AFS Announces November/December 2022 Program Calendar
(Martin Syms’s THE AFRICAN DESPERATE, 2022)
Oct 11, 2022
AFS Announces November/December 2022 Program Calendar
AUSTIN, TX—Austin Film Society announces its calendar for November and December of 2022 featuring our 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 www.austinfilm.org.
AFS’s November/December calendar features two new Essential Cinema series. In November and early December, we present England Made Me, six films curated by Austin Chronicle’s Culture Editor Richard Whittaker. Throughout December, we will also be showing The Infernal Affairs Trilogy, three influential crime films from Hong Kong directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. Several new releases will also attended by their directors, including the critically acclaimed documentary Descendant by Margaret Brown and There, There by Austinite Andrew Bujalski, who will also be accompanied by members of his cast. Our Doc Nights programming highlights American Ocelot on November 9th, which will also be attended by its director, Ben Masters, the documentarian behind Deep In The Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story.
Calendar highlights in detail:
One of Austin’s leading film journalists, Richard Whittaker of the Austin Chronicle, will step into the guest programmer role for the series England Made Me: six films that informed Whittaker’s coming of age in England and are essential for British cinephiles. Among the movies featured are music-centered Quadrophenia (1979), based on The Who’s rock opera of the same name, and 24 Hour Party People (2002), a film about the decline and fall of Factory Records that’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The series also includes The Long Good Friday (1979), Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), Stephen Frears’ classic My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), and will conclude with screenings of Withnail and I (1987), the first of which will be followed by a live conversation with Whittaker about the film.
As a part of our Essential Cinema series, we will be showing Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs Trilogy. These Hong Kong crime dramas inspired many other films through their depictions of undercover cops and criminals. The new 4K restorations will be presented in the order of their original release dates, and cinemagoers can catch first screenings of each on Tuesdays throughout December with encores following later in the week.
Only the biggest of celebrities are recognized solely by their first names, and we’re celebrating that level of stardom with our series Fred and Ginger. The iconic duo is, of course, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, known for their dancing talents and on-screen grace. We will be showing four of their best films in 35mm, all of which were released within a two-year span: Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), Swing Time (1936), and Shall We Dance (1937).
Our adventurous deep dives into the past and present of LGBTQ+ cinema will continue with guest programmer Elizabeth Purchell’s series Queer Cinema: Lost and Found. During Transexual Awareness Week, we will be presenting the documentary Transexual Menace (1996), an exploration of America’s trans rights movement by pioneering gay German filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, which will be accompanied by the short film “Outlaw” by Alisa Lebow. We will also be showing Fleshpot On 42nd Street (1973) in December, a tribute to the fringe queer scenes of New York, which will be paired with Joseph Horning’s short, “Valerie.” The first screening of each film will be followed by a live discussion with Purchell, an archivist and historian of queer representation on screen.
For AFS’s Doc Nights program, we present a very special screening of American Ocelot, which will be attended by its director, Ben Masters, who brought us Deep In The Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story earlier this year. The series also features Free Chol Soo Lee and Bad Axe, both award-winning documentaries fresh from the festival circuit, both dealing with critical issues of race and society. In December, we will be showing Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, a recorded version of director Nina Menkes’s presentation on gendered power dynamics in cinema and the male gaze.
Among our new releases are two titles that will also be attended by their directors. We will be joined by Margaret Brown for a live Q&A following her critically acclaimed documentary Descendant on November 2nd, which dives into the stories, history, and inhabitants of Africatown in Mobile, Alabama. On November 25th, Andrew Bujalski will also participate in a live Q&A with members of the cast for his new film There, There, shot in pandemic conditions and exploring themes of disconnectedness and intimacy.
As a part of this year’s Halloween festivities, we will be bringing audiences Nosferatu accompanied by a live score by the Invincible Czars. On November 2nd, cinemagoers will enjoy a modern musical interpretation of F.W. Murnau’s silent-film masterpiece for its 100th anniversary. Join us for a performance to remember at the end of the band’s forty-nine city North American tour.
The full November/December 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.
AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER CALENDAR
The Austin Chronicle’s resident Englishman, Culture Editor Richard Whittaker, explores British identity through six iconic films. An irreverent trek through modern British cinema.
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
Michael Winterbottom, UK, 2002, 35mm, 117 min.
Tony Wilson (a never-better Steve Coogan) starts a record label, and with acts like Joy Division and the Happy Mondays, changes music forever. Director Michael Winterbottom chronicles Factory Records through the decline and fall of its musical empire, from “God Save the Queen” to pills ‘n’ thrills, 24 HOUR PARTY is a funny, cheeky, smart-arsed look at the self-made legends, bullshit artists, and relics of a bygone era, celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Screening in 35mm.
THE DRAUGHTSMAN’S CONTRACT
Peter Greenaway, UK, 1982, DCP, 104 min.
Art and murder are afoot when an arrogant artist (played by Anthony Higgins with an impressively, perpetually arched brow) enters a contract with unusual terms in Peter Greenaway’s Michael Nyman-scored comedy-drama, selected by the BFI as one of the Top 100 British Films. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Newly Remastered in 4K.
THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY
John Mackenzie, UK, 1979, 35mm, 114 min.
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. Screening in 35mm.
Franc Roddam, UK, 1979, DCP, 120 min.
Postman Jimmy Cooper becomes Jimmy the Mod and clashes with the rockers in the streets and beaches of Brighton. Director Franc Roddam harkens back to the Angry Young Men and kitchen sink dramas of the ‘50s and ‘60s in this coming-of-age drama loosely based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera of the same name, updated for the punk era. Featuring Sting as the mod leader, Ace Face, and starring Phil Daniels.
MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE
Stephen Frears, UK, 1985, 35mm, 98 min.
A Pakistani man takes over a laundrette from his uncle and resumes a gay relationship with a former lover. Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke star in Hanif Kureishi’s tale on love under Thatcherism from director Stephen Frears. Screening in 35mm.
WITHNAIL & I
Bruce Robinson, UK, 1986, 35mm, 108 min.
Paul McGann and the incredible Richard E. Grant star as unemployed actors chasing booze and an escape to the countryside as they make sense of the end of a decade. Writer and director Bruce Robinson’s cult comedy classic looks at the rubble surrounding the end of the Thatcher/Reagan era. Screening in 35mm.
Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s megahit 2002 cop-suspense drama INFERNAL AFFAIRS changed the landscape of Hong Kong crime films, and had international repercussions. The subsequent films, Part II, a prequel, and Part III, which returned the original star duo, deepened and expanded the storyline. These are highly commercial, entertainment-minded movies, but they are so well executed that they become cinematic art.
INFERNAL AFFAIRS 1
Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak, Hong Kong, 2002, DCP, 101 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles
Andy Lau and Tony Leung star as a cop who infiltrates gangsters and a gangster who infiltrates the police force, respectively, in this heart-pounding modern suspense classic later remade by Martin Scorsese as THE DEPARTED.
INFERNAL AFFAIRS 2
Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak, Hong Kong, 2003, DCP, 119 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles
In this moody prequel to INFERNAL AFFAIRS, the milieu of gangsters versus cops is sketched out more thoroughly and the great Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong gets to showcase his talents alongside Eric Tsang and Francis Ng.
INFERNAL AFFAIRS 3
Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak, Hong Kong, 2003, DCP, 118 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles
The conclusion of the INFERNAL AFFAIRS Trilogy, billed as The Ultimate Showdown, brings back Andy Lau and Tony Leung to wrap up the conflict in a timeline-straddling race to the finish.
Rosa Von Praunheim/Alisa Lebow, Germany/USA, 1996/94, 92 min.
Pioneering gay German filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim explores America’s burgeoning trans rights movement—from early leaders like Virginia Prince to contemporary activist groups like the titular Transexual Menace—in this powerful, yet sensitive documentary from 1996. Paired with Alisa Lebow’s short film, OUTLAW, a portrait of Stone Butch Blues author Leslie Feinberg.
FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET
Andy Milligan/Joseph Horning, USA, 1973/75, 100 min.
A young woman looks for love and a future on the wild streets of New York in gutter auteur Andy Milligan’s scuzzy underground masterpiece. Memorably advertised as being “wilder than you can imagine!” FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET is more than that: it’s a heartfelt tribute to the fringe queer scenes Milligan knew so well. Paired with Joseph Horning’s rare portrait of a Black trans sex worker named VALERIE.
THE HIDDEN FORTRESS
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1958, 35mm, 126 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
Akira Kurosawa’s adventure epic may be best known today as the blueprint for George Lucas’ STAR WARS, but there’s far more to the film than that. This is masterful storytelling with exciting action and a rousing performance from Toshiro Mifune as an undercover general. One of the master’s greatest works. Screening in 35mm.
Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1957, 35mm, 91 min. In Swedish with English subtitles
One of Swedish writer-director Ingmar Bergman’s most enduring films. An old man (Victor Sjöström), nearing death, looks back over his life and gains a new understanding about its meaning. Screening in 35mm.
Sometimes magic just happens. And when a pair of RKO contract players named Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers met for the first time on a movie set and danced together, everyone who witnessed it believed that human beings could achieve a godlike grace. Here are four of their best films—these are, of course, showcases for the pair’s dancing, but they also show us Hollywood light comedy at its best.
Mark Sandrich, USA, 1935, 35mm, 101 min.
The best-known of all the Astaire-Rogers musical features. It’s a masterful romantic comedy of mistaken identity that also happens to include some of the most sublime dancing ever committed to film, perhaps most memorably in the “Cheek to Cheek” duet. Pure entertainment. Screening in 35mm.
FOLLOW THE FLEET
Mark Sandrich, USA, 1936, 35mm, 110 min.
Astaire and Rogers are reunited in one of their most purely entertaining ventures. Astaire plays a sailor who pines for his old stage-dancing partner (Rogers) who is working in a dime-a-dance place. We won’t spoil the ending, but there’s gonna be some dancing going on. Screening in 35mm.
George Stevens, USA, 1936, 35mm, 103 min.
Considered by many to be the best dance-musical of them all, this is directed by George Stevens, whose light touch perfectly complements the talents of Astaire and Rogers. The dance numbers here seem to toy with the idea of what is physically possible, but it never looks strenuous, always graceful, like a dream. Screening in 35mm.
SHALL WE DANCE
Mark Sandrich, USA, 1937, 35mm, 109 min.
The most lavish Astaire-Rogers film of them all boasts a story about a high-brow ballet star (Astaire) who falls in love with a tap dancer (Rogers). George and Ira Gershwin provide the music and the dance numbers deftly blend ballet and popular forms. Screening in 35mm.
Jean-Jacques Beineix, France, 1981, 35mm,117 min. In French with English subtitles
When an opera-obsessed young man grabs the wrong audio-cassette, he finds himself on a full throttle chase to the heights of cinematic beauty. From director Jean-Jacques Beineix (BETTY BLUE) comes the cult masterpiece which launched the Cinema Du Look movement. An exhilarating ode to the romance and ecstasy of cinema—DIVA is a pure pulp visual extravaganza. Screening in 35mm.
NEW ROSE HOTEL
Abel Ferrara, US, 1998, 35mm, 93 min.
Abel Ferrara directs William Gibson’s tale of dueling multinational corporations as two corporate headhunters (Willem Dafoe and Chirstopher Walken) look for new talent in this Cyberpunk thriller. Featuring appearances by Vampire Hunter D illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, John Lurie, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Screening in 35mm.
Alain Fleischer, France, 1979, DCP, 101 min. In French with English subtitles
Klaus Kinski stars as the director of a strange cabaret where the guests wear animal masks. Pierre Clémenti and Catherine Jourdan co-star under the direction of artist Alain Fleischer and under the lens of POSSESSION cinematographer Bruno Nuytten. Newly Restored.
WHAT’S UP CONNECTION
Masashi Yamamoto, Japan/Hong Kong, 1990, DCP, 121 min. In Japanese and Cantonese with English subtitles.
It’s SHOPLIFTERS gone punk when street kid “Batsh*t Crazy” leads a merry band of grifters in their fight against a ruthless land developer in this rare Japan-Hong Kong co-production from Masashi Yamamoto, director of ROBINSON’S GARDEN. Rarely seen, the newly restored anarchic masterpiece is for “those who embrace chaos.”
George Stevens, USA, 1956, DCP, 201 min.
A film as vast and dusty as West Texas itself. Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean, in his last film, star in this story of an old ranch family as they cope with the coming of oil. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, with George Stevens winning for Best Director.
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE
Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2005, DCP, 120 min, in Japanese with English subtitles except for special family screenings
A quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome, but mysterious, wizard named Howl and is later cursed to become a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure in this fantastical Academy Award-winning masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki. Screenings that begin before 6pm are dubbed. 6pm or later screenings are subtitled.
Michael Schultz, USA, 1975, DCP, 107 min.
Leroy “Preach” Jackson (Glynn Turman) and Richard “Cochise” Morris (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) are two high school friends coming of age in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project. With music teeming with Motown Hitmakers, this Black classic, directed by Michael Schultz (CAR WASH, KRUSH GROOVE), has influenced Spike Lee and John Singleton and has been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress to enter the 2021 National Registry for Film Preservation.
9 TO 5
Colin Higgins, USA, 1980, DCP, 110 min.
Multitasking scheduling, triplicating, and menial office tasks for shit pay and a slap on the ass? Three ladies have had enough and they want what we all want: a living wage and a whole lotta respect. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton star in this ever-enduring comedic showcase of radical politics.
William Friedkin, USA, 1977, DCP, 121 min
This remake of WAGES OF FEAR is a merciless exercise in suspense directed by William Friedkin and propelled into the stratosphere by a pulsing Tangerine Dream soundtrack. Four desperate men are engaged on a suicide mission to bring two truckloads of volatile nitroglycerin through a jungle.
Various Dir, USA, 1940, DCP, 125 min.
12/23 – 12/28
A revolutionary-for-its-time concept: classical music favorites recorded in high fidelity and given visual life by the greatest talents in animation. It was a great idea in its time and it still works. A jaw-dropping movie experience the whole family can enjoy.
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
Jacques Demy, France, 1964, DCP, 92 min. In French with English subtitles
A young French woman (Catherine Deneuve in a star-making role) falls for a young mechanic about to be drafted to war in this colorful romantic musical directed by Jacques Demy with a score by Michel Legrand.
THE THIN MAN
W.S. Van Dyke, USA, 1934, DCP, 93 min.
William Powell and Myrna Loy star as one of the screen’s most effervescent couples as they navigate a Christmas in New York and try to solve a murder in this adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s sly, gin-soaked novel. Pure fun.
EYES WIDE SHUT
Stanley Kubrick, US/UK, 1999, DCP, 159 min.
Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedy of sex and secrets, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, garnered mixed reviews upon release, but in the decades since, it has become recognized as a modern classic.
Ben Masters, USA, 2022, DCP, 50 min.
From Ben Masters (DEEP IN THE HEART: A TEXAS WILDLIFE STORY) comes a new film about the rarely seen, endangered American Ocelot. About twice the size of a housecat, these wild cats are shown in their habitat and we learn about conservation efforts to revive the population. Director Ben Masters in person.
David Siev, USA, 2022, DCP, 100 min.
In the rural town of Bad Axe, Michigan, the Cambodian/Mexican-American Siev family operates a bustling family restaurant that serves the whole town. That is, until Trumpism draws dividing lines between various segments of the populace. Winner of the SXSW 2022 Audience Award for Documentaries.
FREE CHOL SOO LEE
Julie Ha & Eugene Yi, USA, 2022, DCP, 86 min.
In 1973, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was wrongly convicted of a murder in Chinatown. The rank injustice of the case galvanized an Asian-American resistance consisting of not only wild-eyed Berkeley radicals, but also respectable business people. This is the compelling story of the man and the movement.
Nina Menkes, USA, 2022, DCP, 107 min.
Nina Menkes has built a large body of work as an avant-garde narrative filmmaker. Along the way she has also created an audiovisual presentation about the gendered power dynamics of cinema. This is the filmed record of that provocative and eye-opening presentation.
FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 1998, DCP, 113 min. In Shanghainese and Cantonese with English subtitles
Four men pursue courtesans and opium amongst the “Flower Houses” of Shanghai. Tony Leung (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) stars in director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s look at the quiet decadence and cruelty of a vanished era.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, 2002, DCP, 110 min. In Turkish with English subtitles
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s breakthrough film shows us a clash of old and new ways of life as a young man from a rural village in Turkey moves in with his sophisticated cousin in Istanbul. A deeply observant and humane work of art. Free Member Monday — free admission for all AFS members on November 14.
NOSFERATU with Invincible Czars
F.W. Murnau, USA, 1922, DCP, Approx. 90 min, Silent with live score
F.W. Murnau’s silent “Symphony of Terror” gets the live score treatment from longtime Austin favorites Invincible Czars with a compelling modern soundtrack performed live in the theater. This show is the capper of a forty-nine city North American tour. This is a justly renowned melding of sound and cinema. Do not miss.
ONE MAN DIES A MILLION TIMES
Jessica Oreck, USA, 2019, DCP, 92 min. In Russian with English subtitles
Another remarkably original work by Jessica Oreck (BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO) revisits the WWII Siege of Leningrad, in which thousands of Russians died of hunger, to tell the story of a group of scrupulous scientists at a seed bank who face starvation in order to preserve the future of humanity.
THE AFRICAN DESPERATE
Martine Syms, USA, DCP, 100 min.
The last day in art school for a Black artist (Diamond Stingily) becomes a real trip as she transitions to the rest of her life. An experimental coming-of-age comedy unlike anything you’ve ever seen from artist Martine Syms.
A NEW OLD PLAY
Qiu Jiongjiong, China, 2021, DCP, 179 min. In Mandarin with English subtitles
Chinese director Qiu Jiongjiong shows us 20th Century Chinese history in microcosm as he takes us through the memories of an elderly performer in a Sichuan theater who is dying and is about to be welcomed into the afterlife. Wars, cultural revolutions, and more are explored in a classically artificial manner using the tools and textures of Chinese opera.
Joe Nick Patoski, USA, 2015, DCP, 83 min.
A musical master who synthesized country, blues, rock, Tejano, and Western Swing in a potent tornado of creativity, Doug Sahm was also a fascinating person whose story still resonates today. This documentary brings Sir Doug to life again through his music, photos, and interviews with those who knew him best. Newly released, with special guests in attendance at the screening.
AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILM TODAY
Various, Approx. 90 min.
This annual traveling program of the best in new Australian short films returns to Austin, featuring emerging talent, festival award winners, and the big names in Australian cinema. Free Member Monday — free admission for all AFS members.
BUCK ALAMO with Special Guests
Ben Epstein, USA, 2021, DCP, 80 min.
Austin acting treasure Sonny Carl Davis essays the title role in Ben Epstein’s allegorical filmic “ballad.” Buck (real name Eli Cody) is a singing cowboy near the end of his long life who decides to hit the road and make amends. With Bruce Dern in the role of Death. We’ll be joined by director Ben Epstein and star Sonny Carl Davis for a special extended Q&A after the film.
Presented in partnership with The Contemporary Austin and its exhibition In A Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy, Sep 18, 2022- February 12, 2023 at The Contemporary Austin’s downtown Jones Center.
Rebeca Huntt, USA, 2022, DCP, 79 min.
10/21 downtown at the Jones Center
Rebeca “Beba” Huntt’s first feature film is a unique coming-of-age story and cinematic diary that explores her New York upbringing as the daughter of Dominican and Venezuelan parents, she finds her voice before our very eyes as she comes to understand the social forces that have shaped her.
SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM
Trinh T. Minh-ha, USA, 1989, DCP, 109 min.
Pioneering film essayist Trinh T. Minh-ha’s monumental work about gender, language, ethnicity, belonging, and society invoked the necessity of intersectionality before the term was coined. Using a mix of testimonial, archival footage, recreations, and unconventional approaches to linear editing, Trinh creates a space for the voices of Vietnamese women to describe, tell and perform their stories; in the contexts of repressive customs, war and persistent colonialism. An essential work of modern feminist cinema, presented in partnership with The Contemporary Austin and its exhibition In A Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy, Sep 18, 2022- February 12, 2023 at The Contemporary Austin’s downtown Jones Center.
Mariah Garnett, Ireland, 2019, DCP, 83 min.
12/4, AFS Cinema
American filmmaker Mariah Garnett travels to Vienna to be introduced to her father David, a former student activist who has lived in exile from his native Belfast for decades. Garnett goes to Belfast alone to understand the conditions of David’s estrangement from family, country, and cause; with her own queerness and cross-dressing impersonation of her father as key elements in her inquiry. Presented in partnership with The Contemporary Austin and its exhibition In A Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy, Sep 18, 2022- February 12, 2023 at The Contemporary Austin’s downtown Jones Center.
Margaret Brown, USA, 2022, DCP, 109 min.
The Africatown residents in Mobile, Alabama, have shared stories about their origins for generations. Their community was founded by enslaved ancestors who were transported in 1860 aboard the last known and illegal slave ship, Clotilda. Director Margaret Brown’s layered contemplation explores the interplay between memory and evidence and the question of how history passes and is preserved. We’ll be joined by director Margaret Brown for a Q&A after the film.
Andrew Bujalski, USA, 2022, DCP, 93 min.
A brilliantly playful examination of 21st century (dis)connection from venerated filmmaker Andrew Bujalski. A lover’s doubt in the cold light of morning leads a chain of uneasy intimacies—counselors, disrupters, peacemakers, and firestarters—every one looking to have a little faith rewarded. We’ll be joined by director Andrew Bujalski and cast for a Q&A after the film.