Austin

Boyhood

For the past four years, I’ve been in a long distance relationship. As of two weeks ago, the distance component of that relationship has thankfully come to a close, with my heart and my wallet eternally grateful. But the change is bittersweet, as I’ve also been in something of a long-distance relationship with a city that my person inhabited, having now arrived at the end of my routine round trip travels from my current home in southern Indiana to Austin, Texas. I only officially lived in Austin for slightly over a year, from 2009-2010. But in four subsequent years of visits ranging from a brief weekend to an entire summer, I developed something of a strange relationship with the city: I saw it through elliptical fractions of time. Each visit to this rapidly growing city required reorientation, as I was forced to understand the differences big and small that have taken place since my last visit. One day Rainey Street was a mostly empty lot with a few great food trailers. The next visit it became a caravan of bars. A few visits later, dreaded condos were being developed. For nearly anyone who has experienced the city of Austin through time, there is an Austin Then and an Austin Now, with Austin Then forever casting a shadow over the always inferior Austin Now. If any filmmaker has a claim to Austin Then, it’s Slacker director Richard Linklater. But as his recent output has shown – most evidently in the magnus […]

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violet crown cinema

“Movie Houses of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor. The Violet Crown Cinema Location: 434 West 2nd St. Austin, TX Date Opened: April 29, 2011 No. of Screens: 4 Current First-Run Titles: Her, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle

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Hey, Rejects! Live in the Austin area? Love independent film? Love free movie passes? Have we got a giveaway for you! Be the first two people to comment on this post and snag yourself a pass to see Brian Savelson’s In Our Nature at the Regal Arbor 8 here in Austin, Texas during any showing between 12/17 and 12/20. The film stars John Slattery (Mad Men), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Jena Malone (INTO THE WILD), and Gabrielle Union (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU).  The film is only being released theatrically in New York (opened on 12/7) and Austin, so it’s a special treat for Austinites to get to see the film. Each pass admits two people so bring a date. The winners’ passes will be waiting at the theater box office. Special treat! Director Brian Savelson and producer Anish Savjani (former Austinite and Austin Film Society member) will be in attendance at the 7:30PM screenings on Friday, 12/14 and Saturday, 12/15 to participate in post-film Q&As. There it is, get to commenting! Have a great weekend!

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Cannes. Sundance. Toronto. SXSW. Screw them.* The best film festival each and every year is the Alamo Drafthouse Theater’s very own Fantastic Fest that takes place in Austin every fall. They bring genre films from around the world to play under one roof for fans of movies best described as strange, violent, unique, crazy and often absolutely incredible. These are movies that will most likely never get a DVD release in the US let alone a theatrical run making this fest the only real opportunity to see them (bar an import disc down the road). The first wave of titles have been announced with two more to come in the next several weeks, and the list offers the usual selection of the very unusual. Movies we’ve never heard of before will play alongside ones we know by heart. I for one am looking forward to seeing The Shining on the big screen for the first time as well as some of the new films below. Keep reading for the complete first wave! *I kid! All film festivals are awesome, period.

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As you may have noticed, Rejects HQ is located in beautiful Austin, Texas. Austin is a town of many pleasures, from the survival of two local video rental stores, to the shit-ton of bats the live under one of our bridges, to the best movie theater in the world. But that’s not all Austin has to offer. It’s also home to some damn creative folks and a few of them have banded together once again to assault your eyeballs with awesome. You may have heard tell of the Old Murder House theater, a group of crazy people transplanted to Austin from parts unknown, who take major motion pictures and turn them into live stage plays. They made a name for themselves with previous shows like Back to the Future Live, Robocop Live, and last year’s incredible spectacle, Aliens on Ice! But they’ve come up with a whole new ballgame for this summer, an epic 10-city tour (thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign) that stretches from coast to coast to bring you Jurassic Park like you’ve never seen it before with their Jurassic Live: Dino Action Show.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

What have I been doing lately? I have been stalking Bryan Poyser (Lovers of Hate) on Facebook. Well, it is not technically stalking since he accepted my friendship, right? Truth be told, I am not actually a Facebook stalker, I am merely doing my job. (Really!) I am keeping tabs on the production of Poyser’s latest film, The Bounceback. As I write this, Poyser is entering week three of the Austin-based production which stars Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers), and Addison Timlin (Californication). The primary cast might not be very Austin-centric, but the crew – which includes producer Megan Gilbride, cinematographer PJ Raval, and editor Don Swaynos – certainly is. My love for Lovers of Hate and Dear Pillow knows no bounds, so let’s just say that I am eagerly awaiting the release of The Bounceback. Poyser is not the only Austin filmmaker lucky enough to be stalked by yours truly. A couple of weeks ago, I ran into the seemingly ubiquitous Alex Karpovsky at Tribeca 2012. Okay, I was not really stalking him, he was hanging out in the press lounge. (Really!) A periodic Austinite, Karpovsky mentioned that he will be in Austin in the very near future to act in Carlyn Hudson’s (Z and Beau) next film. As a fan of Hudson’s segment of Slacker 2011 as well as her short film Z and Beau, I am very excited to find out more about her project with Karpovsky.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I first became aware of Jonny Mars during SXSW 2010, thanks to his role as Donnie in The Happy Poet. I have never been one to judge an actor on one performance, so it was not until I saw Mars the next time – as Steve Worth in Wuss – that I realized his talents as an actor. I remember wondering to myself, why hasn’t Mars run off to Los Angeles to become a big star? Then, after watching Mars truly own his couple minutes of screen time in Hellion, I knew it was time to pose that question to the man himself. Before I got a chance to speak with Mars, a funny thing happened: I learned that Mars is also a director, and his directorial debut, America’s Parking Lot (which premiered at SXSW 2012), is a multi-faceted documentary about the renowned Dallas Cowboys’ Gate 6 tailgaters. Mars once again astounded me, this time for his astute understanding of the documentary form. In terms of its narrative arc and development of conflict, America’s Parking Lot is damn near perfect. If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed America’s Parking Lot was directed by a seasoned veteran, not a first-time director. Now I really needed to chat with Mars, post-haste!

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Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek 2

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly gathering of links that was almost known as Oscar News After Dark, but then its creators remembered that they only really care about he Oscars for about one week per year, so it would have been a waste. With that in mind, welcome to the final edition of News After Dark in that one week of the year when we care about the Oscars. We begin tonight with an image tweeted by writer Roberto Orci, who may or may not being issuing a controlled leak situation for Paramount from the set of Star Trek 2. Said producer Damon Lindelof of the pic, which depicts a yet unknown character played by Benedict Cumberbatch being subdued by Zach Quinto’s Spock, “The weird thing about that Trek photo is we weren’t even shooting. Quinto just really hates Cumberbatch.”

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Austin Cinematic Limits

Okay, I’ll come right out and say it: I really hate Valentine’s Day. It’s just another Hallmark holiday that was created to give retailers a huge boost in sales during what would otherwise be a slow month on their fiscal calendar. Of course, if you are in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is a really tough holiday to ignore because our society deems that everyone must at least purchase chocolates, roses, and/or a greeting card for their significant other; a romantic dinner is also a good idea and maybe a movie afterwards… Life on February 14th is not any easier if you are single (but if you are, you should probably check out our FSR Dating site), because you definitely cannot go out in public without a date on Valentine’s Day unless you want to look like a totally unlovable loser. On that note, I will quit my bitching and tell you about all of the great cinematic events going on in Austin on the dreaded 14th of February.

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When it was announced that the newest film from eighteen-year-old director Emily Hagins, entitled My Sucky Teen Romance, was going to premiere at SxSW, I was ecstatic. Almost every member of our SXSW coverage team either lives or has previously lived in Austin and knows Emily personally. Hell, some of us even donated our time to assist in the movie’s completion. That made it slightly difficult to lend our voices to reviewing the film. So do we decline to review it? Do we expend no words on it at all? Yes…and no. There is a story here, and a damn good one at that, completely divorced from the film itself. Emily’s story. Hagins wrote her first feature-length film, Pathogen, at age 11.  The next year, she earned a grant from the Austin Film Society to produce Pathogen, effectively becoming the youngest recipient of that award. Her tireless dedication to making her first feature film, and the fact that she wasn’t even in high school yet, attracted the attention of a trio of documentary filmmakers who noticed Hagins’s casting call posted on a local website called Austinactors.net. They crafted their 2009 film Zombie Girl: The Movie around her efforts. Between 7th and 8th grade, when the biggest thing that happened to most of us was getting our first kiss at a skating party, she was hard at work on The Retelling, her second feature. And now, here at SXSW 2011, Hagins’s third film played to bright marquee lights and packed houses […]

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Walking down the street in Austin one fine afternoon, I made the remark that I wasn’t sure how to feel about a film that just played Fantastic Fest because it had a happy ending. “No one was raped or killed, I’m not sure how to feel about that.” I’m not an advocate of raping and killing (except when they really, really deserve it), but the vast majority of films I saw this year dealt with those themes heavily. Seeing something happy and cheery actually threw me pretty hard. Luckily, Red White & Blue from writer-director Simon Rumley was there to bring me right back down into a pit of despair and make me want to give up on life. Red White & Blue follows a trio of Austin residents as their stories intersect and collide with unfortunate events. Erica (Amanda Fuller) is a promiscuous girl down on her luck who finds something close to a relationship developing with the off-kilter Army veteran Nate (Noah Taylor). Rock-n-roller Franki (Marc Senter) has a brief fling with Erica and the results of said fling have ramifications for all.

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So some guy in Austin just became CEO of his company again. Why should you care?

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The Warriors

This week, Brian Salisbury stocks up on junk food and takes us back to the drive-in to celebrate what’s playing while we all make out.

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ff-fantasticawards

Luckily we had a list of the winners sent to us because we didn’t remember all the names. Or where our pants went.

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You asked for us to be canceled, but apparently your appeals to your school board commissioner fell on deaf ears because we’re forging ahead and diving deep into the hellish chaos of Fantastic Fest by broadcasting from its epicenter.

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machete

If you want to see Danny Trejo cutting people into pieces for revenge, Sony might just have exactly what you’re looking for.

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culturewarrior-cinemagoing

This week’s Culture Warrior takes a look at three great American cities and their equally great cultures of movie nerd-dom.

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mystery-team-first4

The folks at the Alamo Drafthouse have officially announced today that the Sundance sensation Mystery Team will be making its debut here in Austin at the Alamo Ritz on Friday, August 28th.

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basterds-ff-screening

The official Fantastic Fest blog has announced today that Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Inglourious Basterds will be coming to Austin for a premiere event on August 15th.

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FantasticFest2009

Gentleman Broncos! Journey to Saturn! Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl! Trick ‘r Treat! A fantastic line up for a Fantastic Fest.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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