Austin film lovers are recuperating this morning from the big Austin Film Society (AFS) 20th anniversary party last night. The party was held in the studio where the Rollergirls TV series was shot, and people kept wondering where in the world the tracks had gone. The place was packed ... no one expected such a large crowd, even though free barbecue was involved.
The Austin American-Statesman has been publishing some nice articles this week about Austin Film Society's 20 successful years. Chris Garcia interviews notable people involved with AFS over the years about the way the group has affected Austin. Also, AFS director Rebecca Campbell lists the group's top contributions in the past 20 years.
The film society is certainly busy this week, co-sponsoring or sponsoring films all week long around Austin, as you can see from the list of upcoming screenings and events.
- AFS starts a new film series today in collaboration with Landmark's Dobie Theater called "AFS @ the Dobie". A different independent film will screen each week for a week-long, twice-nightly run. Yes, the Dobie already shows many indy films, but these are lesser-known movies that might not appear in Austin theaters otherwise. The series begins today with the Chinese film The World (Shijie). The Austin Chronicle has details on the series.
- Still more Werner Herzog at Alamo Drafthouse Downtown: Nosferatu plays on Sunday 1/15, and Wheel of Time on Tuesday-Wednesday 1/17-18 and Sunday 1/22.
- AFS also continues its "Official Evil: Political Thrillers in Cinema" series this week with Nixon, playing Tuesday 1/17 at Alamo on South Lamar. AFS programming director Chale Nafus has been urging people to give this Oliver Stone film a second chance if they overlooked it in theaters.
- If you missed The Artist Known as Captain Beefheart when the BBC documentary played during a recent Music Monday at Alamo Downtown, you can catch it again on Tuesday 1/17.
- The Texas Documentary Tour presents Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie on Wednesday 1/18 at Alamo Downtown. The documentary follows the hearing-impaired percussionist around the world to improvisational music sessions insettings such as an abandoned factory. I've only ever seen Glennie on Sesame Street (hush), where she drummed up a storm on Oscar the Grouch's trash can, but I was impressed and would enjoy seeing more of her in this film.
- The Austin Chronicle reports that AFS is sponsoring a preview screening of Terrence Malick's latest film, The New World, on Wednesday 1/18 at Arbor at Great Hills, and that tickets go on sale Monday at noon from the AFS Web site. I can't find any information on this screening on the AFS site yet, so you may want to double-check over the weekend.
- Free movies: Beerland is showing the 2003 documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised on Wednesday 1/18 at 7 pm.
- Weird Wednesday, the free midnight movie at Alamo Downtown, lives up to its name this week with the 1972 movie Pigs. It's about killer pigs—the four-footed creatures, not Seventies policemen—who crave human flesh. The film, also known as Daddy's Deadly Darling, was directed by character actor Marc Lawrence, who died last November.
- The Sinus Show guys are bringing The Lost Boys back for another night of movie mocking and hilarity, on Friday 1/20 at Alamo Downtown.
- If you aren't getting quite enough Johnny Depp in your film diet, Alamo Lake Creek can help you out. They're showing Edward Scissorhands at midnight on Friday and Saturday 1/20-21.
- The Austin Chronicle is running a contest this week to give away passes to a sneak preview of Big Momma's House 2. Visit the site to enter before the Wednesday 1/18 deadline.
- I had been wondering lately why I couldn't get any information on upcoming DVD screenings at South Austin video store Pedazo Chunk. The Austin Chronicle, which I seem to be quoting a lot this week, reports this week that the video store is closing after four years. I hate losing local video stores in Austin even if they're not in my neighborhood. The store is selling off its inventory this weekend, and it has always specialized in hard-to-find films.