I still have so much more to tell you about my time at Forever Fest. O-M-G. At the halfway mark on Saturday (read part 1 of my Forever Fest experience here), we were treated to the fierce spectacle that is Danceoke. Think karaoke, but for dancing.
This weekend I met my new BFFs - the Forever Fest audience! We laughed together, danced together and became one in our love of girlie pop culture. With pink streamers and feather boas, the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz was a welcoming sight on Friday evening, signaling that Forever Fest attendees were in for something truly, truly, truly outrageous. And Diary, IMHO it was GR8.
"Cheer when something romantic happens." These were our instructions from our fabulous leaders Brandy Fons and Sarah Pitre when introducing the opening-night film, Empire Records. We were treated to a 35mm print of the 1995 movie, which meant that we saw the theatrical cut, not the longer (more verbose) director's cut. Empire Records' perfect blend of laughs and angst still holds up today, making it a perfect starter to the festival.
When I say, "Rex Manning," do you smile in recognition or stare in confusion? This is a test of whether you are Forever Fest's target audience (Rex Manning is, of course, the obnoxious yet idolized pop singer from the movie Empire Records). The new film festival, which takes place November 1-3 at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, celebrates all things "girlie" pop culture ... I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it.
Slackerwood: How was Forever Fest first conceived?
Brandy Fons: Forever Fest was, in many ways, born during Fantastic Fest 2012. I had just seen and loved Pitch Perfect [a rather girlie film about college glee clubs], but I didn't allow myself to indulge because it was Fantastic Fest time and not many attendees were super interested in sharing my Pitch Perfect love. I was thinking about all the film festivals that Austin had to offer, and there really wasn't an option for the Pitch Perfect audience.
Then I started talking with Sarah about her audience that she had already built with her website Forever Young Adult for YA literature fans and the Girlie Night events at the Alamo Drafthouse, and I wondered if she wanted to partner. Some have called it the "little sister of Fantastic Fest," although I'm not quite sure I like "little."
The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD) hosts its tenth annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival and Short Film Competition this November 1 and 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.
The Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival was founded in 2004 by CTD staffer William Greer, with the goal to counter negative stereotypes about people with disabilities and to celebrate positive portrayals of disability culture. Since its inception, the festival has twice been awarded the Barbara Jordan Media Award for Special Contribution by an Organization.
Events from previous years have included a 2005 screening of What's Eating Gilbert Grape preceded by an interview with star Darlene Cates, an exclusive interview with Dr. Temple Grandin screened in conjunction with the 2009 feature Temple Grandin, and numerous other special guests.
You can buy tickets now for Friday, November 1 featuring the documentary Getting Up: The TEMPT ONE Story -- about graffiti artist Tempt One -- and for Saturday, November 2 featuring The Crash Reel -- a documentary about professional snowboarders. In addition to entry, the $10 tickets are vouchers you can redeem for $10 of food and drink from the Drafthouse menu. Both evening events also include short films from the competition and Q&As.
Last month Mondo announced a new venture into soundtracks produced on vinyl, starting with the limited edition release on black 180-gram vinyl, and randomly-inserted milky yellow/clear vinyl of the score created by "Chucky Namanera" for the science fiction thriller Timecrimes. This film about an ordinary man whose life is changed -- repeatedly -- by the consequences of traveling back in time by just one hour debuted at Fantastic Fest 2007 and found U.S. distribution shortly afterward.
Austin composer and writer Brian Satterwhite collaborated with Mondo on the project for this previously unreleased soundtrack, and hosted a special screening and Q&A of Timecrimes during this year's Fantastic Fest at the new Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline. A limited number of the LPs with artwork (pictured at right) including the cover by Australian artist and commercial illustration studio We Buy Your Kids was available for sale at the screening and online.
Namanera is actually the nom de plume of filmmaker Eugenio Mira (Grand Piano, Agnosia), who attended the special screening along with Timecrimes writer/director Nacho Vigalondo and producer Nahikari Ipina. Mira said he prefers to use an alias for his musical accomplishments to keep them separate from his work as a writer and director.
The Dwight Tilley Band's 1977 single "Looking For The Magic" played on repeat in my mind after last Monday's preview screening at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter of the horror flick You're Next, which first screened locally at Fantastic Fest 2011. It was life imitating art because the song played repeatedly throughout the movie. I even felt kind of bad that I was jammin' out to the song in my head while characters were being slaughtered left and right on screen.
I had to work to shake myself out of the power-pop stupor when two of the film's leads, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) and A.J. Bowen (A Horrible Way to Die and Austinite Emily Hagins' Grow Up, Tony Phillips) appeared on stage after the movie to discuss experiences on set and their feelings about each other, whiskey (thanks A.J. for sharing) and the film's Aug. 23 theatrical release. Some members of the large audience were wearing fox, tiger and lamb masks freakishly similar to those worn by the film's murderers.
Mondo, the collectible art division of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, will celebrate cinematic villains and monsters for its next gallery show, "A Rogue's Gallery," which runs from August 23 through September 14 here in Austin. The exhibit will include both prints and original works of art from popular Mondo artist Jason Edmiston. The show will feature stunning new work that celebrates all things evil from films like Ghostbusters, Robocop, They Live, The Terminator and many more.
The opening will take place Friday, August 23 from 7 to 10 pm with regular hours to follow for the show's duration. The Mondo Gallery is located at 4115 Guadalupe.
Check out some preview images and details from the artist after the jump (and find out who those evil eyes in the teaser image above belong to).
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz will showcase kick-ass women in Westerns in August, under the theme "She Died with Her Boots On: Women and the West." While my favorite female-led Western Cat Ballou didn't make the cut, the four films chosen look like a good blend of the slightly unusual, the bizarre and the more traditional, all featuring tough broads.
The movies will screen at Alamo Ritz at 7 pm on Wednesday nights:
Westward the Women (1951) -- Wednesday, August 14
Robert Taylor leads a large group of women from Chicago to meet their new husbands in California. The typical trail problems (rivers to cross, illness) beset them, along with other difficulties they must face as women (such as having a baby during the journey or being sexually assaulted).
I was lucky enough to take a tour of the newest addition to the Drafthouse family: Alamo Lakeline, just past where the old Alamo Lake Creek used to live. The theatre itself opened its doors on Monday, July 22, but a few members of the press got to walk around the building last week with Tim League, CEO and founder of the Drafthouse franchise. Tim let us know that this will be the largest Drafthouse in the country: The building is just shy of 36,000 square feet, will have 250 employees, 944 seats, 10 screens, 2 micro theatres, stadium seating -- the list truly goes on.
The interior theme of the new location is based on the original 1968 Planet of the Apes film. Film posters and foreign artwork from the movie line the halls of the lobby, giving it a modern sci-fi feel. Tim and General Manager Stephen Mason were most excited to reveal a piece of film history that Drafthouse moviegoers will appreciate: an exact replica of the Great Lawgiver statue, created and cast by Hollywood special effects creator Greg Nicotero. League and Mason said they think it will be a great photo opportunity for guests at the theatre (so get ready to see a lot of "POTA selfies" on social media).
[Editor's note: Please welcome new contributor Caitlin Moore to Slackerwood.]
It's clear that Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse launched in 2010, is serious about being a major player in the film world. More specifically, the world of film that many of us are particularly interested in -- the one filled with movies that are smart and a little off-kilter, or in their own words, "provocative, visionary, and artfully unusual."
Drafthouse Films has a few hits behind them and they show no sign of slowing down, so now would be a good time to catch up if you're a little behind. Beginning next week, Austin Film Society will offer some assistance when they present The New Voice: Drafthouse Films series, which consists of three of the distributor's most acclaimed titles thus far as well as an advance screening of The Act of Killing, a much buzzed-about documentary that will be more widely released later this summer. All four movies are worth your time, so take a look at the schedule if you're interested in watching, or rewatching, some of the more challenging film releases of the past couple years.
Bullhead -- Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, Michael R. Roskam's Bullhead (Don's review, Debbie's review) is a dark Belgian drama that explores the corrupt world of cattle farming. The narrative rests on the hulking, steroid-dependent shoulders of anti-hero Jacky (played by the incredible Matthias Schoenaerts), whose personal pain brings delicacy to what would otherwise be a traditional crime story. Tragic, gritty and intense, this memorable film showed early on that Drafthouse Films was serious about bringing strangeness of the highest quality to its audiences. (Wednesday, July 24 , 7:30 pm at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre)