Movies This Week
It's another busy week in area theaters, but as we start ramping up into awards season that isn't going to change too much through the end of the year. We've got a lot of new releases out this weekend along with the ninth annual Austin Polish Film Festival, which got underway yesterday at the Marchesa. The fest will screen new Polish cinema, restored classic films recommended by Martin Scorsese ... even a children's matinee of Disney's Frozen dubbed in Polish on Saturday morning.
At Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, a 35mm print of John Carpenter's Halloween screens on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. If you're looking for even more vintage scares, check out Night Of The Living Dead (with a live score by Bird Peterson) on Sunday night, Monday night's Universal Horror double feature with The Mummy in 35mm paired with the alternate Spanish version of Dracula, which runs 25 minutes longer than the Tod Browning film and Girlie Night's presentation of Hocus Pocus on Tuesday.
Tonight and tomorrow, Alamo South Lamar has the annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival, which "shines a spotlight on films that positvely and accurately represent disability." This year the fest features award-winning short films along with Musical Chairs tonight and The Little Tin Man, an indie release that screened at the Austin Film Festival last year (Marcelena's review) on Saturday evening.
Austin Film Society continues their "Art Horror" series this month at the Marchesa with a 35mm print of Masaki Kobayashi's 1964 ghost story anthology, Kwaidan. Tonight's screening is actually a Free Member Friday event, so if you're an AFS member you won't have to pay a dime for this horror classic. It will also screen again on Sunday at noon. Also on Sunday, you can check out the 2013 documentary The Sarnos: A Life In Dirty Movies, which examines the life and career of sexploitation director Joe Sarno and his wife Peggy. It will be paired with Joe's 1966 feature Moonlighting Wives on Sunday evening.
There is a lot of rep activity at Alamo Drafthouse theaters this week and we'll start off by looking at what is going down at the Ritz. You can catch Guys And Dolls in 35mm for "Broadway Brunch" on Saturday and Sunday, and Kubrick's big-screen classic 2001: A Space Odyssey will be screening in 70mm on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. A "Cinema Cocktails" screening of Death Becomes Her on Sunday night in 35mm (if it's the same beautiful print that played during "MerylThon," it's well worth scoping a ticket), a digital restoration of The Astrologer fresh from Fantastic Fest also on Sunday evening, a very rare screening of In The Land Of The Headhunters from 1914 for its 100th anniversary on Monday night, and what could be an oddly perfect double feature: Little Monsters and Phantasm in 35mm on Tuesday night.
Alamo Slaughter Lane quite appropriately has Sofia Coppola's scrumptious Marie Antoinette for "Afternoon Tea" on Saturday afternoon and quote-along screenings of Shaun Of The Dead will be happening on both Sunday and Thursday nights. Alamo Village will screen Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby on Sunday night and the anime classic Ninja Scroll (presented with subtitles) on Thursday. Alamo South Lamar goes back to 1948 for their Halloween pick this weekend with Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. They'll also host sing-alongs for Little Shop Of Horrors on Tuesday and Thursday. South Lamar will also be hanging on to limited evening screenings of the new Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days On Earth and the excellent thriller The Guest all week long, both are worth catching on the big screen.
While the first of two weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival will create an influx of out-of-towners and even more traffic than usual, local theaters offer more choices than ever for those of you not braving Zilker Park. There are no less than 10 new releases opening, but first I want to focus on this week's specialty screenings.
The Austin Film Society is kicking off their "Art Horror" series for October with Andrzej Zulawski's Possession. Released in 1981, the film stars Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani and plays out like a paranoid fever dream. Beautifully shot with an incredible score, it's screening in 35mm at the Marchesa tonight, Sunday afternoon and again on Tuesday evening so there's no excuse for missing this one! On Wednesday, Doc Nights will feature Las Marthas with director Cristina Ibarra in attendance for a Q&A and Essential Cinema's "The Films Of Satyajit Ray" series this month will turn to 1964's Charulata (The Lonely Wife) on Thursday night.
Highlights of the specialty programming at our area Alamo Drafthouse locations this week: a few great horror films selected for October including Shaun Of The Dead (screening in 35mm) at Ritz on Saturday and Sunday, The Thing at South Lamar on Sunday and Tuesday and The Exorcist at Village on Sunday. The Village also has Jackie Chan's Supercop on Tuesday for their "Eastern Fury" series. Also of note this week: the Ritz will be screening a real rarity on Saturday afternoon called Corn's-A-Poppin'. Co-written by Robert Altman and shot in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, this is a 1955 musical comedy that the Drafthouse site calls "a singularly quirky exercise in regional filmmaking."
We're in full-blown recovery mode from another amazing year of Fantastic Fest, but there is truly no rest for the wicked around here. Not only do we have a handful of intriguing new releases, but plenty of specialty screenings will have you racing back into the theater, no matter how many films you saw last week.
Tonight, the Austin Film Society is hosting a selection of eight short films from this year's Sundance Film Festival. With a mix of fiction, documentary and awardwinning short films, this 94-minute program includes the acclaimed debut from actress Rose McGowan entitled Dawn. You can catch it this eveing at the Marchesa. Head back there on Sunday afternoon as programmer Lars Nilsen schools you about Lee Tso Nam's The Hot, The Cool & The Vicious and screens it in a 35mm print. Essential Cinema dives into the "Films Of Satyajit Ray" for October and it begins on Thursday with 1963's Mahanagar (The Big City).
At the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, Sunday night brings us a special "Cinema Cocktails" screening of An American In Paris with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, while Key Largo will screen in 35mm on Monday night wrapping up the "Bogart & Bacall" series. A brand new 4K digital restoration of Jaws is headed back to the Alamo Lakeline and Slaughter Lane locations this Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Tickets are still available for a double-feature feast of The Godfather on Sunday. Check this link for menu & tickets. Alamo Lakeline will be hosting Afternoon Tea on Saturday afternoon with Agnieszka Holland's beautiful 1993 adaptation of the classic children's tale The Secret Garden. It's a mother-daughter themed event with appetizers and tea provided by Austin's own Zhi Tea.
With Fantastic Fest taking over the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar for the next week, not nearly as many specialty screenings as usual are going on in town. You will not, however, notice a lack of new releases in area theaters. I'll track those down below, but first I'll take a look at what is going on across town if you aren't engaging with the fest.
On Tuesday, the Austin Film Society will be screening Antonioni's 1966 mod classic Blow Up at the Marchesa. This special evening includes a 60s themed cocktail hour starting at 6:30 pm, complete with a "complimentary 60s themed hair and nail bar" courtesy of the Aveda Institute. The film will be introduced by Ned Rifkin at 7:30 pm. Bonus: if you show up dressed in your favorite 60s clothes, you may win a prize for the evening.
The AFS Screening Room is the place to be on Wednesday night for a special evening programmed with French Avant Garde Cinema of the 1920s. This collection will feature shorts from Jean Epstein, Rene Clair, Fernand Leger, Germaine Dulac and Marcel Duchamp. Finally for the week, you can head back to the Marchesa for the Essential Cinema "Masterpieces Of Polish Cinema, Selected by Martin Scorsese" series. They'll be screening a restored DCP of Wojciech Has' epic Saragossa Manuscript from 1965.
The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is turning the spotlight on some of their favorite films of the year this week by bringing in The Dance Of Reality, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Don's review), Obvious Child (Elizabeth's review), The Raid 2 and We Are The Best! (my review) for select showtimes. Each screening is just $5 and these films are all worth checking out on the big screen if you missed them or just want to see them again.
Also at the Ritz this week: Broadway Brunch returns with The Music Man in 35mm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Howard The Duck screens on Sunday with a live Q&A featuring Val Mayerik (a co-creator of the original comic), the original 1987 Robocop on Sunday for Tough Guy Cinema, a rare 35mm screening of The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford on Tuesday and A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 35mm for Terror Tuesday's "Fredtember."
Alamo Slaughter is bringing back Chef this weekend. They've also got Singin' In The Rain on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday (as does the Alamo Lakeline). Alamo South Lamar will be hosting aGLIFF (Caitlin's preview) all weekend. Individual tickets for most shows can be purchased if you don't have a festival badge, capacity permitting. The Alamo is also teaming up with the Austin Classical Guitar Society for a very special screening this evening of The Unknown. This silent classic stars Lon Cheney Sr. and Joan Crawford and it is going to be presented with a live score composed by the European duo Les Freres Meduses for two guitars and violin. They'll be performing it live in the theater with William Fedkenheuer from the Miro Quartet.
It's one of those rare weekends where there are basically no wide releases entering the marketplace. OK, there's an Ashley Judd movie aimed at the faith-based crowds, but that's all that is headed for the multiplexes (ensuring another easy week at the top of the box office for Guardians). That has left an especially adventurous week of bookings with lots of smaller titles hitting town, including the latest from Roman Polanski that we had assumed was never going to play in Austin. Before I show you the new releases, let's take a look at this week's specialty programming.
While the Paramount 100 will continue on, the official Paramount Summer Classic Film Series is coming to a close this weekend with the Texas-based epic Giant (which Don just revisited in Lone Star Cinema). Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean star in this classic drama which will run in 35mm on Saturday evening (complete with a party for Film Fan Members) and Sunday afternoon.
Over at the Marchesa, the Austin Film Society is debuting a new digital restoration of Orson Welles' Othello this week. It will play Sunday afternoon and again Tuesday night. AFS also has a one-off screening of a new IFC release called War Story on Sunday. Catherine Keener stars in this selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival which is also available on cable and digital VOD. This month's Essential Cinema series features "Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, Selected by Martin Scorsese." On Thursday night, master filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski's 1987 film Blind Chance screens from a digital restoration.
Heading into a three-day holiday weekend, it's fairly quiet in terms of blockbuster releases (it won't be a surprise if Guardians Of The Galaxy continues to top the box-office chart despite recent newcomers), but Austin has plenty of specialty screenings to catch your attention.
Austin Film Society is screening Roger Corman's bizarre postapocalyptic 1971 film Gas-s-s-s screening tonight and again on Sunday afternoon in 35mm at the Marchesa. On Wednesday night, AFS will also be offering a preview screening of No No: A Dockumentary (Caitlin's review) with director Jeffrey Radice, producer Mike Blizzard and editor Sam Wainwright Douglas in attendance. The film, which premiered at SXSW earlier this year, tells the story of how Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while on LSD in the 1970s. It's expected to open at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar next weekend and will also be available on VOD. We also get a new Essential Cinema series, "Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, Selected by Martin Scorsese," which will start Thursday night with Andrzej Wajda's 1958 classic Ashes and Diamonds.
Only a few more films are left in this year's Summer Classic Film Series at the Paramount Theatre, which wraps up next weekend. You can catch a 70mm print of Kubrick's Spartacus this evening and then a 70mm print of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday and Thursday you can catch a double feature of two of the best films of the 50s: Sirk's All That Heaven Allows and Laughton's The Night Of The Hunter, both in 35mm.
The Austin Film Society teams up with aGLIFF tonight to bring the new documentary To Be Takei (my review for Paste) to the Marchesa for a one-off screening. It's a touching and genuinely funny profile of George Takei, whose career has taken him from Star Trek to social media icon and gay rights activist. This month's Roger Corman series continues this weekend with X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes. This 1963 thriller screens tonight and again on Sunday in a 35mm print. On Wednesday night, AFS presents SXSW doc Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Don's review) and then the Barbara Stanwyck Essential Cinema series will close Thursday with Ball Of Fire. Screening in 35mm, this classic 1941 Howard Hawks comedy, written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, pairs Stanwyck with Gary Cooper.
Over at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, The Complete David Lynch series is winding down but has several more gems on the way. This weekend, they've got a 35mm print of Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard on Saturday and Sunday as part of the "influences" sidebar of this series. Ingmar Bergman's 1968 feature Hour Of The Wolf also screens as an influence title on Monday night. The last feature film from David Lynch in the series happens on Wednesday night, 2006's Inland Empire. He hasn't made a full-length film since and this 3-hour surrealist epic will start a little earlier (at 6:45 pm) due to its length. A few extra afternoon matinees of Inland Empire are thrown in on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Also at the Ritz, there's a Robin Williams Memorial Screening of The Fisher King on Sunday afternoon (with all proceeds being donated to Comic Relief) and a Zzang!!! screening of The Monster Squad on Sunday night.
There's a very special event tonight at the Alamo Slaughter Lane. DJ/Producer/Record Label Owner Andy Votel is going to be on hand for Kleksploitation, an "entirely re-contextualised version of [Andrzej] Zulawski's psychedelic, proto-electric scores for the cult Pan Kleks trilogy of children's films from the 1980s with live DJ accompaniment." Slaughter (and Lakeline) also will be screening Reservoir Dogs again on Sunday and Wednesday.
The Austin Film Society's "Films Of Roger Corman" series (Jette's preview) continues this weekend at the Marchesa with 1961's The Pit And The Pendulum starring Vincent Price. Tonight's screening is a Free Member Friday event for any members of AFS (with General Admission tickets also available). It will also screen again on Sunday afternoon. Tom Gilroy's The Cold Lands is scheduled for a "Best of the Fests" booking on Tuesday at the Marchesa and Thursday's Essential Cinema selection features Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth's preview) in William Wellman's Lady Of Burlesque. This extrememly rare 35mm print is on loan from the Library Of Congress, making it a night you won't want to miss!
Austin Film Society is also presenting the Texas premiere of Sin City: A Dame To Die For in 3D on Wednesday evening at the Paramount. Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and (just announced!) Frank Miller will be in attendance for an introduction, post-screening Q&A and at the after party. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who appears on the soundtrack, whill also be at the screening. Tickets, including VIP packages, are available on the Paramount's website.
Cinema East will be hosting Above All Else (Don's SXSW review) on Sunday night on the lawn of the French Legation Museum. There's only one more film in this summer's series after this, so head out for this all-ages, BYOB-friendly event. Doors are at 7 pm and the film will begin at 9. This documentary had its world premiere at SXSW this year and examines the battle over the Keystone XL oil pipeline, introducing us to an environmental activist from East Texas who tried to block it.