AFS Viewfinders

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

Watch This: Fellini On LSD

2020 is the Centennial of the Italian Director Federico Fellini’s birth. For many years his name was synonymous with the outré in film, before his acolyte and great admirer David Lynch assumed that mantle in the public discourse. Fellini’s visual style, which brought together great beauty and grotesquerie in the same gorgeously composed frame, greatly […]

Film Noir: Our Picks, From the Canon to the Obscurities

Normally by this time of the year we at AFS would have presented at least one installment of the Noir Canon series at the AFS Cinema. The Canon at this point includes twenty one titles, most of the heavy hitters in the field of post-WWII American crime and detective films: DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE BIG SLEEP […]

Watch This: Luchino Visconti on the Art of Film

We often hear epic films characterized as “operatic.” Sometimes it’s a lazy adjective, but for Luchino Visconti (born on November 2nd, 1906) it is a correct comparison. In fact his productions of Grand Opera outnumber his feature films. By all contemporaneous accounts he grasped the dramatic and spectacular possibilities of opera as well as anyone […]

Listen To This: Jazmyne Moreno Talks DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS

The monthly AFS Discussion Club has been a small refuge of sanity for the Cinema-obsessed during this pandemic. We have been thrilled to welcome some pretty fantastic guests. This month was no obsession. AFS Lates Programmer and host Jazmyne Moreno joined us for a discussion of DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (1971), the arty vampire movie that […]

Medium Rare Stakes: Lesser Known Vampire Classics

It’s Halloween month, and for many of us that means our home viewing diet takes a deep dive into the world of horror cinema. At this point maybe you have seen all of the biggies and are exploring the fringes a bit. As it happens we have also done a bit of nocturnal fringe-exploration, so […]

Watch This: Dispatches from Austin’s Public Access TV Past

Public Access Cable Television began in the early ’70s at the time that commercial cable television outlets began expanding their operations through the country. This system of allocating a certain number of channels for local programming was mandated by the FCC thanks to the advocacy of pioneers in the field of community media. The cable […]

Enjoy These Family Style Halloween Streaming Picks

We miss our Family Style screenings at the AFS Cinema with guest programmer/host Stacy Brick, so we asked her to share some of her best scary-but-not-too-scary movie recommendations so that we can stream them together. Here is Stacy: Looking for some spooky or just plain fun Halloween movies to watch as a family? We’ve got […]

Giallo Cinema 101: Directors & Directions

AFS Lead Programmer Lars Nilsen: We thought it might be fun, in the lead-up to Halloween, to take an approach to Italian giallo thrillers inspired by the late American film critic Andrew Sarris, whose highly influential 1968 book “The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968” sorted American directors into ten different categories. Since we are […]

Watch This: A Bizarro Short by Forman, Wiseman, Makavejev, Buck Henry & Others

Here’s a bizarre cinematic relic that we can barely believe exists. Way back in 1971, at the International Film Festival in Belgrade, a number of the attendees were given the assignment of shooting a 3 minute magazine of film that would be edited together with the footage from the other participants, a sort of cinematic […]

Watch This Rare Sci-Fi Short From FANTASTIC PLANET Director René Laloux

René Laloux’s wild psychedelic masterpiece FANTASTIC PLANET is one of the most popular films we’ve ever shown at the AFS Cinema. The look and feel complement the old-school sci-fi paperback moral of Roland Topor’s story perfectly. American audiences are largely unfamiliar with the rest of Laloux’s filmography as it was not widely distributed in the […]

Watch This: The Narcotic Exotica of TV’s Mysterious Korla Pandit

If you were one of the statistically rare people who owned a television in 1949, and you lived within range of the broadcasting tower of the Los Angeles TV station KTLA, you might just have tuned in one night and witnessed a remarkable sight – and sound. That was the date of the first episode […]

AFS Viewfinders Podcast: Precode Movies with Professor Caroline Frick

Last month we hosted a member-exclusive Zoom discussion with Professor Caroline Frick of the University of Texas and the invaluable Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) on the subject of the precode film THREE ON A MATCH. The following discussion covers a good deal of the history of Hollywood’s self-censoring production code, and the […]

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