AFS Viewfinders

AFS Viewfinders is a film culture website with information, resources and opinions designed to deepen and broaden appreciation of film.

AFS’S Lars Nilsen Shares His Top Picks from the 2021 Toronto International Film Fest

(Still from NEPTUNE FROST) For the second straight year the various COVID protocols dictated that the Toronto International Film Festival offered a virtual version of the international festival, albeit one that lacked access for certain of the more interesting titles. Still, there were a lot of films to be seen and we saw a few […]

The Wilder Touch: Billy Wilder’s Enduring Comedies – AFS’s October Essential Cinema Starts September 30

Starting this Thursday, AFS presents The Wilder Touch as October’s Essential Cinema series—featuring some of the most timeless comedies ever to show on screen by the incomparable and celebrated director Billy Wilder, including A FOREIGN AFFAIR (1948), LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (1957), THE APARTMENT (1960), IRMA LA DOUCE (1963), and beloved classic SOME LIKE IT […]

Meet the 2021 AFS Grant for Feature Films Recipients

2021 AFS Grant for Features recipients: 1: Jerod Couch, Starling Thomas, Fatima Hye, Nicole Chi Amén 2: Heather Courtney, Andrés Torres, Paloma Hernández, Renée Zhan 3: Kelsey Hodge, Jazmin Diaz, Lizette Barrera, Iliana Sosa, Chelsea Hernandez, and Sharon Arteaga Last week, AFS announced the recipients of the 2021 AFS Grant for Feature Films. Ten projects […]

RAGING FIRE – “Throwback to Classic Hong King Cinema” – Opens August 20 at the AFS Cinema

For everyone who has ever enjoyed the classic era of ’80s and ’90s Hong Kong Action, the new film RAGING FIRE is going to feel like an absolute blast from the past. It’s the last film directed by Benny Chan, and it stars the classic good guy/bad guy tandem of Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse. […]

Watch This: Queering the Biblical Text with 1933’s LOT IN SODOM

There aren’t many films from 1933 that get the YouTube “This Video May Be Inappropriate For Some Users” gate, but LOT IN SODOM is no ordinary film. Made by the wealthy dilettante – and heir to large sums of the Western Union fortune, James Sibley Watson, who became interested in avant-garde literature while at Harvard […]

Watch This: Tommy Lee Jones’ Japanese TV Commercials are Nuts

There’s an old tradition of American stars appearing in Japanese television commercials, often in wacky scenarios that play up some aspect of their public personalities or best known roles. Here are a few classic examples of those. One of our favorite actors, and we’re guessing one of yours too, is Texas’ own Tommy Lee Jones. […]

Watch This: Maya Deren’s Surreal Ode to Medieval Witchcraft

When we look back at the work of Maya Deren (born April 29, 1917, died October 13, 1961) the breadth of expression is just breathtaking. She seemed to reinvent Cinema by rearranging its component parts of drama, music, ritual and visual arts along new bold lines that were absolutely personal, completely idiosyncratic, and unmistakably direct. […]

“And the Winner is… ” A Few Favorite Oscar Acceptance Speeches

The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony takes place this weekend and while the event this year will certainly be different from previous, non-pandemic-plagued years, there is always a certain amount of magic in the air. This magic has been well-earned over the years. Starting in 1929 as a rather insular industry banquet, it has blossomed into […]

Days of Future Past: Remembering the Cinerama Dome

You have probably seen the news by now that Pacific Theatres, the cinema chain that operates the famous Arclight Theaters, is closing up shop due to the financial strains caused by the pandemic. For now, that means that its most famous and most visible outlet, the historic Cinerama Dome, is shuttering. The shock and outrage […]

Listen Here: Pauline Kael’s Legendary Sick Burn Radio Broadcast

This is a reprint of an AFS Viewfinders post from 2015. Nearly 20 years after her death, film critic Pauline Kael still inspires controversy. During her lifetime she was loved by many, hated by some and feared by studios and publicists (much of Hollywood felt, with some justification, that she could make or break a […]

The Cinema of Rob Schneider: A Reappraisal

The course of Cinema’s history has been a long and arduous one. Today’s master is tomorrow’s forgotten auteur. As the tastes of the multitudes and the critical fashions of the day converge in the manner of a mighty river… are you still reading? Good, because this is an April Fools joke. We’re not really doing […]

SXSW Film Fest 2021 was a Blast – Here are Some of Our Favorites

Last week was a whirlwind of screenings, Q&As, and roundtables, as it always is during SXSW, but unlike most years the whole thing was virtual, conveyed through an app. It still feels a little odd to participate in film festivals virtually though it must be said that many fests now have it down pretty well. […]

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