Austin Film Society presents Jewels in the Wasteland

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Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty in Ishtar. Photo courtesy of Austin Film Society

This series, programmed and hosted by AFS Founder and Artistic Director Richard Linklater, presents some of the best films of the 1980s. This decade witnessed a great deal of change in Hollywood, saw some great filmmakers’ last films, and the first stirrings of the modern independent film movement. The first screening of each film in the series will be introduced by Linklater, who will participate in an onstage discussion afterward.

Featured films:

  • October 30: High Hopes - Mike Leigh’s humane-but-cutting comedy about a London family stretched across the social class divide in Thatcher-era England was achieved through the director’s collaborative, improvisational working style with his cast of top-notch British actors.
  • November 8: Barfly - Charles Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical screenplay combines the poetic and the profane in a darkly comic story about a regular at a seedy Los Angeles bar. Starring Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke in the Bukowski role.​
  • November 15: Boyfriends & Girlfriends - While Éric Rohmer’s 1960s moral tales may be his most celebrated collection of films, his 1980s “proverbs” series brought a more deeply honed artistic dexterity to his conversational, plot-heavy and female-centric narratives, including this low-key masterwork, brimming with triangulating desire and unrequited longing.
  • November 21 and 26: Ishtar - Elaine May’s globetrotting comedy about a pair of hapless songwriters (Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty) was savaged upon its initial release, but has since been rediscovered and somewhat rehabilitated by modern audiences. With Charles Grodin, Isabelle Adjani and more.
  • November 29: Born On The Fourth of July - Oliver Stone earned a Best Director Oscar for his adaptation of the autobiography of Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise), a Vietnam veteran who became one of the anti-war movement’s most formidable and famous activists.
  • December 6: The Dead - The final film from master director John Huston is an adaptation of James Joyce’s short story. Anjelica Huston gives one of her finest performances in the emotionally charged tale of a couple haunted by the memory of the wife’s deceased lover.
  • December 13 and 19: Wings of Desire - An underground classic and one of Wim Wenders’ most beautiful creations. Bruno Ganz stars as a guardian angel who falls in love with his charge, an ethereally beautiful trapeze artist, and decides to renounce his immortality. Peter Falk, as himself, helps to guide him.

Event Details


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AFS Cinema
6406 N. I-35 Frontage Rd. Suite 3100
Austin, TX 78752


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