'WEST OF MEMPHIS'
7 p.m. Market Street Cinema. Free.
Though the films in the original "Paradise Lost" trilogy by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are undoubtedly some of the most effective documentaries ever made, given their role in spawning the worldwide movement that eventually freed Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley after 18 years in prison, the new doc "West of Memphis," produced by director Peter Jackson and directed by Amy Berg, has just as many thought-provoking questions to ask about the case.
Focusing on evidence that seems to point to Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of victim Stevie Branch, the film is especially powerful given that it includes interviews with case-participants — like Mark Byers and Pam Hobbs — who were 100 percent sure of the guilt of the West Memphis Three, but who have since come to doubt that.
Like the original "Paradise Lost," "West of Memphis" is grim and unsettling stuff (one particularly gruesome scene shows turtles in a glass tank feasting on a dead pig to show how the injuries to the victims could have been caused by animal predation), but if you care at all about the WM3 case or justice in general, it's definitely a must-see. These screenings, part of an array of dates producers have scheduled in Arkansas and Tennessee well in advance of the theatrical release, are free and first-come-first-serve.
Upcoming Little Rock screenings at Market Street: Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10, 30 and Nov. 1.
TOAD SUCK DAZE
5 p.m. Simon Park. Free.
I'd always thought the name Toad Suck Daze was a nod to good ol' Bufo alvarius, a.k.a., the Colorado River toad, whose psychedelic venom has inspired story and song. But not so, according to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas. The name actually refers to a spot on the Arkansas River called Toad Suck, which got its name because the boatmen who operated the ferry "frequented a tavern there, and it was said that they would suck on the bottle until they swelled up like toads." And besides, that type of amphibian doesn't even live around these parts. (Aside: Please don't ever, ever actually lick a toad. The toads don't enjoy it and it ain't gonna get you high.)
Anyways, Toad Suck Daze is a free music and arts festival that's packed to the gills with all manner of fun and games, such as Stuck on a Truck, an endurance test in which the person who manages to keep one hand on a Ford F150 the longest will win that Ford F150. There'll be music, as well, with headliners such as '90s R&B superstars En Vogue on Friday, Drake White, Randy Houser and country tunesmith Jamey Johnson on Saturday and Jonny Diaz and Todd Agnew on Sunday.
All you folks who were wondering where to go for your patriotic Christmas pet portraits, wonder no more. Arkansas Flag & Banner has you covered this holiday season.
Just round everybody up and head on down Saturday Nov. 12 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and you can get one free digital portrait with the whole fam in front of a patriotic Christmas backdrop.
The screening is Aug. 22 at 7:30 at Rave Motion Pictures on Colonel Glenn Road, and there are about 100 spots available. If you get one, don't forget to say a kind word to the Little Rock Film Festival, which is co-promoting the screening along with the film's producers.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
Originally titled "Black, White and Blues," the film was a 2010 official selection at LRFF. It stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Taryn Manning and Kiele Sanchez. Also: Luke Perry is in this film.
"Redemption Road" opens for wider release Friday.
Some things just go together: peanut butter and chocolate; beer and baseball; Diet Coke and Mentos; rock stars and rehab. And thus it is with lazy summer days and reading.
To celebrate the two, The William F. Laman Public Library hosts an out-and-out explosion of family-friendly entertainment options at this, the second annual Lamanpalooza. Allow me to reassure you: Perry Farrell had absolutely no involvement in this festival and will not, I repeat: will NOT be in attendance.
But you know who will? A balloon-maker on stilts, McGruff the Crime Dog, Abner the Humane Society Education Dog, Trout Fishing in America, a bunch of insects from the Museum of Discovery, a ton of fish in a 1,500-gallon aquarium from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and lots more. Plus there will be video games, prizes and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities.
The Times is giving away 10 tickets to the "Au Revoir Party," a send-off for the "The Impressionists & Their Influence" exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center next Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.
Enter to win here. The tickets get you free food and booze.
We'll notify the winners next Thursday.
Here's the Arts Center's description:
Trés Chic! Join the Arkansas Arts Center for Au Revoir — the vogue Parisian parti! Sip luscious French martinis and Kir Royales. Enjoy delicious Parisian street food. Dance to the hottest hits spun by Alice 107.7’s Poolboy and Johnny Jackson. Strike a pose! Step into an Impressionist painting. Forgot your cancan skirt? We will provide the Parisian props. BYOC (Bring your own camera)! This is your last chance to see The Impressionists and Their Influence. Oo la la! Don’t miss this soirée. Tickets are $20. Arkansas Arts Center members attend for free. Space is limited. Must be 21 to attend. Buy your tickets today!
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