AFS Viewfinders

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


In 1990, Wendell B. Harris, Jr. premiered CHAMELEON STREET, his first and only feature-length film, at Sundance Film Festival, and walked away with the Grand Jury Prize. What followed is one of the rawest cases of soft suppression in modern American film. CHAMELEON STREET tells the story of Michigan con man William Douglas Street who, […]

Watch This Before You See THE SOUVENIR Part II: Joanna Hogg’s CAPRICE

Certainly many of you reading this have seen Joanna Hogg’s remarkable coming of age film THE SOUVENIR: Part I (2019) and you are no doubt planning to join us at the AFS Cinema for the release of THE SOUVENIR: Part II when it opens on 11/19. If you have seen the trailer for Part II […]

Who is Amalia Ulman, director of EL PLANETA? Scammer? Genius? Provocateur?

AFS presents EL PLANETA, the debut feature film by Amalia Ulman November 3 -11 at the AFS Cinema. Part of our Best of the Fests series, visual artist 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 […]

Interview: Experimental Response Cinema on Nov 8’s “Ghosts of Lost Futures”

(Still from Tramaine Townsend’s FRAMES., part of Ghosts of Lost Futures) On November 8, AFS and Austin-based Experimental Response Cinema reunite to present Ghosts of Lost Futures—a look at what happens to history when it goes into an archive and comes out the other side, fifty years later. This special program features new video works […]

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 […]

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