Directed by Ethan Hawke, the music biography Blaze traces the life and career of the Austin-based country singer-songwriter Blaze Foley, who was tragically shot dead in 1989 at age 39. Folk musician Ben Dickey makes his film debut as Blaze Foley, who penned such songs as “If I Could Only Fly,” “Clay Pigeons,” “Let Me Ride in Your Big Cadillac,” “Big Cheeseburgers and Good French Fries,” and “Should Have Been Home With You." Blaze focuses on Foley’s relationship with soulmate and muse Sybil Rosen, his friendship and collaborations with Townes Van Zandt, his struggles with drugs and alcohol, and his inability to sustain a successful career as a musician. Hawke adapted the screenplay with Sybil Rosen from her book “Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze.” Alia Shawkat plays Rosen in Blaze; the supporting cast includes Charlie Sexton as Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson as Foley’s father, and Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn and frequent Hawke director Richard Linklater as Foley’s record label executives. Blaze, which screened during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, receives its Austin premiere on Aug. 16 at the Violet Crown Cinema with Hawke, Dickey, author Sybil Rosen and Richard Linklater in attendance for extended introductions before the 9 p.m., 9:10 p.m., 9:20 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. screenings. Blaze opens Aug. 17 in Austin theaters. Hawke and Dickey also will participate in post-screening Q&As at the Alamo South Lamar and the Regal Arbor 8 at Great Hills on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visit https://gowatchit.com/ for times. Hawke and Dickey also will participate in a Q&A and performance at 12 p.m. Sunday at Waterloo Records. The Austin-born Ethan Hawke previously directed 2002’s Chelsea Walls, 2006’s The Hottest State, and the 2015 documentary Seymour: An Introduction.
Aired: Aug. 16, 2018