Cinema Arts Festival Houston Starts Today

While music is mostly what I tend to pay attention to, yeah, I’m also a sucker for movies of all sorts. Which is why I get all excited & happy every time a film festival rolls through our fair city (even though I rarely get the opportunity to actual go to ’em, these days; dang midgets…) And there’s a very, very cool-looking one starting tonight, the 2011 Cinema Arts Festival Houston.

It runs November 9th through November 13th, with showings at various venues around town. It’s put on by (naturally) the Houston Cinema Arts Society, and this year it’s showcasing some really interesting-looking films, including these:

  • Art Car: The Movie — a cool-sounding and somewhat Houston-focused (I think, anyway) documentary that has its world premiere at the fest
  • A Dangerous Method — a period piece about Jung & Freud, with Viggo Mortensen as the latter and Michael Fassbender as the former (oh, and it’s directed by David Cronenberg)
  • Chile, Obstinate Memory — a documentary I’d really like to see on the memory (or lack thereof) of Salvador Allende and Pinochet in Chile
  • Downtown Express — a quirky-sounding musical romance which stars oddball songwriter Nellie McKay
  • A set of short films and videos from Texas filmmakers, including H-town’s own Mark Armes
  • Echotone — an interesting look at the “ecology” of Austin’s music scene
  • Coriolanus — a retelling of Shakespeare’s play in a guerrilla war setting, with Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler
  • And a neat screening called Where I’m From, with bunch of short films about various parts of Texas

There’s a lot more, obviously, especially in terms of documentaries, but those are the ones that jumped out at me the most.

There’s a special focus on actor/director/etc. guy Ethan Hawke this year; he’s the 2011 Levantine Cinema Arts Award recipient, which is very cool; I know he irks a lot of folks, but I’ve liked the guy’s work since I was a kid, from Dead Poets Society and Waterland on through Before Sunrise & Training Day. Haven’t kept up with him much in recent years, but hey, I’m glad to see he’s getting the award…

Plus, there’s also some neat art installations that merge film and other types of art (visual art, music, etc.), in neat ways. Well worth checking out.

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