AFS Viewfinders

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

Watch This: The Cutting Edge of Special Effects… In 1984

We find ourselves going down odd little rabbit-holes of movie history sometimes, and it can be pretty rewarding. Like in the case of this well-made, though appealingly cheesy, hour-long doc about movie effects – both visual and sound – from 1984. This period was an important time in the development of these effects, with many […]

Watch This: Linklater & Assayas Together on Stage at the AFS Cinema

We’ve been very fortunate here at AFS to have some remarkable guests join us at the Cinema. In 2018, we were joined by one of our favorite filmmakers Olivier Assayas. The occasion was the restoration and rerelease of Assayas’ 1994 film COLD WATER. AFS Artistic Director Richard Linklater did the honors of hosting the event […]

Watch This: From TAMI – Richard Pryor & Gene Wilder on Local Austin News

As we’ve mentioned before, the Texas Archive Of The Moving Image site is one of the best portals on the whole internet to disappear into for an hour or two of fascinating video. One of the best corners of the archive, for us, is the Carolyn Jackson collection. As the host of a talk show […]

Watch This: ‘Rejected’ Animator Don Hertzfeldt Takes Us Into his Creative Process

Today, Don Hertzfeldt is one of the best-known and most highly acclaimed makers of animated films in the world. He has won hundreds of international prizes and been nominated for multiple Academy Awards. Back in the year 2000 however, he was a relatively unknown commodity, toiling away at an old-school 35mm animation rig in his […]

Watch This: 30 Minutes with the ‘Most Exciting Woman in the World,’ Eartha Kitt

On stage or on screen, Eartha Kitt was a mesmerizing talent. And, as we can see in this 2001 interview, she was also a conversationalist with few peers. The performance aspects of great conversation come to the fore here, as she tells her best stories and, along the way, provides a master-class in stage presence. […]

Streamers: Summer Criterion Picks from Holly Herrick

This week we announced a special member discount on the Criterion Channel, the streaming service to which we are 100% addicted (you can learn more about the partnership and our member discussion series here). For those just starting out on the channel, AFS Head of Film & Creative Media Holly Herrick has some suggestions, including […]

It’s William Powell’s Birthday, Have A Drink

Today we raise a glass to one of classic Hollywood’s great leading men, William Powell, who was born on July 29th, 1892. Powell rose to fame during the silent era, sharing the screen with superstars like Bebe Daniels, Evelyn Brent, Kay Francis, and “It Girl” Clara Bow (who also deserves a birthday shout-out today). Early […]

Watch This: Binge Errol Morris’ “First Person” Series On YouTube

At the dawn of the 2000s, documentary maverick Errol Morris set his sights on the small screen, granted free-reign by the Bravo Network (and later IFC) to direct a series exploring Morris’ many eclectic interests. First Person seats a wide cross-section of guests in the crosshairs of Morris’ “Interrotron,” his patent filming device that uses […]

A Deep Dive (Bar) With Bill & Turner Ross

Sibling filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross have built a reputation in the nonfiction genre with their keen eye for rich, humanistic details and an exhilarating storytelling flow. Beginning with their auspicious 2009 SXSW hit 45365, which New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis called “a beguiling slice of Midwestern impressionism,” the Ross brothers have found universal […]

Listen To This: Composer Kyle Dixon Offers A Meditative Mix for Troubled Times

Austin-based film/TV composer Kyle Dixon (a member of the expansive synth outfit S U R V I V E and 1/2 of the duo behind the culture-shifting Stranger Things score) has graciously assembled a grounding collection of minimalist compositions for our Viewfinders blog. Dixon leans into his ambient influences, sourcing sounds that span decades and […]

Watch This: Bette Davis Talks About Her Career’s Rocky Start

It’s a little hard to believe, but Bette Davis, whose acting career spanned nearly 60 years and whose talents produced so many sublime performances, was not an instant hit. As she explains to Joan Bakewell in the following 1972 interview, it took some time for Hollywood to adapt to her look and her peculiar skill […]

Stanwyck Love: Read This 1981 New York Times Interview with the Legend

It’s no secret that we at AFS love, love, love the great screen star Barbara Stanwyck. She is not only one of the best technicians of the actor’s art in all of classic Hollywood, she exemplifies a sort of independence and self-reliance that we think are always worth admiring and emulating. A few years back […]

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