Five Films to See in Austin This Week
Your weekly film guide for Feb. 2 through Feb. 8
By Josh Kupecki,
10:00AM, Fri. Feb. 2, 2018
She’s All That
Who would have thought that George Bernard Shaw's classic play Pygmalion would translate into a solid teen comedy? Well, probably everyone who saw Clueless, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. The local movie mockers will no doubt get some mileage on that Sixpence None the Richer song and perhaps solve the mystery of what happened to the careers of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook (no one cares about Matthew Lillard, though).
Austin Polish Society
In this award-winning Polish film, a Jewish boy during World War II adopts various non-Jewish identities in order to save his hide, but his pesky uncircumcised penis keeps becoming a dead giveaway. Director Agnieszka Holland would go on to work on many influential TV shows (The Wire, House of Cards), but the twists of fate that ping-pong the protagonist from one harrowing situation to the next are breathtaking.
Burn, Witch, Burn
Also known as Night of the Eagle, this rare screening of the 1962 British import has wives practicing witchcraft with a dollop of gender politics. Fans of Anna Biller's wonderful 2016 pastiche The Love Witch should take note.
La Pointe Courte
Essential Cinema: Agnès Varda
In a methodology for which the acclaimed director would become famous for, Varda's feature debut tells the story of a couple at a fishing village with images and astute ethnography. You can also check out Varda’s most recent film, Faces Places, a collaboration with mural artist JR, which also screens at AFS Cinema this week, and ended up on the Chronicle’s Marjorie Baumgarten’s and this writer’s year-end lists.
Hyperreal Film Club
From Greek director and former Austinite (and Cinematexas co-founder) Athina Rachel Tsangari, six men are aboard a luxury yacht for a spear-fishing vacation in the Aegean. Soon their mundane competition over who caught the largest fish devolves into a contest over which of them is the “best in everything.” It’s a game with arbitrary rules in which each man both judges and competes based on standards of his own choosing. Who has the best ringtone, best erection, and best cholesterol level? It's the latest playful foray from the Greek filmmaking avant-garde. Preceded by the short "Cecilia" with director Liz Tabish in attendance.
For all the week’s Special Screenings, click here.