June 13, 2017

(AUSTIN, TX) — Austin Film Society (AFS) announces their specialty programming for July and August, including director retrospectives, traveling programs, special guests, themed series, anniversary screenings and new award-winning documentaries.

In July, AFS’s long running Essential Cinema series will feature a selection of award-winning animated features from around the world, including the works from Japan, Brazil and France, with titles such as FANTASTIC PLANET (1973) and PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997). In August, Essential Cinema will visit one of the greatest rivalries of Hollywood’s golden age with the series “Bette & Joan,” exploring the works of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, culminating in their one collaboration, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1961). One screening of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE will be in conjunction with Austin Pride Week. Tickets for this special event will go on sale in late July.

Also in July, in celebration of the opening of Texas filmmaker David Lowery’s A GHOST STORY, AFS has selected four global masterpieces that feature contact with the spirit world. The films include the rarely screened Thai film SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (2006) by Palme D’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Andrei Tarkovsky’s THE MIRROR (1975), Victor Erice’s SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (1977) and Sergei Parajanov’s USSR classic SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS (1965).

Special guests will present screenings at the Cinema throughout the summer. Local filmmaker and UT professor Andrew Garrison (TRASH DANCE) will present his three-part film THE WILGUS STORIES, adapted from the stories of Kentucky author Gurney Norman. On July 2, Ellar Coltrane (star of BOYHOOD and THE CIRCLE) will present BY THE RIVER, an experimental documentary featuring a cross-country trip.

Two director retrospectives will be at the AFS Cinema in August. Eric Rohmer’s collection of 6 Moral Tales, which will also be on tour in Los Angeles, will come to Austin in primarily 35mm prints. The series includes Rohmer’s internationally acclaimed MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S (1969) and LA COLLECTIONEUSE (1967), both on 35mm. Also in August, AFS will revisit the musicals of Bob Fosse, which are as dark and sinister as they are funny and brilliant. Films include CABARET (1972), ALL THAT JAZZ (1979) and SWEET CHARITY (1969).

Donna Deitch’s classic DESERT HEARTS (1985) has been recently digitally restored and will have several screenings at AFS in August. The film, which is in the canon of American queer cinema, portrays a woman who goes to Nevada to get divorced only to become enmeshed in a new romance during the journey.

July 8 and 9 will see the return of the AFS annual program “Old School Kung-Fu Weekend” featuring two days of rare and classic Kung-Fu, co-programmed by Kung Fu film specialist Dan Halstead from Portland, Oregon and AFS lead programmer Lars Nilsen.

Three new music documentaries are featured as “Doc Nights” in July and August. They include I CALLED HIM MORGAN, a documentary about the golden age of New York jazz and the tragic death of Lee Morgan, I AM THE BLUES, a road trip through Mississippi’s iconic blues clubs, and CHASING TRANE, a documentary examining the life of John Coltrane.

Several new releases are already scheduled, including Bruno Dumont’s wild and bizarre SLACK BAY, a favorite of Cannes 2016; Eugene Green’s THE SON OF JOSEPH, a nativity story and comic take on artistic pretension; and Julian Rosenfeldt’s MANIFESTO, a one-woman show of global manifestos, starring Cate Blanchett. Additional new releases will be announced each Friday.

“Sunday School,” AFS’s all-ages program for families, will introduce children and youth to great works of global cinema. July’s “Sunday School” selection is the hilarious THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN (1981), starring Lily Tomlin, which will screen on Sunday, July 30. August’s selection is François Truffaut’s classic about raucous children in a French village, SMALL CHANGE (1976), screening on Sunday, August 27. The series is guest programmed by Stacy Brick.

“Cinema of Resistance” is a monthly program that pairs important films about community organizing and social movements with post-screening discussions. Upcoming titles include a 25th Anniversary screening of Spike Lee’s MALCOLM X (1992) and the Sundance award-winning documentary about Peruvian activists, WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE (2016).

AFS “Lates” are selections of far-flung art house titles for adventurous audiences. Selections include Alejandro Jodorowsky’s SANTA SANGRE (1989), Jacques Rivette’s DUELLE (1976) and cult underground film BLONDE DEATH (1984), by James Robert Baker.

“Deep End” is an art-cult screening series, guest programmed by Jazmyne Moreno and featuring a live DJ set at each screening. July’s selection is DER FAN (1982), a synth-driven horror movie from West Germany.

See our July & August 2017 calendar