Austin Film Society Announces the AFS Cinema Will Open Thursday, July 15 with a Spectacular Summer Lineup
(Still from The Last Picture Show directed by Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)
Brady Dyer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin Film Society Announces the AFS Cinema Will Open July 15
AFS Cinema Returns with a Lineup of Programs for July and August
To Celebrate the World of Cinema on the Big Screen
Tickets On Sale Friday, June 25
June 9, 2021 (Austin, TX)—Austin Film Society announces that the AFS Cinema will officially open on Thursday, July 15 with a summer lineup of programs that celebrates the great return to the movies and Austin’s singular arthouse theater experience. In May, AFS launched The Next Picture Show — a crowdfunding campaign to help reopen the AFS Cinema and light up our two big screens with the classic, independent, and global films that bring the world of cinema to Austin. The response from the community so far has been overwhelming with $130K contributed by over 700 donors in just over a month.
“We are blown away by the community’s incredible support and enthusiasm for reopening the AFS Cinema, and beyond grateful for the generous donations and words of encouragement. It shows us that not only are people ready to return to the movies—to watch and discover new films the way they were meant to be seen—but also that this non-profit art house is a vital cultural touchstone for the community. We are thrilled to announce our opening date and can’t wait to see everyone at the AFS Cinema this summer,” said Rebecca Campbell, CEO of AFS.
The July/August lineup brings a return of AFS’s signature programs, special events, and new release screenings, many that filmgoers can only see at the AFS Cinema. Opening weekend will feature screenings that showcase the magic of the big screen experience with a tribute to the enduring Larry McMurtry and The Last Picture Show, Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Ran, new documentary and debut film Summer of Soul by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and the Austin theatrical premiere of Dear Mr. Brody with director Keith Maitland and filmmakers in attendance on July 18.
Tickets for all July/August programs will go on sale to the public Friday, June 25 through our website at austinfilm.org
More July/August highlights include: Essential Cinema featuring Master of the New French Wave Eric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons, all newly restored by Janus Films; Big Screen Classics with Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Marriage of Maria Braun, and Martin Ritt’s Hud based on Larry McMurtry’s novel “Horseman, Pass By,” among others; New Restorations of global classics including Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror and Ousmane Sembène’s Mandabi; Best of the Noir Canon including Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep, Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil; World of Wong Kar Wai, presenting new restorations on the big screen of some of the career highpoints by the prolific Shanghai-born Hong Kong filmmaker; New Releases including Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It by Mariem Pérez Riera and Without Getting Killed or Caught with Director Tamara Saviano in attendance on July 23; and much more. The full July/August 2021 calendar is below.
Watch our Reopening Trailer with a preview of all that is to come!
On Thursday, July 15, the AFS Cinema will reopen with Covid precautions in place to ensure the safety of all patrons and staff—masks will be required at all times in the lobby and in the theater when not eating or drinking. Improved air filters have been installed on HVAC units to improve indoor air quality, and theaters will be operating with reduced capacity. Patrons can visit our website (austinfilm.org/covid) for the most up-to-date details on health and safety protocols.
Visit here for more information on our campaign to reopen the AFS Cinema, The Next Picture Show. The campaign runs through June 17, and donors receive perks including AFS Memberships. AFS members will be invited to an exclusive soft opening weekend beginning Friday, July 9, in addition to annual benefits of free or discounted admission, exclusive sneak peeks and member events, and more.
AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY JULY AND AUGUST 2021 CALENDAR
A selection of film stills can be downloaded here.
Christian Petzold, Germany/France, 2020, DCP, 91 min., in German and English with English subtitles
July 19, July 24
German writer-director Christian Petzold (Transit, Phoenix) makes films that are unusual and remarkable for how poetically they remake the world as we know it, with images that reframe history and our individual place within it. This latest film, a fantastical romance, peels back the layers of Berlin’s past through the eyes of its main character, an urban historian undone by a bad breakup.
Claire Denis, France, 1999, DCP, 93 min., in French, Italian, and Russian with English subtitles
July 16, July 20
Claire Denis’ tale of obsession is newly restored and an absolute must-see on the big screen. Among a group of French sailors stationed abroad, contempt and brutal rivalry simmer within the ranks, and more so inside the mind of one sadistic commander, played to perfection by the always captivating Denis Lavant. A masterpiece of visual description and storytelling. While it is often quietly, lushly poetic, Denis builds a white-hot tension that is ever rising, and the final scene is one of the most unforgettable sequences in contemporary cinema (trust us). Newly restored.
Jacques Deray, France/Italy, 1969, DCP, 123 min., in French with English subtitles
July 17, July 18
This story of sex, sadism, jealousy and terrible choices among the (really, really) beautiful people who summer on the French Riviera stars Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Jane Birkin and Maurice Ronet. A cruel summer indeed. Not to be missed on the big screen.
Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia, 1975, DCP, 106 min., in Russian and Spanish with English subtitles
July 22, July 24 & July 26
Andrei Tarkovsky casts a powerful visual spell with the cinematic image and a fractured timeline in this hypnotic tale of a dying poet looking back on his life and, concurrently, Russia’s recent history. This is Tarkovsky at the height of his powers, producing images that seem to emerge directly from his memories and subconscious mind. Newly restored.
The Story of a Three Day Pass
Melvin Van Peebles, France, 1968, DCP, 87 min., in English and French with English subtitles
August 7, August 9 & August 11
Melvin Van Peebles’ first film, made in France where the young filmmaker lived in exile from America’s segregated film industry, is a fascinating take on the Nouvelle Vague as seen through the eyes of a sensitive Black American. It is, as the title implies, the chronicle of a whirlwind romance between a Black American soldier on leave in Paris and a white woman. A major rediscovery and a wonderful stylistic hybrid. Newly restored.
Ousmane Sembène, Senegal, 1968, DCP, 91 min., in Wolof and French with English subtitles
Made in Senegal and Paris by the master Ousmane Sembène, this comedic fable is a completely unique work of film art. When a pompous patriarch receives a money order from a relative in France, he begins throwing his weight around even before the money order is cashed, which proves to be a much less simple matter than he imagined. Full of the color and light of Senegal’s streets, homes and gathering places, Mandabi is one of those restorations that seems to bring a film fully back to life again, and we are grateful. Newly restored. Presented with the support of UniFrance.
ESSENTIAL CINEMA: ERIC ROHMER’S TALES OF THE FOUR SEASONS
Eric Rohmer’s final cycle of films, following his earlier Moral Tales and Comedies and Proverbs, shows us the familiar Rohmer world of love, sex, identity and communication through a grayer lens, as the master of the French New Wave became ever more poetic and reflective about the many meanings of life. All four films have been recently restored by Janus Films.
A Tale of Springtime
Eric Rohmer, France, 1990, DCP, 108 min., in French with English subtitles
August 5, August 7
In the first of Eric Rohmer’s “Tales of the Four Seasons,” an intergenerational love pentangle is depicted in Rohmer’s assured manner as a romantic scheme goes wrong— and right—as the sophisticated Parisian protagonists discover their true natures together against a backdrop of a spring in the French countryside.
A Tale of Winter
Eric Rohmer, France, 1992, DCP, 114 min., in French with English subtitles
August 12, August 14
Rohmer at his most philosophical and spiritual. A young mother attempts to choose between two suitors as she also holds out hope for a reunion with her daughter’s father with whom she is still in love. The plot reaches its climax at a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale,” which clarifies her emotions about the men in her life and herself.
A Tale of Summer
Eric Rohmer, France, 1996, DCP, 113 min., in French with English subtitles
August 19, August 21
Rohmer’s third Tale in the Four Seasons cycle is an autobiographical story from the writer-director’s youth. At a coastal resort, a restless and creative young man faces a cornucopia of romantic options but is unable to decide as he is torn between the three women.
A Tale of Autumn
Eric Rohmer, France, 1998, DCP, 112 min., in French with English subtitles
August 26, August 28
The final chapter of Rohmer’s Four Seasons, this is a light and sensual tale of love and matchmaking in a classic romantic comedy mold. Set in the Rhône Valley wine country, it plays out like a slow-motion screwball farce.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick, USA/UK, 1968, DCP, 149 min. including intermission
August 14, August 15 & August 16
Stanley Kubrick’s metaphysically rich science fiction adaptation is one of the most visually compelling works of film art ever made. An enormous step forward in movie special effects, it also showed that serious speculative fiction belonged on the same plane as art films. We are proud to present the “un-restoration” of the film as prepared by 2001 admirer Christopher Nolan, which also restores the quadraphonic sound effects from the original roadshow release.
The Secret Life of Plants
Walon Green, USA, 1978, DCP, 97 min.
August 17, August 21 & August 22
A deeply psychedelic exploration of the mysteries of plant life filled with some of the most breathtaking time-lapse footage ever shot. With a philosophical background and design style that leaves no doubt about the filmmakers’ commitment to entheogenic substances. That should be enough, right? Well, on top of that, throw in an absolutely amazing soundtrack by Stevie Wonder at his most experimental. It’s a mindblower. Take your vitamins before you watch this one.
John Waters, USA, 1981, DCP, 86 min.
August 28, August 29 & August 31
Help us celebrate 75 years of John Waters with these screenings of Waters’ transitional film. Between the technically crude early bad-taste rallies like Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble and the subsequent slick Hollywood-funded works like Hairspray and Cry Baby, John Waters made this paean to the Sirkian melodramas of the ’50s, starring members of his regular stock company including Divine, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole (as well as former teen idol Tab Hunter) in a story of suburban desire and its discontents. It’s hilarious. Waters at his best.
All About Lily Chou-Chou
Shunji Iwai, Japan, 2001, DCP, 146 min.
August 6, August 7 & August 10
Angst is a pop tune for the teenage fans of Lily Chou-Chou, a ‘Björk-like chanteuse’ whose loyal fandom lose themselves in cult-like chat rooms devoted to the mysterious goddess in this turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece from Shunji Iwai (Hana and Alice).
Son of the White Mare
Marcell Jankovics, Hungary, 1981, DCP, 90 min.
August 13, August 14 & August 18
In a psychedelic swirl of color and sound comes the craziest birth since Athena, when a divine white mare bares three mighty sons destined to embark on an epic journey to restore order to the universe. From legendary Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics comes a restored knockout ready to crack your head open.
Wojciech Has, Poland, 1973, DCP, 119 min., in Polish and Yiddish with English subtitles
August 20, August 21 & August 24
Words are useless to describe the wonders and horrors of the sanatorium, where time and memory drive the dream-machine, fueled by the writings of Bruno Schulz and visionary direction of Polish director Wojciech Jerzy Has (The Saragossa Manuscript) in this newly-restored masterpiece.
Nikos Nikolaidis, Greece, 1990, Digital, 111 min.
August 27 & August 28
A private detective searching for his lost love finds out how deep family bonds go when he encounters a mother-daughter duo for whom murder is a familial trait. Godfather of the “Greek Weird Wave” Nikos Nikolaidis ratchets up the insanity in this frenzied, high-contrast noir-gy of vulgarities befitting its shocking tagline: The Man Who Loved A Corpse.
James Szalapski, USA, 1976, DCP, 92 min.
August 1, August 3, August 4, August 8, August 11 & August 14
An absolute hidden classic of documentary film restored at last. Heartworn Highways is a portrait of a number of outlaw country legends captured at their absolute peak in the mid-’70s. Featuring Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, baby Steve Earle, and the absolutely compelling Townes Van Zandt, filmed at his ramshackle homestead in that rough-and-tumble, working-class part of Austin known as Clarksville.
Sisters with Transistors
Lisa Rovner, UK, 2020, DCP, 84 min.
August 4, August 5, August 7 & August 8
This new documentary showcases some of the female pioneers of electronic music through interviews and fascinating archival footage of these creators at work. Laurie Anderson narrates as we learn all about the personal stories, ideas and music of Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel.
BEST OF THE NOIR CANON
The Big Sleep
Howard Hawks, USA, 1946, 35mm, 114 min.
August 6, August 8
Howard Hawks’ perverse adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in a detective story so convoluted that even Chandler couldn’t figure it out. With dialogue like this, you won’t care about the plot either. A joy from start to finish. This, more than any other film, will show you why Bogie and Bacall are eternal icons of cool. In 35mm.
Billy Wilder, USA, 1944, 35mm, 107 min.
August 13, August 15
Billy Wilder’s adaptation of James M. Cain’s slim novel of sex, murder, and the art of the insurance investigation provided a template for many subsequent noir films. As a thriller that ratchets up the tension within a framework of recognizable human emotions, this is deservedly considered the peak of the genre. With Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, and Edward G. Robinson. In 35mm.
Touch of Evil
Orson Welles, USA, 1958, 35mm, 111 min.
August 20, August 22
Long exiled from Hollywood, Orson Welles returned to make this medium-budget adaptation of a tawdry pulp novel about bordertown racism and corruption and, in the process, produced a unique masterpiece. With Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Welles himself, and the luminous Marlene Dietrich. A great film. In 35mm.
Kiss Me Deadly
Robert Aldrich, USA, 1955, DCP, 106 min.
August 27, August 29
This uranium-enriched noir takes the genre about as far down the road of brutality and cultural parody as is possible. Ralph Meeker plays private eye Mike Hammer as a romping, amoral walking id in this overheated tale of intrigue, sex and nuclear secrets. A direct influence on everyone from Alex Cox to Quentin Tarantino to Ana Lily Amirpour. You’ve never seen the paranoid ’50s like this before.
BIG SCREEN CLASSICS
Celebrate the great return to the movies with a selection of films that remind us of the wonders of the big screen experience.
Remembering Larry McMurtry: The Last Picture Show
Peter Bogdanovich, USA, 1971, 35mm, 118 min.
July 15, July 17
At once among the most iconic and most unusual Texas films, Peter Bogdanovich’s adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel is a major touchstone of the New Hollywood. Starring Cybill Shepherd, Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Ellen Burstyn, Randy Quaid, Ben Johnson, and Cloris Leachman. Johnson and Leachman both won Academy Awards for their career-best work. Polly Platt’s production design is another high point. Along with Hud, The Last Picture Show is presented in honor of Texas writer Larry McMurtry (1936-2021), whose remarkable impact on Texas storytelling will be enduring. In 35mm.
Remembering Larry McMurtry: Hud
Martin Ritt, USA, 1963 DCP, 112 min.
Based on Larry McMurtry’s novel “Horseman, Pass By” this is the first of many film adaptations of McMurtry’s works. Paul Newman stars as the title character, the hustling but unscrupulous heir to the family cattle ranch. When disaster befalls the operation, the family’s relationships are pushed to the breaking point. A key transitional piece between the old and new Hollywood, it was nominated for seven Oscars and won three—including Patricia Neal’s Best Actress, Melvyn Douglas’s Best Supporting Actor, and James Wong Howe’s Best Cinematography.
Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1985, DCP, 162 min., in Japanese with English subtitles
Akira Kurosawa’s late masterpiece Ran is an epic in the truest sense of the word. Not only was it Kurosawa’s highest budgeted film, it was the most expensive Japanese film ever made up to that point. As you would expect from Kurosawa, he uses the dramatically increased scale of the film to make something that is jaw-dropping in its effects. Kurosawa had hundreds of suits of armor and period weapons constructed and he filmed in ancient castles and even an active volcano. The story, based in part on King Lear, provides a rich emotional fabric for Kurosawa and his talented cast to work with. This is a film that must be experienced in a theater.
Once Upon a Time in America
Sergio Leone, USA, 1984, DCP, 227 min.
When Sergio Leone came to America to make this film he was certainly best known as the auteur who brought the world such spaghetti westerns as The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. This is Leone’s answer to The Godfather and as such it is an enormous film, spanning generations in the life of an American criminal and the lives of those he influences. Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Tuesday Weld, and many others. Please note, this is the 227-minute cut of the film.
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany, 1979, 35mm, 120 min.
Fassbinder confronts Germany’s ghosts in this story of an upwardly mobile socialite in post-war Germany, played by Fassbinder’s favorite onscreen collaborator, Hanna Schygulla. Maria Braun’s marriage is interrupted by the war, and her attempts to build a new life and the twists and turns dealt her by cruel fate provide the setting for one of Fassbinder’s richest and most satisfying melodramas. This was Fassbinder’s international breakthrough film and made his name as one of the leading lights in world film. In 35mm.
F.W. Murnau, USA, 1927, DCP, 94 min., Silent
August 21, August 22
In this, the first American film by German expressionist master F.W. Murnau, we see the whole arsenal of his extraordinary visual imagination married to the Hollywood style. The results are unique. This is a melodrama about a love triangle and other matters of the heart that uses all of Cinema’s power to express complex emotion through visual means.
I Am Cuba
Mikhail Kalatozov, Cuba/Soviet Union, 1964, DCP, 141 min., Primarily in Spanish with English Subtitles
August 21, August 25
Unlike any film before or since, this paean to Cuba’s culture and its revolutionary spirit from Soviet master Mikhail Kalatozov (The Cranes Are Flying) is perhaps the most visually striking black and white film ever made. Its technical innovation is nearly as impressive as the scope of its story. This is a Soviet propaganda film, to be sure. It is also a superior work of film art.
Jacques Tati, France, 1967, DCP, 124 min., in French with English subtitles
August 28 & August 30
We often say that a film must be seen on the big screen to be properly appreciated. This was never so true as in the case of Jacques Tati’s nearly wordless masterpiece Playtime. His signature character Monsieur Hulot again appears, in a comedic portrait of the Twentieth Century and its bemused inhabitants, who sometimes seem dwarfed by the world that they have created. Tati accomplishes this by filming in extreme long shots on an absolutely gigantic multimillion dollar set. It’s truly like no other film, as simultaneous, humorous action unfolds in minute scale. Genuinely funny and technically astonishing. This one is fun and fascinating for the whole family.
WORLD OF WONG KAR WAI
AFS presents new restorations of some of the career highpoints of one of the most uncompromising and exhilaratingly expressive auteurs alive, the Shanghai-born Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai. These new versions have been meticulously prepared by the filmmaker.
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1994, DCP, 102 min., in Cantonese with English subtitles
July 23, July 24
After spending two years making the epic Ashes of Time, dealing with big stars, big money, big egos, etc., Wong Kar Wai was drained, so with expectations at an all-time low, and with a back-to-basics attitude, he made the dynamic, swoony Chungking Express. The film was an unexpected, major hit all over the world—this time both critically and financially. Wong gives us a pair of stories that take place in Hong Kong and are connected to the titular noodle stand. The two female leads in these stories Faye Wong and Brigitte Lin are unforgettable.
Days of Being Wild
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1990, DCP, 94 min., in Cantonese with English subtitles
July 23, July 25
After the breakthrough commercial success of Wong’s first film As Tears Go By, everyone expected Wong Kar Wai to become a highly successful genre director, but he threw everyone a curve-ball with his next film, the dreamy period melodrama Days of Being Wild. Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau returned, along with the late Lesley Cheung. It is not a film that cemented his place as a bankable director, but it did solidify his place as a serious filmmaker. It’s a layered piece, and one that foreshadows In the Mood for Love in several important ways.
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1995, DCP, 99 min., in Cantonese with English subtitles
Originally conceived as Chungking Express’ third chapter, this one grew into its own feature film. Darker and more violent than Chungking Express, it is in many ways a dream of Hong Kong at night—where hitmen and juvenile delinquents run wild. Many of the trappings of the genre crime film are present, but this is, as usual, too weird and arty for the straight-ahead action crowd. Once again, Wong’s young stars are talented, energetic and photogenic, but Hong Kong is the true face of this film.
In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 2000, DCP, 99 min., in Cantonese and Shanghainese with English subtitles
July 27, July 30, July 31 & August 1
This period romance, set in 1962 is, as you are probably aware, a masterpiece. It is far from Wong’s earlier manic style, but it gives the viewer something to look at and contemplate every moment of screen time. The two lovers, whose spouses are themselves having an affair, are played by the luminous stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung. In terms of color and detail and the joy of looking at beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes in beautiful rooms, it succeeds right away, but it is also, like Happy Together, a film of performances and closely observed humanity. This is the work of an already accomplished filmmaker as he attains a new high ground, kind of like a world class singer who adds an octave to his range.
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1997, DCP, 96 min., in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish with English subtitles
July 30, July 31
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. Set against the uncertain future faced by the colony of Hong Kong’s cession to mainland China, it centers all those anxieties in one turbulent love affair.
As Tears Go By
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1988, DCP, 102 min., in Cantonese with English subtitles
July 31, August 1
Wong Kar Wai’s first feature As Tears Go By is a very commercial, pop genre film. The dynamic is similar to Scorsese’s Mean Streets with Andy Lau as the Harvey Keitel character and Jacky Cheung as the De Niro character. It’s a colorful, fast-paced movie with vivid flashes of Wong’s mature style. The cast—which also includes Maggie Cheung—is young and appealing; these are real movie stars. Not surprisingly, As Tears Go By was a colossal hit at the Hong Kong box office.
Dear Mr. Brody
Keith Maitland, USA, 2021, DCP, 97 min.
Austin theatrical premiere, filmmakers in attendance!
A wild, psychedelic journey into a forgotten story from 1970 that resonates intensely with our times: Dear Mr. Brody is about a young millionaire who promised to give away his fortune to whoever asked for it, but the story is told through the voices of the askers themselves. Austin director Keith Maitland follows up his remarkable Tower with this multi-perspective, fascinating history that reveals so much about the personal nature of inequality in America. This 2021 SXSW selection is an AFS-supported film and screens for the first time in-person at this special screening.
Boyz N The Hood
John Singleton, USA, 1991, 35mm, 112 min.
July 28, August 2
We are honored to be joined by Mark D. Cunningham, author of a forthcoming critical biography of the late filmmaker John Singleton, for these special 35mm screenings of Singleton’s debut feature. Cuba Gooding Jr, Lawrence Fishburne, Ice Cube, and Angela Bassett headline the stacked cast list in this coming-of-age story set in the South Central LA of the mid-’80s and early ’90s. This is a film that truly immerses you in its world. Join us for what promises to be a fascinating post-movie discussion with Cunningham after the first screening. In 35mm.
SCIENCE ON SCREEN®
Larry Cohen, USA, 1985, Digital, 87 min.
July 21, July 24
Our Science On Screen® title for July is this sly and uproariously funny cultural satire from writer-director Larry Cohen (Q, They Live). When a mysteriously delicious custard-like substance is found in the Arctic, it is marketed as a frozen dessert. It becomes wildly popular and is in fact addictive, and, also, as is later discovered, a threat to life on Earth. We will be joined by a food scientist for a discussion about food additives, their effects, and the process by which they are labelled and approved. Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Without Getting Killed or Caught
Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield, USA, 2021, DCP, 95 min.
Opens July 23
Without Getting Killed or Caught tells the story of Guy Clark, the dean of Texas songwriters, who struggles to write poetic songs while balancing a complicated marriage with wife Susanna, and a deep friendship with Townes Van Zandt, on whom Susanna forged a passionate dependence. Narrated in Susanna’s voice by Academy Award-winner Sissy Spacek, the documentary follows the trio as they rise from obscurity to reverence: Guy, struggling to establish himself as the Dylan Thomas of American music, while Susanna pens hit songs and paints album covers for top artists, and Townes spirals in self-destruction after writing some of Americana music’s most enduring and influential ballads. Featuring special Q&As with co-director Tamara Saviano on opening weekend.
Summer of Soul
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, USA, 2021, DCP, 117 min.
Opens July 15
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten—until now. Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, and more.
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It
Mariem Pérez Riera, USA, 2021, DCP, 90 min.
August 11, August 13 & August 14
A look at the life and 70+ year career of Rita Moreno from her humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to her success on Broadway and in Hollywood where she broke down barriers, fought for representation and forged a path for new generations of artists. Filled with incisive interviews and clips from the legendary EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award Winning) star. As dramatic and funny as any of her stage or screen work, this new documentary is an absolute delight.
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.