Nov 9-13, 2017

Honky Tonk Heaven

WITH DIRECTORS BRENDA MITCHELL AND SAM WAINWRIGHT DOUGLAS AND PROPRIETORS JAMES AND ANNETTA WHITE WITH LIVE MUSIC BY DALE WATSON

Run Time: 75 mins USA Language: English

Synopsis

With fifty years under its belt buckle, Austin’s The Broken Spoke has hosted the likes of George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, George Jones and Roy Acuff as regulars on its stage. Known as “the last of the true Texas dance halls”, this storied family establishment has endured rapid urban growth and skyrocketing rents due to the passion and hard work of its charismatic owners.

Sam Wainwright Douglas and Brenda Mitchell’s film pays homage to this legendary watering hole while also revealing a universal story about what it takes to maintain a family business in our increasingly corporate- driven society. The film is also a touching portrait of the club’s charismatic, hard-working, rhinestone-studded owners, James and Annetta White, who will attend the screening. Interviewees and performers include Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, the Waco Brothers and the great Dale Watson, who will perform live to close the show.

“Honky Tonk Heaven” indicates the enduring and widespread appeal of the Austin institution it celebrates — look quickly, and you see photos of folks like Michael Caine and Dan Rather among the pictures of celebrity performers and patrons — even as it discreetly raises the question of whether such a no-frills, down-home venue can survive amid the explosive modernization of Austin.

— Joe Leydon, Variety

With fifty years under its belt buckle, Austin’s The Broken Spoke has hosted the likes of George Strait, Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, George Jones and Roy Acuff as regulars on its stage. Known as “the last of the true Texas dance halls”, this storied family establishment has endured rapid urban growth and skyrocketing rents due to the passion and hard work of its charismatic owners.

Sam Wainwright Douglas and Brenda Mitchell’s film pays homage to this legendary watering hole while also revealing a universal story about what it takes to maintain a family business in our increasingly corporate- driven society. The film is also a touching portrait of the club’s charismatic, hard-working, rhinestone-studded owners, James and Annetta White, who will attend the screening. Interviewees and performers include Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, James Hand, Jesse Dayton, the Waco Brothers and the great Dale Watson, who will perform live to close the show.

“Honky Tonk Heaven” indicates the enduring and widespread appeal of the Austin institution it celebrates — look quickly, and you see photos of folks like Michael Caine and Dan Rather among the pictures of celebrity performers and patrons — even as it discreetly raises the question of whether such a no-frills, down-home venue can survive amid the explosive modernization of Austin.

— Joe Leydon, Variety

Film Details

USA, 2016
DIRECTED BY BRENDA MITCHELL, SAM WAINWRIGHT DOUGLAS
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY LEE DANIEL, DAVID LAYTON
EDITED BY SAM WAINWRIGHT DOUGLAS
CAST: WILLIE NELSON, JERRY JEFF WALKER, DALE WATSON, JAMES HAND, JESSE DAYTON, THE WACO BROTHERS AND ALVIN CROW.
RUNNING TIME: 75 MINS

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