This week on the big screen
It's no secret that an easy way to beat the summer heat here in Austin is to spend some time at the movies. Fortunately for us, there are many options outside of the typical wide-release films. Read through for recommendations on the best indie films and special events this weekend and the week ahead.
This Weekend at Violet Crown
Opening on Friday at downtown's art house theater is Sarah's Key. The film tells the story of Julia Jarmond (Kristen Scott Thomas), an American journalist in Paris who is researching a little-discussed 1942 incident during which French police arrested thousands of Jews and detained them in horrid conditions. The film jumps between Julia in the present day and a young girl named Sarah who, along with her family, was captured during the Vel' d’Hiv Roundup. As Julia uncovers more about Sarah she finds there may be some links between their families. Expect an emotionally challenging story that also sheds light on a piece of history that has all but been swept under the rug.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
At the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar location, Attack the Block is continuing its run for at least another week of alien fighting mayhem. Opening Friday, though, is Sundance wunderkind Brit Marling's sci-fi drama Another Earth. The film, which stars Marling (who wrote and starred in two acclaimed features at this year's festival, the other being the utterly riveting Sound of my Voice), tells the story of a young aspiring astrophysicist recently accepted into MIT, a successful composer (William Mapother, Lost), and the tragic incident that intertwines their lives on the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth.
At the downtown Ritz location, a few special events this weekend are well worth noting. On Saturday (8/6), Austin Books & Comics presents a screening of Clerks 2 with star Brian O'Halloran (who plays retail shlub Dante Hicks) live. O'Halloran will be on hand for a Q&A and there will be a special presentation of animated Clerks shorts from Powerhouse Animation. On Sunday (8/7), Alamo's monthly celebration of '80s celluloid, Zzang!!!, presents The RoboCop Triple-Feature Reverse Marathon. The evening will kick off with the 3rd film in the series (which inexplicably features ninja robots and jet packs), progress into the hokey but immensely entertaining first sequel (which happens to have been Irvini Kershner's final film), and then cap things off with Paul Verhoeven's original uber-violent, satirical masterpiece, RoboCop. All three will be shown in 35mm and tickets are on sale now.
Beyond the Weekend
It's the 25th anniversary of Blue Velvet and to celebrate, Alamo Drafthouse is presenting the film as part of their Big Screen Classics series. The film will be shown via a gorgeous 35mm print and the theater will offer Pabst Blue Ribbon specials. The first screening is Monday, 8/8 with additional screenings on the 9th and 14th.
On Tuesday (8/9), the Paramount Theatre's Summer Classics Film Series kicks off its World Cinema Series with a pair of French films of the highest caliber. First is Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob le Flambeur, the tale of an aging gangster and gambler who decides to try his luck at both by robbing a casino. Then in Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, a petty thief returns to his criminal habits when his mother dies shortly after he is released from jail.
On Wednesday (8/10) at the Regal Arbor Cinema, broadcast live from Boston is the Angels & Airwaves Love Live event. Tom DeLong, band frontman and executive producer of Love, will be joined by writer/director William Eubank for an intro. After the film, there will be a live performance by Angels & Airwaves, a Q&A, and the debut of the first video from their new Love Part Two album.