Austin Film Society Announces Nov/Dec 2019 Film Program

Brady Dyer, Communications Manager

October 8, 2019

AFS Announces November/December 2019 Program
Includes a spotlight on Austin’s original film club, Cinema 40; Best of Cassavetes/Rowlands; Special Screenings with Molly Haskell and Christine Vachon; our favorite international holiday classics; and more.

AUSTIN, TX—Austin Film Society announces its November and December calendar featuring our signature programs, special screenings, holiday selections, and a new, diverse lineup of films that filmgoers can only see at the AFS Cinema this season. Highlights include:

For our Essential Cinema this November, AFS will celebrate the legendary Cinema 40, University of Texas’ 1960s film club. Foundational in laying the groundwork for Austin’s contemporary film scene, the group lobbied UT to start its first film department, hosted luminaries on campus including Jean-Luc Godard and Jonas Mekas, founded a filmmakers collective to make their own experimental films to trade with groups like Canyon Cinema and the Warhol Factory, and founded Harbinger Magazine, a film culture quarterly featuring original writing by Susan Sontag, Ernest Callenbach, and others. Cinema 40 founder Gregg Barrios joins us for a program looking back at the essential chapters of Cinema 40’s history, including its avant-garde influences and relationships with counter-culture icons like Jim Morrison and Andy Warhol.

Cassavetes/Rowlands will be the focus of our December Essential Cinema—showcasing some of the best performances between on and off-screen partners actor-director John Cassavetes and frequent collaborator, actress Gena Rowlands, including Minnie & Moskovitz, A Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night, and Gloria.

This fall, AFS is honored to welcome renowned film critic Molly Haskell and veteran New York independent female producer Christine Vachon to present special screenings followed by post-film Q&As. On November 4, Haskell will present Howard Hawks’ 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday, followed by an audience discussion. On November 5, Vachon will present Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven from 2002, and then join us for a discussion on producing and collaborating with Haynes, Kimberly Pierce, Paul Schrader, and many others throughout her long career.

Doc Nights will feature a new lineup of compelling and thought-provoking documentaries including Jay Myself on eccentric photographer Jay Maisel, and the newly restored Say Amen, Somebody, which explores the history of African-American Gospel music. Director Jaqueline Olive joins us in person for her powerful Sundance-lauded documentary, Always in Season, that takes a look at the horrifying legacy of lynching in the American south, followed by an audience discussion.

Our Evergreens selections this season offer something for everyone with Martin Scorsese’s 1990 mob heist masterpiece Goodfellas, Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s charming 1989 Kiki’s Delivery Service, and the surprising and delightful indie sleeper from 1994 Muriel’s Wedding, starring Toni Collette in her breakout role.

This December, we invite you to get in the holiday spirit with family and friends and join us for our special program, Home for the Holidays. The series features some of our favorite international holiday classics on the big screen including: Frank Capra’s timeless story It’s a Wonderful Life (1946); Bell, Book & Candle (1958) starring Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, and Jimmy Stewart; the Christmastime who-done-it, The Thin Man (1934); Yi Yi (2000), an intimate portrait of a father, daughter, and son by Taiwanese master Edward Yang; Get Crazy (1983), a raucous New Year’s Eve movie with an enormous cast including Lou Reed, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Lee Ving, and Malcolm McDowell; and Tokyo Story (1953), Yasujirô Ozu’s beloved 1953 meditation on how families grow, change, and adapt.

The full November/December 2019 calendar announcement continues below.

Ticket prices range from $9 to $11.25, with discounts for AFS members. Special pricing is noted if applicable.

For a complete list of film screenings and special events, please visit ​www.​austinfilm​.org.​  High resolution images and a PDF of the calendar can be downloaded HERE.


Partner Screenings

Gems from the Landmarks Video Catalog
Various, 70 min.
November 16
AFS celebrates the upcoming season of video work from the University of Texas Landmarks fine art collection with a program presenting highlights from current and past seasons. Featuring contemporary artist films and video by Kara Walker, Ja’Tovia Gary, Hans Op De Beek, Miguel Angel Rios, and others, and an introduction by Landmarks video curator Kanitra Fletcher.

Ay Mariposa
Krista Schlyer, USA, 2019, DCP, 57 min. In Spanish and English with English Subtitles.
November 11
Residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas’ lives are upended by plans to build a US-Mexico border wall, and they find themselves fighting to protect both the people and the wildlife of their homeland. Presented in partnership with the Texas Observer and Defenders of the Wild.

Houston Film Commission 2019 Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase
November 26
The Houston Film Commission’s Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase is an annual 90-minute program of the best Texas-made short films from the past year. Featuring work by Bryan Poyser, Artemis Anastasiadou, and others.

Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss, USA, 2018, DCP, 94 min.
December 1
The inspirational story of the heroic nurses and caregivers who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first AIDS ward unit in the US. Post-screening Q&A with Kind Clinic staff members. Presented in partnership with World AIDS Day and Kind Clinic.

Signature Programs

Molly Haskell presents His Girl Friday (4K)
Howard Hawks, USA, 1940, DCP, 92 min.
November 4
It’s a great honor to be joined by one of the most eminent figures in all of film criticism, Molly Haskell, for a special screening of Howard Hawks’ lightning-paced screwball comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY, followed by an audience discussion with Haskell.

Christine Vachon presents Far From Heaven
Todd Haynes, USA, 2002, 35mm, 107 min.
November 5
Veteran New York independent producer Christine Vachon joins us in Austin to present Todd Haynes’ seminal ‘50s-set melodrama, FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002). Vachon will discuss her long career in producing and collaborating with Todd Haynes, Kimberly Pierce, Paul Schrader, and other luminaries in a post-screening Q&A.

Best of Fests

AFS ShortCase
November 17
The AFS ShortCase is an annual program of short films produced by Austin Film Society MAKE Members. This is an encore screening of the program that played at SXSW Film 2019. Followed by a filmmaker networking mixer.

Family Style

The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA, UK, 1982, DCP, 93 min.
November 30, December 1
This Jim Henson venture into a dark fantasy realm was, let’s face it, a bit ahead of its time. Join us as we revisit it as part of our Family Style series. Bring the family. Or don’t. Host Stacy Brick will provide insight and entertainment before the show. $5 tickets for kids 17 and under.


Martin Scorsese, USA, 1990, DCP, 146 min.
November 23, November 24, November 30
Martin Scorsese’s mob heist masterpiece is based on the true story of mafia associate and FBI informant Henry Hill. With truly unforgettable performances by the whole cast: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and many others.

Muriel’s Wedding
P.J. Hogan, Australia, France, 1994, 35mm, 106 min.
December 8, December 11
How does this sound? A hot pastel-hued coming of age story about a shy, outcast young woman in tiny Porpoise Spit, Australia, who finds her identity in Abba songs and sets out for the big city to become somebody. Pretty good, huh? It gets better. Toni Collette plays her, and she kicks it into hyperdrive. In 35mm.

Kiki’s Delivery Service
Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 1989, DCP, 113 min, In Japanese with English Subtitles.
December 14, December 16, December 18
When 13-year old trainee witch Kiki goes out into the world to learn to make her way among people, she has some stumbles and triumphs at life and love. As always with Hayao Miyazaki’s films, it’s the little touches that count. Utterly charming.


Santa Sangre
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Italy, 1989, DCP, 123 min.
November 10, November 12, November 15, November 16
Jodorowsky works out some mommy issues with a circus performer who loses control of his arms and hands to the murderous desires of his mutilated mother. 4K restoration.

I Stand Alone
Gaspar Noé, France, 1998, 35mm, 93 min., In French with English Subtitles.
November 22, November 23
Before the warning was in the name, Gaspar Noé’s feature debut took a slice off the TAXI DRIVER meat rack and turned a butcher’s screed against humanity into a piece of French extremity worth the controversy. In 35mm.

Downtown 81
Edo Bertogolio, USA, 2001, DCP, 75 min.
November 29, November 30
In newly restored cool, Jean-Michel Basquiat tours bygone NY in search of money and romance, in a grime travelogue scripted by Interview Magazine’s Glenn O’Brien. Featuring: Fab Five Freddie, The Plastics, Debbie Harry and music by Liquid Liquid, Suicide, DNA, & Tuxedomoon!

Julien Donkey-Boy
Harmony Korine, USA, 1999, 35mm, 94 min.
December 13, December 14, December 15
In the first American film shot in accordance with Dogme 95 principles, Julien battles schizophrenia and his tyrannical father (Werner Herzog) as Harmony Korine takes a kaleidoscopic look at familial dysfunction.

Guy Maddin, Canada, 1992, 35mm, 100 min.
December 20, December 21
In Guy Maddin’s lush fantasia, the heights of camp and high-art are scaled by the residents of a sleepy alpine village that represses loud sounds and Freudian complexes lest they cause an avalanche.

Doc Nights

Jay Myself
Stephen Wilkes, USA, 2018, DCP, 80 min.
November 3, November 6
Since 1966, the photographer Jay Maisel has owned a 35,000 square foot building in lower Manhattan that he has filled with a phantasmagoria of found objects. This documentary shows us the end of this particular era as Maisel relocates and tells his story.

Always in Season
Jacqueline Olive, USA, 2019, DCP, 89 min.
November 19
Director Jacqueline Olive joins us in person for a screening of her powerful Sundance-lauded documentary that takes an unflinching look at the horrifying legacy of lynching in the American south. Q&A with director Jacqueline Olive. Presented in partnership with the Texas Observer.

Say Amen, Somebody
George T. Nierenberg, USA, 1982, DCP, 100 min.
December 2, December 7
Newly restored in 4K, this classic documentary is both a history of African American Gospel music, and a remarkable concert movie, featuring performances from the O’Neal Twins, the Barrett Sisters, and others.

Essential Cinema: Cinema 40
The origin story of Austin’s contemporary film culture can be found in the history of a little-known 1960s campus film society. With a name derived from the famous New York City post-war avant garde group Cinema 16 (adapted to celebrate the University of Texas’ iconic 40 acres), the Cinema 40 was part of the student counter-cultural movement of the mid-1960s. Through their tireless commitment, Cinema 40 members lobbied UT to start a film department, introduced students and the Austin community to great works of avant garde and classic Hollywood cinema, hosted luminaries on campus including Jean-Luc Godard and Jonas Mekas, started a filmmakers collective to share resources and make their own experimental films, established ties with the Warhol Factory, and founded a UT-published film culture quarterly, Harbinger Magazine, that featured original essays by Susan Sontag, Ernest Callenbach, and others. For the first time, the history of Cinema 40 will be celebrated in an AFS retrospective featuring introductions by the organization’s founder, Gregg Barrios, an award-winning San Antonio-based playwright, poet, journalist and filmmaker. The films presented in the series played a critical role in the Cinema 40’s history and activities.

Films from the Cinema 40 Archive
Various, 100 min. DCP restorations of the original 16mm and 8mm material
November 7
Jim Morrison (THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER) and Andy Warhol (PORTRAIT OF TED O’NEILL) donated these original short films to Cinema 40 for their archive. Restorations of the films will screen alongside original works by Gregg Barrios made during that period, featuring on campus Vietnam protests and UT visits from Jonas Mekas and Allen Ginsburg. Introduction by Gregg Barrios.

The Magnificent Ambersons
Orson Welles, USA, 1942, DCP, 88 min.
November 14, November 16, November 17
Orson Welles’ name was little known by Austin film students in the 1960s until Peter Bogdanovich wrote about the director in Cahiers du Cinema. Cinema 40 organized a retrospective, and were surprised by this film, which is infamous for being taken away from Welles by RKO and re-edited, but maintains many of Welles’ brilliant ideas. November 14 screening introduced by Gregg Barrios.

La Chinoise
Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967, DCP, 95 min.
November 21
Godard was venerated by the Cinema 40 crowd, who convinced the director to come on his only known Texas visit in 1967. Gregg Barrios will discuss memories from that visit prior to a screening of the film Godard brought along with him, LA CHINOISE, made during the height of the Maoist debate. Introduction by Gregg Barrios.

Patron Saints of Cinema 40
November 27
Four seminal short avant garde films that drew a line in the sand for 1960s film students: UN CHIEN ANDALOU (Luis Buñuel), MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (Maya Deren), UN CHANT D’AMOUR (Jean Genet) and SCORPIO RISING (Kenneth Anger). Introduction by Gregg Barrios.

Essential Cinema: Cassavetes/Rowlands
The romantic and artistic partnership of actor-director John Cassavetes and his frequent collaborator, actress Gena Rowlands, is one of the most fruitful and satisfying in the history of film. Together they found emotional truth in some of the most important and influential films of their era. This December we present the best of these.

Minnie & Moskowitz
John Cassavetes, USA, 1971, DCP, 114 min.
December 5, December 7
Cassavetes’ “screwball comedy” is a love story between a newly dumped woman, played by Gena Rowlands, and a bizarre parking lot attendant (the magnificent Seymour Cassell).

A Woman Under the Influence
John Cassavetes, USA, 1974, DCP, 153 min.
December 12, December 14
Gena Rowlands gives one of the screen’s greatest performances as a woman who begins to unravel under the pressures of being a wife and mother in a world of men. With Peter Falk as her husband.

Opening Night
John Cassavetes, USA, 1977, DCP, 144 min.
December 19, December 21
John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands star together in this film about a stage actress having a difficult time connecting with her character and staying rooted in real life as the Broadway debut approaches.

John Cassavetes, USA, 1980, DCP, 123 min.
December 26, December 28
Gena Rowlands’ GLORIA is one of her most unforgettable characters. When her neighbor, a mob accountant, is being pursued by mob hitmen, Gloria runs off to safety with the man’s young son, protecting him with lead bullets and steel nerve as needed.

Noir Canon
With this series, we hope to share some of the foundational films of film noir and, in our introductions to these screenings, help people understand what characterizes the genre, what it meant to audiences of its time, and what it still says to us today.

Sunset Boulevard
Billy Wilder, USA, 1950, DCP, 110 min.
November 22, November 23, November 25
Billy Wilder’s blackly comic story of the dark side of Hollywood’s glamour is propelled into the stratosphere by Gloria Swanson’s performance as Norma Desmond, a once great star, now a damaged has-been. With William Powell and Erich Von Stroheim.

The Killing
Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1956, DCP, 84 min.
November 29, December 1
Count on Stanley Kubrick to ratchet up the suspense and atmosphere of film noir to a level of intensity it had never achieved before. With the help of co-writer Jim Thompson and a perfect cast, Kubrick gives us the heist movie of our dreams and the amoral criminals we deserve.

Otto Preminger, USA, 1944, DCP, 88 min.
December 4, December 8
Beyond its highly visible influence on David Lynch’s work, LAURA is a work of erotic obsession that still haunts moviegoers today. Dana Andrews plays the detective who falls in love with the titular dead woman (Gene Tierney, never better). With Vincent Price and Clifton Webb in key roles.

The Asphalt Jungle
John Huston, USA, 1950, DCP, 112 min.
December 13, December 15
There are as many ways to commit a heist as there are ways to make a movie about it. We counterpoint Kubrick’s THE KILLING here with John Huston’s approach to some of the same material. With Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, and Marilyn Monroe, making her first real impression as a star on film.

Newly Restored

Bela Tarr, Hungary, 1994, DCP, 450 min, In Hungarian with English Subtitles.
November 24
Béla Tarr’s massive, seven+ hour masterpiece immerses viewers in a novelistic tableau of life in a small Hungarian town as communism falls. Tarr’s astonishing visual compositions add a level of transcendence to the film, now restored from its original elements.

Duet for Cannibals
Susan Sontag, Sweden, 1969, DCP, 105 min, In Swedish with English Subtitles.
December 9, December 10
Critic, essayist and novelist Susan Sontag was an intellectual force throughout her working life. So much so that in 1969 she was invited to make a film for a Swedish producer. The result is this dark comedy of manners about a love quadrangle between four very different people in Stockholm.

Homo Arigato

This is Not Berlin
Hari Sama, Mexico, 2019, DCP, 115 min, In Spanish with English Subtitles.
November 12
In this festival favorite, two teenagers’ lives are upended when they become part of the radical underground club scene of 1980s Mexico City.

Both Ways
Jerry Douglas, USA, 1975, DCP, 84 min.
December 17
A suburban lawyer juggles family life with his wife Janet (Andrea True, of disco fame), and time with his male lover exploring the Greenwich Village scene in its heyday of excess.

History of Television

Blacklist & Exile
November 18
The Hollywood blacklist era ended or stunted many careers. Some tarnished writers and producers took their talents across the Atlantic to work in British TV. Here we present a pair of episodes from this period and tell the story of some of these exiles.

Home for the Holidays
The holidays are a period of travel for many of us as we venture to far-off homes and hearths. For some of us though, Austin is our home, and we are staying here for the holidays. With that in mind, we are presenting some of our favorite international holiday classics on the big screen.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra, USA, 1946, DCP, 130 min.
December 22, December 23, December 24, December 25
There’s a reason why families have made this Frank Capra classic a holiday tradition: it is an honest film full of deep, real emotion. Jimmy Stewart, a good man with the highest values, struggles to find his place in the world, but fortunately receives a little angelic assistance.

Bell, Book & Candle
Richard Quine, USA, 1958, DCP, 106 min.
December 20, December 22, December 25, December 26
Kim Novak stars as a beatnik witch with a Siamese cat named Pyewacket and a warlock brother played by Jack Lemmon in this freaked-out and very funny Christmas season romance. Jimmy Stewart plays the object of her love potions. With Ernie Kovacs and Elsa Lanchester.

The Thin Man
W.S. Van Dyke, USA, 1934, 35mm, 93 min.
December 21, December 24, December 25, December 27
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. In 35mm.

Yi Yi
Edward Yang, Taiwan, Japan, 2000, DCP, 173 min, In Mandarin, Min Nan, Hokkien, Japanese, French with English Subtitles.
December 28, December 29
The twentieth anniversary of the final film by Taiwanese master Edward Yang (A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY, TAIPEI STORY). This is a story of love and familial connections between a father, his teenage daughter, and young son over the course of a few months. Yang’s extraordinary gift for cinema and sensitive approach to love and connection elevate it into a great work of the screen.

Get Crazy
Allan Arkush, USA, 1983, 35mm, 92 min.
December 29, December 31
In some ways, the ultimate New Year’s movie. During a big 1983 New Year’s celebration, a scummy businessman tries to evict the denizens of a wild rock and roll club. With an enormous cast including Lou Reed, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Lee Ving, and Malcolm McDowell as, basically, Mick Jagger. In 35mm.

Tokyo Story
Yasujirô Ozu, Japan, 1953, 35mm, 136 min, In Japanese with English Subtitles.
December 30, January 1
Yasujirô Ozu’s masterpiece, and one of the most important and beloved films in cinema history. An elderly couple from a small town in Japan visit their adult children in Tokyo. All have changed, and Ozu’s meditation (an apt word) on the ways that families grow together and apart is at the center of the film.

Special Events

An Evening with Joe Bob Briggs: How Rednecks Saved Hollywood
November 13
Spend a fast-and-furious two hours with America’s drive-in movie critic as he uses over 200 clips and stills to review the history of rednecks in America as told through the classics of both grindhouse and mainstream movies.

Everything is Terrible!
December 6
Join us for the triumphant return of Everything Is Terrible!, the video and performance collective that is responsible for some of the internet’s most hilarious and bizarre videos. Don’t forget to bring your Jerries!

AFA Cine-Club
November 17, December 15
Spend your Sunday morning enjoying the best classic and contemporary French films, brought to you by the Alliance Française Ciné-Club.

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 supports filmmakers’ career leaps through grants, support services, and professional development programs. Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, attracts, and grows 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, and offers youth programming. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed, non-profit arthouse cinema with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, special events, 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. To learn more about the AFS Cinema or about Austin Film Society’s mission visit: and follow @AustinFilm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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