Six Must-Attend Events: October 2-8
The state’s top offerings, from watching a cult horror classic in the middle of the woods to appearing in a music video for a hometown band.
Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow, the Austin-based national movie theater chain’s program of roving film screenings, has improbably one-upped itself. In June the Roadshow hosted “Jaws on the Water,” during which attendees watched Steven Spielberg’s great white shark movie while floating in inner tubes at Texas Ski Ranch. No doubt some of those people have not ventured into a body of water since. Next Thursday the Roadshow hosts another outdoor event centered on a horror classic: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Jester King Brewery.” This experience will arguably be even more terrifying. While the dark water lurking below moviegoers during the Jaws screening made for some tense viewing, logic dictated that there was no way a dorsal fin was going to surface. The same can’t be said for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Austin filmmaker Tobe Hooper’s 1974 cult film about a family of cannibals who torment a group of young adults. (Check out this oral history of the movie—“They Came. They Sawed.”—that John Bloom, a.k.a. Joe Bob Briggs, the movie critic and performer, wrote in the November 2004 issue of Texas Monthly.) Some psychopath with a fancy for constructing face masks out of human skin could very well catch wind of this event via his dial-up Internet connection in his cabin in that wooded area surrounding the brewery, which by the way looks a lot like the setting for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and well . . . that’s just the risk people will have to take. Assuming you’ll have the stomach to eat and drink during this brutal flick, there will be Jester King’s small-batch, oddly fermented beers, which are hard to find anywhere but the brewery, plus Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza, which makes stellar wood-fired pies, like the “Willie,” a brisket pizza with barbecue sauce and jalapeños.
Jester King Brewery, October 8, 6 p.m., drafthouse.com
The rain storms in June were a wonderful respite from the ongoing drought but caused the cancellation of the long-awaited Buffalo Bayou Park Grand Opening, which has been rescheduled for this Saturday. But the timing is working out well it turns out: in the October issue of Texas Monthly, Mimi Swartz wrote “Green Acres,” focusing on the enviro-makeover of Houston, a city once known for its strips malls and freeways, now notable for its parks and bike paths. The piece includes a primer on how Buffalo Bayou Park, the 160-acre plot stretching from downtown to Shepherd Drive along Allen Parkway, was integral to this revitalization. The grand opening is a free event with walking tours and lectures pinpointing the park’s upgrades and hot spots. These include seemingly mundane improvements made during the $58 renovation, such as 14,000 trees planted, 40 bike racks installed, and 18 drinking fountains added, including six with spigots for dogs. They also include capital improvements, like the Water Works, home to bike and boat rentals and a killer view of the skyline, and also Lost Lake, a restored pond that disappeared in the seventies, when its dam went kaput. There will be live music, fireworks, and the opportunity to witness “Confluence: A Journey in Five Movements,” a public art piece of sorts involving a processional of volunteers carrying lanterns along the trails and down the bayou itself.
The Water Works, October 3, 1:30 p.m., buffalobayou.org
The photographer David K. Langford is probably best known for having his image of a cowboy inadvertently misappropriated by the Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2010, for use on four million car inspection stickers. Since then Langford has become obsessed with Hillingdon Ranch, his family’s plot of land in the Hill Country, near Comfort. In 2013 he published the book Hillingdon Ranch: Four Seasons, Six Generations, about the influence of technology and drought on the land. The book earned praise from former first lady Laura Bush. Last month Langford followed up that success with the publication of Fog at Hillingdon, in which he challenged himself to look at the familiar without fully seeing it. Since Langford realizes that author appearances are a big part of selling books, he is leaving behind his beloved Hillingdon Ranch, at least temporarily, to drive fifty miles south for a show-and-tell at the Twig Book Shop.
The Twig Book Shop, October 7, 6 p.m., thetwig.com
The Other Dallas
Before there was Dallas, the 1978 TV soap opera starring Larry Hagman as oil tycoon J.R. Ewing, there was Dallas, the 1950 film set during Reconstruction and starring Gary Cooper as Blayde Hollister, a Confederate soldier seeking revenge against some carpetbaggers who murdered his family. The movie, a great example of the era’s new Technicolor format, will be screened as the final installment of the “508 Park Movie Night” series. The screening will take place at Encore Park—the former location of the studio where, in the thirties, bluesman Robert Johnson recorded and prior to that, where the Warner Bros. Film Exchange was headquartered—which has recently been converted into a multifunctional performance space and art center. Each selection in the series has been a Warner Bros. production from the period of the film exchange’s operation. Preceding Dallas, Michael Wise, a history professor at the University of North Texas, will discuss the western film genre. The screening is free but an online RSVP is required to reserve a spot.
Encore Park, October 4, 7 p.m., encoreparkdallas.org
El Otro México
The silver lining of the sometimes volatile socio-political climate of Mexico is the thought-provoking art it can inspire. For those who are apprehensive about crossing the border to visit these creations, there is the Texas Contemporary art fair. The four-day show features works from sixty galleries located around the world, including seven from Mexico City, as part of a special program called “The Other Mexico,” developed in collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston.
George R. Brown Convention Center, October 1-4, txcontemporary.com
The Falcon Has Landed
The third time was indeed the charm for Austin symphonic-rockers Mother Falcon, having signed with a major label, Universal Music Classics, for the release of their third album, Good Luck Have Fun. Take in the full experience of the new songs on Wednesday at an album release party, where the fifteen-piece band will invite you into their strings-and-horns jam as participants in a music video shoot.
Empire Control Room, October 7, 8 p.m., motherfalcon.com