Tim League

Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger 2

“These are two different experiences, like going to a football game and watching a football game on TV.” Nope. There is no analogy that’s more annoying than the one above, this time spoken by Netflix‘s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos. Watching a movie at home is slightly like watching a live sporting event on TV, but going to the movies is nothing like going to a live sporting event, whatsoever. Not even the most lively, infectious, communally synched audience at a movie theater is a fraction of that of a football stadium crowd. And there’s nothing relating moviegoing to the excitement of being there on game day and being part of a unique moment that isn’t replicable. I can say this as someone who loves the theatrical movie experience and pretty much never goes to football games. If there is anything remotely close, it’d be the difference between attending the world premiere of Veronica Mars at SXSW, with the cast and director present on stage, and seeing the movie at home via VOD. Sarandos was of course making the analogy, as it’s often made, in defense of day-and-date releases, claiming that a video-on-demand option of a movie simultaneous to its theatrical opening isn’t any more of an issue than a TV network broadcasting NFL games as they’re happening. This time it’s because Netflix itself has announced its first day-and-date release, for the sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend. The movie will be available for subscribers to stream on its release […]

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air sex kickstarter

Given that the Air Sex World Championships were co-founded by Alamo Drafthouse head Tim League and have been produced for many years by the cinema chain, it is only fair that the event is finally being turned into a movie. Titled Air Sex: Making Love Out of Nothing At All, the documentary will follow this year’s tour around the U.S. and ultimately cover the ASWC Finals in New Orleans. Shooting is actually beginning very soon, as the first stop of the East Coast leg of the tour is in Tampa on Thursday. While that month-long segment commences (see the dates here if you’d like to attend), the film’s production is raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign. And if you act fast enough with your pledge, you have a chance to be a judge at one of the scheduled competitions. So what is air sex? Basically just what it sounds like, a pantomime act similar to air guitar but involving totally different kinds of instruments. Although sometimes the authorities are confused about what goes on and whether or not its legal, there is no nudity and no physical interaction between two or more people. Sometimes costumes and props are involved, but otherwise it appears to be all in the make believe performance by the competitors. This is actually the first I’m hearing about it, so I’m particularly intrigued by the film project at least. Even if it doesn’t wind up being a particularly well-made documentary I’d like to check it out […]

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commentary-abcsofdeath

No one can accuse The ABCs of Death of lacking ambition. It features 26 short films from different directors, one for each letter of the alphabet, all centered on the theme of death. As is typical of of the format it’s a bit of a mixed bag quality wise, but genre fans and the perverts among us you will probably find enough to enjoy here to make it worth a watch. Thoughts on the actual shorts aside, this is one of the most hilarious and entertaining commentary tracks I’ve ever heard. Technically it’s 27 commentary tracks as there’s one for each short and then an opening/closing credits add-on from co-producers Ant Timpson and Tim League. As with the shorts some are better than others, but there are a handful that had me laughing aloud and rewinding in disbelief. A few others are just plain old interesting too. Keep reading to see what I learned from the commentary track for The ABCs of Death.

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Angela Bettis

It seems like years since Drafthouse Films announced that they’d be boldly making a 26-part anthology that would shed a bloody spotlight on 26 different ways to die. With entries like “B is for Bigfoot” and “J is for Jidai-geki,” The ABCs of Death appears to be the kind of teaching tool that’s almost perverse enough to end up in Texas public schools. We’ve seen a trailer, written a review, and now the icosikaihexagonal horror is hitting all sorts of streaming and On Demand services ahead of its theatrical release in early March. Amidst a coordinated slew of interviews, I was lucky enough to speak via email with a personal favorite, filmmaker Angela Bettis, who starred in May, directed Roman and helmed the ABCs segment “E is for Exterminate.”

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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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Alamo South Lamar

Austin movie fans have already said farewell to one iconic Alamo Drafthouse. The Colorado Street location in the heart of downtown was a rickety kind of temple to cinema passion. Scrappy and genuine, the warehouse-district screening beacon closed in 2007, hiked a few blocks down to the Ritz and re-opened as the chain was expanding. Now, the South Lamar — which has become the cornerstone through events like Fantastic Fest — is being razed and will re-emerge from the Earth anew in the fall. Fighting back the tears, Brian Salisbury shot and Luke Mullen edited a video tribute to the theater that made them move across the country to Central Texas. For those who know it best, it’s a fitting celebration, and for those that don’t, its farewell message also acts as a nice backstage introduction.

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The Hobbit Martin Freeman

It’s not unfair to say that Butt-Numb-a-Thon 5 turned me into a cinephile. Something about the combination of seeing Oldboy and Buster Keaton’s death-defying The General with a live accompaniment shook something loose in my brain. I was fortunate enough to have parents that shared their favorites with me through the magic of AMC and TCM, but sitting in the Colorado Street Alamo Drafthouse, surrounded by strangers and beautiful cinema was graduation time. For those who don’t know, the easiest explanation for BNAT is as a 24-hour film festival put on with the bottomless knowledge of Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool and the showman’s flair of Tim League. Sometimes that involves eating scrambled eggs after watching the live birth in Teenage Mother or getting a Fleshlight just before seeing Hobo With a Shotgun. At any rate, Harry has just posted the application (complete with explanation for why you need to fill one out) that could become your ticket to attending. If you’re curious about what’s played before, here’s a great place to look, but the line-up is always a giant surprise. That element makes the event even more special, but given the timing and the festival’s history, it’s probably a good bet that a certain Peter Jackson movie will be on tap (and Jackson himself might make another appearance). Beyond that, it’s a mystery, and hearing what Harry has up his sleeve is a thing of joy. So if the thought of learning that you’re about to see a rare print of Orson […]

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Tim League

There are few elements of the Fantastic Fest experience that are quite like being in the vicinity of Tim League. Of all the great things people will tell you about attending Austin’s premier fall festival, this is one that sometimes falls below the radar, but only because there is so much to love about Fantastic Fest. It’s an atmosphere that’s at once easy and difficult to describe. A large gathering of movie-loving people, a number of which are bearded young men, is one way. But to simplify it to such a degree would be an injustice. That’s what people who look down their noses at Fantastic Fest say about it. And it’s much more than that. It’s a gathering of those — old, young, male, female, alien and otherwise — who have a love for genre cinema. They come from all around, from right around the corner to Scotland and beyond. They love the movies and they love the experience. An essential part of the experience is the shenanigans that seem to break out around the festival’s co-founder. Sure, he’s the CEO and founder of one of the countries fastest growing and most talked-about theater chains, a promising independent distribution company and the owner of several local establishments that will show you a nice night on the town. But Tim League is, above all, present for the party. He’s the first one to jump into the fray and get his hands dirty (and potentially bloody). Father of two and self-described as having […]

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Austin Cinematic Limits

I have been anxiously awaiting Fantastic Fest 2012 (September 20-27) ever since the carnivalesque tomfoolery of the Fantastic Fest 2011 closing party. Year after year, Tim League and the Fantastic Fest programmers have totally blown me away with their impeccable curating of genre films. And the parties… Oh, the parties! If my liver could talk, the stories it would tell… If history serves, Fantastic Fest 2012 will continue to expand upon its awesomeness, so this year will probably be ten times more amazing than last year’s festival. The announcements that Fantastic Fest has made so far with the first wave and second wave of programming have already solidified the fact that this will be the best damn Fantastic Fest of them all. First off, Tim Burton will be in attendance at the world premiere of Frankenweenie on the opening night of Fantastic Fest 2012. Sure, I have not been a fan of most of his recent work, but that makes him no less of a cinematic genius in my mind. And, while on the subject of this year’s festival guests, I pretty much peed my pants with excitement when I heard that Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be coming to Fantastic Fest with their film Looper. Color me thrilled!

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The Rocketeer

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the nightly movie news that is always on time, even if it’s running late. Just think about it… Disney may reboot The Rocketeer. Luckily, the original movie is said to be still in existence. So we’ve got that going for us.

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FRANKENWEENIE

The only thing in life better than Fantastic Fest would be winning the lottery while you’re at Fantastic Fest. Like every year, we’ll be covering the hell out of it with a preternatural dedication that often requires us writing our reviews with straight jackets on. That’s a lot harder than it sounds when you’re also singing karaoke and drinking a high quality concoction of hooch. The full fest line up hasn’t been announced yet, but it will undoubtedly be full of movie goodness, and the opening night film promises to set the tone. The flick? Tim Burton‘s forthcoming Frankenweenie – which promises a return to stop motion, a returning to working with John August and a return to a story from his youth that finally gets a feature-length treatment. The movie hits theaters October 5th, but Fantastic Fest attendees will see it before anyone else. Hopes are high here because Burton seems to have lost his way as of late, crafting stuff in his wheelhouse that feels stale, but perhaps the solution to the rut is to dig deeper into it. To return to the kind of magic this morbid magician built his name on. It’s a hell of a way to kick things off. And this poster for the fest is a great way to celebrate the end of everything:

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Earlier this week, Deadline Wherever reported that during a panel at CinemaCon, exhibitors discussed the option of allowing patrons to text during films. It was pitched as an attempt to attract younger audiences to the theaters, even though it doesn’t actually address the reason (price of films, quality of the home video experience and rampant online piracy) why teens and college students don’t go to the movies as much as they did in the 70s and 80s. At Film School Rejects, we support a staunch no-texting policy (and no tweeting, Facebooking, web surfing, Wikipediaing, playing of Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja) at all theaters. However, instead of pointing out the fallacies of this idiotic suggestion, we’re taking a look into the future. Here is a possible timeline of what might happen were texting allowed in movie theaters. Gird your loins and enjoy this cautionary tale from Cole Abaius and Kevin Carr.

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Boiling Point

Recently at CinemaCon, Amy Miles, the chief executive officer of Regal Entertainment, birthed the idea that movie theaters should maybe consider allowing texting at certain types of movies – basically movies that asshole teens would most likely be seeing. With great and obvious reasons, everyone got up in a tiff over the statement. Tim League, CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which has a famously hard-line stance against phone usage during screenings, responded appropriately: “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater.” Granted, if you text during a movie, you’re an asshole, but is it really the worst thing in the world?

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Alamo Drafthouse Summer of 1982

The Alamo Drafthouse was already planning to turn the heat up on this summer by looking ahead to the past – celebrating the 30th anniversary the massive 1982 months that made the middle of the year famous for movies. Their marquee already included The Thing, Tron, The Wrath of Khan, Poltergeist and more. Now, the “more” part of that is about to expand. As special badges go on sale (80 bucks gets you the original 8 films), Team Alamo is announcing 7 more flicks to the tour. That includes Class of 1984, The Dark Crystal, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Secret of NIMH, Vice Squad and Pink Floyd: The Wall. How they knew that NIMH was my security blanket as an elementary school kid is anyone’s guess. This event was already an awesome trip down memory lane, and now it’s even greater. What’s fantastic here isn’t just the re-release of a ton of excellent movies, it’s the diversity on the board here. Speaking of which, here’s the full schedule, so grab a calendar and a few markers:

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Meeting Evil writer/director Chris Fisher joins us to talk about how necessary movie stars are to getting financing in the indie world (and how to talk to Samuel L. Jackson on set). Plus, we go beyond the headlines to explore the Alamo Drafthouse‘s expansion into New York City with CEO Tim League and to push the envelope of film festivals with Tribeca Executive Director Nancy Schafer. Download Episode #129

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There’s no reason for any of you to know this, but a great deal of FSR’s dearly beloved readership comes from the New York City area. It’s a natural thing. We report on the entertainment industry, so it doesn’t surprise that the likes of New York and Los Angeles are always near the top of our traffic charts, with our hometown of Austin, TX sneaking in to represent every once in a while. The latter of which happening most often when we mention the Alamo Drafthouse, the Austin-based theater chain that has inspired many a movie nerd from around the world to travel great distances for a $5 milkshake, a basket of queso fries and one of the most unique movie theater experiences on the planet. Today we’re proud to report that our friends in NYC will now be able to take notice when we mention the Alamo Drafthouse, as CEO Tim League and company will be moving into their neighborhood very soon.

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Austin Cinematic Limits

The Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane enjoyed a very successful soft opening in early March, but they chose to wait until the dust settled after the 2012 SXSW Film Festival to officially celebrate their grand opening. On the morning of Thursday, March 22, friends of the Alamo and local press flocked to the newest and grandest Alamo Drafthouse location in Austin where they were treated to tacos, coffee, Bloody Mary’s and mimosas. Special guest Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Machete) held the ribbon as Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League cut it with a saber; then League held a champagne bottle as Rodriguez slashed it open with a saber. Thankfully, no filmmakers or CEOs were injured by the saber. Shortly after the grand opening, with the saber stowed safely out of reach, we discussed the new Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane location with League — the man whom Rodriguez referred to as the most “innovative exhibitionist in the country, if not the world.”

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the ketchup on your ice cream. Good evening and welcome back! We’ll begin with a piece from film critic and feline advocate Scott Weinberg who’s compiled a list of the best foreign action films to hit our shores in the last few years. Prompted by a recent screening of festival darling The Raid, which should be assaulting American eyeballs in the next month or two, Weinberg runs down plenty of ass-kicking titles to feed your Netflix queue. Head on over to Movies.com for the full piece.

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When Luke Mullen said that Bullhead was “damn near a masterpiece,” he wasn’t exaggerating. It’s a stirring, heart-vicing film that explores the rotten depths of manhood in the no-frills world of the Belgium mafia that controls illegal bovine growth hormones. His full review is absolutely worth the read, but the short of it is that the movie is pure, grisly and fantastic. In fact, it’s already been chosen as Belgium’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, which is even more stunning because it’s the first film from Michael Roskam, and the country’s favorite go-to Awards contenders (the Dardenne Brothers) have a new film out this year (that won’t be going to the big dance). A newcomer has overthrown titans, and according to Badass Digest, Drafthouse Films has picked up the film for distribution. On top of that, they picked up fellow Fantastic Fest film Clown – the sex comedy from Denmark that sees men taking a young child on their “Tour de Pussy.” Adam Charles said that it displayed the awfulness of (some) male specimens with “one of the most pointed, extreme, and filthy senses of humor imaginable.” From Oscar nominees to raunchy foreign sex comedies, Drafthouse has picked up some great movies here, and hopefully they’ll be in theaters near you fairly soon. And no one will be texting or talking when you go.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we speak with legendary actor Ron Perlman about his white dreadlocks in Bunraku, we’ll chat with The Dark Knight Rises executive producer Michael Uslan about his incredible journey to bringing Batman to the screen, and we’ll talk with Brian Salisbury and Luke Mullen about favorite films from Fantastic Fests past to get excited for the debauchery of this week. Plus, Screenrant editors/Screenrant Underground Podcast hosts Ben Kendrick and Rob Keyes fight to the pain in our Movie News Pop Quiz. Is it any wonder we end up talking about Qwikster? Download This Episode

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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