For this month's Arkansas Times Film Series screening, we'll be welcoming the writer-director Rebecca Thomas, who will present her 2012 debut feature "Electrick Children." The film follows a fundamentalist Mormon teenager who comes to believe she's been impregnated by listening to a cassette tape, her first experience with rock music, and runs away to Las Vegas looking for answers. The New York Times called it "a playful urban fable, about the collision of country and city mice that suggests a variation of 'The Wizard of Oz,'" and "neither comedy nor drama nor satire but a surreal mélange infused with magical realism." /more/
On Friday, as part of the Arkansas Times Film Series, co-sponsored by the Little Rock Film Festival, we are screening a Court 13 shorts program that includes "Glory at Sea." There to talk about what the collective is all about will be Casey Coleman, who heads Court 13 Arts, and Nathan Harrison, who's head of casting for the "Beasts of the Southern Wild" follow-up, which director Benh Zeitlin has said is "about a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time." /more/
The Ozark Foothills FilmFest, held at Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, has announced the lineup for its 2015 festival, which is scheduled for April 3-11. 28 features, documentaries and shorts have been confirmed for the event, including "Northern Borders," starring Bruce Dern, "The Frontier," "Stomping Ground" (billed as “a scary relationship comedy about love and Bigfoot hunting"), "Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound" and "Misfire: The Rise and Fall of The Shooting Gallery," a crowd-funded documentary about the production company behind "Stand By Me" and "Sling Blade." /more/
The Little Rock Film Festival, now based in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, has officially announced May 11-17 as its 2015 dates. Additionally, the festival has hired filmmaker and UCA grad Gabe Gentry, who formerly handled the festival's media operations and collaborated on documentary projects with the Renaud Brothers, as its new full-time director. According to the press release: /more/
Mark your calendar: Next up for the monthly Arkansas Times Film Series on Friday, March 20 at Ron Robinson Theater: A special presentation of short films and music videos from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Benh Zeitlen and others from Court 13, the film and arts collective that Zeitlen co-founded in college and is now based in New Orleans. /more/
Semi-pornographic literary adaption "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets a nationwide theatrical release this weekend, and according to Deadline Hollywood's survey of advance ticket sale, Arkansans are more excited about this than anyone else in the country other than Mississippi. Based on Fandango's summary of "state-by-state presales data," Arkansas ranks #2 nationwide. /more/
This month in the Arkansas Times Film Series (co-sponsored by the Little Rock Film Festival), we're showing Charles Burnett's legendary 1978 independent film "Killer of Sheep." Filmed in L.A.'s Watts neighborhood in the early `70s, it's a gorgeous and powerful and deeply mysterious document of its time and place, set to music by Dinah Washington and Louis Armstrong and Earth, Wind & Fire. /more/
The Ron Robinson Theater announced more details about its Winter/Spring 2015 film programming this afternoon, explaining that they will be dividing their screenings into three categories: "The Classics," "The Rewind" (aimed at "young adults") and "Kid Flix." /more/
You've got to figure that a band from frozen-ass Winnipeg is just gonna be way gnarlier and tougher than a band from some sun-kissed tropical clime where people wear tank tops and flip-flops year-round.
Also, KEN Mode at Vinos', Red Octopus' 'Trysts and Turns' at the Public Theatre, Mothwind at Maxine's, Patty Griffin at George's Majestic, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Weekend Theater and Ash at Juanita's.
Protesters greeted Tom Cotton today at an event held by the Foreign Policy Initiative, the neocon think tank founded by Cotton cheerleaders Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, called (of course) "Will Congress provide for the Common Defense? National Security priorities in an increasingly dangerous world."
Mike Preston, vice president for Government Relations with Enterprise Florida, is Gov. Asa Hutchinson's choice as the next director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, reports Roby Brock at Talk Business. Preston will be tasked with doling out millions in corporate welfare to bring in and retain businesses in the state. Hutchinson decided not to keep Grant Tennille, who served in the role under Gov. Mike Beebe, on the job.
At a press conference today, Chad Griffin, Arkansas native and president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT advocacy group, announced that his organization will run a full-page ad (see below) in the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's largest paper, suggesting that Arkansas is closed for business due to HB 1228, the discriminatory, anti-gay measure making its way through the legislature. It could be up for consideration by the Senate today.