Movies This Week: October 24-30, 2014

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Dear White People 

The 21st Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference is in full swing. Movies are taking place from now through Thursday at venues across town including the Paramount, Stateside and Hideout theaters downtown, Rollins Theater at the Long Center, both theaters at the Texas State History Museum and Alamo Drafthouse Village. Badges are still available to purchase for you procrastinators. Keep an eye out here on Slackerwood for daily reports and reviews from the fest.

The Alamo Ritz is going to be hosting a special event tomorrow afternoon with author Anne Helen Peterson, celebrating the release of her new book Scandals Of Classic Hollywood. She'll present a special double feature of 1927's It starring Clara Bow (35mm) and 1954's Carmen Jones starring Dorothy Dandridge (DCP) and discuss the tragic careers of both actresses. On Monday night, you can enjoy another Universal Horror double feature. This week, they've got Murders In The Rue Morgue (35mm) and The Black Cat (DCP). Later on Monday night, Homo Arigato! is delivering the super twisted Blood For Dracula (aka Andy Warhol's Dracula) with Udo Kier.

The recent 4K restoration of Ghostbusters is back at the Ritz on Tuesday night for a standard screening. The movie will also be presented as a quote-along on Thursday. If all that isn't cool enough, a new series entitled "Clint Eastwood: B-Sides" is launching on Wednesday night with a 35mm screening of Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty For Me. Also at the Drafthouse this week, Tim Burton's Beetlejuice is screening in 35mm at South Lamar on Sunday and Monday, Lakeline has a free kids' screening of The Secret Of NIMH on Monday night and Slaughter Lane will be hosting a Dazed and Confused Beer Dinner on Wednesday night 

The Austin Film Society's "Art Horror" series continues this Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa with a 35mm print of Silvio Amadio's Giallo thriller Amuck, from 1972. It will be followed by one more screening of Catherine Breillat's acclaimed new drama Abuse Of Weakness on Sunday evening. This will be your last chance to see this on the big screen locally and it's bound to be on lots of national year-end best-of lists, so don't miss out! Thursday night is another installment in this month's Essential Cinema series showing early work from Satyajit Ray. This week you can see a digitally restored edition of Nayak (The Hero) from 1966. 

It's the final week of the Scoot Inn/Austin Chronicle music movies series and they're turning it up to 11 on Tuesday night with This Is Spinal Tap. The film is free and will begin around sunset, with food available for purchase as well as special movie-themed cocktails at the bar. Attendees are encouraged to dress up for Halloween! 

Movies We've Seen

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) - The first feature film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu since 2010's Biutiful, this dark comedy stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. Mike says "Birdman is Michael Keaton's JCVD. Equal parts self-deprecating and triumphant, Keaton's performance as a parody of himself is phenomenal. Satire and homage, comedy and tragedy, Birdman presents the act of creation as metaphor for the act of creation as it explores the many acts of self-destruction required to make it happen." Look for his review this weekend. (Alamo South Lamar, Regal Arbor, Violet Crown Cinema)

John Wick - Starring Keanu Reeves, this action film was sitting at a rare pre-release 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (while it has now shifted down, it's still a respectable 87%). Debbie caught the movie during Fantastic Fest and raved that "the fight choreography is top-notch, but it's the smart and witty dialogue that had the audience truly engaged." (wide, also available in digital IMAX at the AMC Barton Creek and Regal Gateway; D-Box Motion Seating is also available at the Galaxy Highland)

Also Opening In Austin

The Blue Room - Mathieu Amalric (The Grand Budapest Hotel) directs and stars in this French thriller about a man involved in an affair with a married woman who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a police investigation. Based on the crime novel by Georges Simenon. (AMC Barton Creek)

Dear White People (pictured above) - One of the most buzzworthy movies of this year's Sundance Film Festival, writer/director Justin Simien debut feature has earned rave reviews and comparisons to Spike Lee's classic School Daze. Simien is in town for the Austin Film Festival, so he will attend tonight's 7:25 pm screening for a Q&A. (Alamo South Lamar)

Exists Eduardo Sanchez, one of the co-directors of The Blair Witch Project, returns with this horror film set in East Texas that debuted earlier this year at SXSW. It follows a group of friends on a camping trip who are stalked one by one by a monster. The Austin Chronicle said that Sanchez "uses the found footage approach to create intimacy with the characters." (Galaxy Highland, also available on VOD)

The Green Prince - Winner of the Audience Award for Best World Cinema Documentary at Sundance earlier this year, Nadav Schirman's film recounts the true story of a Hamas leader who become an informant for Israel. (Regal Arbor)

Harmontown Directed by Neil Berkeley (Beauty Is Embarrassing), this documentary is about Dan Harmon, creator of the sitcom "Community" and former writer for "The Sarah Silverman Program." The film is opening at the Alamo South Lamar with select showtimes each day, but it is also screening tonight at the Marchesa for an AFS event with Dan Harmon in attendance. That screening will be followed by a live podcast taping featuring LeVar Burton as MC! (Alamo South Lamar, also available on VOD)

Ouija A PG-13 horror film created by Hasbro based on a board game sounds promising, right? (wide)