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Staff Pick: Black Mountain Side

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
Black Mountain Side

Jo Huang-Zollner | 10.13.2014

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!

 Black Mountain Side

Everything about Black Mountain Side harkens back to my favorite childhood movie-The Thing. From the long, silent opening shot of the Canadian winter wilderness, to the band of isolated but fun-loving archeologists that slowly descends, throughout the film, into bewilderment, chaos and annihilation. Throw in a dash of mythical folklore, a sprinkle of science-fiction, a generous amount of delicious carnage, and you got yourself a beautifully shot psychological thriller that will send shivers up your spine and urge you to think twice about going on that solo walkabout trip up in Alaska.

Black Mountain Side is a slow burner that takes its time heating up. It’s one of those movies you want to go back and re-watch again and again because you think there might be something you missed, or an element that went over your head, despite knowing the ultimate outcome.

I would certainly recommend adding Black Mountain Side to your must-watch list if you’re looking for a film with beautiful cinematography, amazing performances from an eclectic group of characters, and some good-old-fashioned blood-spewing; think The Thing meets The Shining. Perfect date-night movie, wouldn’t you say?

-Jo Huang-Zollner, Production Manager

Want to add Black Mountain Side to your schedule? Click here to add it to your sched!

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Staff Picks: Morphine: Journey of Dreams

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
Morphine: Journey of Dreams

Halie Davis | 10.13.2014

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!

 

 

 

Morphine: Journey of Dreams

Morphine: Journey of Dreams will be shelved next to other classics of the music film collection, between Stop Making Sense and Joy Division. This documentary should be used as a guide for up and coming musicians to learn from and abide by. Bandmates, Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, Jerome Dupree and Billy Conway define what it’s like for artists to stay true to their music in the underground and commercialized scenes.

Morphine wasn’t just another 1990’s alternative band, riding the wave to fame. With a unique, distinctive sound, director, Mark Shuman does an excellent job in showing how the band paved their own way. Shuman doesn’t just focus on the mysterious front man, Sandman – but explores the entire group’s dynamic, along with their personal relationships and network connections.

Avid college radio listeners, indie rock fans and music documentary viewers will or have already listened to and deeply understand where their dark sound stemmed from. If you haven’t listened to Morphine, then do so. If you still aren’t addicted, after listening, then be sure to check out Morphine: Journey of Dreams – it’s guaranteed access into their solid fan base.

-Halie Davis, Travel Coordinator

“Journey of Dreams” from Mark Shuman on Vimeo.

Want to add Morphine: Journey of Dreams to your schedule? Click here to add it to your sched!

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Staff Picks: The History of Time Travel

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
The History of Time Travel

Annie Wells | 10.13.2014

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!

The History of Time Travel

If locked in a time capsule, and later found by a generation disconnected from ours by some world changing event, The History of Time Travel might sway watchers to believe it was an actual part of the history of our people.

The characters or ‘scientific experts’ interviewed at the beginning of the film are believable. The story line is flawless. The character arch is intriguing. Using the classical scaffolding of the typical historical documentary, the film pulls you in, even makes you question, “Wait, is Time Travel, real?”

This movie is brave and refreshing. The History of Time Travel is about a family struggling to right the wrongs of the past, government conspiracies, Russian espionage, Atari game systems and all the awesomeness of the History Channel without commercials. This is science fiction turned science fact.

Drawing from historical events, referencing Hitler and Stalin, the writers weave a believable connection between the real and the imagined. One interviewee says, “If you think Hitler with an atomic bomb is bad, imagine Stalin with a Time Machine”

The story follows a young scientist and his family, detailing the process of his discovery and later execution of time travel. About half way through I’m thinking, “this is solid”.  When the characters begin experimenting with time travel, the interviews begin to slightly change. Subtle at first, small changes in the background of a scene, or the haircut of a man being interviewed, a change in the story line previously viewed. This is where the bravery sets in, the bravery of the writing team that is. I’ll save the details and let your mind explode while watching. Real talk, people, this is a MUST SEE film because there aren’t any films out there doing what this Stephen F Austin State University student team accomplished.

-Annie Wells, Transportation Coordinator

 Want to add The History of Time Travel to your schedule? Click here to add it to your sched!

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Staff Picks: Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero

Linzy Beltran | 10.13.2014

Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!

 

 

Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero
As a child of immigrants who often gets mistaken for being an Iranian-American, I feel like this film really spoke to me in a special way. Just kidding. You don’t have to be any type of person to guffaw at least thrice during my pick for this year’s Austin Film Festival, Jimmy Vestvood, Amerikan Hero.

Comedy Mazter Maz Jobrani plays Jimmy Vestwood, a lovable, ambitious dreamer who after winning a green card lottery, migrates to the U.S. from Iran with his mother, hoping to achieve his life-long dream of becoming a Private Investigator. Instead, what awaits him is a job as a security, or sekurity guard and an accidental involvement with the bad guys who try and paint him as a terrorist to start a world war. Jimmy Vestvood, personifies the narrative of the American dream, working hard to become a private investigator and taking us on a silly and surprisingly suspenseful ride, pausing a few times for gags that’ll make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.  Co-written by Amir Ohebsion and Mr. Jobrani himself, the film came into fruition with the help of crowd funding. And I think I can speak from our entire staff, we are so grateful to this outstanding team of writers along with director Jonathan Kesselman for bringing us a tale starring the first Iranian-Amerikan hero.

So do your duty to this great country (and to yourself) and add this one to your schedule.

-Linzy Beltran, Executive Director Assistant

Want to add Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero to your schedule? Click here to add it to your sched!

 

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