Top 10 Austin Experiences

Austin can easily be described as one of the most entertaining, eccentric hot spots around. But when out-of-town friends and family come to visit, the mind goes blank – where can you take them to best show off your fair … Continued

The Social Network Raises the Question: Am I a Good Person?

Not in point of fact, of course, but The Social Network manages to give this contemporary plot the same evocative, disquieting and altogether empathetic human portrayal that you’d find in Euripides, Plato or Aristophanes. A slew of conscientious quandaries sets the edge-of-the-seat pace; when the lights finally come up, the audience blinks, breathless, like an ex seeing a change in Relationship Status.

With David Fincher behind the scenes, who can claim to be surprised? The director of Fight Club, Se7en and mid-production, world-renowned The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher uses his immaculate timing in The Social Network not to cover up a hidden ending, but to highlight each character’s principles and resulting decisions. Fincher’s musical background makes itself known through the soundtrack’s intimate relationship with the plot, manipulating the audience’s emotions even further (you’ll understand when you fall headfirst into the canoe race scene).

The Top Weekday Films at the Austin Film Festival

The weekend’s passed. But don’t put up your Austin Film Festival pass just yet; some more gems are still making appearances across Austin. In fact, if you don’t have a badge, it may be easier to get a ticket one of the following evenings than it was the last three days. Take a look at these options for a bit of mid-week fun.

127 Hours
Tues. Oct. 26, 7pm
Paramount Theatre

It’s hard to pull off a based-on-a-true-story movie without making audience members mumble excuses and leave the theater. These films easily become cheesy, boring or melodramatic. But this year’s selections, including 127 Hours and Conviction, seem to do justice to their real life counterparts. Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours details the 127 hours mountain climber Aron Ralston spent with his arm pinioned under a boulder in Utah. Starring James Franco, this is not a popcorn film. Unless your stomach’s hardy enough to ingest a bag of cotton candy then go on a roller coaster without revolting, pass on the concessions.

Black Swan
Wed. Oct. 27, 7pm
Paramount Theatre

A ballet story starring Natalie Portman, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is bound to be at the very least visually titillating, and at the most a stellar representation of a competitive industry’s inner workings. Add a sprinkle of moralistic surrealism and you’ve got a recipe for a bestseller. The physical plot takes place in a New York City ballet company, but the real progression occurs in up-and-coming dancer Nina’s mind. Nina (Natalie Portman) wants the lead role in the company’s next production, “Swan Lake,” but that role requires her to be both the White Swan, innocent and sweet, and the Black Swan, sensual and clever. As Nina competes with a new ballerina, she slowly envelopes more of the Black Swan’s characteristics in her attempt to fit the role.

What Not to Miss at the Texas Book Festival

Even if you’re not a reader, you want to attend the Texas Book Festival this weekend. If you are a reader, you absolutely must.

Created by First Lady Laura Bush in 1995, the Texas Book Festival draws about 40,000 visitors every year, according to their website. With a book signing tent, live music, author readings and panel discussion, all occurring right downtown, it’s no wonder. The website’s colossal listing of events makes it hard to decide which ones to choose over the others. Here are a few you should star on your calendar.

Austin City Limits: 35 Years in Photographs

Since 1979, Scott Nelson has been photographing the Austin City Limits television show. Going on 36 seasons, it’s currently the longest running rock-‘n’-roll music show in history. Seeing the greats pass before your eyes in still-frame is bound to be a showcase to remember. Be at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, from 11:15 to 12pm.