Back in March, Cooper Raiff was set to make a splash with his debut feature, Shithouse, at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
After the festival was abruptly cancelled over health concerns during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23-year-old Dallas native still picked up the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature.
But the public still hadn’t had a chance to see Raiff’s low-budget drama in which he plays a college freshman navigating life away from home — until now.
Indie distributor IFC Films picked up Raiff’s movie with its title still intact — modified a bit to “S#!%house” on posters and such — and released it today in a handful of theaters and via video-on-demand platforms.
Plus, the Texas Theatre will hold a socially-distanced screening of the film on Oct. 22, with Raiff on hand for an in-person Q&A afterward.
Also opening today, Monochrome: The Chromism gets a digital release as the ambitious debut of Dallas filmmaker Kodi Zene, assisted by a mostly local cast and crew. The dystopian science-fiction thriller is intended as the first installment of a franchise about outcasts known as “hues” trying to coexist in a black-and-white world.
The documentary Escape from Extinction, narrated by Helen Mirren, also debuts in theaters today. Produced by American Humane, it spotlights the work zoos and aquariums around the country are doing to preserve endangered species on the verge of extinction. Dallas Zoo president and CEO Gregg Hudson is among the interviewees, while Lisa Loeb composed new music for the film.
Meanwhile, the eccentric documentary J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius will be available on demand on Tuesday. The film, which won the Grand Jury Award for Best Texas Feature at the 2019 Dallas International Film Festival, traces the origins of the parody religious movement founded by Ivan Stang, who was born in Fort Worth and graduated from St. Mark’s.