It’s fall festival season again, and the Austin Film Festival will be at the theatre starting this Thursday, October 20! Here are a few of my picks for the fest:
1. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (10/20, Paramount Theatre): The newest film from a team of young, NYC based filmmakers called Borderline Films (MMMM producer Antonio Campos’ brilliant feature debut AFTERSCHOOL played Cannes and SXSW in 2008-9), Sean Durkin’s feature debut has been acclaimed at Sundance and Cannes, and is sure to be one of the most talked about films of the fall. Combining a European visual austerity with visceral acting, these young filmmakers are some of the most exciting new voices in American filmmaking.
2. SHAME (10/22, Regal Arbor): British artist/filmmaker Steve McQueen (no relation to the American Badass) launched onto the international filmmaking scene in a big way with his searing debut HUNGER in 2008. Also the launching pad for current “It” actor Michael Fassbender, the film was a brilliant and harrowing look at the last weeks in the life of IRA leader Bobby Sands. Now the dynamic duo have reunited for SHAME, sure to be another devastating look into the life of a troubled man. With Fassbender on the verge of well deserved superstardom, this one is not to be missed.
3. YOU HURT MY FEELINGS (10/20 & 10/25, Texas Spirit Theater): Starring local actor/filmmaker/comic/legend John Merriman, and made by former Austinite Steve Collins, this film’s low key charms and insights into the way we live have made it one of the indie gems of the year. Reuniting much of the cast and crew of the award winning GRETCHEN (2006), the film follows the life of one man as he tries to come to terms with the idea of family across a year.
4. METROPOLITAN (10/21, Alamo Ritz): Writer/director Whit Stillman presents a retrospective of one of my favorite films of the 90s. This witty, sharpy observed satire of the “Urban Haute Bourgeoisie” still has a bite today.
5. THE RUM DIARY (10/21, Paramount Theatre): A labor of love for star Johnny Depp and filmmaker Bruce Robinson (WITHNAIL & I), this adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s novel is sure to entertain.