The Highball

alamo-yourhighness

A fledgling movie geek, still wet behind the ears and eyes, arrives in a town called Austin and heads to a movie theater he read about online. The first Alamo Drafthouse he ever visited was the location on South Lamar near downtown, a matinee screening of Hot Fuzz no less. The entire direction of his life was forever altered by the time the credits rolled and he paid his first check. It’s true that my subsequent move to Austin was entirely motivated by a desire to be nearer the Alamo and to reap the benefits of the immersive and eclectic film education it offered. It was a bizarre gamble, one hard to explain to family and friends. “You want to move away from everything you know to be closer to a movie theater?” Their consternation was understandable because it sounds crazy, but to me the Alamo was never just a movie theater and could not be defined by brick and mortar. It was a haven for incurable cinephilia; a place where every real world distraction was stripped away to allow for full transportation by the images flickering on the screen. It was the gateway to an entirely different, and much needed, appreciation of film. I was languishing in southern town with no film culture whatsoever and faced with the option of either returning home to a city that could do little more to nurture my passion, or strike out to this new place where I barely knew anyone and make a […]

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Austin Cinematic Limits

  I was going to yell at most of you (yes, even you!) for not buying an advance ticket to Cinema East‘s Tugg screening of I Am Not a Hipster. Why? Because I really want to see that film, but not enough pre-sale tickets were sold so it was cancelled. But as I thought about it some more, I realized that my yelling would have probably come off as being condescending or patronizing. Besides, it is not my job to lecture the Austinites reading this column about their lack of support of independent film, now is it? It does sound like Cinema East is going to give us another chance to see I Am Not a Hipster in the near future, so stayed tuned…and please don’t let me down ever again. While on the subject of cancelled screenings… You know those high winds that came in with the “cold front” on Saturday? Well, those very same winds that brought our daytime temperatures down into the 80s (!!!) destroyed the screen at the Blue Starlite! For those of you who were disappointingly turned away from the sold out Saturday night screening of Grease, there will be a “wind check” (you know, like a rain check but without the rain) date on September 28 but you do need to send an email to them to confirm your slot. If you cannot make it that screening, you can use your “wind check” anytime before the end of the year; you just need email the Blue Starlite […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we pick a dark corner at The Highball in Austin, Texas to speak with Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League and Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael (and get a few exclusives in the process). Plus, Scott Weinberg from Movies.com and our very own Brian Salisbury square off in the Movie News Pop Quiz. No alcohol was hurt during the making of this podcast. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Well here we are again. Die-hard movie geeks can put their socks and shoes back on and cease the anticipatory countdown because Fantastic Fest is back! This year, as last, I am proud to be a part of the Fantastic Fest Death Squad here at FSR and if you were lucky enough to follow our festival write-ups last year, you are aware of just how serious we take this stuff and you can count on more of the same gluttonously comprehensive coverage this year. As I was the only Reject on last year’s team who had any previous Fantastic Fest experience, I was tasked with putting our rookies through a brutal, two week boot camp to ensure they would survive their first year. I got them up at the crack of noon each day, injected them with Scotch, and made them memorize the playbook while rupturing their eardrums by blasting show tunes. But despite my best efforts, they survived and enter year two as seasoned veterans. So I decided to put together a second set of commandments aimed at not only our Death Squad in their second year, but any sophomore Fantastic Fest attendees.

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This week, Austin becomes Geek Mecca. And if you can’t be here for it, we’ve got you covered. Come inside and find out what our coverage will look like, who will be providing it and where it can be found.

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ff-deathsquad1

Our Fantastic Fest Death Squad had to suffer through two weeks of training in order to be able to attend this year’s event. And while we’d like send you through the same program, all we have time for is a 5-step program.

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