weekend at the movies
What to watch: A food documentary, a spiritual journey and one droll comedy hitAustin screens this weekend
It's the calm before the storm as Austin braces itself for yet another festival beginning next week. The Austin Film Festival and Conference begins next Thursday but before the flood of excellent cinema associated with AFF rolls into town, there's plenty of quality film entertainment on screens across the city this week and the week beyond. We recommend checking out a documentary that speaks directly to the food lover in all of us, a hilariously droll comedy and an uplifting tale of a father's spiritual reunion with his dead son.
This Weekend at Violet Crown
Frequently showered with awards calling in the best restaurant in the world and fielding two million annual requests for reservations for one of the 50 available seats at each 30 course dinner (which ran only 6 months out of the year), the titular El Bulli is the subject of the new documentary opening Friday. Even though it recently closed down in its current form until 2014, elBulli was a cornerstone of culinary influence for 25 under the supervision of legendary chef Ferran Adrià. The documentary highlights the experimental spirit of the restaurant which was located outside of Barcelona, chronicling the complex research and development process that used to lead to meals coveted by millions. This inside peak into a world of food as balance between art and science should appeal to anyone who enjoys food in any form. Luckily the Violet Crown has a kitchen—you don't want to watch this on an empty stomach.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
The Catechism Cataclysm is a difficult film to describe; it's a film more about the peculiarity of storytelling than a story told in and of itself. Ostensibly, it's about a priest named Billy (Steve Little) who, after being caught relaying unsavory anecdotes to his flock, is forced by his superiors to take some time off for reflection. Billy asks a hero from his youth, his sister's ex-boyfriend Robbie (Robert Longstreet), to join him on a canoeing trip. Robbie is a no-nonsense guy-next-door type who placates Billy almost completely out of boredom. This begins an unexplainable, mundane-yet-wacky adventure down the river. The Catechism Cataclysm feels like a fresh kind of understated indie filmmaking, an exciting change of pace, and SXSW is presenting a screening of it Sunday at the Ritz with stars Steve Little and Robert Longstreet (who also served as executive producer) live in person for a Q&A. On Monday it moves to South Lamar for nightly screenings.
This Weekend at Regal Arbor Cinemas
Opening Friday is The Way, a family affair starring Martin Sheen along side writer/director/real-life-son Emilio Estevez. In the film, Sheen is Tom, a doctor from California who arrives in France to recover the body of his estranged son Daniel (Estevez) who was killed in a storm while trekking the Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James). Tom is inspired to honor Daniel by making the journey along the Camino de Santiago himself. Along the way he is joined by and forms deep bonds with a trio of international travelers as he learns to live outside the life of comfort back in California and builds a posthumous relationship with his son.
Beyond the Weekend
It's extremely hard to explain why you should make it out to Terror Tuesday (10/18) at the Ritz for Anguish without spoiling just what makes it special. Needless to say, it's one of the most clever cinematic experiences you're likely to have any time soon, you'll swear it was created by someone certifiably insane yet categorically brilliant at the same time. Plus, it stars the adorable and talented (but sadly late) Zelda Rubenstein (Poltergeist). Drafthouse regulars will recognize a scene from this movie as a "Don't Talk" PSA.