Austin Film Society Announces November/December 2021 Film Program
Brady Dyer, Communications Manager
Austin Film Society Announces November/December 2021 Program
Includes the films of Federico Fellini, New restorations of Werner Herzog’s documentaries, a special series featuring Cameroonian filmmaker Rosine Mbakam, festival award-winners, partner events with Experimental Response Cinema and The Contemporary Austin, a selection of our favorite holiday classics, and much more.
October 7, 2021 (AUSTIN, TX)—Austin Film Society announces its November and December 2021 calendar, featuring our signature programs, special screenings and events, holiday selections, and a new, diverse lineup of films from around the globe that filmgoers can only see at the AFS Cinema this season. 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 November and December, AFS presents 8½ Fellinis, a celebration of works by one of the Cinema’s most beloved auteurs, in honor of his centennial. We’ll showcase eight features and one featurette from Federico Fellini’s most highly regarded works, alongside some of the films that helped to establish his reputation as an artist of rare expressive power and technical exactitude. The series will include these not-to-be-missed screenings, including a number of new restorations: Variety Lights (1950), The White Sheik (newly restored, 1952), La Strada (newly restored, 1954), 8½ (1963), Nights of Cabiria (newly restored, 1957), La Dolce Vita (newly restored, 1960), Juliet of the Spirits (newly restored, 1965), and a double feature presentation of Amarcord (newly restored, 1973) and featurette Toby Dammit (1968).
AFS is proud to present three award-winning documentaries by rising global auteur Rosine Mbakam, who NPR recently described as “…the filmmaker reinventing how African women are portrayed in movies.” Her films capture intimate accounts of African women’s lives in Belgium and in her home city of Yaoundé, Cameroon including the three in this series: Chez Jolie Coiffeur (2018), a revealing verité portrait of a Cameroonian beauty salon in Belgium and its proprietor; Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman (2017), Mbakam’s autobiographical account of a trip home to Cameroon to visit her mother; and her most recent feature, Delphine’s Prayers (2021), the story of a west African immigrant woman in Belgium who spent most of her life in prostitution.
In November, we continue our exploration of the work of German master filmmaker Werner Herzog with a special series focused on his non-fiction films. The Herzog Restorations, Part 2: Non-fiction Herzog features five documentaries and hybrid narratives that capture his exacting gaze on the world including Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984), Lessons of Darkness (1992), Land of Silence and Darkness (1971), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), and Where the Green Ants Dream (1984).
Our Evergreens selections this season offer something for everyone with Tony Scott’s first feature film, the 1983 vampiric drama The Hunger, Paul Morissey’s gothic horror comedy Blood for Dracula (1974), William Friedkin’s neon-noir suspense To Live and Die in LA (1985), Alfred Hitchcok’s enduring thriller Vertigo (1958), Arthur Marks’ comic heist Friday Foster starring a young Pam Grier, and Victor Fleming’s beloved classic from 1939 Wizard of Oz—a true delight to see on the big screen.
Upcoming Special Screenings include a partnership between AFS and the Experimental Response Cinema on November 8 to present Ghosts of Lost Futures, new video works by 10 artists commissioned by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at SMU. On December 8, AFS and The Contemporary Austin partner to present Daniel Johnston in the ‘80s, an evening of Johnston’s early film appearances including Richard Linklater’s Woodshock from 1985. This special event coincides with The Contemporary’s exhibition Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams, the first-ever museum survey of works by the legendary musician and visual artist. And on December 17, we’ll be joined by Spaceflight Records for a unique in-theater experience of John Carpenter’s micro-budgeted first feature, 1974’s Dark Star.
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 holiday classics on the big screen including: the holiday romantic comedy, Remember the Night (1940) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray; the Christmastime who-done-it, The Thin Man (1934); Igmar Bergman’s magical Fanny and Alexander (1982); and Frank Capra’s timeless story It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The full November/December 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.
AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2021 CALENDAR
Download image stills and posters.
Fist of Fury
Lo Wei, Hong Kong, 1972, DCP, 107 min., in Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles
December 10, December 16
Bruce Lee’s first starring vehicle, The Big Boss, was a worldwide phenomenon, and this one goes a step farther, with better fights, a more compelling villain—basically Japanese imperialism itself—and Lee as an even more assured screen star. Outstanding action throughout, and Lee is an incandescent presence.
Way of the Dragon
Bruce Lee, Hong Kong, 1972, DCP, 100 min., in English, Cantonese, Mandarin with English subtitles
December 11, December 14
After the historic box office success of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee himself wrote, co-produced and directed this follow-up. Here the action cycles between Europe and Hong Kong and culminates in a fight between Lee and Chuck Norris in the Roman Coliseum.
The Big Boss
Lo Wei & Wu Chia Hsiang, Hong Kong, 1971, DCP, 99 min., in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai with English subtitles
December 12, December 15
Bruce Lee’s first leading role, made after years of hustling for supporting roles in Hollywood, made him one of the biggest stars in the world. As a film, this is a fairly rote example of Hong Kong action at the time, but Lee himself is Cinema—a true blessing to the art form.
Essential Cinema: 8 1/2 Fellinis
The pandemic cut short our planned Centennial celebration for one of the Cinema’s most beloved auteurs. Perhaps all the better, as Master Federico Fellini scorned the even and perfect in favor of the misshapen and expressive. Here we present eight features and one featurette from Fellini’s most highly regarded works alongside some of the films that helped to establish his reputation as an artist of rare expressive power and technical exactitude.
Federico Fellini and Alberto Lattuada, Italy, 1950, DCP, 97 min., Italian with English subtitles
November 11, November 13
Fellini’s first feature as a director, made in tandem with Alberto Lattuada, follows a beautiful young woman who becomes entangled with a traveling vaudeville troupe and the complications that follow.
The White Sheik
November 14, November 16
Federico Fellini and Alberto Lattuada, Italy, 1952, DCP, 86 min., Italian with English subtitles
When a young man brings his new bride to Rome to meet his family at the Vatican—and be blessed by the Pope—the woman runs away in search of The White Sheik, hero of a popular fumetti (photo comic book) series. Co-written by Michelangelo Antonioni and featuring Nino Rota’s first of many Fellini scores.
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1954, DCP, 108 min., Italian with English subtitles
November 18, November 20
Giulietta Masina (the real-life Mrs. Fellini) is brilliant as a young woman sold into servitude as an assistant to a performing strongman (Anthony Quinn). They go on the road together—La Strada means “the road”—and her life is changed forever by the experience.
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1963, DCP, 138 min., Italian with English subtitles
November 30, December 2, December 4, & December 5
Fellini’s surreal comedy portrait of a famous, suave director (Marcello Mastroianni) whose creative touch eludes him as he attempts to finish a film, created a sensation, and spawned a movie genre of its own.
Nights of Cabiria
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1957, DCP, 117 min., Italian with English subtitles
November 21, November 22
After making a splash in La Strada Giulietta Masina returns in her greatest role, a Roman streetwalker who—despite the sordid aspects of her profession—is a romantic at heart. A deeply satisfying and emotional film, and a masterpiece. Free Member Monday — AFS members get in free on November 22.
La Dolce Vita
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1960, DCP, 176 min., Italian with English subtitles
November 24, November 27, November 28
A yellow journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) makes his way among the beautiful people of Rome in search of scraps of gossip he can use in his column. As he makes his way among the decadent society, we see a cross-section of cultural attitudes during this heady post-war recovery. An absolutely gorgeous phantasmagoria of life, love, and existential nausea. One of Fellini’s greatest.
Juliet of the Spirits
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1965, DCP, 145 min., Italian with English subtitles
December 9, December 11, & December 12
When people use the adjective Felliniesque, they are often referring to the highly colorful, stylized and surreal aesthetic of Juliet of the Spirits. Giuletta Masina returns, playing the bored wife of an inattentive and unfaithful husband. The film presents her fantasies of a more fulfilling life. Massively influential and still a joy to watch.
Amarcord and Toby Dammit
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1973, DCP, 123 min., Italian with English subtitles
Federico Fellini, Italy, 1968, DCP, 44 min., English and Italian with English subtitles
December 16, December 18, & December 19
A Fellini double feature! First, the featurette Toby Dammit, Fellini’s very loose Edgar Allan Poe adaptation starring Terence Stamp as a respected British actor who takes a job in an Italian film for a new Ferrari and is plagued by nightmarish visions. The second is Amarcord, Fellini’s impressionistic portrait of an Italian village childhood under the fascist regime.
The Herzog Restorations, Part 2: Non-fiction Herzog
Continuing our look at the restorations of master filmmaker Werner Herzog, we present five documentaries and hybrid narratives which meld his trademark sense of adventure and mordant wit with an exacting gaze that redefines the term to create something altogether new, unclassifiable, and indescribable—much like the icon himself.
Ballad of the Little Soldier and Lessons of Darkness
Werner Herzog & Denis Reichle, West Germany, 1984, DCP, 46 min., in German, Spanish, and Miskito with English subtitles
Werner Herzog, Germany/France/UK, 1992, DCP, 54 min., in English, German, Arabic with English subtitles
November 5, November 7
In this documentary double feature, Herzog draws attention to two of war’s most vulnerable victims—children and nature. First up, Ballad of the Little Soldier— Herzog follows the child soldiers of Nicaragua in their fight against the Sandinistas. Next, Lessons of Darkness sees the oil fields of Kuwait transform into a hellish inferno at the close of the first Gulf War. Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.
Land of Silence and Darkness
Werner Herzog, West Germany, 1971, DCP, 85 min, in German with English Subtitles
Werner Herzog turns his lens on the resiliency of the human spirit in this life-affirming portrait of Fini Straubinger, who lost her sight and hearing early in life. His camera follows her as she helps others come to terms with a world reliant on sight and sound. Of particular personal significance to Herzog, he later noted, “If I had not have made it there would be a great gap in my existence.” Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Werner Herzog, Germany/France/UK, 1997, DCP, 80 min., in German with English subtitles
November 12, November 14
Childhood dreams of flight ground German-born U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler in the jungles of Vietnam, as first a prisoner of war, and second a prisoner of Herzog’s camera as he re-enacts a harrowing tale of escape and survival against all odds. From the horrors of a childhood marred by World War II to his career with the American armed forces, the chatty raconteur was of such fascination to Herzog that he later revisited the tale with the Christian Bale-starrer, Rescue Dawn. Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.
Where the Green Ants Dream
Werner Herzog, West Germany, 1984, DCP, 100 min.
November 21, November 26
Leading a team to find the next Uranium mine in Australia, a geologist finds opposition in the form of an Aboriginal tribe seeking to halt the operation. The line between truth and fiction is, once again, in soft focus, as Herzog blends fact and fiction, this time, using a myth of his own creation to pit the sacredness of land against the worship of the dollar in what is the closest he gets to overtly political filmmaking. Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.
Sébastien Lifshitz, France, 2020, DCP, 85 min., in French with English subtitles
November 24, November 27
Cannes and César award-winning director Sebastian Lifshitz (Wild Side, Adolescents) brings a sensitive eye to the story of Sasha, a seven-year-old trans girl who has always known she was a girl. Her family embraces her identity, but they face enormous obstacles for acceptance and support in their rural town. An intimate and emotional journey with a sincere and loving cast of characters, Little Girl is an unforgettable film about a trans childhood. The film was an award-winner at this year’s AGLIFF Film Festival (Austin’s All Genders, Lifestyles and Identities Film Festival)
Tony Scott, US & UK, 1983, DCP, 97 min.
October 31, November 6, November 7
Two seductive immortals stalk the night in search of blood and sex, only to find beguiling eternal youth has an expiration. As Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy croons in the iconic opening, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” but David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve find eternal life in master of ‘the style is the substance’ Tony Scott’s feature film debut based on Whitley Strieber’s kinky, vampiric 1981 novel.
Blood for Dracula
Paul Morrissey, Italy/France, 1974, DCP, 106 min.
November 13, November 14, November 18
Originally titled Andy Warhol’s Dracula, this bizarre gothic horror comedy stars Udo Kier, at his hyperactive best, as a Count who has a very hard time procuring the virgin blood he requires. With Joe Dallesandro as the main corruptor of his supply.
To Live & Die in LA
William Friedkin, US, 1985, DCP, 116 min.
November 26, November 28
William Friedkin’s neon-noir is renowned for its over-the-top car chase, but the whole film is breathlessly tense. The colorful hyper-80s aesthetic is aided immeasurably by the camerawork of Wim Wenders’ collaborator Robby Muller. William Peterson stars as the Secret Service agent hero and Willem Dafoe reaches new heights as the psychotic villain.
Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1958, DCP, 129 min.
December 1, December 4, December 5, & December 8
Hitchcock reaches dizzying heights of mastery with a chilling tale of intrigue, obsession, and desire. In an uncharacteristically disturbing role, James Stewart is a detective in search of a girl and tortured by memories of a love unfulfilled. Scouring the streets, he spots a woman (Kim Novak) who bears uncanny resemblance to his lost love and sets out to not only possess but create her in the dead woman’s image. A shiver-inducing tour through the corridors of a damaged mind, Vertigo has only increased in reputation as time has come to bear its kinky ingenuity for what it is — pure genius.
Arthur Marks, US, 1975, 35mm, 90 min.
December 3, December 6
Too few people have seen this classic action comedy starring a stunningly glamorous Pam Grier as a jet-setting magazine photographer who gets involved with a murder plot. With Yaphet Kotto, Eartha Kitt, Godfrey Cambridge, and a whole galaxy of Black stars. In 35mm. Free Member Monday — AFS members get in free on December 6.
The Wizard of Oz
Victor Fleming, US, 1939, DCP, 112min.
December 27, December 29, December 30, & December 31
We’re off to see the wizard! And all the wonders of Oz when a twister lands the home of Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her little dog, on top of big trouble. Join us on the yellow brick road for the classic sure to send your heart soaring somewhere, over the rainbow.
Return to Oz
Walter Murch, US & UK, 1985, 35mm, 113 min.
December 11, December 13
This almost-50-years later sequel to The Wizard of Oz is certainly a strange film, and has captured the imagination of—shall we say—nonconformists of all ages ever since. Master sound editor Walter Murch (The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now) in his only feature directorial effort, brings the movie magic of an all-new generation to the continuing adventures of Dorothy (Fairuza Balk). Warning, this film may be too scary for younger children, but for tweens and older, it may be just the ticket for lighting a fire of imaginative fantasy, with out-of-this-world production design and practical effects.
Dario Argento, Italy, 1975, DCP, 127 min.
December 25, December 28
One of the stone killers of the giallo form, Dario Argento’s masterpiece delivers the thrills, so does Goblin’s dynamically powerful score. These screenings are dedicated to the film’s late great star Daria Nicolodi. Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.
Death Laid an Egg
Giulio Questo, Italy, 1968, DCP, 86 min.
December 26, December 29
As giallo thrillers go, this is about as strange as it gets. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Gina Lollobrigida play high-tech chicken farmers. Still with me? There are also murders, black gloves, atonal music, crazy camera angles, and experimental editing techniques. Film courtesy of Cult Epics and the American Genre Film Archive.
Blood & Black Lace
Mario Bava, Italy, 1964, DCP, 88 min.
December 26, December 29
Mario Bava’s high gloss, richly colorful murder thriller, set in a haute couture fashion house, created the model for the Italian giallo film. As is often the case with Bava’s films, the dazzling technical artistry is at least as interesting as the convoluted plot. Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.
Home For the Holidays
Remember the Night
Mitchell Leisen, US,1940, DCP, 94 min.
December 20, December 23
In this romantic comedy written by Preston Sturges and directed by Mitchell Leisen, the great Barbara Stanwyck plays a woman arrested for shoplifting who, through a string of improbable events, ends up spending Christmas with the prosecuting attorney (Fred MacMurray) who has been assigned her court case.
The Thin Man
W.S. Van Dyke, US, 1934, 35mm, 91 min.
December 21, December 25
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.
Fanny and Alexander
Igmar Bergman, Sweden, 1982, DCP, 188 min., Swedish with English subtitles
December 22, December 26
Ingmar Bergman’s magical, mystical prism of childhood includes what must be one of the greatest family Christmas sequences in cinema history. In it, you feel the wonder of the season and the deep mysteries of familial connection.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra, US, 1946, DCP, 131 min.
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.
Wendell B. Harris, Jr., US, 1989, DCP, 94 min.
November 17, November 21
A landmark of Black independent cinema, Wendell B. Harris Jr’s Sundance Grand Jury winner has gained new levels of interest in the years since its release. Harris himself stars as the protagonist, a man who impersonates, with varying degrees of success, everyone from a Yale student to a surgeon. Funny, insightful, and underseen. We can fix that last part.
Joan Micklin Silver, US, 1975, DCP, 90 min.
November 26, November 29
The acclaimed debut feature from Joan Micklin Silver (Between the Lines) sees Jake (Steven Keats), a Russian-Jewish immigrant at the turn of the 20th century, trade in his roots as Yankel for All-American girlfriend, Mamie, but when wife, Gitl (Carol Kane) arrives at his doorstep, he learns in the land of the free, tradition is a bond all its own. Newly restored from the original camera negative.
Spaceflight Records Presents
John Carpenter, US, 1974, DCP, 83 min.
Spaceflight Records joins us to present John Carpenter’s micro-budgeted first feature, a genuinely funny sci-fi farce about a junky starship, manned by bored misfits, dispatched to find and destroy unstable planets. Written by Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon (Alien).
Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece, 2009, DCP, 94 min. in Greek with English subtitles
November 5, November 6
The rule is simple: Only when the Dogtooth falls out will the children be prepared to face the dangers of the outside world. And the biggest danger of all? Daddy. In Yorgos Lanthimos’ Greek shocker, a father exerts control until an outsider brings with her the wonders of sex and VHS tapes.
Vincent Ward, New Zealand, 1984, DCP, 86 min.
November 12, November 13
In the mist-covered hills of New Zealand, a young girl witnesses the death of her father and the arrival of a stranger, who soon entrenches himself, in not only her land, but her mother’s bed. Pitting a nascent sexuality coming to the fore with the encroachment on childhood fantasies, Vincent Ward’s (What Dreams May Come) indefinable coming of age tale is by turns a dangerous mystery and beautiful wonder, but as the stranger lingers the question remains: The devil has many faces, is his one? Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.
Christopher Petit, UK, 1979, DCP, 104 min.
November 19, November 20, November 23
Grab a red eye and turn the radio …A London DJ drives through Thatcher’s England to investigate the death of his brother, but in his search for answers, finds only the road between nothing and something as he heads west with the music of David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Robert Fripp (and more) for company. Filmed in stark black and white by Wim Wender’s assistant cameraman, Martin Shäfer, this new restoration of Christopher Petit’s debut marks not only the arrival of a bonafide cult classic, but an even greater rarity — “a road movie from England”.
Guy Maddin, Canada, 1990, 35mm, 83 min.
November 26, November 27
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. Working in a pastiche of early Hollywood modes, Maddin embraces the wondrous, otherworldly peculiarity of an alien land—or Canada—to create a puzzling thing that can only be described as…? We’ll leave that one to you.
Toshiya Fujita, Japan, 1973, DCP, 97 min., Japanese with English subtitles
December 3, December 4
Death comes in the form of a young woman bred for vengeance against her mother’s tormentors. Serving as one of the many inspirations behind Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, cult icon Meiko Kaji (Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion series) stars as the unflappable heroine in this blood-spurting tale of revenge from the mind behind Lone Wolf & Cub and Crying Freeman. As the Lady says, “Indiscriminate curiosity can kill.”
The Skin I Live In
Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 2011, 35mm, 120min., in Spanish with English subtitles
December 10, December 11, December 12, & December 15
Humanity is only skin deep for the world-renowned Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), who subjects a mysterious young woman (Elena Anaya) to an ever-increasing series of grotesqueries in the name of “science”. But just who is the monster in this thrilling experiment described by Spanish auteur, Pedro Almodovar as “a horror story without screams or frights”? The answer is never as it seems.
René Laloux, France & Czechoslovakia, 1973, DCP, 72 min., in French with English subtitles
December 17, December 18, December 19, December 22, & December 23
Inviting you to take a hallucinatory trip the variegated twin minds of genius that are writer Roland Topor and filmmaker Rene Laloux is Fantastic Planet, the spellbinding, psychedelic animated classic set on a distant planet of blue giants who enslave humans — that is, until they find a novel way to rebel.
Best of Fests
Son of Monarchs
Alexis Gambis, US & Mexico, 2020, DCP, 97 min., in Spanish and English with English subtitles
November 1, November 6
After the death of his grandmother, a Mexican biologist living in New York returns to his hometown nestled in the majestic monarch butterfly forests of Michoacán. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on his new hybrid identity, launching a personal and spiritual metamorphosis. Directed by biologist Alexis Gambis, Ph.D., and Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan prize at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, this film is a must-see for monarch butterfly enthusiasts.
Amalia Ulman, Spain, 2021, DCP, 79 min., in Spanish with English subtitles
November 4, November 6, November 10
Visual artist Amalia Ulman mines the devastation of post financial-crisis Spain to craft this imaginative and biting contemporary mother-daughter comedy, a selection of the New Directors/New Films and Sundance Film Festivals. With hilarious turns by Ulman and her real-life mother, Ale Ulman; a down-on-her luck designer and her one-time socialite mother try to keep up their decadent lifestyle in spite of their rapid descent from the bourgeoisie.
Mia Hansen-Løve, France, Germany, Sweden, 2021, DCP, 113 min.
November 4, November 7, November 10
Celebrated French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve (Things to Come, Father of My Children, Goodbye First Love, Eden), examines romantic relationships and creative impulse in her latest visionary work. A filmmaking couple’s summer retreat—to the idyllic island that inspired their hero Ingmar Bergman—blurs the lines between reality and fantasy in their own relationship.
3x Rosine Mbakam
Cameroonian Belgian-based filmmaker Rosine Mbakam’s intimate cinematic spaces shine a light on the inner lives of African women at home and abroad, and in doing so, find new expression for the African experience of cinema. The immediacy of Mbakam’s camera image and her utterly unique approach to perspective announced her as a rising global auteur. She has been celebrated with a recent retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her films have been New York Times Critic’s Picks, and won awards around the world. AFS is proud to present three of her remarkable non-fiction features.
Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman
Rosine Mbakam, Cameroon & Belgium, 2017, DCP, 76 min., in Bamiléké and French with English subtitles
Rosine Mbakam, a Belgian-based Cameroonian filmmaker, travels home to her mother in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to introduce her toddler son to her family and culture. A beautiful, intimate and revealing story of family history and immigration, and fascinating interrogation of the cinema camera in private spaces.
Rosine Mbakam, Cameroon & Belgium, 2021, DCP, 91 min., in French and English with English subtitles
Delphine, a woman born and raised in Cameroon, recounts the story of her incredible tribulations as a teenage prostitute and subsequent immigration to Europe in search of a better life. Filmmaker Rosine Mbakam becomes the trusted medium to share Delphine’s story.
Chez Jolie Coiffure
Rosine Mbakam, Cameroon & Belgium, 2018, DCP, 71 min., In French and Pigdin with English subtitles
In a busy urban beauty parlor in Brussels, the Cameroonian proprietor braids hair while revealing the truth about her past, and experiences of life as an African woman in Europe. New York Times Critic’s Pick.
Australian Short Film Today: 2021 Edition
Join AFS for the 2021 edition of the international traveling short film roadshow, demonstrating the best new work from emerging Australian filmmakers. Austin is one of 8 cities around the world participating in this short film exhibition, a program of New York City’s Australian International Screen Forum.
AFS & Experimental Response Cinema Present Ghosts of Lost Futures: Videos Commissioned by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection
Austin Film Society and Experimental Response Cinema partner to present Ghosts of Lost Futures, new video works by 10 artists commissioned by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. Each artist was given access to the same cache of footage from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection shot in Dallas. This special program was intended to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the archive’s founding in 1970, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, it was not completed until the Spring 2021. The artists were given complete freedom in how they re-interpreted the footage and its historical context. The resulting works are profound meditations on mourning, melancholy, disaster, and various reinterpretations of the events of 2020 and 2021 through images of Dallas’ past.
Total Running Time 89m15s:
Curt Heiner – the stars of texas shine tonight – 13m59s
Channel 8 news is on the move. DFW legends in broadcast journalism convene for a grand event on the eve of a 50th anniversary. It’s a night of remembrance, commemoration, facts, sources, and breaking stories. A document for the stars of Texas, reporter, reportee, and all residents of the Metroplex.
Lisa McCarty – Undelivered Remarks – 5m5s
On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was scheduled to address the Dallas Citizens Council. It was Kennedy’s only scheduled event in Dallas that day, but the presidential motorcade never reached their destination. His final, undelivered, speech for the Citizens Council called upon individuals to serve humanity rather than political parties. Undelivered Remarks mines this speech, and footage of Dallas’s past, in an effort to recover a possible future.
Tramaine Townsend – FRAMES. — DALLUS. – 6m26s
A part of Townsend’s series FRAMES. 2020 was a difficult and uncertain time for everyone in the world. We simultaneously experienced what we believed to be a potential doom for us all. We witnessed a change amongst ourselves that was visible, and felt what would be a consequential turn for us all in many ways for years to come. Townsend during this time with his girlfriend Stephanie filmed their experience during quarantine together. He wanted to chronicle the time they had together by filming their interactions with one another. There were times of reflection, growth, and a few mundane moments. Most of it was filmed right at the beginning of quarantine. Townsend corresponded the footage from the archive dates with the footage he captured of them both. Making it nearly 50 years apart from one another. It’s a reflection of then to our inevitable now. No one could have predicted a turn of events. Nor could have known some of those events and feelings progress and carry on as time stands now. The similarities in some cases were uncanny.
Zak Loyd – Deep River / Ocean of Storms – 3m8s
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” –Matthew 3:11
“The moon is dead. Your soul went to the moon, to the preserver of souls. Thus, the soul moved toward death. I went into the inner death and saw that outer dying is better than inner death. And I decided to die outside and to live within. For that reason, I turned away and sought the place of the inner life”. – Carl Jung; Red Book.
Sean Miller – Untrue Crime – 8m17s
Untrue Crime mimics the form and expectations of the true crime documentary genre with a sequence of clips selected from SMU’s WFAA archive. Footage is extracted from various real-world events documented by WFAA in the early 1970s and re-contextualized into a surreal narrative collage. Clips seem to comment on and interact with each other, but this narrative is a mirage that dissolves under close examination.
Angelo Madsen Minax – Stay with me, the world is a devastating place – 8m 29s
In a time-warping dramaturgy, the news anchors from 1970 are reimagined as pseudo-divine bearers of a potential truth, transplanted from 50 years in the past and appearing before our eyes to weave a proclamation of impending doom. In poetic decree, we are told in great detail the peril of our world, yet offered no explanation of how to prevent it, nor the definitive cause.
Zak Loyd – Parkland – 6m19s
“Parkland Hospital opened at the corner of Maple and Oak Lawn Avenues in 1894 with 100 beds. It replaced a 25-bed “City Hospital” … that had opened in 1873. The new hospital was named “Parkland” because it was built on land originally bought for a city park” –Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division Dallas Public Library.
Amber Bemak – Dallas is a Fire – 11m35s
This film illustrates a historical loop of white supremacy in the city of Dallas.
Melanie Clemons – Flats – 8m4s
In Flats, gifable moments are extracted from the archive and reformed to mimic social media ‘stories.’ This contemporary treatment highlights the relationship between the media and the environment in which it is presented.
Liz Rodda – Amid Flowers, Crowns, and Tears – 11m19s
Amid Flowers, Crowns, and Tears serves as a doubled gaze between 1970 Dallas and America over fifty years later as well as the encoded gaze of the news camerapersons and the ensuing one of the artist/filmmaker. The (digitized) film is structured to shift between moments of presence and absence; white bodies lounge poolside in one scene and, in another, a black woman lies down at the site where unarmed Michael Morehead was shot and killed by police. The story of Michael Morehead is told in proximity to a store owner’s experience of armed robbery who makes a conscious choice to let the perpetrator live. In slow rhythm, the film moves between sound and silence, figure and ground, as well as spectacle and obfuscation.
Marwa Benhalim – The Void Remembers – 6m34s
Swaying between fiction, heartbreak, and trauma, “the void remembers” merges archival footage, text, and song into a non-linear journey of emotional turmoil, devastation, and the mundane. Fusing the anxiety of anticipation with radical emotional disenchantment, while tracing a catastrophe’s effect beyond its point of origin. It reflects on the premise that the production of one’s present is only possible after an event of sudden damage or change.
Ghosts of Lost Futures Curated by Michael A. Morris and Commissioned by the SMU Libraries and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection SMU Libraries Staff Advisors: Jeremy Spracklen, Scott Martin, Jolene De Verges, and Beverly Mitchell
In 1970, the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection was founded at Southern Methodist University, then known as the Southwest Film/Video Archives and is currently part of the SMU Libraries. It is home to many important collections of films and videos from the region, including the WFAA Newsfilm Collection.
AFS & The Contemporary Present: Daniel Johnston in the ‘80s
As part of the Contemporary Austin’s exhibition Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams, the first-ever museum survey of works by the legendary musician and visual artist, AFS and The Contemporary Austin will present an evening of Johnston’s early film appearances. The evening will include a screening of Woodshock, a verité documentary of the Dripping Springs festival of the same name, which captures the mood and the characters of the mid-80s alt music scene in Central Texas. A post-screening discussion following the films will feature Richard Linklater in person, and other special guests.
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