AFS Viewfinders

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

AFS Viewfinders Podcast Episode 2: Louis Black – Growing Up in Cinema-Mad New York in the ’60s

The new AFS Viewfinders podcast episode is up. You can listen to it here or search AFS Viewfinders in iTunes to listen to it there. In this installment we talk to Austin Chronicle editor, SXSW co-founder, AFS founding board member and Texas Film Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner Louis Black. Louis Black, an unidentified Disney […]

MR. TURNER & NATIONAL GALLERY as seen by an art critic

This morning’s Times brought much delight with long-time art critic Roberta Smith’s take on her favorite new films about art, focusing specifically on MR. TURNER and NATIONAL GALLERY. She found that each of these films “says so much about the activity central to both making and experiencing art, which is simply the act of looking, […]

Hunter Thompson Goes to Hollywood 1978

“I don’t see how you could possibly make a true film. Because by bringing all this machinery in, you create a situation that’s unnatural anyway. It’s not you. It’s, I think, one of the problems with film.” – Hunter S. Thompson There have been a number of interesting films about gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson […]

Barbara Stanwyck: Behind The Scenes

Every time a movie was made during the classical Hollywood period, a large number of test photography was done. Sometimes there were filmed screen tests to look at different make-up, hair-styles and costumes, but more frequently this was done with still photographs. The star would get into the test makeup or the proposed costumes and […]

One Hundred Years Ago: LES VAMPIRES strike Paris

By 1915, the French writer/director Louis Feuillade had been making films for 9 whole years, in the earliest stages of the art form. His shorts had done well enough and satisfied audience demands for light comedies, but his 1913-14 FANTOMAS series had been a major sensation. At the same time, American serials, multi-part films extending […]

This Homemade ’60s El Paso Christmas Film Is Madness

This weird, manic, and actually really funny 7 minute film from El Paso is designed to promote a thing called a Provisional Bash. Not sure what that means, but the actors really get into it. Everybody looks like they got a Christmas stocking full of diet pills from Santa. Thanks to the non-profit Texas Archive Of […]

Watch this! Marlene Dietrich’s BLUE ANGEL Screen Test

Star quality is a mysterious thing. We can’t produce it, can’t really measure it, can’t really define it either. Some of the most beautiful people can’t exude a watt of star power, while a potato-faced troll may be a virtual nuclear reactor of the stuff. Marlene Dietrich has so much of it that she threatens […]

Selected Shorts: The Alamo Drafthouse’s Preshow Curator Laird Jimenez Presents ‘One Minute Movies’

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain is known for a lot of things – the food and drink service during films, the no-talking policy, the eclectic programming mix… but the thing that those among us who go to a LOT of movies appreciate most is the preshows – the not-so-random assortment of videos that play before […]

Watch This! The Pink Panther in ‘Psychedelic Pink’

For 30 years beginning in 1933, Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. set the gold standard for creativity and technical excellence in animated shorts. But by the ’60s the operation was no longer sustainable and the division folded. Two of the leading figures of the WB operation weren’t ready to hang up their brushes yet though and […]

Happy Birthday to the “Greatest Living Screen Actor”

A while back, after Eli Wallach died, I was having a discussion about the greatest living screen actor and who that might be. While he lived, Wallach was my nominee. But there are a lot of really great ones still with us. Think Duvall, Streep, Pacino, Hackman, Rowlands, Moreau. A few weeks later, it occurred […]

A Jaw-Dropping Archive of Austin’s Moviegoing Heritage

All around the world Austin is known to be one of the filmgoing (and filmmaking) capitals. We have a long history of critical viewing and adventurous film programming. Now a resource has become available that sheds light on some of the formative years of Austin’s film scene. It’s the CinemaTexas Notes Archive. CinemaTexas was a […]

Wait – Robert Altman Directed Music Videos?

Back during the ’60s in the US and Europe, you might have walked into a bar and come face to face with a video jukebox. The most well-known of these brands was the Scopitone. Just as a standard jukebox is loaded with records of current hits, these video jukeboxes were loaded with 16mm (or 8mm) […]

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