Movies This Week: September 19-25, 2014


The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby 

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.

Even though Alamo South Lamar will be full for Fantastic Fest, some great rep screenings are occurring at the Drafthouse other locations across town this week. Alamo Slaughter Lane will host the "Shiner Soundtrack" series on Tuesday night with a 4K digital restoration of The Graduate. Slaughter Lane and Lakeline are also going to continue screening the original 1987 Robocop for a few more select screenings from Saturday through Wednesday. On Sunday, the Alamo Ritz is presenting a 35mm double feature of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. The first film will screen in afternoon matinees on Monday and Tuesday and then the double feature screens again on Wednesday.

Also at the Ritz this week: Dark Passage plays on Monday night in 35mm as part of the "Bogart & Bacall" series and the Hitchcockian, sexually explicit gay thriller Stranger By The Lake also will screen on Monday night for the "Homo Arigato!" series. The Alamo Village is hosting David Bowie Is on Tuesday. This documentary from Hamish Hamilton examines an exhibition of Bowie's career from his archives that was created by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

The Austin Chronicle has teamed up with the Scoot Inn (at 1308 East 4th Street) for a fall series of music-themed movies that they're calling the "Historic Scoot Dive-Inn Theatre." This free event will feature Prince's classic Purple Rain on Tuesday night. The film begins at sunset and there will be food available for purchase as well as cocktail specials at the bar. The series will continue on through the end of October. 

Movies We've Seen

The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them (pictured above) - This is going to turn out to be one of the strangest indie film releasing decisions of the year. On the festival circuit, this actually played as two films (Him and Her, respectively) -- one from the man's point of view and one from the woman's. It's been edited into one film (Them) for release by the Weinstein Company, who will release the individual films in some markets later this year. Elizabeth has our review and says that while it "includes a few powerful moments" between stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, she's "not sure that's enough to make it memorable." (Regal Arbor, Violet Crown) 

Tusk - Fresh from playing Fantastic Fest yesterday afternoon with director Kevin Smith in attendance, this bizarre horror film is opening a touch too early to take advantage of Halloween audiences. The film stars Justin Long as a podcaster who is held hostage by a man who wants to turn him into a walrus. Jette saw this at the fest and says, "It's uneven -- some characters are not nearly as funny as the film thinks they are -- but Michael Parks and Long are excellent, and it's entertaining in a very odd way." Look for her review this weekend. (wide)

A Walk Among the Tombstones - Even though it feels as though Liam Neeson has been sleepwalking through his last several roles, this one is actually promising. Directed by Scott Frank (The Lookout), it features Neeson as an ex-cop who is now a private investigator on the hunt across New York City to find a drug dealer's kidnapped wife. Mike says in his review that it's "a solid thriller that still manages a few surprises." (wide)

Also Opening In Austin

My Old Lady - Kevin Kline inherits an apartment in Paris, only to find that it already has an elderly tenant (Maggie Smith) who is not interested in relocating. Based on that description alone, you probably didn't even need me to tell you where it is playing, did you? (Regal Arbor)

The Maze Runner - Based on the first book of James Dashner's young adult trilogy, Variety reports that the movie "feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven." (wide)

This Is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper adapated the screenplay of his own best-selling novel about a group of siblings who have reunited after the death of their father. The film has a stellar cast that includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Connie Britton, but the early reviews have not been kind. (wide)