Alamo Drafthouse

Drafthouse Films, Participant Media

From Texas Standard:

The 2013 film “The Act of Killing” broke the mold for documentary storytelling. It told the events of Indonesia's 1965 genocide — some estimate more than half a million people were purged following a coup —  from the perspective of the killers. The film even had the killers reenacting what they’d done.

Now, “The Look of Silence” tells the same story from another angle: that of those still living under the rule of the men who murdered their loved ones.

Fantastic Fest

Fantastic Fest is underway in Austin. The festival celebrates genre filmmaking – including horror, fantasy and sci-fi. This year is the festival’s 10th – so organizers are literally going hog wild with the lineup and events.

Fantastic Fest Founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League sat down with KUT's Laura Rice to talk about it.

Tim on Fantastic Fest:

“It started out that we just wanted to have a showcase for international genre films in Austin, TX for the community here, and it’s evolved into a decent-size industry event. Right now, we try to make a lot of opportunities happen for young filmmakers.”

Afsheen Nomai

The Alamo Drafthouse announced today its delayed South Lamar location will open sometime this summer. The theater was closed in January of last year for major renovations, while the strip mall around it was demolished to make way for a new mixed-use development. 

The theater was initially slated to open in September of last year, but by October only the parking garage foundation had been completed. And even this new opening date isn't very specific.

Joy Diaz, KUT News

Plans are moving ahead in the Austin area to house about 200 people who are chronically homeless.  Community First Village has been about a decade in the making and in just a matter of months, it will break ground.

The property is 27 acres, with little cottages, mobile homes and even some teepees dotting the landscape. A three-acre community garden is also on-site. 

Jenny Dubin for KUT News

For fans of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and oddball films from around the globe, it doesn’t get much better than Fantastic Fest. The nation’s largest film festival devoted to so-called genre films is wrapping up this week in Austin.

The annual eight-day event has been described as the “Geek Telluride” – drawing a fanatical audience.

Talking or texting at any movie theater is frowned upon, but at the Alamo Drafthouse it’s an actionable offense.

For years, the Austin-based theater chain has kept audiences tight-lipped with its pre-show “Don’t Talk/Don’t Text” PSAs and ejection policies – often resulting in viral success.

There’s a screening tonight in Austin for a movie you probably haven’t heard of.

It’s not part of a film festival or a private event. It's happening in prime time at the Alamo Drafthouse on Research Boulevard.

"’GrowthBusters' is an independent documentary film that brings attention to the fact that we’ve outgrown the planet and it’s time to embrace the end of growth," Director Dave Gardner said.

"GrowthBusters" is Gardner's first big documentary. As a small fish in the big pond of the movie industry, he has limited options for getting it on movie screens. So he turned to an Austin-based startup: Tugg.

The Alamo Drafthouse has a new menu. And critics are not abiding by the theater’s “no talking” rule

Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says we can expect cloudy and cool weather today before a storm system moves in tonight bringing  chances for rain and, yes, even snow.

Swearing-in day: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will be sworn into office today. Tea Party favorite Cruz won decisively over well-funded and politically connected Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst last year. Other congressional freshman being sworn in today include former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and former Texas House member Pete Gallego.

Google has released its Zeitgeist 2012, cataloging what the world was searching for online this year.

And sure, while Austin has its share of Whitney Houston and Gangnam Style fans (Houston and the song from Korean rapper PSY being the world’s top two search terms), Austin residents made plenty of queries closer to home.

Without further ado, here’s the top 10 most searched terms in Austin in 2012:

Brandon Mulder

The Alamo Drafthouse has taken yet another step to craft their image as a place for cinephiles, where politeness and respect for movie purists is of upmost importance. Their “Don’t Talk/Don’t Text” ethos has adopted another degree of enforced manners -- punctuality. 

On its blog, the Drafthouse writes:

“Quite simply, no one will be seated once the film has begun. If you show up after the feature starts, you have missed it. The plane has left the terminal.”

House lights dim, theater doors shut. And this includes pre-show trailers. Caught behind some congestion on the way to the Drafthouse to catch a flick? Might as well turn around. In a traffic-riddled town, public feedback on this major decision has been mixed. 

Lionsgate Entertainment

Today marks the start of the largest genre film festival in the United States – Fantastic Fest.

The festival is known for being a little out there, but Fantastic Fest and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League says that’s what makes it special.

“In the last five years or so it seems like it’s been the rise of the nerd,” League tells KUT News. In light of the comic book-based blockbusters filling theaters, League says the nerd demographic represents “a pretty significant arm of the spending economy and a lot of the movies coming out from Hollywood are geared towards us."

Many films set to premiere at this year’s festival many are highly anticipated by nerds and non-nerds alike. For example, writer/director Rian Johnson’s time-traveling  Looper is sure to get genre crowds excited. Also making a debut at the festival is a remake of the 1984 ‘the Soviets are invading’ flick Red Dawn

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Changes are coming to the South Lamar Plaza Shopping Center and to the Alamo South Lamar theatre.

A deal to tear down the strip mall and build a mixed-use development is moving forward. Many of the stores that have been at that location for decades will have to move elsewhere.

The Alamo Drafthouse and its karaoke bar, The Highball, will remain. But only after closing for much of 2013 to undergo extensive renovations – including adding three screens to the theatre and expanding the lobby area.

Tim League is a pretty big deal in the movie business. He’s founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – which in turn led to distribution arm Drafthouse Films. He also founded Rolling Roadshow and Fantastic Fest. But Tim League could soon be best known for his role as a judge in an internet cat video contest.

That’s right, internet cat videos. If you're one of the few humans left on earth unfamiliar with the concept, you can head over to a little website called YouTube and type in “cat.” You’ll get funny cats, funny cats in water, how to wrap a cat for Christmas and about 1.8 million others. Internet cat videos are big.

Just last month, Minneapolis hosted the first ever Internet Cat Video Film Festival. The idea was attributed to the Walker Art Museum’s “cat-lady-in-residence” but went on to draw an estimated 10,000 attendees. Internet cat videos are truly big time.

Lackland Assault Case Nears Conclusion

The case against Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, the trainer accused of sexual assault at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, is wrapping up. Closing arguments got underway this  morning.

Staff Sgt. Walker is accused of 28 counts that include rape and sexual assault.

In three days of testimony, the prosecution presented 14 witnesses, including alleged victims. The defense brought only one witness, a technical sergeant familiar with the video surveillance capabilities throughout the base.

Photo courtesy

The Alamo Drafthouse will open its first location next year in New York City.

The five-screen theater will be on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, inside the former Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway

The New York Times notes the “turbulent history” of the art deco-adorned theater, which over the years has been an art-house, a porn theater, and more. When the Times checked in on the Metro in 2011, it noted a protracted legal battle had ensnared the property — challenges that have now apparently been resolved.

Image courtesy

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has never been big on the theatrics that defined his predecessor, Will Wynn. But with a single campaign video, Leffingwell surpasses Wynn’s zombie costumes, “Thriller” dancing and SXSW partying in one fell swoop.

The beginning of Raging Bull finds Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion played by Robert De Niro, a sad shadow of his former self — a paunchy middle-aged washout reduced to converting his legacy in the ring to a stilted lounge act.

Yet those old rituals persist backstage, when he's alone with his demons and anxiously rehearsing his jabs for the big show. "Just give me a stage/where this bull here can rage," says LaMotta. Though robbed of his dignity and his manhood, he keeps on punching.

Image courtesy

A crew of Austin creatives has taken its “Intergalactic Nemesis” show on the road – with a stop on Conan O’Brien’s show last night.

What is “The Intergalactic Nemesis” you may ask? Essentially, it’s a live-action comic book where performers enact a fantastic sci-fi story with live music and sound effects. The crew last night featured “Nemesis” producer and director Jason Neulander, musician and composer Graham ReynoldsBuzz Moran providing foley effects, and others – including O’Brien and his sidekick Andy Richeter. The art behind the performers was also created by another Austinite, Tim Doyle.

You can view the performance on the “Conan” website. The “Nemesis” crew concludes its tour in March, and will present a rough cut of its newest piece, “Book Two: Robot Planet Rising,” at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar that same month

Photo courtesy

You'd think owning the distribution rights to an Academy Award-nominated film might be enough, but the Alamo Drafthouse has never been known to rest on its laurels.

The Drafthouse Films distribution of “Bullhead” is only part of the story. In addition, the venerable local theater is announcing new developments almost daily.

Alamo Slaughter Lane Opens in March: The Circle C Alamo outpost will be opening in mere weeks, with an elaborate, “Little Shop of Horrors”-esque design. (It’s a nod to the nearby Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Drafthouse CEO Tim League tells Austin360 in a victory-lap interview.)  The grand opening is March 22, but an open-to-the-public soft launch begins March 8.