Movies This Week
The Austin Film Society is taking a few days off for the holidays, but will return this weekend with a special series called "Jan Nemec: Rediscovered Treasures of the Czechoslovak New Wave." 2005's Toyen screens on Sunday night (December 1) while Diamonds Of The Night and A Loaf Of Bread play next Monday and Wednesday. All three titles are screening in rare 35mm prints. Meanwhile, the latest AFS Essential Cinema series on Irish cinema (our preview) screens 1995's Nothing Personal next Thursday.
The Paramount is kicking off its annual Holiday Film Series with Elf on Sunday and a double feature of It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story next Wednesday. All films are screening in 35mm and there will be a few more titles in the weeks ahead. Check out Elizabeth's chat about the series with Paramount programmer Stephen Jannise.
The Alamo Drafthouse begins a new film series focused on journalism this Sunday and Tuesday with Citizen Kane at Slaughter Lane and Lakeline and Almost Famous on Tuesday at the Village. The Ritz has 35mm screenings scheduled for Labyrinth (free, Alamo Kid's Club this Saturday), Ladies And Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains (on Monday night) and Zodiac (next Wednesday).
This is an abbreviated, pre-Thanksgiving edition of Movies This Week. While everything pretty much got out of the way of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend, some new movies will open mid-week to take advantage of the holiday. As such, we're just going to cover what is playing over the next few days and then return on Wednesday with a new post so you can plan your moviegoing accordingly.
The Austin Film Society only has one event lined up before the holidays and that is tonight's special presentation of The Unspeakable Act. It's happening at the AFS Screening Room and online ticketing closes at 3pm, so you'll want to plan ahead to attend.
The Alamo Ritz has a couple more screenings of To Kill A Mockingbird for their "Tough Ladies" series happening this Saturday and Sunday. On Monday night, you can catch a very rare screening of Taxi Zum Klo (also at the Ritz) for this month's installment of Homo Arigato and Anime fans will want to head to the Alamo Lakeline on Tuesday for a 25th anniversary celebration of Akira on the big screen, although you should be aware that the distributor is only providing the English-dubbed version.
It's a relatively quiet week for new releases and rep screenings, but with the F1 crowd making traffic through Austin a slow-moving experience, maybe that's just as well. You can venture away from downtown to join the Austin Film Society at the Marchesa over the next week for some top-notch bookings that would have otherwise skipped over our fair city completely. On Saturday afternoon, they've got Andrew Dosunmu's Mother Of George, an acclaimed film that debuted at Sundance earlier this year about a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn who cannot have a child of their own.
At Berkeley is another movie that nobody else would dare to bring to town. This 4-hour documentary from legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman details four months on campus at the University of Southern California at Berkeley. It has one screening only on Sunday at noon and it will feature a Skype Q&A with Wiseman after the film. On Thursday evening, a new Essential Cinema series called "Troubles And Paradise: The 'First Wave' Of Irish Cinema" will kick off with December Bride. It's a 1991 drama that the AFS website lists as a "masterpiece [that] has been largely unseen by American audiences."
The Fantastic Fest Tour is happening this weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane. Popular titles from this year's festival (many of which won't see a proper release until next year) are showing through Sunday including Grand Piano (Jette's review), Borgman, Big Bad Wolves and Why Don't You Play In Hell. The Alamo Ritz has Fargo in 35mm on Saturday and Sunday as part of this month's "Tough Ladies" series, Sophie Fiennes' The Pervert's Guide To Ideology screens on Sunday and Tuesday and a rare 35mm print of one of my favorite 80s movies, The Legend Of Billie Jean, is playing Monday night.
If you missed the critically acclaimed drama Museum Hours last week, the Austin Film Society is bringing you one more chance to catch it on the big screen. You can check it out on Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa. That's also where you'll find a brand-new digital restoration of Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's 1963 documentary Le Joli Mai on Tuesday evening and the Essential Cinema screening of Ozu's Floating Weeds in 35mm on Thursday night.
The Drafthouse's new "Tough Ladies In Cinema" series delivers To Kill A Mockingbird this weekend. You can spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons with Scout and Atticus Finch at the Alamo Lakeline and Slaughter Lane locations. Slaugher also has an "Afternoon Tea" screening of Elizabeth on Saturday and a Bonnie and Clyde beer dinner on Sunday (also part of the Tough Ladies lineup).
The Alamo Ritz has a special Mondo Veterans Day presentation of Oliver Stone's Platoon and a 35mm screening (with free milk for the audience) of The Professional on Sunday. Their new series "Invincible: Five Tough Films" continues on Monday night with Times Square starring Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry, while Barbara Stanwyck lights up the big screen again on Tuesday with The Lady Eve (a Tough Ladies booking that also doubles as a Cinema Cocktails event). If none of that floats your boat, perhaps you'll perk up at the idea of a 35mm screening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day on Wednesday night for that doubles as a Tough Ladies and Tough Guy Cinema evening. You can't beat that with a stick. If you do, you'll probably be chased down and killed by the T-1000.
I hope you weren't looking for any time to recover from another great Austin Film Festival because there is a lot going on this week, including two more festivals for your viewing pleasure.
First and foremost, the first annual Forever Fest is happening downtown at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz. Tickets for a 35mm screening of Empire Records tonight are scarce, but you can still snag some to catch Sixteen Candles tomorrow night and the price includes an Eighties prom afterwards! There are lots of other fun events happening throughout the weekend, including a cute animal clipshow from Buzzfeed and a young adult lit panel with the creators of Go Fug Yourself. Check out the full lineup and get ticket information at their website. And read our interview with the festival founders.
The Cinema Touching Disability Festival is now in its tenth year and will be taking place this weekend up at the Alamo Village. Tonight will feature the documentary Getting Up: The Tempt One Story, while Saturday's programming includes SXSW favorite The Crash Reel.
The Austin Film Society has some great first-run arthouse titles in the mix this week at the Marchesa. They'll be featuring Jem Cohen's Museum Hours on Tuesday night. The acclaimed drama had its U.S. premiere earlier this year at SXSW and is currently in limited release around the country. If you can't catch it on Tuesday, it will play again next weekend. Informant (Elizabeth's review) also is screening on Wednesday night in conjunction with The Austin Chronicle. The documentary was recently tagged as Essential Viewing by The Dissolve and there will be a panel discussion after the film including the director of the film via Skype. The week will close out with an Essential Cinema presentation of Ozu's A Story Of Floating Weeds in 35mm.
It's a relatively light week for new releases and specialty screenings across town, which is honestly a big relief. If you're like the majority of the Slackerwood gang, you'll be exploring the films and panels of Austin Film Festival until next Thursday. Or perhaps you'll dive into the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival, covering both film and music. That doesn't leave a lot of room for squeezing in outside screenings, but this update should help you prioritize your moviegoing calendar if you do.
Tonight, the Austin Film Society is hosting an event called "Chester Turner Overdrive" at the Marchesa. Just in time for Halloween, you can enjoy Black Devil Doll From Hell and Tales From The Quadead Zone along with director Chester Turner and actress Shirley L. Jones in attendance. Halloween night (next Thursday) will also allow you to get creeped out by the legendary David Cronenberg on the big screen with a rare 35mm presentation of Videodrome. If your tastes run more towards world cinema than horror, earlier in the evening on the 31st you can enjoy the Essential Cinema selection of Kenji Mizoguchi's The Life Of Oharu, also at the Marchesa.
Notable bookings at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz this week include Ridley Scott's Alien (with new exclusive Mondo posters available) on Saturday and Sunday, a 35mm screening of Predator on Sunday, Alan Arkin's 1971 dark comedy Little Murders on Monday and Homo Arigato! will also host a rare Beta presentation of Thundercrack! Meanwhile, the Alamo Lakeline and Slaughter Lane will both serve up The Wolf Man for a classic horror treat this Saturday and Sunday.
It's a crowded weekend at the movies in Austin. Polari (formerly the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival) is in full swing at venus across the city until Sunday. If you didn't get a badge for the fest, $10 individual tickets will be available for most screenings (capacity permitting) including PJ Raval's powerhouse doc Before You Know It. Raval will also be hosting a special Austin Film Society presentation of Paris Is Burning in 35mm on Wednesday night at the Marchesa.
The Austin Film Society's "Terror In The Aisles" series continues tonight at the Marchesa and Sunday with a 35mm screening of the 1960 Hammer Horror film The Brides Of Dracula. Essential Cinema's focus on the masters of Japanese cinema will also deliver Kenji Mizoguchi's 1946 film Utamaro And His Five Women at the Marchesa on Thursday in a 35mm print direct from Janus Films.
As always, there's a diverse slate of specialty programming on the books from the team at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah Silverman is performing on the comedy lineup at Fun Fun Fun Fest next month, so the festival has teamed up with the Alamo to screen her uproarious stand-up feature Jesus Is Magic tonight at the Ritz. Also at the Ritz this week: Anthony Perkins stars in the 1968 film Pretty Poison (part of this month's "Mixed Nuts" series) screening in 35mm on Monday night, Neil Jordan's 1988 comedy High Spirits gets a Cinema Cocktails booking in 35mm on Tuesday and there's a special presentation of Night Of The Living Dead on Wednesday night featuring a live score from Bird Peterson.
I'll be out at Zilker Park this weekend for the second round of the Austin City Limits festival, but you can avoid the crowds (and potential thunderstorms) by hitting the movies. For those of you who missed out on Fantastic Fest this year, take note that several of this year's titles are opening or being featured with select screenings in town over the next week.
I am truly saddened that ACL is going to keep me away from Austin Film Society's 35mm booking of Peeping Tom, but it's one that you won't want to miss. It's the movie that basically destroyed Michael Powell's reputation upon release, but has since gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest thrillers of all time. It's playing tonight and again on Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa. An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story had its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year, and on Tuesday night AFS is bringing it to the Marchesa. Director Al Reinert, Michael Morton and Morton's long-time pro bono counsel John Raley will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Kurosawa's High And Low will also screen at the Marchesa in a glorious 35mm print from Janus Films on Thursday night as part of this month's Essential Cinema series.
My top Alamo picks for the weekend are the killer 70mm bookings happening at the Ritz (Star Trek IV and 2001: A Space Odyssey). The downtown location also has a rare 35mm screening of Elaine May's A New Leaf on Monday, Girlie Night serves up Hocus Pocus on Tuesday, and Ricky Jay will be appearing live for a Q&A on Wednesday night for a new documentary about him called Deceptive Practices. Fantastic Fest Presents The Dirties at Alamo Slaughter tonight and tomorrow for late shows. Debbie caught the film at Dallas IFF this year and strongly recommended it in her review. You can also head to Slaughter for a special showing of Robinson Crusoe On Mars tomorrow afternoon to go along with this month's space programming theme.
With the first of two Austin City Limits festival weekends upon us, our fair city is about to be taken over by music. That doesn't mean that things are totally dead when it comes to film events around town, but make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to deal with any crosstown traffic issues you may encounter while navigating.
The Austin Film Society is launching a new weekend series for October called "Terror In The Aisles: British Horror Films." The first selection on tap is Curse Of The Werewolf, a Hammer Horror classic that will be screening in 35mm tonight and again on Sunday at the Marchesa. There's a companion series happening at the AFS Screening Room every Monday night in October called "Made For TV Horror" that will be presented rare 16mm prints. This week's title is Dan Curtis' Dracula from 1974 and it stars Jack Palance as the legendary vampire.
Head back to the Marchesa on Wednesday night for a screening of the documentary Bayou Mararajah: The Tragic Genius Of James Booker. That film had its world premiere earlier this year during SXSW and tells the story of a musician whom Dr. John called "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." October also brings us a new round of Essential Cinema picks and they've got another exceptional lineup. "6 By 3 Japanese Master Filmakers: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Ozu" will feature five of those selections in 35mm prints direct from Janus Films. Thursday night, Kurosawa's Stray Dog will kick off the series at the Marchesa.
Some of you may be in a post-Fantastic Fest haze right now, but this is an incredibly active weekend for new releases and rep screenings in town. Living in Austin truly proves there's no rest for the wicked.
In terms of special events, the Capital City Black Film Festival is going on this weekend with screnings at the Stateside and the Omni Hotel. There's also a special benefit screening of the new film Parkland presented by the Austin Film Society at the Paramount on Sunday to raise money for The Volunteer Services Council of the Austin State Hospital. It includes a Q&A with director Peter Landesman. AFS also is behind Tuesday night's cast and crew advance screening of Machete Kills at the Paramount.
Other AFS screenings over the next week include the spaghetti western Sartana in an archival print, new release Paradise: Hope and the Orthodox drama Ushpizin (presented in conjunction with the Austin Jewish Film Festival), all Sunday at the Marchesa. The latest Essential Cinema series "A Darkened Screen: Films That Were Banned" is wrapping up on Thursday night at the Marchesa with a 35mm blowup print of Abel Ferrara's notorious Driller Killer.