AFS Viewfinders

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

Happy Birthday Dick Cavett

Today is Dick Cavett’s 78th birthday. From 1968 through 1982, with a brief hiatus for changing networks, Dick Cavett was the best talk show host on TV. He started as a comic and a comedy writer for other talk show hosts, and eventually got his own show. The other talk show hosts of the day […]

Selected Shorts: Experimental Response Cinema’s Ekrem Serdar Presents the Omnipotent Voice

We asked Ekrem Serdar of Austin’s own Experimental Response Cinema to share one of his favorite short films with us. Here it is:   Featuring a “director” of such omnipotent powers that Kubrick would seethe in jealousy, John Smith’s THE GIRL CHEWING GUM(1976) is a classic and comedic* crowd-pleaser that I return to whenever I […]

John Boorman on Lee Marvin – “A Spiritual Warrior”

John Boorman on Lee Marvin: “For me somehow he was the essence of America – big, wild & dangerous.” “It was an intense and inspiring collaboration. And scary. He taught me a lot about film acting and indeed, filmmaking. Scary because he was always pressing for the truth, the essence of a scene. And he […]

Selected Shorts: Janus Films’ Brian Belovarac Presents a Pepsi-Sponsored Body-slam of Consumerism

Brian Belovarac of Janus Films is a consistently reliable source of obscure recommendations. He has impeccable taste and a far-ranging curiosity. So naturally we asked him to choose a Selected Short for us. Writer/director Jeff Lieberman is well-known to fans of quality horror movies as someone who loves to smuggle subversive cultural commentary into his films. […]

The New Documentary About Richard Linklater, 21 YEARS, is Now Available for Download

There’s a new documentary about AFS Founder and Artistic Director Richard Linklater. The film features interviews with the Linklater collaborators such as Matthew McConaughey, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Jack Black and many others. Through it all you get a sense of the way that Linklater has brought his special vision of filmmaking and film appreciation […]

From Indiewire: Nick Toti on the Non-Profit Model for Commercially Hopeless Filmmakers

“For the first time in the history of this still young medium, we have the potential to reach wide audiences with the most personal, idiosyncratic, boundary-pushing, formally audacious, exploratory, gonzo, batshit, soul-destroying cinema that has ever been made—exactly the kind of cinema that makes no financial sense.” – Nick Toti, Interesting Productions Nick Toti and […]

Selected Shorts: Todd Rohal Presents the Astonishing SMASHIN’ IT UP!

We have asked a bunch of our favorite filmmakers and others to share some of their favorite short films with us. The submissions have been really varied, but there has been nothing so far as wild and loose as this one sent to us by writer/director Todd Rohal. It’s hard to convey True Mayhem, but […]

Inside Baseball: The Good News & Bad News About 35mm & Digital

AFS Programmer Lars Nilsen speaking here, from the heart, with a rousing brass band accompaniment: We’ve been living in the “death of film” era for a while now – maybe around 15 years. So much so that I will confess to becoming a little weary of the discussion. I have been a film programmer for […]

Selected Shorts Bonus Round: Ruben Östlund’s Favorite Nature Documentary

Going back through some of Swedish filmmaker (FORCE MAJEURE, PLAY) Ruben Östlund’s past interviews, I found one where he references a nature documentary that has been very inspirational to him. It makes a lot of sense that a filmmaker so concerned with instinct and herd behavior should like this film. Warning: predatory animal on animal […]

Selected Shorts: Emily Hagins Presents a Short Film About an Awful Man & a Dog

Emily Hagins, who just turned 22, has been making films for the past 12 years, including four features. Making films has been a part of her life for nearly as long as she can remember and she has the distinction of being the youngest ever recipient of an AFS Grant for film production. We asked […]

Frederick Wiseman is Watching Us

If we are fortunate enough as a species to survive for another few thousand years, future generations who seek to understand who we really were will have an ally from our era. Frederick Wiseman has been making documentaries for nearly 50 years now. His films are acutely observed, seemingly fly-on-the-wall documents on subjects such as […]

Zack McGhee’s ‘My Favorite Movie Podcast’ Is On The Air

Zack McGhee is an AFS member who can frequently be seen at film events around town. He is a man of immaculate taste and one of our favorite people to talk movies with. He has started a podcast called ‘My Favorite Movies’ in which he interviews knowledgable parties, all of them from Austin so far, […]