This Week in Movies
What to watch: Aural terrorism, family sushi and Robert De Niro on Austinscreens
Things are back to normal in Austin and attention is turning back towards non-festival new releases. For those few people not going to see The Hunger Games, foreign and indie release options are plentiful. This weekend you have your choice of a Swedish comedy about musical terrorists, a documentary about the world's greatest sushi chef and a potent new drama from the director of About a Boy.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
Opening at the new Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane location (as well as at the Ritz) is the Swedish aural terrorism comedy Sound of Noise. Amadeus Warnebring is a police officer who, having been raised in a talented musical family and constantly compared to his virtuoso violinist brother, has grown to resent the art form as he happens to be tone deaf.
Meanwhile, a group of six percussionists have planned a four movement symphony of sound to be played across the city utilizing everyday objects — their goal being to wake people up from the monotony of life. Things heat up as Warnebring gets closer and closer to the rogue musical group in an attempt to thwart their plans and silence them for good. Full of incredible percussion-based set pieces, dark humor and amusing backstories, Sound of Noise is ceaselessly inventive, one of the most rewarding and creative imports to hit Austin screens in quite some time.
In the basement of an office building in Tokyo, down an inconspicuous hallway leading to the subway, is Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat sushi restaurant owned and operated by Jiro Ono, whom many consider to be the world's greatest sushi chef. People pay top dollar for a chance to try one of his rolls, each one's creation being informed by 75 years of experience.
In the new film Jiro Dreams of Sushi the chef is profiled, his techniques probed, his professional relationships with suppliers and apprentices examined and, most importantly, his personal relationship with his sons laid bare. While his youngest son has branched off and opened his own restaurant, the eldest, Yoshikazu, struggles to lives up to Jiro's high standards as he is being prepared to take over the shop. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a foodie's delight and a fascinating portrait of obsession coursing through the veins of a family of world-class sushi makers.
This Weekend at Regal Arbor Cinema
About a Boy director Paul Weitz brings author Nick Flynn's memoirs "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City" to life in the new film Being Flynn. Nick (Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood) is an insecure writer who, at the suggestion of his girlfriend, takes a job at a homeless shelter. It's there that he sees his father Jonathan (Robert De Niro) — who had walked out on him and his mother (Julianne Moore) years earlier — waiting in line for a bed.
Jonathan, an ex-con and a bigot in every sense of the word, has convinced himself of his own lies about multimillion-dollar advances for important works of fiction that he is working to produce. It is a plot potent with the potential for melodrama, but Being Flynn eschews typical redemption and coming-of-age tropes instead focusing on the real impact of damaged and soon-to-be-damaged characters coming face-to-face. It helps that Robert De Niro puts in his best performance in years, and the always notable Paul Dano is up to the challenge of sharing scenes with a legend.
Beyond the Weekend
The grand opening celebration at the new Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane location continues into next week with special screenings such as Cinema Cocktails: From Russian with Love, Action Pack: Commando and a screening of the sci-fi horror masterpiece The Thing (1982). Stop by to check out the new digs and make sure to save some time for a cocktail at 400 Rabbits.