This week’s special screenings: Julio and Marla Quintana’s “The Vessel,” Chantal Akerman and the Austin Revolution Film Festival

the-vessel_poster_01062016“The Vessel.” Back on Sept. 3, our own Ahora Sí wrote about this production by two Austin filmmakers, Julio and Marla, Quintana. (This link is to the version in English.) The film stars noted devout Catholic lefto and Spanish speaker Martin Sheen (born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, in case you were wondering what President Bartlet’s real name was) as  a Catholic priest in a Latin American town where a tidal wave destroys a local school filled with children. Following the disaster, a local uses pieces of the school to build a strange object that inflames local passions in the community.

Executive produced by Terrence Malick, the movie is opening in both Spanish and English and, as the above story notes, it was not dubbed — it was shot in both. Malick and Sheen first worked together on the immortal “Badlands,” which was both Malick’s first feature and the film that made Sheen famous.  “The Vessel” opens Sept. 16 and plays for at least a week at the Regal Arbor at various times.


“Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.” In this striking documentary, Austin director Deborah S. Esquenazi explores the terrifying persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio. “Southwest” includes an on-camera recantation by one of the initial victim.  Esquenazi, along with along with attorneys at the Innocence Project, ends up exploring and re-investigating this tragic case. Friday to Tuesday, various times. Alamo South Lamar.

“News from Home.” As a transplanted Belgian, Chantal Akerman has always cared about a sense of place. In “News from Home,” Akerman shows us real-time vistas of her adopted home, New York City, while she reads letters from her mother in Belgium. The Friday screening features cinematographer Babette Mangolte in person. 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road.

“The Camera: Je, La Camera: I.” The look at collaborations between cinematographer Mangolte and director Akerman continues with this self-portrait of Mangolte, an important film artist in her own right. She’ll be present for this special screening. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road.

Austin Revolution Film Festival. A group of filmmakers started this fest to create opportunities for indie directors whose movies might not have big stars and bigger budgets. All kinds of flicks will screen,  from shorts to documentaries to music videos and more. 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through 9 p.m. Saturday. $10-$50. Various locations.

"Decalogue 1"

“Decalogue 1”

“Decalogue 1 & 2.” In chapter one, a father and his young son experience the marvel of the personal computer with devastating results. In the next chapter, a doctor’s choice affects the life or death of an unborn child. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road.

with Arianna Auber

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