Rolling Roadshow

Photo Essay: A Hill Country Flyer Jaunt to See 'Snowpiercer'


I had little idea what to expect from the movie Snowpiercer, as I had not even seen a trailer. But buzz for the movie had been overwhelmingly positive, and Tim League and the crew of the Alamo Drafthouse throw some of the best parties around -- so I found myself in a line late Saturday afternoon to board the Hill Country Flyer for a trip to Burnet and a Rolling Roadshow presentation of the film with director Bong Joon-ho in attendance for a Q&A.

Stuntin' with the Off-Centered Film Fest 2014


Andy Samberg in 'Hot Rod'Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery returns to Austin for the seventh annual Off-Centered Film Fest at Alamo Drafthouse. This year's theme for the multi-day event is "Stuntin'," dedicated to the daredevil spirit. The opening celebration will be held at Fiesta Gardens on Thursday, April 24 at 6 pm, with an outdoor 35mm screening of the comedy Hot Rod, starring Andy Samberg.

Special guests for the evening event's include The Lonely Island -- Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, as well as Calagione and representatives of the Central Texas brewing community. Ticket sales will also include an option to donate to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG).

"We are extremely pleased to have the support of Alamo Drafthouse and Sam Calagione, and this tangibly demonstrates of the collaborative nature of American craft brewers," said Charles Vallhonrat, TCBG executive director. "This event is a great opportunity to showcase some of the wonderful craft beers that are available in Texas from both Dogfish and our Texas brewers, while supporting the work of the Guild to educate, advocate and promote for Texas craft beer."

Catching 'Twister' at the Rolling Roadshow Drive-In


After a couple of days sleeping off my turkey coma, I found my way out to Spiderwood Studios for the third installment of the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow series: Road Rage Drive-In which in previous weeks showed The Legend of Billie Jean and Wild at Heart. The November 24 selection was one of my favorite disaster movies, Twister, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as well as future stars Zach Grenier, Jeremy Davies and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

This year Twister turned sweet 16, and I was eager to relive one of its most intense scenes, set in a drive-in theater, while watching it in an actual drive-in. Unfortunately, the weather did not want to cooperate, and there were to be no thunderstorms this weekend. I found the setting wasn't quite as I'd hoped as well, though it was still an entertaining evening.

Off-Centered Film Festival: 'Blazing Saddles' and Awards

The Alamo Drafthouse recently hosted the fifth annual Off-Centered Film Festival with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, who once again brought along his filmmaker and actor pals Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio (seen above with Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League). Several hundred craft beer and film fans filled Republic Park in downtown Austin to watch the classic Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles on the first night of the festival.

Calagione was extremely vocal about his support for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and their growth and legislative efforts in Texas, both during the event by rallying folks to donate at the pie booth as well as part of a panel after the film. I accompanied Calagione as he tried various craft beers at the festival, and was impressed by his thoroughness in familiarizing himself with the new brewers and attentiveness to his devoted fans. By far, Calagione received more attention from attendees than Marino and Truglio who seemed quite content to relax with a craft beer and quote along with the film.

See more photos from the Rolling Roadshow event and find out who the winners were of the fifth annual film competition after the jump.

Quick Snaps: 'Blood Simple' Rolling Roadshow


Rolling Roadshow: Blood Simple at Dessau Hall

The Alamo Drafthouse creative team and programmers have come up with some exciting and memorable Rolling Roadshow locations throughout the years. Whether watching Jaws on Lake Travis while floating on innertubes or enjoying Strange Brew with local microbreweries and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewing (my interview with Sam) -- audiences can count on a memorable experience. Through partnerships with local sponsors, the Alamo Drafthouse has offered free screenings every summer in locations such as Republic Park, Fiesta Gardens and Central Market's patio lawn. This summer the Alamo Drafthouse has been hosting the first all-Texas Rolling Roadshow in collaboration with Texas Monthly.

Alamo Drafthouse CEO/founder Tim League was one of five experts who debated the ten greatest Texas movies of all time for the Texas Monthly "No Country for Bad Movies" feature. After much debate, the panel came up with a list that fills the bill of the 2011 Rolling Roadshow to celebrate film in Texas. Austin was selected as one of the iconic locations to host the Rolling Roadshow screening for Joel and Ethan Coen's directorial debut, Blood Simple. Their "redneck noir" film was shot on location in Texas, including Houston, Austin, Hutto and Round Rock.

The landmark Austin music venue Dessau Hall was the set for Marty's bar in the movie and was the location of the Blood Simple screening in early June. Now known as El Gran Mexicano Club, the hall has hosted musical legends over its long history, including Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Hank Williams and a young Elvis Presley.

Despite hitting triple-digit degrees in early June, the Austin audience enjoyed a brief respite from the heat with cooler temperatures for the show. The screening also debuted the "Don't Talk" Alamo Drafthouse bumper, which has gone viral to the point of international recognition. An afterparty featuring the well-known local band The Derailers took place immediately following the screening. Were it not for the Mexicano banner on the stage wall, it was not hard to imagine Ernest Tubbs or Hank Williams onstage. See more photos from the event after the jump.

Who Wants to Watch 'Buried' While Buried?


Ryan Reynolds in BuriedTO: Fearless Slackerwood Contributors

FROM: Most Fabulous Editor

SUBJECT: Newly announced Fantastic Fest 2010 opportunities

Folks, we've just received a press release from Fantastic Fest about another movie they've added to the lineup -- Buried, which stars Ryan Reynolds as a guy who wakes one morning to find himself, well, buried, and has to figure out where and why and how to get out. Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortes will be in attendance at the screening, which will take place on opening night at the Paramount after Let Me In. Of course a couple of us will cover the red carpet, and I'm looking for especially good photos of Ryan Reynolds ... and yes, this is one of those occasions where you can send the best close-ups directly to me. Especially if he's a bit sweaty in the Texas heat. Ahem. Okay.

But that's not why I'm contacting you right now. In addition to the splashy gala screening during Fantastic Fest, Rolling Roadshow is holding a special screening of Buried in Austin on Saturday, September 18 called "Rolling Roadshow for One." I'd like it if you all would immediately head over to the Facebook invitation page for this event and sign up, even though only four people will be selected for the screening. I figure if all of you sign up, we have a good chance of someone being picked, and then we can get a review posted right on time for this movie as well as a fascinating feature about this unique Rolling Roadshow event.

Miss Drive-Ins? How About a Bike-In This Saturday?


Pee-Wee's Big AdventureIf you're at odds for something to do this weekend before the Memorial Day barbecues, the (Original) Alamo team has been thinking of you. The next Rolling Roadshow event in Austin is going to be a "bike-in" screening of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure downtown on Saturday night, May 23, at 8 pm.

As the event description says, "Fun didn't exist until Pee-Wee invented it, and now the most funrocious, funtacular, fungorious funsplosion in the history of FUN will be presented on the big BIG screen in a gorgeous 35MM print!"

Bicycles are optional. The screening will take place outdoors in the lot by Progress Coffee.

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.

Crazy Austin Premiere of 'Baghead' on Thursday

Baghead cast at SXSW screening

Last week, for the first time, I used the term "neener-neener-neener" in the title of something I'd written. My inner six-year-old was too excited that instead of an NYC premiere, and Austin getting the movie a month later (which you know is the unfortunate norm), Baghead was going to start its limited run right here in Austin, and New Yorkers would just have to wait to see the Duplass brothers' latest film. You can read the details of the release strategy in my "Neener" article for Cinematical. I am sure that Jay and Mark Duplass would be pleased to hear that they were an indirect cause of juvenile glee for Austinites.

Baghead also gives Austin the pleasure of hosting the kind of premiere you don't normally see in Manhattan -- out in the woods, with free s'mores for audience members. Austin Film Society and Alamo's Rolling Roadshow have cooked up Thursday night's screening out at Star Hill Ranch, where parts of the movie were shot. Tickets are still available through the AFS site. If you really want to get fancy, you can pay extra for a multi-course feast before the film. Jay and Mark Duplass will be there too ... with bags on their heads? Who knows?

Check out the email interview I did with the Duplass brothers before SXSW this year, in which they offer deep and meaningful insight into the inspirations for Baghead. The photo above is from the Q&A after the Baghead screening at SXSW and while it's far from the best photo I took, it captures the attitude of cast and crew at the time. I have to say, I saw the official trailer for the film this weekend, and it doesn't quite capture the fact that this is a funny movie, poking fun at what people have called "mumblecore" as well as adding a splash of horror.

If you can't make it to Thursday night's screening, you can catch Baghead in Austin at Alamo on South Lamar and the Arbor. You can enjoy not only the movie itself, but the satisfaction of seeing it before the rest of the country. Neener!

Stop What You're Doing ...


Go read this blog entry from Tim League about the Stand by Me screening in Brownsville, Oregon during the Rolling Roadshow's national tour. The events surrounding the screening included a hands-free blueberry pie-eating contest, in which Tim participated as "The Glory Chomper." This is the funniest thing I've read all week. I'd include one of the many photos, but I need to check with Alamo before I go grabbing their images. Fortunately, they have an entire Flickr photo set devoted to the Stand by Me events.

In other Alamo food-related news, I am still recuperating from the Simpsons feast last night. It was truly amazing and I could barely move afterwards. I felt like Homer. I kind of still do. I tried to take some photos, which I hope to share with you all soon. Right now I don't think I could look at the photos, though. I suspect that "casserole of a thousand donuts" expanded to full size after I ate it.

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