“Without Getting Killed or Caught” was a breakout hit at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival — and with good reason. The documentary tracked the lives of Texas songwriting legend Guy Clark, as well as his relationship with fellow songwriters Susanna Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
Directed by Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield, the film opens theatrically on July 23, at the Austin Film Society cinema, and it should have a long and well-attended run, if the SXSW reception is any indication. The film won the Louis Black Lone Star award, and the directors will be available for Q&As after screenings this weekend.
“Guy Clark has a passionate, expansive, worldwide fan base, and we know how to reach them,” Saviano says. “We started this journey at SXSW 2021, followed it up with super successful limited virtual screenings, and now we will take it to cities and towns where Guy loved to play. Like the music business, the film business is ripe for entrepreneurs and independent thinkers to carve their own distribution path.”
So the two directors have come up with an independent distribution plan. They’ll kick off the tour in Austin, with five more Texas cities getting screenings starting July 30. Those cities are Dallas, Plano, Houston, Abilene and San Antonio.
The film will expand to Nashville, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, San Francisco, Charlottesville, Los Angeles and New York before the end of September.
“This tour will give the audience a chance to see Guy larger than life on the big screen and hear his music in high fidelity,” Whitfield says. “And we can celebrate with Guy’s fans. Guy loved being on the road, and this feels like a great way to honor him.
The documentary focuses on Clark’s artistic efforts but also on his relationship with his wife Susanna and their complicated feelings for fellow songwriter Van Zandt.
Clark died in 2016. Some of his most memorable include “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.”
The AFS cinema will also be kicking off the Wong Kar Way series with restorations of the directors most famous works. Other screenings are also planned.
For more information, visit austinfilm.org.