title character, a child (and later a teen) coming of age around World War II. Read Kimberley Jones' review in the Austin Chronicle for details. (Arbor)