Alamo Drafthouse hosting women-only ‘Wonder Woman’ screening

Amazon sisters, this one is for you. Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse announced a women-only screening of “Wonder Woman” at the downtown Ritz theater on June 6.

GAL GADOT as Diana in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

“The most iconic superheroine in comic book history finally has her own movie, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-female screening?” the screening announcement on the Drafthouse website reads. The one-night-only event is for “Women (and People Who Identify As Women) Only,” and that includes the theater staff. According to the Drafthouse, the venue staff, projectionist and culinary team for the screening will also all be women.

RELATED READ: Some Austin movie fans’ screams might be in the next ‘Star Wars’

Unfortunately, the screening is now sold out. But stay tuned, Themyscirans, in case the theater decides to lengthen its lasso for additional dates. According to a comment from the Drafthouse on Facebook, more Amazons’ nights out are on the way.

This week’s special screenings: “White of the Eye,” “Distinto Amanecer” and Ida Lupino

MPW-7465“White of the Eye.”   A 1980s psychological thriller from Donald Cammell, the man who brought us “Performance” and “Demon Seed.” David Keith is a weird Casanova-type who may be able to hear voices from the beyond. A rare 35mm print of this seriously odd film. 8 to 10 p.m. Aug. 5. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.

“Another Dawn (Distinto Amanecer).” Film professor Charles Ramirez Berg, he of the volume “The Classical Mexican Cinema: The Poetics of the Exceptional Golden Age Films,” presents what is often considered the first Mexican film noir — in fact, one of the first noirs made anywhere. Co-presented by Cine Las Americas. 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 7. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.

“The Measure of a Man.” This stunning film examines the personal impact of runaway capitalism in traditionally socialist France. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 10. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.

220px-Roadhouse1948“Road House.” A tough, entertaining noir, “Road House” stars Ida Lupino as an independent-minded singer who arrives in town and gets a job at a highway nightclub. Soon, she drives a wedge between the owner and his best friend, the club manager. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 11. $7-$10. AFS Cinema, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.

With Arianna Auber

‘Revenge of the Mekons’ to screen April 18

The Mekons, subject of a new documentary.
The Mekons, subject of a new documentary.

A new documentary about the punk band the Mekons, called “Revenge of the Mekons,” will have a special screening at 8 p.m. April 18 at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6406 North IH 35, #3100.

The Mekons began as a group of British art-school students in 1977 and went on to become a seriously ideological punk group.

Director Joe Angio will attend the screening, along with Jon Langford and Sally Timms of the Mekons.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, with varying prices for members of the Austin Film Society. For more details, visit austinfilm.org.

Premiere of golfing film ‘The Squeeze’ set April 15

Jeremy Sumpter and Christopher McDonald (right) in "The Squeeze." ARC Entertainment
Jeremy Sumpter and Christopher McDonald (right) in “The Squeeze.” ARC Entertainment

The Paramount Theatre will host the Austin premiere of the new golf film “The Squeeze” on April 15, followed by a Q&A wither writer/director Terry Jastrow and Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw.

Proceeds from the screening will benefit the First Tee of Greater Austin, a nonprofit youth development organization dedicated to providing educational programs to build character and values through golf.

The movie, which stars Jeremy Sumpter and Christopher McDonald, will open April 17 at the AMC Barton Creek.

In the movie, Sumpter plays a rural Texas guy who has great golf skills, and when a career gambler (McDonald) discovers him, they decide to work their way to Las Vegas, where the young man’s skills are put to a life-and-death gambling test.

Jastrow, the director, is well known as a TV sports producer for ABC and has won seven Emmys.

A VIP reception for the film will be held at 6 p.m. Doors will open at the Paramount at 6:45 p.m. Opening remarks are scheduled for 7:15 p.m., followed by the film at 7:25 p.m. A Q&A with Jastrow and Crenshaw is expected to begin at 8:55 p.m.

General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased at austintheatre.org.

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.

Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards honors Wilson, del Toro, others

Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo Del Toro and Danny Trejo walk the red carpet. (Suzanne Cordeiro / For American-Statesman)
Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo Del Toro and Danny Trejo walk the red carpet. (Suzanne Cordeiro / For American-Statesman)

There aren’t many better ways to start an evening than hearing Mike Judge say, in perfect Hank Hill voice, “Boy I tell you what, it feels good to be a gangster.”

That’s how the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards (aka the unofficial kickoff to SXSW Film) started Thursday night. The joke was a reference to both “King of the Hill” and “Office Space,” two of Judge’s best and most Texas-centric creations. Judge served as the Master of Ceremonies at this year’s ceremony, held at Austin Studios.

Judge was also there to induct Luke Wilson into the Hall of Fame, which he did with an excellent story about the Austin-shot “Idiocracy.”

Unfortunately, Wilson, ostensibly one of the evening’s bigger stars, was not present. According to Charles Attal, who accepted the award, Wilson was stuck on set. Ah, well.

Judge presented an award to the family of the late actor Christopher Evan Welch, who played the Asperger’s-ish venture capitalist Peter Gregory brilliantly on Judge’s current HBO show “Silicon Valley.” Welch died of lung cancer in 2013.

Welch was raised in Irving and studied acting in Dallas; his widow Emma said Welch was fiercely proud of his Texas roots and never got rid of his Texas driver’s license.

Judge then introduced Robert Rodriguez — there to present a Honorary Texan award to Guillermo del Toro — by thanking him “for keeping Danny Trejo from killing us all in a home invasion.”

(Trejo, who was present, is a frequent actor in Rodriguez’s films and did time before becoming a character part sensation.)

Rodriguez called de Toro a shining example of a visionary filmmaker: Both men love fantasy and Rodriguez said that to see del Toro’s drawings, compared to his own, was “like Salieri looking at the work of Mozart.”

Del Toro said he was a frequent San Antonio visitor as kid, “like every other self respecting Mexican,” always returning home with a suitcase full of comics and toys.

After his father was the victim of a kidnapping in the late 1990s, del Toro and his family moved abroad and del Toro headed to Austin, a place he had never been. Del Toro said he loved stories folks such as Harry Knowles told him: “It made me dream of a perfect place.”

Del Toro, who developed “The Devil’s Backbone” while living here, said he thrived in Austin. It is a place that “cherished what we do,” he said, and is not concerned with the film-making “of power and prestige.”

Austin Chronicle editor/ SXSW co-founder Louis Black  and del Toro presented a posthumous award to their late friend, writer, actor and producer L.M. Kit Carson. Carson was a fixture of the Texas film scene. “What I’m trying to say (with my art is that), you’re not alone,” Carson said in archival footage, which included a tribute from Wes Anderson.

Actress Jess Weixler, co-star of the hit TV show “The Good Wife” presented to producer and Dallas native Bonnie Curtis Curtis’ collection of clips included a tribute from friend and mentor Steven Spielberg, with whom she worked for 17 years on such films as “Saving Private Ryan” and “Minority Report.”

Curtis talked about movies as “something of a religion,” and how she often “attended church” at the Arclight in Hollywood, where last July she saw Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.”

Curtis said the scene where Patricia Arquette’s character said “I just thought there would be more” was particularly inspiring and creatively sustaining: “I said ‘There! That’s my moment!'”

(Grammy award winner Adrian Quesada (of bands Spanish Gold and Brownout) and his band of Texan all-stars performed at the awards ceremony; they played Curtis off with the Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)” which is a pretty great choice for a producer.)

Bill Wittliff, writer and executive producer of “Lonesome Dove,” and writer of “The Black Stallion, “The Perfect Storm” and “Legends of the Fall” presented the HEB Legend award to Tommy Lee Jones, who got a standing ovation when he came out to accept.

The San Saba County native told a story about shooting the cult movie “Rolling Thunder” in Texas and how, while he has shot many pictures in the State, that one stayed with him.

Jones said of his career,”I am grateful for every frame.”

Variety editor (and Monte Hellman collaborator) Steven Gaydos presented an award to Richard Linklater for  “Boyhood”. Gaydos joked that he and Linklater’s therapist “were going to take him off the awards slowly.” (The critically beloved “Boyhood” has garnered dozens of accolades in the year.)

Linklater — who noted the “Boyhood” “never leaves the borders of Texas,” just like himself as a young man — invited everyone in the cast and crew who had worked on the film over the long haul onto the stage to accept the award.

“Boyhood” star Ellar Coltrane noted that perhaps the praise for the film meant that audiences were ready for “new kinds of movies” and that Austin was about “making movies for the sake of making them.”

Judge announced that the dinner and auction raised $883,000 for the Austin Film Society.

 

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Austin-shot movie “Billy Bates” screens Nov. 12

Director Jennifer DeLia is bringing her Austin-shot movie “Billy Bates” to Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar 7 p.m. Nov. 12 for a free screening.

h-billy-batesStarring James Wirt and Austin actress Savannah Welch (Boyhood, Tree of Life, part of the Austin band The Trishas), “Billy Bates” blends narrative and documentary-style in a portrait of an artist. The movie release is set via Go Digital for November 18.

Here is the Facebook link and the Twitter link to the event.  The free screening  includes a Q & A and reception with the filmmakers and an after-party at C-Boys with a performance by the Trishas, who have not been playing out much of late.

DeLia, Wirt and her producer Julie Pacino are also working on a biopic about Hollywood legend Mary Pickford (to be directed by DeLia and set to star Lily Rabe, Michael Pitt, Julia Stiles, Ryan Simpkins, and Wirt).