Not rated, 90 min. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier. Starring Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack and Eve Plumb.
Salunier served as the writer, director, and cinematographer of this multi-award-winning film about a loner on a mysterious mission. Saulnier and Macon Blair will be in attendance for a Q&A. Read a full review of Blue Ruin.
Rated R, 92 min. Directed by Amy Heckerling. Starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Ray Walston, Vincent Schiavelli, Forest Whitaker, James Russo, Eric Stoltz and Nicolas Cage.
So many debuts, so much promise. Amy Heckerling's portrait of high school/shopping mall life in Southern California is still just about as good as it gets. It’s adapted from Cameron Crowe’s book, and the panoply of teen types and turmoils is dead-on accurate. Penn’s Jeff Spicoli is the stoner archetype, Cates is a real heartbreaker, and Reinhold has never again been this good.
Rated PG-13, 83 min. Directed by Akiva Schaffer. Starring Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Ian McShane, Sissy Spacek, Will Arnett and Chris Parnell.
Off-Centered Film Festival: Beer Party With Lonely Island: Cross Napoleon Dynamite's endearing optimism with Ben Stiller's total commitment to his goofy characters, and you'll wind up with a character something like Andy Samberg's hapless stuntman. Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone of Lonely Island will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Read a full review of Hot Rod.
Not rated, 44 min. Directed by Mike Slee. Starring Gordon Pinsent and Patricia Phillips.
The life cycle of a monarch butterfly and its long-distance migration from Canada to Central Mexico is captured in this 3-D nature documentary that also focuses on the decades of fieldwork conducted by Canadian scientist Fred Urquhart.
Not rated, 40 min. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Narrated by Robert Redford.
The river at risk is the Colorado. Water-conservation advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. joins ethnobotanist and author Wade Davis and their 18-year-old daughters for a rafting trip down the river to the parched Colorado delta.
Now in its 17th year, this annual festival continues through Sunday. The opening and closing-night galas will be held at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, along with many other new, international releases, and the Hecho en Tejas lineup. Competition narrative features and shorts will be shown on two screens at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center will host free screenings of films in the documentary competition and the Emergencia Youth Film Day on Saturday, April 26. Free screenings will also be offered at St. Edward's University's Jones Auditorium. Pioneer Chicano filmmaker Efraín Gutiérrez will be honored at a retrospective of his films at the Marchesa, for which he will be present. For our interview with Executive Director Eugenio del Bosque, see austinchronicle.com/daily/screens.