Film Flam

Festivals, retirements, and more

Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke
Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke

What's on the horizon, who's rolling end credits, and more are in this edition of Film Flam.

Retirement News and Blues

News broke this week of two notable retirements from the film industry. First, the president of Studio Ghibli announced last weekend at the Venice Film Festival that legendary director Hayao Miyazaki would be retiring. The 72-year-old anime icon is known for such cult classics as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke; The Wind Rises, currently playing in Japan, will be his last film.

Meanwhile, Radar Online reported this morning that actor and Lakers fan Jack Nicholson has also retired. At 76, Nicholson has won three Academy Awards; he was last seen on screen in 2010's How Do You Know. But (UPDATE!) E! Online refuted those reports, saying the actor is currently reading scripts.

Festival Season's Greetings

You're no doubt aware that Fantastic Fest is just around the corner, with Polari, Austin Film Festival, and Housecore Horror to follow next month, but don't forget about the little guys in all that hustle and bustle.

Tomorrow in Georgetown, Cinematic Scars (La cicatriz del cine) kicks off at Southwestern University. Five Spanish-language films curated by the Spanish Film Club and in collaboration with half a dozen other departments will screen for free on Thursdays through Oct. 3. Visit the Spanish department's website for complete details.

New Belgium (yeah, the brewery) brings its Clips Beer and Film Tour to town Thursday, Sept. 26, 7pm, in Republic Square Park. Some 20 short films will screen at the free fest; organizers report "the chosen films include mastering the technique of dice rolling; the quest for the ultimate full moon shoot; a duel to be the hippest hipster" and more. Read more about the event here.

That same weekend, the inaugural Capital City Black Film Festival premieres at the Stateside and Omni Downtown; full festival passes are still available for the discounted rate of $175 through Sept. 10. See for complete details.

Meanwhile, we got word this week that applications are still open for Upstart's Off Kilter Xmas Fest. Submit your 10-minute-max short by mail to Carolyn Banks (223 Riverwood Dr., Bastrop) before Sept. 15 for just $10. See more here.

In Case You Missed It (aka Remember the Alamo!)

Two bits of Alamo-related news might've slipped by you at the end of last month before the long holiday weekend: First, theatre chain Southwest Theaters last month signed a lease to take over the old Alamo Lake Creek Location. Community Impact reported that the venue will use all the screens at the cinema, but not the kitchen, opting instead for the standard movie fare of popcorn, candy, and soda.

Also of note: The Drafthouse team posted a blog post in late August asking for feedback on new menu items at the Slaughter Lane location, and they proceeded to get more than an earful from frustrated patrons in the comments section – against everything from serving salads on trays to the decision to remove some of the formerly trademark pizzas from the menu. The post makes it sound like they're open to feedback, so stay tuned for changes and updates as they adapt and adjust.

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More Hayao Miyazaki
DVD Watch: <i>My Neighbor Totoro</i>
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Hayao Miyazaki, Alamo Drafthouse, Jack Nicholson, retirement, festival, Capital City Black Film Festival, Off Kilter Xmas Fest, Southwestern University, Spanish, New Belgium

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