Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo's Bruce Campbell Video

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I just finished a review and an interview for Cinematical. The review is for the movie My Name is Bruce, which played at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz last weekend. The interview is with the film's director/star, Bruce Campbell. While I'm waiting for these stellar gems of writing to be published, here's a treat for the other Bruce Campbell fans out there: video from the Q&A session that Campbell held after the first Austin screening of his film:

Thanks to Anne Heller and Alamo Drafthouse for the clip. I'm hoping to share a photo or two from the event soon, as well as the outtakes from my interview, but we all know that my intent doesn't always align perfectly with my workload. Meanwhile, I did publish some photos to my Flickr page.

Following Austin Film on Twitter

I don't know how many of you are using Twitter, the Web-based application you also can use with your phone's text-messaging service for microblogging, social interaction, and internet whatnot. I may be describing Twitter all wrong. Omar Gallaga has a good article about it here. It's one of those newfangled Web trends the kids are all crazy about. Except that in this case, it's not only "the kids" using Twitter -- lots of Austin film groups, festivals and online publications are sharing interesting bits of info via Twitter.

Here's a list of Twitter accounts (after the jump) that you can follow if you want to keep up with Austin film news and events and gossip. I'm only including publicly accessible accounts, not the private ones. If I missed anyone, please feel free to add your Twitter info in the comments.

We Interrupt This Blog for OMG Fredric March Comedies!

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Nothing SacredI just found out that Austin Film Society's next series will be "I Married a Witch: Fredric March's Comic Curse" and I immediately started jumping up and down a lot and making little happy noises because I love 1930s comedies with Fredric March in them. The series starts on Oct. 21 (during Austin Film Festival, damn it) with Design for Living and continues on Tuesday nights at Alamo on South Lamar with more fabulous films: Nothing Sacred, Death Takes a Holiday, I Married a Witch and The Best Years of Our Lives, through Nov. 18.

A funny related story: Four years ago, AFS did another Thirties-ish series I loved, focused around the comedies of Jean Arthur. I especially remember one movie they showed that isn't on DVD: If You Could Only Cook, a cute little comedy from 1935 that ends with an amusing "runaway groom" sequence. But what I most remember about this movie is that I saw it on my birthday that year: November 2, 2004, the day of the U.S. Presidential election. The election returns started coming in while we were watching the movie. And I suspect it was a rather liberal crowd, because after the movie ended we all poured into the little Alamo lobby (the old downtown one on Colorado) and looked at a TV and everyone who was so cheered up and distracted by the lovely Depression-era escapist film seemed to visibly deflate at the news that President Bush had been re-elected. But for 90 minutes, that movie managed to distract us entirely from current politics, and it was one of the best parts of my birthday that year.

Nothing Sacred, one of my favorite movies, is showing on Election Day this year -- Nov. 4, not my birthday. Still, I think I'm going to try a little escapism again. It's so good for the soul. If you don't want to sit tensed-up in front of a TV with your stomach in knots, wondering if your candidate will win, I strongly suggest joining us for delightful romps with Fredric March and Carole Lombard ... not to mention a fabulous supporting cast, including Walter Connolly as an editor named Oliver Stone. Coincidence? Hmm.

Local Bruce Campbell Fans, Get Ready

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Update, 10/6: Tickets to a third show, at midnight, were also added ... and all three shows have sold out. We sure love us some Bruce Campbell here in Austin.

Update, 10/4: Alamo has scheduled a second screening at 10 pm on the same evening. Tickets will go on sale online on Monday, October 6, at 3 pm.

Update, 10/3, 3:15 pm: It appears that the tickets sold out in under 5 minutes. Wow.

I probably shouldn't be telling you this, because it only increases the number of people who will be trying to get tickets. If I end up not getting into the event, I can only blame myself.

Alamo at the Ritz is screening the film My Name is Bruce on Sunday, October 26. The director and star of the movie, Bruce Campbell, will be in attendance. If you don't know who Bruce Campbell is, this may not be the best movie to introduce you to the actor -- go rent Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness instead. (Or go to Hulu and watch some episodes of Burn Notice.) But I know some of you are out there making little happy squealing noises, and I won't mention you by name because some of us may feel we're a little too old to get squeaky over actors coming to town. Ahem. See? I'm not making any squeaky noises whatsoever, at least not where any of you can see.

My Name is Bruce is about a town that is terrorized by a monster of some sort, and the townspeople decide that they should get Ash from the Evil Dead movies to fight the creature. So they track down Bruce Campbell, the actor, and get him involved. Reviews have supposedly been mixed but I am not reading any because I do not want to lose my enthusiasm for this film, despite the fact that I figure if I sat through The Man with the Screaming Brain and did not find it unentertaining, I will probably enjoy watching this film even if it's not spectacular.

Tickets go on sale online on Friday, October 3 -- tomorrow -- at 3 pm. My husband is threatening to bring a container of yogurt to the screening and asking Mr. Campbell to sign it. We'll see.

Meanwhile, if you are such a diehard Bruce Campbell fan that you can't wait until October 26, check out tonight's free Terror Thursday screening of Mindwarp at midnight at Alamo Ritz. If I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn on Friday, I'd be there.

Movies This Week: Between Festivals

Fantastic Fest is finally over, and Austin Film Festival is still a few weeks away. Now's the time for local film-fest geeks to catch up on the mainstream movies they've been missing (pssst ... go see Burn After Reading). Or maybe it's time to look beyond the film festivals and find all kinds of interesting events occurring in the next week or so. Here are a few screenings you might not want to miss.

  • Austin Film Society is going outdoors at just the right time of year. On Wednesday, you can watch Dirt Road to Psychedelia for free at Republic Square Park -- live music at 7 pm, movie starts at 8 pm. This documentary about Austin during the 1960s and 1970s sounds like lots of fun.
  • In fact, why not make a night of it on Wednesday? After you finish your movie in the park, head over to Alamo at the Ritz at 9:30 pm for a free double-feature from 1960s exploitation filmmaker Joe Sarno: Abigail Lesley is Back and All the Sins of Sodom. Sarno will actually be at the screenings, too.

Free Fantastic Fest Films Tonight

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Just a quick FYI -- three popular films from Fantastic Fest this year are having encore screenings tonight at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. Anyone can see these films for free; you don't need a Fantastic Fest badge, just get there before the theater fills up. Here's the Sunday-night schedule:

4:05 pm -- Let the Right One In
7:00 pm -- Chocolate
10:00 pm -- Donkey Punch

I saw Let the Right One In last week and would absolutely recommend it -- it wasn't too gory for me. The title seems ill-fitting to this suspenseful and almost sweet horror film from Sweden about pre-teen love and vampirism. The writer/director of Cloverfield was just signed to do an American remake -- it's going to be difficult to capture the delicate relationships in the original film. I didn't get to see Chocolate -- it kept playing at midnight on evenings when I was too tired to stick around -- but hope to catch it at some point, if not tonight.

Austin Movie News, Briefly (Fantastic Fest-Free Edition)

Zoe Bell at Grindhouse premiere in Austin, April 2007For those of you who want a break from our Fantastic Fest coverage (which has only just begun, to channel The Carpenters slightly), here's a round-up of other film news and events around Austin:

  • Catch the documentary Please Vote for Me on Wednesday night at 7 pm at Alamo Ritz, as part of the Austin Film Society's Texas Doc Tour. Doc Tour screenings often sell out in advance; get tickets on the AFS website. [via Austinist]
  • You might spot celebrities in Austin from the production of Whip It during the next week -- keep an eye out for Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, and other cast members. My big question: Will there be Zoe Bell (shown at right)? [via the Statesman's Out and About blog]

Quick Snaps: Fantastic Fest Photos on Flickr

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 The lobby

I finally posted a Flickr set for my Fantastic Fest photos from 2006 and 2007. After this year's Fantastic Fest, I'll update the set with more photos, and this time I'll try to be speedier about it.

My favorite photo in the set is probably this one from Fantastic Fest 2007, of Wiley Wiggins and Tim League. I used a compact point-and-shoot digital camera for both years of the fest, and while it fits great in a purse and can take lovely photos in the sunshine, it totally sucks for dark theaters. That's why you see so many dim and poorly focused shots -- Richard Kelly is at least recognizable, but George A. Romero and Paul Thomas Anderson are barely more than blurs.

That's not happening this year, now that I have a digital SLR camera. I'm still learning the basics, but even with everything on automatic settings I can snap a far better photo in low-light than I ever could with my itty-bitty camera. If you don't believe me, check out my set of photos from the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards earlier this year. Morgan Fairchild and ZZ Top are not blurs (Mike Judge comes close, but he barely stood still). If the Fantastic Fest screening of Zack and Miri Make a Porno includes a red-carpet event, hopefully I can snap some photos of Kevin Smith and compare them to my first red-carpet experience. Links to more sets of Fantastic Fest photos after the jump.

Tim League Interview on KUT

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Hellboy 2 screening

Tim League, co-founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, recorded a half-hour interview with John Aielli of KUT this morning. They talk about the upcoming Fantastic Fest. The interview highlights some of the movies scheduled to screen. You can listen to it at the KUT site.

[Photo of Guillermo del Toro and Tim League from Alamo's Hellboy 2 preview screening, courtesy of Jette Kernion]

Milkshakes for Everyone at Alamo's 'Hellboy 2' Preview

I have great photos and amusing tales from last night's Hellboy 2 screening at Alamo to share with you, but I'm on deadline with a review of that same movie right now. So for the moment, I'll leave you one of my favorite images of the evening. In the middle of the post-screening Q&A, someone brought milkshakes to all the special guests. Doug Jones, Guillermo del Toro, and Mike Mignola continued answering questions from the audience while sipping their frosty non-alcoholic (I think ...) beverages.

The miracle was not that the milkshakes materialized mid-discussion, nor that the speakers appeared to enjoy them (Alamo shakes are universally beloved, I believe), but that not a single person in the packed audience or up at the front of the room made an "I drink your milkshake!" comment, despite the fact that we were in the very Austin theater where There Will Be Blood unofficially had its world premiere during Fantastic Fest last year, and the audience consisted primarily of Fantastic Fest 2008 badgeholders. I was tempted to make reference to the quote in the title, but I think that line's days are behind us, and will simply conclude by wishing I had one of those Alamo shakes right-damn-now, to enjoy while I struggle with finishing my review of Hellboy 2.

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