Nice! The Little Rock Film Festival's Argenta Film Series returns this month with "Searching for Sugar Man," the highly acclaimed documentary about the cult folk-pop artist known Rodriguez.
A native of Detroit, Sixto Rodriguez released two albums in the early '70s — "Cold Fact" and "Coming from Reality" — both of which sank like a stone on release (at least stateside), both of which are excellent. But somehow, he became enormously popular in South Africa. Like, bigger than Dylan or Neil Young big. His records were re-released in that country and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. But in that pre-internet era, rumors of the singer's on-stage suicide were widely accepted. Some enterprising fans began trying to unearth clues about the mysterious figure.
I haven't seen the film yet, but I really dig the records. Reviews of the documentary have been pretty much uniformly positive. The late Roger Ebert gave it four stars, calling the ending "miraculous and inspiring." As with last season, the Argenta Film Series will be free thanks to the William F. Laman Library. "Searching for Sugar Man" screens Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Argenta Community Theater. RSVP here.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
VINO'S PICTURE SHOW: 'A CLOCKWORK ORANGE'
7:30 p.m. Vino's. Free.
Stanley Kubrick's 1971 classic "A Clockwork Orange" is one of those works that stands out among its contemporaries and even among its creator's massively influential oeuvre.
The film left an indelible mark on the culture not only through the philosophical quandaries it raised, but also via the sinister otherworldliness of the characters, the stunning visual qualities of Kubrick's dystopian vision and the groundbreaking soundtrack by the pioneering electronic musician Wendy Carlos. Based on Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel, it provoked enormous controversy on release, on account of its brutal violence, which is still shocking more than four decades later.
The film was censored in the U.S. and banned in the U.K. for decades. Though it was a hit with audiences and many critics, the film had notable detractors upon release (Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert among them) and does now as well. It's definitely not for everybody, but any film buffs who haven't watched "A Clockwork Orange" owe it to themselves to see it.
'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!
its so cool.. Stаrt wоrĸing at հom℮ with Gооgl℮!. witհоսt а dоսbt its tհ℮ mоst-соmfоrtаbl℮…
agree 100% with Cosmo. the movie experience was horrible there in every way imo
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