Watch Out, Austin! Super September

The Cinapse guide to this month’s best screenings around town

As September brings in the fall (except for all this heat?), screens around Austin continue to deliver amazing experiences to theatergoers. From documentaries to dapper dress ups, this months has lots to offer Austin audiences.


AFS Cinema: September 14 & 16


AFS Cinema: September 15

Mary Ellen Mark’s “Tiny in her Halloween costume” occupies that rarefied air of being one of the seminal works of American photography. The image captures a young girl, dressed up and simultaneously embodying both youthful innocence and a world-weariness beyond her years. Mark’s Streetwise project produced not only an amazing set of images but also a documentary film (shot with her husband Martin Bell) about street kids in Seattle. It’s proto-grunge with a punk ethos that’s more depressing than invigorating with age. For years, it was available only on VHS — I got mine from Amazon still in a plastic rental sleeve — and now Janus films is reissuing this gem for a wide audience to enjoy, with AFS Cinema hosting a couple of screenings.

Accompanying this is Tiny, all about the woman behind the nickname, Erin Blackwell, now grown up have having lived a difficult post-Streetwise life. This is a “Whatever happened to that girl from Streetwise?” work that nicely pairs with the original.


AFS Cinema: September 27–28

We’re suckers for local talent, and it doesn’t get more local or more talented than Anna Margaret Hollyman. She not only stars in Sister Aimee but got the idea of this true-life story into the hands of directors Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann. The real Aimee was a prototype for the televangelists that would occupy a huge part of American religion. It’s a great film with lots of local talent on board, some of whom will be present for screenings.

DOWNTON ABBEY: Fancy Dress Party

Alamo Drafthouse (Various): September 12

If you’re going to indulge in some Masterpiece-ful Theater, why not do it up right? Yes, there’s a dress-up party for the new Downton Abbey movie. Alamo has had to add screenings because of course people want to get gussied up for this most fashionable of movies. Seeing it in normie clothes is fine, but indulging your sartorial side would be just perfect.


AFS Cinema: September 21 & 23

We here at Cinapse are huge fans of Fast Color. With AFS Cinema screening it this month, it’s a great time to see this gem on the big screen. According to Elizabeth Stoddard:

The worldbuilding is strong from the start, quickly establishing the action in an America suffering a multi-year drought. Fast Color’s setting is effective enough to make the viewer thirsty. Hart creates a tense environment — and the family’s calm haven in the midst of it — in a script infused with subtle moments of deep emotion.

History of Television: DALLAS

Austin Public Studios: September 23

That’s right, an exploration of a Dallas, with one of the original directors!

For this very special History of Television presentation, Dwight Adair will break down one of the episodes of the original Dallas that he directed. He will share his method for working as a television director — scheduling, working with the cast, and keeping up with a very fast schedule.


Alamo Drafthouse Ritz: September 29

Tom Cruise has worked with some of the best directors in the business, but when you pair his star power with the grittiness and real world suspense of Michael Mann, you come away with a gem like COLLATERAL. The story follows a cab driver (Jamie Foxx) who becomes hostage to a contract killer (Tom Cruise) who uses the cab driver as his chauffeur from one mark to the next.

Fun fact: Your humble writer first met Cinapse Editor-in-Chief Ed Travis at a Tom Cruise marathon several years ago. Among the surprise selections was Collateral, an under-the-radar Cruise flick which is beginning to get its due from critics and fans alike. (FYI, the others were Cocktail, The Color of Money, Days of Thunder, and Far and Away. Yes, we had to sit through three hours of that gem.) As a part of the Drafthouse’s Fist City series, Collateral continues to impress.


Alamo Drafthouse: September 15

Dubbed “The Best Short Films from Around the World,” Short Order is a mixed slate of live action, documentary, and animated pieces. Often one has to attend a film festival to see short films, but this is a great opportunity to take in some amazing works from around the globe.


Bullock Museum: September 24

The mashup of different genres is nothing new in the film business but no other combination of styles is more amusing than the sci-fi western. Trade the cowboy’s six-shooter and horse for a ray-gun and spaceship and let the fun begin. Join us for a look at some of the best (and worse) examples of the space cowboy through clips and conversation.

Prior to the program from 6:00pm to 7:00pm enjoy a reception and self-guided tours of the exhibit Cowboys in Space and Fantastic Worlds.

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