Film fans, rejoice: did you know that there’s a local society of cinephiles regularly presenting 35mm screenings of rare, classic and hard-to-find films (and for free)?
Say hello to the Austin Cinematheque, a film collective sponsored by and operating out of the University of Texas (screenings are held in the Texas Union Theater at 24th and Guadalupe). Founded by a quartet of RTF students in 2005, the Cinematheque is named after and modeled on the legendary CInematheque Francaise (which was run by the even more legendary Henri Langlois). Over the past six years, they’ve presented a wide variety of films from Truffaut, Cocteau, Kar-Wai and Kurosawa alongside lesser-known directors like Monte Hellman and Georg Wilhelm Pabst. Avid fans of 35mm, they eschew DVD re-releases, preferring to track down original prints. When you attend a screening at the Cinematheque, it’s almost like traveling back in time to a mid-60s premiere.
Tonight, the Cinematheque proudly presents their 71st screening: the Cannes Palme d’or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. The 2010 Thai film is the inaugural first-run film to be shown at the Cinematheque, and this screening is also the local premiere of Uncle Boonmee, so it’s a truly momentous occaision.
Writer and director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's past works include 2002’s Blissfully Yours (winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize), 2004’s Tropical Malady (winner of the Cannes’ Jury Prize) and 2006’s Syndromes and a Century (which premiered at the Venice Film Festival). He’s known for incorporating ethereal, dream-like elements into his scores of short films and features, and is fond of weaving serious cultural critiques (of the relationship between his native Thailand and the West, and of Eastern opinions on homosexuality, namely) with deeply moving tales of personal connection.
Take a look at the trailer for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, screening for free Monday, October 3rd at 8 pm in the Texas Union Theater.
The Austin Cinematheque presents unique screenings on Monday nights throughout the school year. Check their schedule for upcoming events.