Film screenings give audiences a glimpse behind the camera

Directors Justin Benson, left, and Aaron Moorhead will be answering questions at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Saturday in between screenings of their films "Spring" and "Resolution." Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Maarten de Boer

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be offering film fans back-to-back sessions with some up and coming talent over the next few weeks.

The theater will host three special showing events with director and actor Q&As, discussions and shows attached to a selection of distinct and very different films.

Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead will fly in to visit the theater on Saturday, talking in between showings of their films “Spring” and “Resolution,” as well as a selection of shorts.

“To have sort of a spotlight on our work is pretty cool,” Moorhead said. “When you’re still someone that’s pretty up and coming, it’s pretty weird to look back.”

Benson said he and Moorhead are looking forward to revisiting “Resolution” from 2012 and watching the shorts in a theater setting – as well as talking about their upcoming projects with audiences.

Actor Devin Druid, right, shown here with Jesse Eisenberg in "Louder Than Bombs," will be appearing at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on May 1 for a showing and Q&A for the film. Photo courtesy of Jakob Ihre/Motlys AS

“We get too restless too fast,” Moorhead said. “Right now we have about a dozen projects in different stages of pre-production – Justin’s writing every single day.”

“I think that if you watched everything that’s being presented at this screening this weekend, you wouldn’t be surprised at what we have coming up next,” Benson said.

Andy Gyurisin, founder of Winchester Film Club 3.0, said the duo’s 2014 genre-bending film “Spring” was a hit with viewers, and the directors said they were pleased to get photos and goodies from that screening.

“Interaction with your audience is extremely important, and luckily that’s not a chore,” Moorhead said. “You learn a lot, obviously there’s always a little bit of an ego boost, but when your movies mean something to someone…it doesn’t feel like a vanity project. In some ways it keeps us going when we know that what were doing matters, in a way.”

Next on the schedule of guest appearances, performances by Frankenstein 3000 and The Ribeye Brothers will lead into a special screening of “Let Me Down Hard from Asbury Park” on April 23. Director William DeVizia and actor/Frankenstein 3000 singer and songwriter Keith Roth will talk to audiences after the film. Both bands are featured in the film’s soundtrack.

The film’s story of a burnt-out rock star’s return to his home and his family has shown at some 2016 film festivals. Gyurisin said Alamo owner Steve Nerangis is one of many keeping tabs on the bands involved with the five-year project.

“We just feel like with the music background this community has, this was going to be a great fit for our audience, but also for this area that seems to have quite a bit of great musicians,” Gyurisin said.

Finally, actor Devin Druid will talk to filmgoers after a May 1 showing of Joachim Trier’s “Louder than Bombs.” Druid acts alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert in the family centered drama.

A Virginia native, Druid said he’s spoken at showings of the film at the Virginia Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival and Middleburg Film Festival in addition to big appearances at Cannes and the film’s premiere earlier this month. At Cannes, he likened the film press conference to a Comic Con panel, but said the real intimidating public appearance was the photo call, surrounded by hundreds of people.

“It was a little nerve wracking…I had never done one of these before, so I had no idea what to do,” he said. “The funny part was, there was no pressure or any nervousness at all until we pulled up and saw the photographers.”

Despite all the screenings he’s been to, Druid said he notices new details every time he sees the film – and his appearance at the Alamo will be no exception.

“I don’t think I can be sick of Joachim Trier’s works,” he said. “I think maybe there’s a sense of pride to it…I guess from watching myself over and over again I can learn about the habits I have and maybe change it…so I really enjoy the learning experience.”

Gyurisin said the theater usually hosts around two or three special guest appearances per year, and it’s “always a event whenever we do have it happen.” He said the film club frequently sees pre-recorded guest introductions.

“A lot of our goal is to make an interactive experience for our guests…and this is a great, low cost opportunity,” he said.


• All events are at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at 181 Kernstown Commons Blvd. in Winchester.
•  “Spring” and “Resolution” event at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $15. Information: http://tinyurl.com/h6bchux.
“Let Me Down Hard from Asbury Park” event at 7 p.m. April 23. Tickets: $10. Information: http://tinyurl.com/j9vrcfc.
“Louder than Bombs” event at 3 p.m. May 1. Tickets: $7. Information: http://tinyurl.com/jmvegda.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com