AFS Viewfinders

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

Happy 93rd Birthday Haskell Wexler

Happy 93rd birthday to the truly great cinematographer (and director) Haskell Wexler. In addition to being a model of living one’s beliefs and making the industry a better place wherever he touches it, Wexler is also one of those special cinematographers who makes every film they shoot a must-watch. Consider the following credits and know […]

20 Years Ago – Ernest Borgnine Makes a Voyage of Discovery Across America

Back in 1995, filmmaker Jeff Krulik (HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT, LED ZEPPELIN PLAYED HERE) took his camera crew on the road with legendary actor Ernest Borgnine and his son Cris as they toured around the country in Borgnine’s bus the Sunbum. The idea was that the combination of Borgnine’s reminiscences and observations and his encounters […]

Celebrating Ida Lupino, Born On This Day in 1918

We would talk about Ida Lupino as one of the greats even if she never directed any movies. She was an excellent and versatile performer and she communicated a special kind of self-sufficiency on screen, even when the part as written called for a plot-driving arm-ornament. She was lovely to look at, and her initial […]

Discussing the Weird Virtues of LABYRINTH and PHENOMENA with Writer Amy Gentry

A few weeks back we had a combination screening and discussion show with writer Amy Gentry, who continually impresses us with her insightful Good Eye column in the Austin Chronicle. The two movies shown were Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH and Dario Argento’s PHENOMENA. We talked a lot about the myth-making power of these two very different […]

Jean-Pierre Melville Drops Some Wisdom on Film in 1970

Here the great French writer-director Jean-Pierre Melville is interviewed in the burned ruins of his film studio compound about his philosophy of cinema, how he works, how he came to love film and more. Some of the pearls that issue forth here: “I think your first film should be made with your own blood.” “Filming […]

Filmmaker Allison Anders Bought Greta Garbo’s Record Collection & is Reviewing It Online

We missed this story a few years ago – in 2013 filmmaker Allison Anders (BORDER RADIO, GAS FOOD LODGING), who is also the impresario behind the long-running Don’t Knock The Rock film festival bought a parcel at auction of 50 records formerly owned by Greta Garbo. Of course Garbo is a mysterious figure whose personal […]

Watch This: Shirley Clarke’s Color-filled, Experimental, Anti-war Film BUTTERFLY

Experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke (1919-1997) began her career as a dancer and her films reflect her interest in kinetic motion. They really move, even when the camera stands still. Here is a film she made in protest of the Vietnam war in 1967. Clarke herself is featured along with her daughter Wendy. It is an […]

FORCE MAJEURE Director Ruben Östlund’s YouTube Playlist

In preparation for the Austin Film Society’s Ruben Östlund series, we went through a lot of Östlund’s interviews and found, not surprisingly, that the man is a YouTube nut in a big way. Once you pinpoint the YouTube influence in his films it is easy to see how his shot composition, use of long takes and emphasis on […]

Happy Birthday Jeanne Moreau

Actress, director and singer Jeanne Moreau turns 87 years old today. Her career began in the 1940s and she is still very active today. Her unforgettable performance in JULES & JIM cemented her art-house immortality but it is her many other roles as well which have made her one of the best known, most loved […]

Celebrating D.W. Griffith on the 140th Anniversary of His Birth with AN UNSEEN ENEMY

To mention D.W. Griffith today is to invite either a blank look, or a look of scorn. Griffith’s first great film was BIRTH OF A NATION, an adaptation of a deeply racist novel, Thomas Dixon, Jr’s “The Clansman”. It’s a magnificent film in its artistry and scale and at the same time it’s subject matter […]

Mindblowing Raw Camera Roll Footage from Sergei Eisenstein’s Doomed Mexican Adventure

Back in 1930, Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet film pioneer responsible for BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, was offered a chance to make films in America. Paramount Pictures honcho Jesse L. Lasky brought him to Hollywood and he got to work on a number of projects which never materialized for various reasons. Eventually an anti-communist wave of sentiment drove […]

Watch DAY OF THE FIGHT, a Short Doc by 22 Year Old Stanley Kubrick

You hear it again and again, mainly from people who know what they’re talking about, if you want to make films, get out there and make films. Here’s a self-financed 16mm short film from a young aspirant named Stanley Kubrick. You can see him gaining the confidence in his storytelling ability, finding his trademark compositions, […]