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String Quartets, Brett Favre and Bodyslams: Art and Sport at the Austin Film Festival

Disclaimer: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival is underway, and KUT News is featuring guest blogs from festival staffers. Today we hear from Stephen Jannise, AFF film program director. “Every year when the Austin Film Festival rolls around, my passion for film pretty much overwhelms all the other interests in my life,” Jannise says. “That's why I'm so excited that we are presenting several films related to sports and fine arts, two of my ’second loves.’"

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling – The year is 1986, and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) is about to burst onto the scene as the first ever all-female wrestling show on television. GLOW was a prime-time wrestling series, complete with elaborate costumes, skits, personalized raps, and, most importantly, incredible characters like Mountain Fiji, the Samoan giant with a heart of gold, and Matilda the Hun, the evil German with a taste for raw meat, battling it out for the GLOW crown. By 1989, the GLOW girls were an international phenomenon, attracting over seven million viewers worldwide, touring the nation, and making big bank for the show's producers. One year later, GLOW was gone. This remarkably well-researched documentary chronicles the rise and fall of this once-successful television show through the stories of those who lived it. Playing Sunday, Oct. 21, 3:45 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.

A Late Quartet – When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet receives a life changing diagnosis, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance. Suppressed emotions, competing egos, and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. As they are about to play their 25th anniversary concert, quite possibly their last, only their intimate bond and the power of music can preserve their legacy. Inspired by and structured around Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Zilberman's film pays homage to chamber music and the cultural world of New York. The formidable ensemble of Hoffman, Walken, Keener, and Ivanir is matched note for note by rising star Poots, who continues to impress with each performance. Sunday, Oct. 21, 7:00 p.m. at the Paramount Theater.

Last Day at Lambeau – When Brett Favre announced his retirement after 15 seasons with Green Bay, the Packer nation rallied around a hero they believed was pushed aside before his time. But by the time he was playing his final season with the Minnesota Vikings, Favre was public enemy No. 1 in the Dairy State. “Last Day at Lambeau” is a fascinating look at sports from the fan's perspective, giving us a behind the scenes look into the cult of personality that the sports networks don't cover. What does it mean to be a fan? What does an athlete owe to his fans? Is there any loyalty left in professional sports? And just what the heck happened with Brett Favre? Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8:00 p.m. at the Bob Bullock theater.

Quartet –Beecham House is abuzz. The rumor circling the halls is that the home for retired musicians is soon to play host to a new resident. Word is, it's a star. For Reginald Paget (Courtenay), Wilfred Bond (Connolly) and Cecily Robson (Collins) this sort of talk is par for the course at the gossipy home. But they're in for a special shock when the new arrival turns out to be none other than their former singing partner, Jean Horton (Smith). Her subsequent career as a star soloist, and the ego that accompanied it, split up their long friendship and ended her marriage to Reggie, who takes the news of her arrival particularly hard. Can the passage of time heal old wounds? And will the famous quartet be able to patch up their differences in time for Beecham House's gala concert? Tuesday, Oct. 23, 9:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theater.

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