Austin Film Society Announces January/February 2022 Film Program
Brady Dyer, Communications Manager
Austin Film Society Announces January/February 2022 Program
This Winter’s Essential Cinema includes the films of Lynne Ramsay, Akira Kurosawa’s noir works, and a special series featuring the work of Bill Morrison, newly-restored masterpieces from around the globe, Doc Nights, Love Month picks, and much more.
December 9, 2021 (AUSTIN, TX)—Austin Film Society announces its January and February 2022 calendar, 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. Here are a few of the highlights:
For our Essential Cinema program this January, AFS presents the work of the uncompromising Scottish writer-director Lynne Ramsay and her uncanny talent for gazing into the rich interior lives of those on the margins, featuring Ratcatcher (1999), Morvern Caller (2002), and We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)—still as unforgettable and impactful ten years on.
Kurosawa Noir will be the focus of our February Essential Cinema. When we think of Akira Kurosawa we often think of cinematic epics such as Ran or Yojimbo, but the celebrated director also made a selection of films that are set in contemporary times, often under the influence of American film noir trends. This series showcases three of the master’s crime films including Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), and High and Low (1963).
Also, this January and February AFS is proud to present Essential Cinema: The Works of Bill Morrison. Through the material of decaying and “lost” films, Bill Morrison has developed one of the most celebrated and exciting filmographies of any contemporary American filmmaker. In this series, we host Morrison in person for select screenings, and highlight some of his major works, including a 20th Anniversary screening of his landmark feature Decasia. The series is presented in conjunction with The University of Texas Visual Art Center’s exhibition, Bill Morrison: Cycles & Loops, on view January 28 – March 12, 2022; as well as the special performance on January 21 of Bill Frisell & Bill Morrison: The Great Flood at Texas Performing Arts’ Bass Concert Hall.
Among our Newly restored selections are the recently rediscovered Chess of the Wind (1976), Mohammad Reza Aslani’s gothic tale of psychological unease previously banned by the Iranian government; Jean Luc-Godard’s cinema tour-de-force Breathless (1960); Melvin Van Peebles’ groundbreaking independent film of 1971 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; and All is Forgiven, the 2007 debut feature by Mia Hansen-Løve.
Our Doc Nights program features a new lineup of not-to-be-missed non-fiction films including: Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly-Glenn Copeland Story (2019), about transgender, cult musician Beverly-Glenn Copeland’s remarkable journey; The Most Beautiful Boy in the World (2021), a chronicle of Luchino Visconti’s worldwide quest to cast the perfect young actor (Björn Andrésen) in his 1971 film, Death in Venice, and the exacting toll that fame can take; Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché (2021), the story of punk legend Poly Styrene as told by her daughter Celeste Bell; Attica (2021), Stanley Nelson’s gripping account of the 1971 Attica Prison Rebellion; and King: A Filmed Record: From Montgomery to Memphis (1970), an extraordinary document edited from newsreels and other primary source materials just two years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.
In February, we introduce Cruising the Movies: Queer Cinema Lost & Found, a new series hosted by Austin-based queer film historian and archivist Elizabeth Purchell. For the inaugural event, Purchell will present William Friedkin’s 1980 film Cruising on February 19 and 20. Adapted from the novel by Gerald Walker, the film stars Al Pacino and centers on a real series of unsolved killings and produced in the wake of the assassination of Harvey Milk. Following each screening, Purchell will join us for audience discussion about the film and its social impact then and now.
Lastly, we invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day throughout the month of February with our Love Month series featuring some of our romantic favorites on the big screen. Starting with Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 classic Trouble in Paradise, the series continues with Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together (1997), Claude LaLouch’s A Man and a Woman (1966), and Jamon Jamon (1993) directed by Bigas Luna and starring the enduringly appealing on-screen duo Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
The full January/February lineup continues below and a complete list of all film screenings and special events are on our website at www.austinfilm.org. Ticket prices range from $10.50 to $13, with discounts for AFS members. Special pricing is noted if applicable.
AFS’ Essential Cinema is sponsored by MUBI.
AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2022 CALENDAR
Download image stills HERE.
Essential Cinema: 3X Lynne Ramsay
This January, we turn our attention to the work of the uncompromising Scottish writer-director Lynne Ramsay and her uncanny talent for gazing into the rich interior lives of those on the margins. Unsparing, she eschews sentimentality without losing the poetry or humanity. Simply put: she’s in a class of her own.
Lynne Ramsay, UK, 1999, DCP, 93 min.
January 6, January 8
Following an accidental death, the guilt-ridden child of a working-class family in ‘70s Glasgow dreams of a better life in the fields of a new development as the squalor piles mountains high during Scotland’s national garbage strike. An evocative, lyrical tale of hope among the ruins, Lynne Ramsay’s first feature marks not only one of the most important British films of the ‘90s, but the arrival of a striking, new cinematic voice. Newly Restored.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Lynne Ramsay, UK & US, 2011, DCP, 112 min.
January 9, January 11
Nature or nurture? Confronting the audience with frightening possibilities, Lynne Ramsay’s challenging adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel about the mother (Tilda Swinton) of a disturbed child (Ezra Miller) is “unflinching stuff that gives off sparks of insight and truth each time it strikes hard at your brain and heart” (IFC). Heralded as a classic upon arrival, We Need to Talk About Kevin still strikes a chord with audiences over 10 years on.
Lynne Ramsay, UK, 2002, 35mm, 97min.
January 13, January 15, January 16
Supermarket employee Morvern Callar wakes to find her boyfriend dead from an apparent suicide. Will the end of his life be the beginning of hers? Winner of the 2002 Cannes Film Festival Award of the Youth — Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed adaptation of the “unfilmable” 1995 Alan Warner novel sees Morvern (two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) hit the road with her best friend and her boyfriend’s manuscript in this hypnotically unflinching tale of youth, immorality, and ecstasy set to an inimitable soundtrack of Can, Stereolab, Lee Hazlewood and more. In 35mm
Essential Cinema: Kurosawa Noir
When we first think of the work of Akira Kurosawa we probably think of the likes of Yojimbo or Seven Samurai, but he also made a number of films set in contemporary times, often under the influence of American film noir trends. This series showcases three of the master’s crime films—a world of gangsters, obsessed crime fighters, and the dark side of postwar Japan.
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1948, 35mm, 98 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
February 16, February 19, & February 20
This early Kurosawa film takes place in a squalid slum inhabited by small-time gangsters who live off the postwar black market. Toshiro Mifune smolders here in his performance as a tubercular gangster who forms a complicated relationship with an alcoholic doctor. In 35mm.
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1949, 35mm, 122 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
February 24, February 26, & February 27
Toshiro Mifune returns as a young cop whose pistol is stolen by a pickpocket on a streetcar and who spends the film in a state of high agitation trying to recover the gun as it makes a deadly transit through the underworld. In 35mm.
High and Low
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1963, 35mm, 143 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
March 3, March 5, March 6, & March 8
Based on an American crime novel, High and Low stars Toshiro Mifune as an intensely driven industrial executive whose ambitious plans are derailed by a kidnapping plot. The second half of the film is a rivetingly tense police procedural and criminal pursuit wrapped up in human drama. In 35mm.
Essential Cinema: The Works of Bill Morrison
Through the material of decaying and “lost” films, filmmaker Bill Morrison has developed one of the most celebrated and exciting filmographies of any contemporary American filmmaker. In this series, we host Bill Morrison in person, and highlight some of his major works, including a 20th Anniversary screening of his landmark feature Decasia. The series is presented in conjunction with the VAC’s exhibition, Bill Morrison: Cycles & Loops on view January 28 – March 12, 2022; as well as the special performance on January 21 of Bill Frisell & Bill Morrison: The Great Flood at Texas Performing Arts’ Bass Concert Hall.
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Bill Morrison, US, 2016, 35mm, 120 min. In English
“Critic’s Pick! An instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.” —Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
In this remarkable documentary set to a haunting score by Sigur Rós collaborator Alex Somers, Bill Morrison recounts an evocative episode of North American history through the medium of 577 permafrost-preserved film prints that were discovered in the arctic in 1977.
Located in the upper Yukon, Dawson City was the center of the late 19th-century Canadian Goldrush, but was also the last stop on a film distribution circuit, which meant that films and newsreels that made it there were rarely returned. Through the decaying films, Morrison investigates the story of this pivotal gold rush stop, and the reverberations of that place and era that continue to haunt us. Score by Alex Somers. Presented in 35mm. Bill Morrison in attendance.
Bill Morrison, US, 2002, 35mm, 70 min.
“The most widely praised American avant-garde film of the fin de siècle”—The Village Voice
Exploring both the poetic and physical properties of decay in its narrative and score, Decasia is a groundbreaking work of American avant-garde filmmaking, heralded as a masterpiece by critics and included in the collection of the Library of Congress. The making of the film began when Michael Gordon was commissioned to write a symphony for the Basel Sinfonietta, and Morrison and his collaborators were brought on board to create a visual component. Morrison mined archives including the George Eastman House, the South Carolina Newsreel Library and the Museum of Modern Art for pre-1950 nitrate prints that were too deteriorated to be restored, and otherwise would have been discarded, like the great majority of early silent films which are now lost to history. The result is a haunting rumination on mortality and memory, a visceral dreamscape that allows us to consider our relationship to the physical representations of the past. Bill Morrison in attendance for this 20th Anniversary screening.
Buried News (13 minutes, 2021)
An investigation of 20th Century race riots in the US, from footage found in the Dawson City Collection, dating 1917–1920.
The Miners’ Hymns
Bill Morrison, US, 2011, Digital, 52 min.
“Best film score of the year”—New Yorker
“Quite simply one of the best and most beautiful films of the year”—Huffington Post
First presented as a commissioned piece at the annual Durham miners’ gala in 2010, The Miners’ Hymns is an unforgettable artistic work connecting history to culture and memory. Morrison uses early footage from years of miners’ galas and labor strikes in the north of England, and connects them to today’s post-industrial suburban landscape, visualizing a lost heritage. A collaboration with musician Jóhan Jóhannsson. Presented with two of Morrisons short films from the mid-aughts.
Who By Water (18 minutes, 2007)
In this haunting work of moving portraiture, passengers on a steamer ship are caught individually on a movie camera at the outset of their voyage. Score by Michael Gordon.
Light Is Calling (8 minutes, 2004)
Captured from film prints that are close to total deterioration, the essence of a wartime love story, while on the edge of erasure, can still be perceived in this poetic short, also scored by Michael Gordon.
The Village Detective: A Song Cycle
Bill Morrison, 2021, DCP, 81 min. In English & Russian with English subtitles
“A biographical documentary that only Morrison could deliver. With a fantastic score by David Lang, the director mesmerizingly weaves through an entire life of unbridled creativity while also, once again, instilling the importance of film preservation.”—Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
During the summer of 2016, a fishing boat off the shores of Iceland made a most curious catch: four reels of 35mm film, seemingly of Soviet provenance. Unlike the film find explored in Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time, it turned out this discovery wasn’t a lost work of major importance, but an incomplete print of a popular Soviet comedy from 1969, starring the beloved Russian actor Mihail Žarov. Does that mean it has no value? Morrison thought not. To him, the heavily water-damaged print, and the way it surfaced, could be seen as a fitting reflection on the film work of Žarov, who re-emerges from the bottom of the sea 50 years later like a Russian Rip Van Winkle, to a world where reels of film are as antiquated as the Soviet Union. But if celluloid film is the only medium that can survive the ocean, how will future generations remember us? Morrison uses the discovery as a jumping off point for his latest meditation on cinema’s past, offering a journey into Soviet history and film accompanied by a gorgeous score by Pulitzer and Grammy-winning composer David Lang. (Description courtesy of Kino Lorber)
Her Violet Kiss
Bill Morrison, US, 2021, Digital, 5 min.
A clandestine affair plays out among scenes of revelry in Bill Morrison’s latest short film, a collaboration with musician Michael Montes.
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly-Glenn Copeland Story
Posy Dixon, 2019, UK, DCP, 71 min
January 18, January 23
Beverly Copeland was a science fiction enthusiast and basement musician living in Ontario when she recorded her cassette-only release “Keyboard Fantasies.” Many years later, Copeland—now a man named Glenn Copeland—is rediscovered and comes to terms with his life.
The Most Beautiful Boy in the World
Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri, Sweden, 2021, DCP, 93 min. In Swedish and English with English Subtitles
January 26, January 29, January 30
In 1970, Luchino Visconti embarked on a worldwide search for “the most beautiful boy in the world,” he found Björn Andrésen. Using archival footage of the shy teen, filmmakers Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri excavate the secrets of a boy, and face, sold to the world. 50 years after the premiere of his star-making turn as Tadzio in Death in Venice, the now 66 years old Andrésen contends with the spoils of fame and what remains of a visage cast in stardust.
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Celeste Bell and Paul Sng, UK, 2021, DCP, 134 min.
February 2, February 23, February 27
The story of punk legend Poly Styrene as told by her daughter Celeste Bell through her own reminiscences, her video and photo archives and the very revealing diary of Poly herself, in selections narrated by Ruth Negga.
Stanley Nelson & Traci Curry, USA, 2021, DCP, 120 min.
February 23, February 27
The latest documentary from Stanley Nelson, co-directed with Staci Curry, is an astonishingly vivid and complete portrait of one of the darkest chapters in American history, the brutal and racist suppression of the Attica Prison Rebellion in 1971. The film is even-handed in its approach and uses interviews, archival photos, footage and audio recordings to tell the whole story for the benefit of posterity.
King: A Filmed Record: Montgomery to Memphis
Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, USA, 1970, DCP, 185 min
January 17, January 22
Edited entirely from newsreels and other primary sources, this documentary—made just two years after Dr. King’s death—tells the story of his campaign of nonviolent activism. Narrated by Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones and many others, it is a priceless document of King’s life and beliefs. Free Member Monday—members receive free admission on January 17.
Ganja and Hess
Bill Gunn, USA, 1973, DCP, 112 min.
January 2, January 5, January 7
Writer/director Bill Gunn’s engaging and humorous experimental horror film is like no other movie. Its story of a centuries old African blood disease takes the viewer into a world of pan-African mysticism and is also a meditation upon colonialism and its trail of blood.
Dario Argento, Italy, 1977, DCP, 92 min. Dubbed in English
February 2, February 5, February 6, February 8, & February 10
In his story of a young ballet student who uncovers terrifying ancient forces, Dario Argento throws the whole filmmaking toolbox into the mix. Genuinely frightening and strangely beautiful, Suspiria is a film like no other.
Bonnie and Clyde
Arthur Penn, USA, 1967, DCP, 111 min.
January 21, January 23, January 24
In 1967 the new Hollywood came screeching around the corner with guns blazing in this consciously Euro-styled gangster love story starring Warren Beatty (also the film’s producer) and Faye Dunaway. It flopped at first but then hip young audiences caught up to it and made it a cultural touchstone.
Charles Chaplin, USA, 1936, 35mm, 87 min. Silent with English title cards
January 28, January 30
Though sound had come to motion pictures many years before, Charles Chaplin used many of the pantomime techniques he had mastered during the silent era to tell the story of his iconic “Little Tramp” coping with the mechanized modern world. In 35mm.
Orson Welles, USA, 1941, DCP, 119 min
2/25, 26, 27
By the time 25-year-old Orson Welles made this masterpiece of the American Cinema he was already a household name thanks to his radio and stage endeavors. It’s a film that still crackles with innovation and nerve in its story of a newspaper tycoon whose life is not-very-loosely based on the real-life media kingpin William Randolph Hearst, who suppressed the film and its director for years after.
My Neighbor Totoro
Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 1988, DCP, 86 min,
January 8, January 9, January 10, & January 12
Internationally loved and acclaimed, this animated film is a tale of two girls who discover they are being watched over by Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures seen only by children. All shows starting before 6pm are dubbed, all after are subtitled.
Spike Lee, US, 1994, 35mm, 115min.
February 19, February 20
Big-hearted and freewheeling, Spike Lee’s most personal film to date looks back on his childhood from the perspective of his sister, who dealt with four brothers in Brooklyn when all you needed to get by was a little “peace, love, and soul”. Anchored by supporting performances by Alfre Woodlard and Delroy Lindo, as the schoolteacher mother and unemployed jazz musician father, the film features a memorable turn by a young Zelda Harris as Troy, this is a family affair co-written with siblings Joie and Cinqué Lee. In 35mm.
It’s Valentine’s month. No series of films could possibly hope to survey the extraordinary place that Love occupies in all of our lives and hearts, but this month we have done our best to shine a cinematic light on some of the many facets of the Greatest Emotion of All Time. We hope you’ll enjoy these films with someone you love, even if it’s just yourself.
Trouble In Paradise
Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932, 35mm, 83 min.
February 6, February 9, February 14
Ernst Lubitsch’s delectable screwball farce about seductive con artists in Venice is much sexier and funnier than you’d have any right to expect from a 1932 movie. With Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis and Herbert Marshall. In 35mm.
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1997, DCP, 96 min, in Spanish, Mandarin & Cantonese with English subtitles
February 11, February 12
Wong Kar Wai uses all the cinematic tools at his disposal to convey a sense of love and loss in this story of a male couple (Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung) on vacation in Argentina. Their on-again off-again relationship is marked by flashes of jealousy and disaffection as well as deep passion.
A Man and a Woman
Claude Lelouch, France, 1966, 35mm, 102 min. Dubbed in English
February 12, February 14
Dubbed “probably the most efficacious make-out movie of the swinging 60s” by Pauline Kael — Claude Lelouch’s quintessential arthouse smash reveals the secrets of romance with the iconic pairing of Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Conformist) and Anouk Aimee (8 1/2). In 35mm.
Bigas Luna, Spain, 1993, DCP, 95 min. In Spanish with English Subtitles
February 18, February 20
A working-class woman (Penelope Cruz) and a rich, young man fall in love. The only thing standing between them and marital bliss is a disapproving mother, willing to bite off more than she can chew, with a big plan and an even bigger hunk of meat. Dubbed a “fun and farcical ride” (The Austin Chronicle), Javier Bardem and Stefania Sandrelli co-star as Bigas Luna brings passions to a boil in this surreal, erotic comedy with food, sex, and love as the ingredients of a truly delectable dish.
Cruising the Movies: Queer Cinema Lost & Found with Queer Film Historian
William Friedkin, US, 1980, 35mm, 102 min.
February 19, February 20
Al Pacino stars as a rookie cop sent deep into the bowels of New York’s gay leather scene to catch a serial killer—and perhaps himself—in William Friedkin’s adaptation of the novel by Gerald Walker. Inspired by a real series of unsolved killings and produced in the wake of the assassination of Harvey Milk, CRUISING and its perceived anti-gay bias drew fierce criticism and protests from all corners of the queer community. Queer Film Historian Elizabeth Puchell will host and participate in a discussion about the film and its social impact after the screening. In 35mm.
Elizabeth Purchell is an Austin-based queer film historian and archivist. Her multimedia project Ask Any Buddy explores the gay adult film industry’s role in both the development of queer cinema and the spread of gay culture at large.
Chess of the Wind
Mohammad Reza Aslani, Iran, 1976, DCP, 93min., In Persian with English subtitles
February 21, February 26
Banned by the Iranian government and presumed lost for decades, the recent rediscovery of Mohammad Reza Aslani’s gothic tale of psychological unease is a major event for world cinema. The film depicts the fraught and fragile life of a paraplegic heiress pursued by men who may not have her best interests at heart. Free Member Monday — all AFS members receive free admission on February 21.
Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1960, DCP, 90 min, In French with English subtitles
January 1, January 2, January 5
Jean-Luc Godard’s feature debut made Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg stars as they play the parts of beautiful doomed Parisian lovers. Godard’s playful sense of narrative and montage – as well as the genuine star power of the two leads make this a film continually ripe for rediscovery by new generations of film lovers.
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
Melvin Van Peebles, USA, 1971, DCP, 97 min.
February 4, February 6, February 9
Presented in tribute to the late Melvin Van Peebles, this is his groundbreaking independent film, which he produced, wrote and directed himself after his experience with Hollywood studios proved unsatisfying. It depicts a Black man on the run from police and in the process tells a number of inconvenient truths about race in America. Along the way, Van Peebles uses filming and editing techniques that still feel radical today.
All is Forgiven
Mia Hansen-Løve, France, 2007, DCP, 105 min, In French with English subtitles
January 30, February 1
The film debut of Mia Hansen-Love takes us into the intimate lives of a father and daughter reunited years after the father’s drug habit tore their family apart. An auspicious beginning to Hansen-Love’s career, it was screened in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes and was nominated for a César Award.
Films of Roger Beebe
Roger Beebe, US, 2021, 16mm, 120 min
In the wake of the lockdown, filmmaker Roger Beebe returns to the road with a program of 16mm multi-projector performances. The program features several newer works such as Lineage (for Norman McLaren (2019, 4 x 16mm), de rerum natura (2019, 3 x 16mm + video), Home Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (2021, 4 x 16mm), alongside some of his best-known projector performances, including the seven-projector show-stopping Last Light of a Dying Star (2008/2011)). He will also include a sampling of recent essayistic videos, presented as live-narrated documentaries. These works take on a range of topics from the forbidden pleasures of men crying (Historia Calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes)) to the racial politics of font choices (The Comic Sans Video) and the real spaces of the virtual economy (Amazonia).
Ron Mann Presents Flak & Dream Tower
Ron Mann, Canada, 2009/1994, Digital, 30 min./47 min.
Filmmaker Ron Mann (Comic Book Confidential, Know Your Mushrooms) joins us to present a double feature of films that examine the ’60s and ’70s counterculture of his native Toronto. As always with Mann, the stories he shares after the event promise to be nearly as compelling as the films themselves.
BOY HARSHER presents The Runner
Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller, USA, 2021, DCP, 40 min.
The latest film project from darkwave duo Boy Harsher is a 40-minute featurette about lust, compulsion and seduction featuring an all-new soundtrack mixed in theater surround sound. Special one-night-only limited engagement.
Everything is Terrible: Kidz Club!
Various, Live Performance with Video, 90 min.
February 13 (two performances)
Everything Is Terrible! is reborn with their new and fantastical expedition into found footage… but this time the adults can stay home! EIT! has unearthed thousands of forgotten DVD & VHS tapes aimed at yesterday’s youth to bring you their most mind-melting movie to date. Watch in awe as all colors of the rainbow join forces to destroy the tyranny of adult civilization once and for all!
Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel
Grigori Kromanov, Soviet Union, 1979, DCP, 93 min. In Estonian with English Subtitles
January 7, January 8
From the legendary Strugatsky Brothers, minds behind Tarkovsky’s Stalker, comes a sci-fi noir chiller about a Soviet-era detective called to investigate a murder yet to happen, only to be stranded at a snow-capped hotel with weird guests and a mystery beyond anything he could have imagined. Adapting their own 1970 novel of the same name, Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, combines strange happenings with a killer prog-rock score from Sven Grünberg.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 1997, DCP, 111 min. In Japanese with English Subtitles
January 14, January 15, January 16, January 19
A detective becomes embroiled in a series of brutal, seemingly random murder cases with the exception of one thing: a large, bloody mark drawn on the wall of each crime scene. Tracking his only lead, he makes contact with a stranger who had contact with each of the perpetrators, and their victims. An international breakthrough for J-Horror and its director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s psychological thriller delves into the terrors of the subconscious with effectively unsettling results. Newly Restored.
Olivier Assayas, France, 2002, DCP, 122 min. In English, French, and Japanese with English Subtitles
January 21, January 22
Nothing—and no one—is as appears in the glass surfaces of dueling multinational corporations, each vying for a lucrative new form of 3D pornography, but as the stakes raise higher, backroom deals and spy games turn deadly, and something more sinister comes to surface. Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny, Gina Gershon and Charles Berling star in Olivier Assayas’ (Personal Shopper) “intricately plotted, cool and nasty” take on corporate espionage in this Sonic Youth-scored techno thriller, now 20 and newly restored.
Lucile Hadzihalilovic, France, 2004, 35mm, 122 min. In French with English Subtitles
January 28, January 29
“Obedience is the only path to happiness” in a mysterious school for girls where each arrival is marked with a coffin. Dainty in white dress and black shoes, pigtails, and colored ribbons to denote their age, they train in preparation for a mysterious fate. Taken from the same source material as Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Frank Wedekind’s Mine-Haha, a novella described by Marianne Faithful as ‘a fairy tale that morphs into something far more grotesque’. Dubbed “at once a feminist parable and a bedtime story” and “genuinely eerie”, Innocence is a masterwork of creeping terror, ripe for rediscovery. Dedicated to Gaspar Noe. Starring Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard. Rare 35mm Screening.
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2009, DCP, 125 min. In Japanese with English subtitles
February 4, February 5, February 7
She’s no Pinocchio, but when an inflatable sex doll leaves her middle-aged owner, she sets out to experience the world, her heart open and ready for love. Getting a job in a video store, she encounters the intricacies of human connection with awe and wonder in this modern-day fable from Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters). Adapted from the manga by Yoshiie Goda and featuring breathtaking cinematography from Mark Lee Ping-Bing (In the Mood for Love), the criminally underseen Air Doll is “one of those films that can haunt viewers long after they’ve left the theater” (NPR).
Harmony Korine, UK, France, Ireland & USA, 2007, 35mm, 112 min.
February 11, February 12, February 15
Returning to the director’s chair following a years-long sabbatical, Harmony Korine reassured audiences and critics alike that he had lost none of his edge with his tale of skydiving nuns, Werner Herzog, and a lonely “Michael Jackson” (Diego Luna), with a plush “Bubbles”, who finds love with “Marilyn Monroe” (Samantha Morton). Co-written with brother Avi, Korine’s Mister Lonely remains the only film to feature “The Queen” (Anita Pallenberg) bedding the “Pope” (James Fox), and solidified the filmmaker’s reputation as one of the most original and daring of his generation. Co-starring “Charlie Chaplin” (Denis Lavant). In 35mm.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne
Walerian Borowczyk, France, 1981, DCP, 90 min. In French with English Subtitles
February 18, February 19
The guests have arrived. The monster is loose. The party has begun. Udo Kier stars in this fevered take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s drug-induced classic, which sees the engagement celebration of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Fanny Osbourne (Marina Pierro) betray its mannered Victorian setting, and slip into a frenzy of sadistic sex and unbridled hedonism. Intoxicating, surreal, and deliriously macabre — from Walerian Borowczyk, the provocateur behind Immoral Tales and The Beast.
The Red Squirrel
Julio Medem, Spain, 1993, DCP, 114 min. In Spanish with English Subtitles
February 25, February 26
Love is muy psicótico in this Spanish Vertigo, dressed in ‘90s acid wash, that sees a rock n’ roll burnout convince a beautiful amnesiac (Emma Suarez) she is his ex-girlfriend, Lisa, but it isn’t long before her past returns, ready for a fight. Winner of the 1993 Cannes Film Festival Award of the Youth — this criminally neglected thriller from Julio Medem, director of the controversial arthouse smash, Sex and Lucia, reportedly led to an invitation to Hollywood from none other than Steven Spielberg. Medem declined.
Labyrinth of Cinema
Nobuhiko Obayashi, Japan, 2019, DCP, 180 min. In Japanese with English Subtitles
January 1, January 4
“A rollicking action-adventure stuffed into a three-hour pop-art package” (The NY Times), the final film from visionary, Nobuhiko Obayashi (Hausu), sees three young men transported into the big screen action of war movies on the closing night of a small, seafront cinema. Filming in his hometown of Onomichi, Obayashi flits between bombastic action flicks, silent movies, musicals and much, much more to create a powerful parting letter to cinema and generations to come.
Radu Jude, Romania, 2020, DCP, 128 min, in Romanian with English subtitles
January 23, January 26
The new film from Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude exists in the intersection between avant-garde theater, cinema and historiography as we hear dramatic readings of files recovered from the totalitarian Ceaucescu regime pertaining to multiple incidents of anti-state graffiti.
History of Television
History of Television: Methods & Masters—Aaron Spelling
AFS’ long-running History of Television program makes a very logical step this January as it in fact becomes a television show. On the last Monday of each month, author and television historian Amanda Reyes joins us to celebrate the work of native Texan film producer Aaron Spelling, who changed the way television operated beginning in the 1960s. We will showcase two original Spelling programs in each episode with critical and historical commentary. Stay tuned for the announcement about how you can watch this at home.
World Cinema Classics
The Coca-Cola Kid
Dusan Makavejev, Australia, 1985, 35mm, 98 min.
January 29, January 31
Very few could have seen this raucous but insightful comedy coming from transgressive Serbian master Dusan Makavejev. Eric Roberts is completely out of control as an Atlanta-based marketing wiz given the assignment to prop up slow Coca Cola sales in the interior of Australia. Makavejev’s former student and great admirer of his work Andrew Bujalski will join us to introduce and discuss the film. In 35mm.
About Austin Film Society
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. More at austinfilm.org