Film Fest Preview: Houston Cinema Arts Festival


IMG_4883James Cole Clay // Film Critic

Houston sadly often gets overshadowed in the film community by Austin and Dallas, but there are a loyal group of film purveyors in South East Texas– not to mention Oscar nominated filmmakers Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater once called this city home.

But, this year, things may start to change with the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival taking place November 10-17. A list of marquee titles that are destined to make “Top 10” lists/awards ballots are screening this year, along with local films and special showings of classic films.

Gael García Bernal is Óscar Peluchonneau in NERUDA.

Gael García Bernal is Óscar Peluchonneau in NERUDA.

Big name titles such as Damien Chazelle’s musical LA LA LAND, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling; plus JACKIE, starring Natalie Portman as the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy are sure to draw huge crowds. Getting titles of this magnitude kind of blew my mind, especially getting the privilege to check these two titles out in particular a month before release is bound to drum up excitement– everything else is just icing.

Other premiere titles I plan on seeing and reporting on is Jim Jarmusch’s PATERSON, starring Adam Driver (know the guy who played Kylo Ren) and LION, about a young lost boy looking for a family in Mumbai, India, starring Dev Patel. Other big titles include JACKIE director Pablo Larrain’s film NERUDA featuring Gael Garcia Bernal (THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) and the lyrical drama STRANGE WEATHER, starring Holly Hunter.

For those who missed big screen experiences (such as myself) of classic films like David Lynch’s eerie mystery BLUE VELVET and TENDER MERCIES, which gave screen legend Robert Duvall his only Oscar will be shown as well.

Most of the screenings discussed here will be shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Sundance Cinemas located downtown.

A full list of the screenings and how to obtain tickets can be found HERE.

About author

James C. Clay

James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.