AFS Announces Its March/April 2024 Program Calendar

(Neil Jordan’s MONA LISA, 1986)

February 7, 2024, AUSTIN, TX— The Austin Film Society announces its calendar for March and April of 2024 featuring signature programs, special screenings and events, and a new, diverse lineup of films from around the globe that filmgoers can only see at the AFS Cinema. The full calendar and more information can be found at

The March/April calendar will include a new series of Essential Cinema, showcasing the work of the beloved Taiwanese New Wave director Edward Yang. The series includes favorites like Yi Yi and A Brighter Summer Day alongside two new restorations that have not previously been screened in Texas. AFS will also present a series dedicated to Handmade Films, the legendary British film production company behind UK classics like Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa and Time Bandits. The series will feature a discussion with Kristen O’Brien, the daughter of Denis O’Brien, who co-founded the company with The Beatles’ George Harrison. AFS’s Classical Mexican Cinema series returns, featuring the films Victims of Sin and Salón México presented by UT professor Charles Ramírez Berg. The Austin Film Society continues its partnership with PBS’s Indie Lens Pop-Up documentary series, which will showcase Matter of Mind: My Parkinson’s in March and The Tuba Thieves in April, the latter of which was previously screened at AFS’s Doc Days festival in 2023. Both films will be followed by a panel discussion, and admission to each film is free and open to the public. On April 1, filmmaker Lucy Kerr will attend the AFS screening of her film Family Portrait, which was supported by the AFS Grant. French filmmaker Robin Campillo will attend the Austin premiere of his new film, Red Island, at AFS Cinema on March 5 following a screening of his award-winning 2017 film, BPM, the day before. AFS Cinema will also host several other premieres this spring: the new film Art College 1994 will have its U.S. theatrical premiere in April while Visible Secret and The Dead Mother (both screening as a part of AFS Lates) will have their North American restoration premieres in March. The Austin Film Society’s Artist Development program will host its annual AFS Member ShortCase on March 10, which will feature a program of short films created by AFS’s own MAKE-level members (and above). AFS will also continue its partnership with Science on Screen® to bring audiences Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds followed by a panel discussion about avian evolution. Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Calendar highlights in detail:

Throughout March and April, AFS’s Essential Cinema programming will feature the works of Edward Yang, the master filmmaker known for his powerfully emotional stories and his role in shaping the Taiwanese New Wave alongside Tsai Ming-liang and Hou Hsiao-hsien. The AFS series will begin with Taipei Story (screening March 19–23) followed by the tender, ’60s-set A Brighter Summer Day (April 2 and 6). New restorations of A Confucian Confusion (April 9–13) and Mahjong (April 16–20) will play for the first time in the greater Texas region, and the series will conclude with Yang’s final film, Yi Yi (April 23–27), for which he won Best Director at Cannes.

Across the long weekend of April 12–15, AFS will celebrate four titles from Handmade Films, the production company started by George Harrison of The Beatles fame and Denis O’Brien, his American business manager. Handmade Films was born out of the friendship between Harrison and comedian Eric Idle after The Life of Brian (co-starring Idle) lost funding. After its creation, the company attracted unique artists throughout its lifespan, releasing many film projects that helped change pre-existing perceptions around British cinema. The series at AFS Cinema is a cooperative effort with the Harry Ransom Center of Austin, which currently houses many of the Handmade Films archives. The AFS screening series will include the British noir Mona Lisa; Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, which will be followed by an in-person Q&A with Kristen O’Brien, the daughter of co-founder Denis O’Brien; the crime drama The Long Good Friday; and The Missionary shown in 35mm, which will be preceded by a virtual introduction recorded by its star, Michael Palin.

Returning to AFS is the popular repertory series Classical Mexican Cinema, hosted by Charles Ramírez Berg, Professor in Media Studies at the University of Texas and author of The Classical Mexican Cinema. Berg will introduce two classics directed by Emilio Fernández — both of which are part of the Mexican nightclub cabaretera genre — and follow each film with a moderated post-film discussion. The first in the series will be Victims of Sin (Víctimas del Pecado) on March 31, a newly restored film that has been out of circulation for decades. Following this on April 27 will be Salón México presented in 35mm. This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

AFS Cinema will host several special events that include in-person filmmaker appearances and guest experts. French filmmaker Robin Campillo (dir. Eastern Boys) will join audiences for the Austin premiere of his newest film, Red Island, on March 6. The film is loosely based on his own childhood growing up in Morocco, and after its screening in Austin, Campillo will travel to its New York premiere at Rendez-Vous With French Cinema. Preceding the premiere screening on March 5, AFS Cinema will show Campillo’s 2017 feature, BPM, about AIDS activists in the French chapter of the ACT UP movement and winner of over 50 international film awards. AFS will also screen the silent film Show People on March 30 with special guest Lara Gabrielle who will be discussing and signing copies of her new book, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, about the star of the film. This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Following this will be an appearance by AFS-supported filmmaker Lucy Kerr for the screening of her new feature Family Portrait, which was supported by the AFS Grant. The film will screen on April 1 as a Free Member Monday — AFS Members will receive free admission to the screening depending on their level of membership.

The full March/April lineup continues below, and a complete list of all film screenings announced to date and special events are on our website at ​www.​austinfilm​.org.​ Ticket prices range from $11 to $13.50, with discounts for AFS members. Special pricing is noted if applicable.

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As his films have become more widely available, the late Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang (who died in 2007 at age 59) has attained the status of one of the world’s most important and influential auteurs. A master stylist who never loses sight of the humanity of his characters, he is that rarest and most precious of cinema artists, a novelist of the screen whose compositions and techniques are as exciting as his characters. This series presents a pair of seldom-screened films in new restorations as well as three of Yang’s accepted masterpieces.


Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1985, DCP, 110 min. In Mandarin and Hokkien with English subtitles.

“Essentially perfect.” —The Village Voice

“A delicate work of low-key modernism, imbued with fragile melancholia and an astonishing turn by none other than Hou Hsiao-hsien.” —Film Comment

“Arguably Edward Yang’s finest achievement.” —Slant 

From cinematic visionary Edward Yang, TAIPEI STORY is an exploration of the complexities of relationships. We follow the lives of a couple, Chin and Lung, as they navigate the challenges of a changing cityscape and shifting cultural values. Through Yang’s meticulous direction, the narrative unfolds with quiet intensity, capturing the nuances of generational gaps and the struggle to find identity in a rapidly evolving society.


Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1991, DCP, 237 min. In Mandarin, Shanghainese, and Taiwanese with English subtitles.
4/2, 4/6

“One of the supreme masterpieces of the Taiwanese New Wave.” —Cine-file

“A seamless interweaving of the rigors of art cinema and the instant pleasures of melodrama.”  —Reverse Shot

“One of the flat-out best films from anywhere that decade.”  —The Village Voice   

A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY is a Taiwanese epic that unfolds against the backdrop of political and social turmoil in the 1960s. We follow the tumultuous life of a young boy, Xiao Si’r, as he navigates the complexities of adolescence, gang culture, and societal expectations. Edward Yang’s tender storytelling captures the intricacies of family dynamics and the search for identity.


Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1994, DCP, 125 min. In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles.

“A bright and jangling movie full of hysteria.”  The New York Times

“A tribute to Yang’s high-sheen technique and ensemble direction.” Variety

In this newly restored film, Edward Yang charts the conflict of values in a Taiwan increasingly influenced by the Western world. A wry and witty satire following the head of a PR company who is forced to reevaluate everything after firing a colleague and threatening to dismantle the entire company.


Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1996, DCP, 121 min. In Mandarin and English with English subtitles.

“Yang’s angriest and most provocative film.” —Chicago Reader

“MAHJONG plays like a screwball comedy made by an arthouse director.” —Variety   

“Yang’s sharpest funny/sad vision of city life.” —Time Out 

Newly restored, Edward Yang’s penultimate film is, as is usual for the filmmaker, a critique of and love letter to Taiwan. Displaying the clash of different languages and the ideas of its denizens, this dark screwball comedy involves two thugs following the son of a Taipei businessman who died with a debt of over $100 million to the mob. 


Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan, 2000, DCP, 173 min. In Mandarin, Min Nan, Hokkien, Japanese, and French with English subtitles.

“YI YI is ultimately a film that imparts its meaning and its impact through its exquisite sense of balance — between here and elsewhere, past and present, the ideal and the conditional, the mundane and the extraordinary. It is a film of, and about, grace. And that is a rare thing.” —Kent Jones

“Calling YI YI a three-hour Taiwanese family drama is like calling CITIZEN KANE a film about a newspaper.” —Nigel Andrews

The final film by Taiwanese master Edward Yang is an exploration of love and familial connections between a father, his teenage daughter, and his young son over the course of a few months. Yang’s extraordinary gift for storytelling and sensitive approach to love and connection elevate this into a compelling work of cinema. 



Handmade Films was a legendary British production company helmed by former Beatle George Harrison and his American business manager, Denis O’Brien. By encouraging and backing non-conforming cinema artists, the company left a unique legacy. We will be joined by the late Denis O’Brien’s daughter Kristen O’Brien to tell some of the Handmade Films story through this screening series. Special cooperation from the Harry Ransom Center, holder of the Handmade Films archives.


Neil Jordan, UK, 1986, DCP, 104 min.
4/12, 4/14

“MONA LISA knows exactly what it is doing.” —Roger Ebert

“In an era when movies about love almost always invariably devolve into formulaic affairs, Neil Jordan’s MONA LISA stands out as an often-surprising, multi-layered achievement.” —Reelviews

“A masterpiece of British cinema undeniably worthy of its classical title.” —CineVue 

Neil Jordan’s MONA LISA is a British noir that navigates the gritty streets of London through the eyes of George, an ex-convict portrayed by Bob Hoskins. Hired as a chauffeur for a call girl (Cathy Tyson), George finds himself entangled in a dark underworld of crime and deceit. As their journey unfolds, the lines of morality become blurred.


Terry Gilliam, UK, 1981, DCP, 113 min.
4/13, 4/15

This all-time classic from Handmade Films is the age-old tale of a boy, time-traveling dwarves, and the Supreme Being. Terry Gilliam helms this comedic caper, co-written with Monty Python’s Michael Palin. With Sean Connery and Shelley Duvall. Kristen O’Brien will join us for a discussion following the screening on Saturday, April 13. 


John Mackenzie, UK, 1979, DCP, 114 min.

“A masterful and very tough piece of filmmaking.” —Roger Ebert

“The epitome of British gangster films.” —Cinephilia and Beyond

“The political and social tensions make Mackenzie’s film a lasting vision of British tragedy.” —Slant

Harold Shand is at the top of a criminal enterprise in the heart of London, an organization that Harold sees threatened by internal and external forces over the course of a long Easter weekend. Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren star in the quintessential British gangster film that features Pierce Brosnan in his first on-screen appearance. 


Richard Loncraine, UK, 1982, 35mm, 83 min.

“A pleasure to watch.” —The New York Times

“An eccentric, titillating farce.” —EMPIRE

What’s so wrong about righteousness? Richard Loncraine directs Michael Palin’s first solo comedy. Palin plays a reverend leaving an African village for London, embarking on a mission to minister to “fallen” women. Co-starring Trevor Howard (BRIEF ENCOUNTER) and Denholm Elliott (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK). In 35mm.




François Truffaut, France, 1980, DCP, 131 min. In French with English subtitles.
4/26, 5/1

“A dazzlingly subversive work.”  —The New York Times

“Truffaut balances his hopeful plot on a tightrope of coincidences and narrow escapes.”  —The New Yorker

François Truffaut’s film set in and around a Montmartre theater company during the Nazi occupation of Paris stars Catherine Deneuve as the leading lady of the company and Gérard Depardieu as a young man of uncertain motivations who joins the melange. In 35mm.




Michael Reeves, UK, 1968, 35mm, 86 min.
3/21, 3/24

“The most persistently sadistic and rotten film I’ve ever seen.”  —Alan Bennett

“Fifty years on, Reeves’ film has gained rather than lost its sense of horror, showcasing a stark awareness of the inner violence possible in even the most everyday of places and people.”  —British Film Institute 

Contracted to make a Vincent Price horror film for drive-in theaters, the driven and tragic filmmaker Michael Reeves went much darker than anyone could have anticipated with a witch-hunting allegory that will persist in your mind for years. In 35mm. 


Kaneto Shindô, Japan, 1964, 35mm, 103 min. In Japanese with English subtitles.

“An absolute feast for the senses.” —Polygon

“Violent, beautiful, a supernaturally inflected medieval story of female revenge.” —Vulture    

In Kaneto Shindô’s stately-but-shocking ghost story, a mother and daughter live on the fringes of a civil war, making a grim living killing soldiers who wander through their bamboo grove and selling their armor. As you might expect, the story takes a supernatural turn that is as stylish and spooky as anyone could hope. In 35mm.




Marc Levin, US, 1999, DCP, 100 min.

“Brisk and invigorating.” The Washington Post

“Emotionally powerful and technically innovative.”  Variety

“What SLAM possesses is real passion, and that is in short supply in movies these days.” The New York Times

From rapper/writer Saul Williams (NEPTUNE FROST), SLAM is a gripping cinematic experience that delves into the raw realities of urban life and the transformative power of words. Set against the backdrop of Washington, D.C., we follow the journey of a young poet navigating the challenges of the justice system. Now newly restored, with a compelling mix of poetry, rhythm, and social commentary. Free Member Monday — free admission for all AFS members on March 18. 


Michele Soavi, Italy/France/Germany, 1994, DCP, 100 min.
4/27, 4/28

“A deceptively easy genre picture with hidden depths.” —Variety   

The Italian title of CEMETERY MAN is DELLAMORTE, DELLAMORE, “of death and love,” and that about sums it up. Rupert Everett plays a guy who has the ultimate shit job, burying the dead and then dealing with the corpses that inexplicably rise from the dead. Into this awful life, love shines its eternal light. 




David Lynch, US/France, 1992, DCP, 134 min.

Twin Peaks was defined, more than anything else, by Laura’s pointed absence; FIRE WALK WITH ME is defined by her presence, vivid and terrified and alone.” —The Village Voice 

“It’s [easy] to see the beauty alongside the pain, including Ron Garcia’s autumnal cinematography, Angelo Badalamenti’s peerless jazz-centered score, and Sheryl Lee’s bravura performance.” —Cine-file 

With this, the feature film that brought the original Twin Peaks television series arc to a close, David Lynch reached the quintessence of the Lynch style of visual and auditory artistry.




Emilio Fernández, Mexico, 1951, DCP, 81 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Charles Ramírez Berg, Professor in Media Studies at the University of Texas and author of The Classical Mexican Cinema, joins us to present two classics of the cabaretera (nightclub drama) genre of Mexican film. This week, we present VICTIMS OF SIN (VÍCTIMAS DEL PECADO), out of circulation for decades and now, at long last, making its return to the screen. Newly restored. This project has been financed in whole or in part by the City of Austin’s Elevate Grant Program.


Emilio Fernández, Mexico, 1949, 35mm, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Charles Ramírez Berg, Professor in Media Studies at the University of Texas and author of The Classical Mexican Cinema, joins us to present two classics of the cabaretera (nightclub drama) genre of Mexican film. This week, we present SALÓN MÉXICO starring Marga López and shot in exhilarating black and white by the great Gabriel Figueroa. This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 35mm.




Deborah Stratman, United States/Portugal/France, 2023, DCP, 50 min. In English and French with English subtitles.
3/17, 3/20

“Deborah Stratman is one of the most fascinating, abstract, and philosophical directors around.” —Outtake 

“[Stratman] embraces pleasure in the unknown and the sprawling ambiguity of the universe.” —In Review Online    

From Deborah Stratman (IN ORDER NOT TO BE HERE) comes a documentary exploring the geo-biosphere throughout evolution and extinction. Featuring scientists and thinkers, such as Lynn Margulis and Marcia Bjørnerud, and stunning visuals ranging from the microscopic to unending landscapes. This film removes humans from the equation and defies the boundaries of what a documentary can be. 




Liu Jian, China, 2023, 118 min. In Chinese with English subtitles.

“Life-affirming.”  —Variety

“A perfect balance of humour, thoughtfulness, and heart.”  —BFI  

When China was opening to the West, they were opening their minds to James Joyce and Kurt Cobain. This quasi-memoir charmer from filmmaker Liu Jian (HAVE A NICE DAY) is a wry coming-of-age tale about a group of young artists’ first steps from dorm-room doodlers toward future adulthood. Featuring the stellar voice talents of a Chinese who’s who — including MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART breakout Dong Zijian, viral rock sensation Red Ke, and directors Jia Zhangke (A TOUCH OF SIN) and Bi Gan (LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT) — ART COLLEGE 1994 is a look at slackers facing now and forever.

US theatrical premiere. 




Sérgio Toledo, Brazil, 1986, Digital, 87 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles

A young trans poet struggles to find a place for himself in society after a repressive upbringing in a girl’s orphanage in this rarely screened but critically acclaimed biopic of Brazilian poet Anderson Bigode Herzer. 

A young trans poet struggles to find a place for himself in society after a repressive upbringing in a girl’s orphanage in this critically acclaimed biopic of Brazilian poet Anderson Bigode Herzer. One of the earliest films to center around a transmasculine character, Sérgio Toledo’s VERA is an essential, yet sadly underseen, piece of trans cinema history. 


Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 1991, digital, 73 min.

A swishy gay hairdresser lusts for a skinhead in Bruce LaBruce’s controversial Super 8 remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK. 

“A subversive, pleasurable, and combative [piece of] queer cinema.” —La Cinémathèque Québécoise 

“A complex exploration of how subculture is articulated through style, and a poignant study in erotic fascination.” —Museum of Modern Art 

A swishy gay hairdresser lusts for a skinhead in this controversial Super 8 feature from Bruce LaBruce. Both a loose remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK and a vivid document of Toronto’s queercore scene, NO SKIN OFF MY ASS is a rarely screened and uncompromising classic of New Queer Cinema. 




Ann Hui, Hong Kong, 2001, DCP, 105 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles.

“Blurs the line between imagination and reality.”  —Variety             

“Employs high style, dream imagery, and a strong sense of irony to capture the unreality of life in Hong Kong.”  —City On Fire                     

“VISIBLE SECRET signals the return to form of one of the most important directors Hong Kong has ever seen.”  —Love HK Film   

Boy meets girl. Girl sees ghosts. In this high-spirited comedy-horror from Ann Hui (BOAT PEOPLE), Peter and June (Shu Qi, MILLENNIUM MAMBO) are a new couple in love. The only thing that can pull them apart is the fact that killer ghosts are haunting June and everyone else around her. Shot by legendary cinematographer Arthur Wong (THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN), VISIBLE SECRET is an arresting look at Hong Kong youths unmoored. North American restoration premiere.


Guy Maddin, Canada, 1990, DCP, 83 min.
3/22, 3/23

“This is one film that just doesn’t give a damn what you think.” —The Austin Chronicle

“Defies every contemporary cinema convention.” —The Seattle Times 

“An expert parody.” —The New York Times   

“Wholly absorbing.” —The Chicago Tribune 

Guy Maddin at his droll, indefinable best. A Canadian soldier lost in the backwoods of Russia finds himself chasing a memory in the form of a woman whose husband has forgotten he married. Maddin embraces the peculiarity of an alien land — Canada — to create what can only be described as … We’ll leave that to you. New 4K restoration. 


Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Spain, 1993, DCP, 112 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
3/29, 3/30

“THE DEAD MOTHER is 30 years old and maintains its wickedness.” —Inside Pulse   

“A masterful film that deserves to be much better known.”—Blueprint Review     

Fearful the daughter of his murder victim would recognize him, a killer (Karra Elejalde, TIMECRIMES) kidnaps the woman for ransom. What threatens him more is the strange, tense bond he forms with his new victim. A nasty piece of work from Juanma Bajo Ulloa, this sophomore effort recalls the pitch-black works of the Coen Brothers and presages the Spanish genre boom of the late ‘90s. Co-starring French pop icon, Lio. North American restoration premiere.   


Jessica Hausner, Austria, 2004, DCP, 83 min. In German with English subtitles.

“A powerhouse of images.”  —Cinema Austriaco  

“Colorful and crafty.”  —The New York Times

“Hausner understands the mechanics of horror and uses it as a tool to develop her own vision her own way.”  —Fangoria

A girl has gone missing. Will Irene be the next to disappear? When a young woman (Franziska Weisz) takes a position at an isolated hotel in the Alps, she finds a mystery that threatens to consume her as it did her predecessor. From Jessica Hausner, director of the forthcoming CLUB ZERO, and co-starring Birgit Minichmayr (EVERYONE ELSE), this icy blend of Hitchcockian terror and Lynchian imagery is as twisted as the alpine terrain. 


Patrick Tam, Hong Kong, 1989, DCP, 90 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles.

“Dazzling cinematography.” —City On Fire  

“The direction by Patrick Tam is outstanding.” —Asian Movie Pulse  

“MY HEART IS THAT ETERNAL ROSE charts strong bonds and intense shootouts and captures it all with finesse.”  —Far East Film     

Tony Leung (HAPPY TOGETHER) stars in this tale of two old flames who reunite in the Hong Kong underworld after a Triad-job-gone-wrong split them apart six years ago. However, that spark between them ignites new jealousies and a gang war. Directed by Patrick Tam, Wong Kar-wai’s mentor and a key figure of the Hong Kong new wave, shot by venerated co-cinematographers Christopher Doyle and David Chung, and with music by Danny Chung, this neon-pulp wonder is as lush as ever in a new 2K restoration!


Lynne Ramsay, UK, 2002, 35mm, 97 min.

“Undoubtedly announces Ramsay as one of the most distinctive talents in British cinema.”  —The Guardian

“Moves with such sensual, intoxicating grace that you’re always transfixed.”  —Slant

Morvern Callar wakes to find her boyfriend dead. Will the end of his life be the beginning of hers? Set to the music of Can, Stereolab, Lee Hazlewood, and more, this acclaimed adaptation sees Samantha Morton (CONTROL) hit the road in Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of the “unfilmable” Alan Warner novel. In 35mm.



Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1963, DCP, 119 min.

“Arguably the greatest of all disaster films.” The Village Voice 

“This is Hitchcock at his best.” Time Out 

Our latest Science On Screen® presentation is an old favorite. Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS is a suspense thriller that plunges viewers into a world where birds turn against humanity. What’s the deal with these birds? That’s the question we will turn over to our expert panel who will share some of the recent science about avian evolution and behavior on Tuesday, March 26. Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.



Anna Moot-Levin and Laura Green, USA, 2024, DCP, 60 min.

Three people — a political cartoonist, a mother turned boxing coach, and an optician — navigate their lives with resourcefulness and determination in the face of a degenerative illness, Parkinson’s disease. This community screening is free and open to the public. This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department.


Alison O’Daniel, USA, 2023, DCP, 90 min.

Between 2011 and 2013, tubas were stolen from high schools across Southern California. Against this backdrop, hard-of-hearing filmmaker Alison O’Daniel generates new sensitivity to sound and meaning in an unconventional documentary experience. This community screening is free and open to the public. This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department.



French director Robin Campillo joins AFS in-person for a conversation following the screening of his bold new narrative, RED ISLAND, loosely based on his childhood in Morocco. The film will screen at AFS Cinema prior to its NYC premiere at Rendez-Vous With French Cinema. Campillo started his career collaborating on some of Laurent Cantet’s most celebrated films: Campillo wrote and edited TIME OUT, HEADING SOUTH, and THE CLASS. Campillo’s second feature as director, EASTERN BOYS, won a top prize at Venice Film Festival. BPM, his previous narrative, was a chronicle of the French chapter of ACT UP that formed to combat the AIDS crisis in Paris in the early 1990s. The film won more than 50 international awards, including César, Lumière, and Cannes top prizes. AFS will screen BPM and RED ISLAND in celebration of Campillo’s visit to the US, and Robin Campillo will be in-person at the screening of RED ISLAND.


Robin Campillo, France, 2017, DCP, 140 min. In French with English subtitles.

“A film of boundless love and compassion.” —Film Comment 

“Politics, love, and pleasure all casually meld into one.” —Seventh Row

“Rambunctious and impious, laughing at death and crying at life, BPM is a war film in which the enemy is ignorance.” —Reverse Shot 

BPM revolves around the passionate activists of ACT UP Paris who fought against the bureaucratic indifference surrounding HIV/AIDS in the ’90s. Through compelling characters and emotional narratives, this film captures the urgency, resilience, and human connection that defined the era. A moving tribute to the unsung heroes who fought for change, this is a gripping and heartfelt exploration of a pivotal moment in history. 


Robin Campillo, France/Belgium, 2023, DCP, 116 min. In French with English subtitles.

From writer/director Robin Campillo (BPM) and co-writer Gilles Marchand comes the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Thomas, living in Madagascar under French colonialism in the 1970s. Starring Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Quim Gutiérrez, and Sophie Guillemin, this film dares to uncover the harsh reality behind the seemingly worry-free expatriate life. 

SHOW PEOPLE with Lara Gabrielle

King Vidor, US, 1928, DCP, 79 min. Silent film with English intertitles.

“It has laughs, studio atmosphere galore, intimate glimpses of various stars, considerable Hollywood geography, and just enough sense and plausibility to hold it together.” Variety 

“Fast-paced and fast-talking (well, intertitled), it firmly rebukes the popular notion of silent cinema as a slow-mo realm of stilted pantomime, Victorian morals, and spellbound-in-darkness gawkers.”  Cineaste 

“The film itself is worth a look by all film fanatics.”  Film Fanatic 

This little-silent classic stars the luminous Marion Davies in a story that, in some ways, parallels the star’s own rise to Hollywood fame. Author Lara Gabrielle — whose new book, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, will be available at the event — will join us to discuss Davies’ career, her life partnership with tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and the differences between the Davies many thought they knew and the real woman. This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Lucy Kerr, USA, 2023, 75 min.

Gathering at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Texas clan’s attempts to sit for a photograph are foiled by a missing matriarch and her disturbed daughter (the ever-mesmerizing Deragh Campbell). In her feature-length debut, director-writer Lucy Kerr renders a study of cracked family dynamics into a series of chiaroscuro contrasts in this AFS-supported film. Enigmatic. Unnerving. Elusive. Nary an adjective this side of spellbinding would suffice. Free Member Monday — free admission for all AFS members.


Will Stefanski