“World of Tomorrow” now on Vimeo

Austin animator Don Hertzfeldt’s phenomenal sci-fi short film “World of Tomorrow” is now available for rental on Vimeo.

The winner of the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, best animated short at SXSW, best animated short at the Omaha Film Festival, an audience award at Glasgow Short Film Festival and special jury mention at the Regard Short Film Festival, “World of Tomorrow” is a 16 minute wonder about a little girl named Emily

Emily — played by Hetzfeltdt’s then-four year old niece Winona — receives a very special message from a relative who takes Emily on a tour of our world several hundred years hence. (“You cannot direct a four year old,” Hertzfeldt wrote in an essay about the movie on his website bitterfilms.com. “You cannot even expect a four year old to recite lines back at you. You just sort of have to let the four year old happen.”)

British animator Julia Pott in her first acting role, plays the other character, also named Emily.

Hertzfeldt is an Oscar nominee whose animated films include “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” “The Meaning of Life,” “Billy’s Balloon,” and “Rejected.” He is the only filmmaker to have won the overall Grand Jury Prize for Short Film twice. “Beautiful Day,” his first feature film, made it on to a mess of 2012 year-end lists.

Jeff Nichols, Woody Allen, Todd Haynes will likely play Cannes

Variety just published their annual “these will probably be at Cannes” list; on there is Austin director Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special,” starring Adam Driver and Michael Shannon.

"Inside Out"
“Inside Out”

Also  shouted out: Woody Allen’s  “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, Disney/Pixar’s amazing-looking “Inside Out,” George Miller’s amazing-looking-in-a-different-way “Mad Max: Fury Road,” starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron and Todd Haynes’ “Carol,”  with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Check out the full report here


Paramount to host free screening of “A Night at the Opera”

A Night at the Opera
A Night at the Opera

The Paramount Theatre will host a free 80th anniversary screening of the Marx Brothers’ “A Night at the Opera” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1.
As many of you know, “A Night” is considered to be one of the best Marx Brothers films, and its screening is part of a yearlong series of events being hosted by the Paramount to celebrate the theater’s 100th birthday.
The evening will be hosted by Austin comedian Mike MacRae, who will be a part of the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the film starting an hour later.

‘Seymour’ is Ethan Hawke’s moving look at pianist Bernstein (Our grade: B+)

Seymour Bernstein, a pianist, is the subject of Ethan Hawke’s documentary “Seymour: An Introduction.”
Seymour Bernstein, a pianist, is the subject of Ethan Hawke’s documentary “Seymour: An Introduction.”

By Betsy Sharkey – Los Angeles Times

Ethan Hawke’s documentary on pianist Seymour Bernstein is very much like the sonatas Bernstein plays so beautifully, teaches so insightfully — quietly moving, infinitely deep.

With “Seymour: An Introduction,” the actor is making his documentary directing debut, and it’s a modest but affecting one.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “Seymour: An Introduction”

‘Wrecking Crew’ tracks legendary behind-the-scenes musicians (Our grade: B)

Brian Wilson and Hal Blaine in “The Wrecking Crew.”
Brian Wilson and Hal Blaine in “The Wrecking Crew.”

By Kenneth Turan – Los Angeles Times

To Beach Boys guru Brian Wilson, “they were the ones with all the spirit and all the know-how.” To Nancy Sinatra, they were “unsung heroes,” to Herb Alpert, “an established groove machine.” And to celebrated songwriter Jimmy Webb, they were simply “stone cold rock and roll professionals.”

If the history of rock music means anything to you, you know the individuals in question could only be the Wrecking Crew, a legendary group of Los Angeles-based studio musicians, and though their story has taken decades to reach the screen, it has been worth the wait.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “The Wrecking Crew”

‘It Follows’ rises above the horror pack (Our grade: B)

Maika Monroe stars in the horror film “It Follows.”
Maika Monroe stars in the horror film “It Follows.”

By Roger Moore – Tribune News Service

It’s nearly impossible, in our horror-glutted culture, to find a novel spin to the classic tropes of scary movies.

But David Robert Mitchell does just that with “It Follows.” It’s a chased-by-zombie-walking-demons thriller in which the victims have to have sex in order to escape their fate.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “It Follows”

Another E.T. is out of place on Earth in ‘Home’ (Our grade: C+)

Tip (Rihanna) and Oh (Jim Parsons) take to the skies as they embark on a global adventure in “Home.”
Tip (Rihanna) and Oh (Jim Parsons) take to the skies as they embark on a global adventure in “Home.”

By Roger Moore – Tribune News Service

“Home” is an energetic, obvious animated comedy packed with the sort of low humor and silly laughs that drive very small children wild.

It’s a lesser DreamWorks work, in other words, no more ambitious than those later “Madagascar” movies. There’s not much here for anybody older than 8.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “Home”

‘Wild Tales’ explores sweet and sour revenge (Our grade: B+)

Érica Rivas stars as the bride Romina and Diego Gentile plays the new husband Ariel in “Wild Tales.”
Érica Rivas stars as the bride Romina and Diego Gentile plays the new husband Ariel in “Wild Tales.”

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you just let go? If you sought vengeance for the everyday slights and humiliations? If you finally went ballistic over injustice and crossed the line from civilization to barbarism? We see some examples of these kinds of reactions in what we call terrorism, usually involving religious and political fervor. But let’s focus on the everyday world instead — irritating drivers, unfaithful spouses, predatory car-towing companies.

“Wild Tales,” the Oscar-nominated movie from Argentine director Damián Szifron, plays like a series of short stories as it delves into characters who finally give in to their rage. As you might expect, it doesn’t always end well.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “Wild Tales”

‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’: A fractured fairy tale (Our grade: A-)

Rinko Kikuchi in a scene from “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.”
Rinko Kikuchi in a scene from “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.”

As much a tribute to the Coen brothers in general as a literal response to one of their movies, “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” a cool and ambitious slice of weird from Austin’s own Zellner brothers, works best as pure fairy tale, a quest to find a fortune that the audiences knows doesn’t actually exist.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” 

‘Get Hard’: Perhaps the year’s most obnoxious movie (Our grade: D)

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart star in “Get Hard,” which played at SXSW.
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart star in “Get Hard,” which played at SXSW.

Will Ferrell has built his film career on being an everyman (“Old School”) or a naïf devoid of self-consciousness (“Elf,” “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” this list goes on).

In Etan Cohen’s “Get Hard,” Ferrell goes with the latter, but adds a patina of ultra-rich entitlement as investment banker James King. King lives in a Bel Air mansion and is the sort who does naked stretches in front of the mortified help. In spite of an age difference that might make a few audience members mumble, “Wait, what?,” King is about to marry his boss’ rich-kid daughter (Alison Brie; her dad is Craig T. Nelson).

» Read full review on MyStatesman.com | Find showtimes for “Get Hard”