Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm
Cinemark Perkins Rowe
Opening Night/Gala * USA * 127 min
Special Guests: Opening remarks by Ben Dickey (Actor/Musician), Sybil Rosen (Screenwriter), Ian Birnie (Program Director at LIFF) & Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome
Mayor’s Cocktail Kickoff (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm at Bin 77)
Red Carpet (7:00 pm at The Atrium)
Gala Party (9:00 pm – 11:00 pm at The Filmmaker’s Lounge) with live musical performances by Ben Dickey & The Beaver Bayou Boys and The Roebucks
All live music is FREE! For access to food & drinks, festival passes are available for purchase.
Director: Ethan Hawke
Producers: Gupreet Chandhoke, Stephen Shea, Louis Black, Ryan Hawke, Jake Seal, John Sloss and Ethan Hawke
Sponsored by: Annette Barton & Malcolm Tucker and Mary Kay & Terrell Brown
The outlaw country movement of the ’70s and ’80s spawned many music legends—Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings spring to mind—but Blaze Foley likely isn’t the first songwriter you’d assign this status to. However, since his tragic death in 1989, the legend of Blaze has grown almost as big as the man himself. He left little behind in the way of tangible legacy, as his achingly intimate and personal songs were seldom recorded, but those close to him knew a man who stayed true to his ideals no matter how many bar fights he got into over them.
Newcomer Benjamin Dickey fills the title role with appropriate gusto, and director Ethan Hawke weaves together three singular threads of time to represent the life of Blaze Foley. Through these separate strands—his love affair with girlfriend Sybil Rosen, an alcohol-fueled night spent singing and picking guitar at Austin’s famous Outhouse bar, and a posthumous radio interview where musicians Zee and Townes Van Zandt remember their departed friend—the true story of Blaze unfolds. Or is it all just legend?
Sundance interview w Ethan Hawke, director and cast:
“Ethan Hawke’s high-wire biopic tells the story of country blues singer Blaze Foley in a redneck-verité style that’s as delicate as it is daring. It’s an organic slice of life—raw and untidy, deceptively aimless but always exploratory. Hawke has made the ultimate hipster movie. That’s a recommendation.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“A film that rambles, scrambles, fights its way to the finish line, exactly the way its subject would have wanted it to be. Overall, this is astute, fascinating filmmaking from Hawke who believes the small details are all part of the bigger picture, the deeper experience of knowing who Blaze Foley was.” – Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist