July Is Crime Month: The Crime Blotter, Week 4

A curated guide to unlawful activities around town July 22-28

Since July Is Crime Month at the Chronicle, the ruffians and reprobates at this rag want to be sure you find as much trouble as possible before August shows up like a nosy cop asking all the wrong questions. So each week, we’ll fill you in on films, readings, book clubs, and more where crime does pay – for a while, anyway.

Band of Outsiders

Here are the trouble spots from July 22-28.

Murder Can Hurt You
What Neil Simon's Murder by Death did for literary sleuths on the big screen in 1976, this 1980 Aaron Spelling-produced TV movie did for television detectives on the small screen, that is, have several parody versions of popular crime-solvers join forces on a case and mock them up one side and down the other. Here, both the objects of ridicule and the actors who play them are Seventies boob-tube mainstays: Gavin MacLeod spoofing Kojak, Jamie Farr and John Byner spoofing Starsky and Hutch, Victor Buono spoofing Ironside, Tony Danza spoofing Baretta, Connie Stevens spoofing Police Woman's Pepper Anderson, Buck Owens spoofing McCloud, and so on. In other words, bone up on your Me Decade cop shows if you want to get the gags. Amanda Reyes dusts off this obscure send-up for Austin Film Society's History of Television and leads a discussion on the history and inner workings of made-for-TV movies.
Mon., July 22, 7pm, at Austin Public Studio 1, 1143 Northwestern. www.austinfilm.org.

Band of Outsiders
Jean-Luc Godard's tale of a small-scale robbery that goes off the rails has been called "a Godard film for people who don't much care for Godard." The French New Wave director adapted Dolores Hitchens' 1958 novel Fools' Gold into a movie about two young men who idolize the tough guys of Hollywood noir, so when they meet a young woman whose aunt has a stash of money, they scheme to steal it. What seems like it should be a simple heist isn't.
Tue., July 23, 7pm, at Violet Crown Cinema, 434 W. Second. www.violetcrowncinema.com.

Ghosts, Murder, and Mayhem Walking Tour
Take a stroll into Austin’s past and follow the trail of bodies that have littered Downtown through the years. See Guytown, the German District, and the sites of the Servant Girl Annihilator murders.
Thursdays, 8:30pm. Tour meets in the JW Marriott Hotel lobby, 110 W. Second. www.austinghosttours.com.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Nicolas Cage. Werner Herzog. A corrupt cop in post-Katrina NOLA. I'm not sure there's anything else to say except hallucinatory iguanas. Yes, they're part of the wild ride in this unconventional, unpredictable, un-everything crime picture that has Cage – playing a drug-addicted, gambling-addicted, corrupt cop in the Big Easy – going for broke and coming up with what many critics called his best performance in years. "A glorious, pulpy mess," in the words of The New York Times' A.O. Scott.
Fri., July 26, 7pm; Sun, July 28, 6:45pm; Wed., July 31, 9pm, at AFS Cinema, 6406 N. I-35 Ste 3100. www.austinfilm.org

Murder Walk Austin
Walk in the footsteps of the Servant Girl Annihilator, who terrorized Austin in 1885 and was never captured. Dubbed “the midnight assassin,” he’s considered by some to be the country’s first serial killer. Storyteller Jim Miles, owner of Walking Tours of Austin, guides you to many of the spots Downtown where the killings occurred.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm. Tour starts at the corner of W. Sixth & Bowie. www.touratx.com.

Murder Mystery on Sixth Street
A Dallas socialite has been found dead in an alley off Austin’s party street, and you get to solve the crime in this interactive walking tour from Austin Detours. Complimentary cocktail included – because hard-drinking detective, right? (Not to mention Sixth Street.) Seventies street clothes encouraged.
Saturdays, 7-9pm. Tour starts behind the Susanna Dickinson House, 411 E. Fifth. www.austindetours.com.

To Live and Die in L.A.
William Friedkin made something of a comeback with this 1985 thriller about a pair of Secret Service agents who will stop at nothing to take down a counterfeiting operation in the City of Angels. The director was gunning for authenticity in everything from the screenplay, co-written by former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, to the production of the fake money, supervised by convicted counterfeiters, and he got it, along with a return to his French Connection roots with a nail-biting chase sequence that has cars going the wrong way on L.A. freeways. Part of the Alamo Drafthouse's Fist City series.
Sun., July 28, 7:15pm, at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E. Sixth. www.drafthouse.com/austin.

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More July Is Crime Month
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Crime Month: Criminal
This comics series is made for and best enjoyed in the dark

Robert Faires, Aug. 1, 2019

Crime Month: Tarantino's Alternate History, Where Women Don't Get to Talk a Whole Lot
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Parsing fact from fiction in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Kimberley Jones, July 30, 2019

More by Robert Faires
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Sept. 17, 2021


July Is Crime Month, Crime Month 2019, Austin Film Society, Violet Crown Cinema, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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