The end of 2017 saw several year-end honors announced. The Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) honored Macon Blair’s directorial debut, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, with the Austin Film Award for 2017. To be eligible for this award, the director must have been residing in Austin at the time of shooting. Though the film shot in the other “keep it weird” city of Portland, Blair brought fellow Austin residents Elijah Wood and David Yow on as cast members. The film stars Melanie Lynskey as a depressed woman who sets off on an existential search for her grandmother’s silverware after a home burglary. She brings along her neighbor (Wood) and the two find themselves out of their element with the local criminal scene. This honor from the Austin Film Critics Association closes out a great year for Blair and the film, which was eventually distributed by Netflix after winning the grand jury prize at Sundance last January. AFS Cinema will be holding a special screening of the film on Saturday, January 6.
But the AFCA wasn’t the only group of critics to announce their favorites of 2017. The Austin Chronicle came out with its collective list of their top ten movies of 2017. Their list is indicative of the year itself with films that explored politics, sexuality, race, and class. Their choices also span across all the genres with comedy, action, and horror being represented with the usual dramas and festival darlings that are usually represented on these types of lists. Each critic at the Austin Chronicle developed their own top ten list and the following is a collective list that was created and agreed upon from those lists:
- Call Me By Your Name
- Lady Bird
- Get Out
- The Shape of Water
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- I, Tonya
- The Big Sick
- Baby Driver
- The Florida Project
In other film-related news, Richard Linklater is looking ahead to his next project by looking backwards – to the 1960s. Linklater and the production team for his next film have put out a press release requesting any and all home video footage from Houston in the 1960s. According to the press release, “There is no wrong material, as long as it’s from Houston in the 1960s we want to see it.” Footage submitted to production may be digitized and appear in the film. According to Linklater, his experience working on Boyhood led to a lot of self-reflection on his own childhood in Houston when man first walked on the moon. “You had so much going on in Houston at once: NASA, the Medical Center, the Astrodome,” Linklater said of the end of the 1960s in the Bayou City. The film will be told from a child’s perspective about the excitement in Houston, a city where a lot of the kids had parents employed at NASA. Linklater hopes to shoot in and around Houston as much as possible, but acknowledges that the tax incentives may restrict some of that.
Finally, Halloween is coming early to Austin this year, complete with monsters, ghosts, and ghouls! The Mondo Gallery will be featuring Universal Studio’s pantheon of monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Wolf Man, in an event that will run January 19th through the 27th. This isn’t the first time the Mondo Gallery has hosted the fiendish creatures as the gallery previously featured the monsters in art back in 2012. This year’s event will revisit some of the pieces from that event with “a handful of fresh, new posters,” says Mondo creative director, Mitch Putnam. “We’ve got a bunch of our favorite artists tackling some of the most thrilling films of all time, so this one is kind of a dream come true.” Among those artists is Ken Taylor, Gary Pullin, Jessica Seamans, and Jonathan Burton.
Samples of the art can be found here.