Here's what you get when you combine "Rockin' Robin" with "Folsom Prison Blues" and "The Joker." What say you — abomination or finger-snapping good time?
The mash comes courtesy of DJ Faroff.
I'll have more on my impressions on this year's festival tomorrow. In the meantime, here are this year's prize winners.
Oxford American Best Southern Film Award ($10,000 prize money): "Bayou Maharajah"
Heifer International Social Impact Film Award ($10,000 prize money): "These Birds Walk"
Golden Rock Narrative Film: "Short Term 12"
Golden Rock Documentary Film: "Dirty Wars"
Extraordinary Courage in Filmmaking: Jeremy Scahill ("Dirty Wars")
Arkansas Times Audience Award: "Bridegroom"
Made in Arkansas Best Feature: "45 RPM"
Made in Arkansas Best Short: "The Discontentment of Ed Telfair"
Made in Arkansas Best Director: Mark Thiedeman for "Last Summer"
Made in Arkansas Best Actor: Liza Burns in "45 RPM"
World Shorts: "When We Lived in Miami"
A previous version of this post incorrectly listed the World Shorts winner as "When We Live in Miami."
Arkansas is full of talented people, and we ran across yet another one of them last night: the thoroughly-hilarious writer and video blogger Joseph Birdsong. In the video seen above, Birdsong, who was born in Arkansas, schools out-of-staters on some skewed facts about the Natural State, including: "People in Arkansas are born with the ability to recognize 30 different kinds of roadkill based on scent alone," and "The first gay person to ever come to Arkansas was George Takei, and that was because he was forced here to live in an Arkansas Japanese internment camp during World War II." Just remember, he's laughing WITH us, not AT us. Okay, he's laughing AT us as well, but a great sense of humor covers a multitude of sins.
If you're looking for a good laugh, you can check out almost 200 of Birdsong's quirky videos on his Youtube site, cupofjoeshow.com. He's also got a site where he blogs, a very funny Twitter account. and a video blog for My Damn Channel's Answerly page where he talks about sex and relationships.
If your first reaction to Vine, the new-ish Twitter app that allows users to post 6 second video clips, was, "This is worthless," you need to check out the Vines "Short Term 12" director Destin Cretton and actor Keith Stanfield did while they were in town for the Little Rock Film Festival. So good. They're on the jump. (Click the box on the top left of each one to un-mute the sound.)
If you missed 'Short Term 12,' the opening night film at the Little Rock Film Festival that's the heavy favorite to win the festival's Golden Rock Narrative Award, you blew it. Maybe it'll play here when it opens in August.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fans should be excited to catch a screening of the "Rodrick Rules" installment of the film at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, followed by a Q&A with actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and producer Brad Simpson, 10 a.m., $10. The Little Rock Zoo hosts an autograph signing with Gordon, Capron and Simpson from 2-4 p.m.
Discovery hosts rapper Coolio, with DJ Feelgood and MC Cat Daddy, plus DJs Crawley, Sleepy, Platinumb and Brandon Peck, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10 before midnight, $15 afterward.
Thick Syrup Records celebrates its anniversary in Hot Springs, with Ginsu Wives, Ezra Lbs. and Burnt, Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.
Texas bluesman Chris Duarte plays an all-ages show at Juanita's, with Steve Hester & Deja VooDoo, Davis Coen and Chris Milam, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
Weakness For Blondes brings the goodtime jams to White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5.
11 a.m. North Little Rock RV Park. $10.
Q: How awesome is barbecue? A: Probably more awesome than most other things, but not quite as awesome as having the superpowers of flight and invisibility, which I think we'd all have to admit would be hard for anything to top. Not going to happen to anyone anytime real soon though.
But you know what is going to happen soon? The 9th Annual Buzz-B-Q Food and Music Festival, that's what. More than 100 teams will compete in professional and amateur categories to see who can create the most delicious 'cue. And hey, there's about $5,000 worth of cash and prizes for those who make the best pork, ribs and chicken.
All your favorite 103.7 The Buzz hosts will be there, including Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott, Justin Acri, RJ Hawk, Joe Franklin and Trey Schaap, with Matt Jones serving as emcee. The Dirty White Boys, Canvas and Jeff Coleman and The Feeders will perform. There's going to be a rib-eating contest, and if there's ever been a better-sounding way to maybe hurt yourself on purpose, I've yet to hear it.
Best of all, the event will raise money for Camp Sunshine, an annual four-day camp for pediatric burn survivors.
607 PRESENTS: BLOCK MONSTER PARTY
9 p.m. Revolution. $10.
Her new record, "The Mad Teacher," boasts ethereal synthesizers ("Dumb Girlz"), icy-sounding dubstep touches ("Stranger Danger") and a club-ready jam about having a double life ("She Wolf"), among others. The album's title is a reference to JLaur's day job as a teacher for the North Little Rock School District.
In addition to JLaur, there will be performances from ItsJusBobby, GM tha Boss, Sarah Cecil and TGE, with Shortfuze on the steel wheels and host DJ No Name. It's an 18-and-older show.
8TH ANNUAL STUEART PENNINGTON RUNNING OF THE TUBS
9 a.m. Central Avenue, Hot Springs.
Well, it's that time of year again, when teams of crazed, costumed contestants get together for the Stueart Pennington Running of the Tubs.
If you're unfamiliar with the annual event, here are the basics: Teams create bathtubs on wheels, fill them with water and a teammate, and then race them down Hot Springs' Central Avenue for the cheering throngs. The audience is encouraged to get in on the fun as well, with water guns, shower caps, robes and so forth.
Sounds like a great time.
The latest from the Oxford American's SoLost series is from footage series director Dave Anderson got last year during the shoot for Jeff Nichols' "Mud" in south Arkansas. Good interviews with Nichols, Paul Sparks (who plays main bad dude Carver in the film and Mickey Doyle on "Boardwalk Empire") and Sarah Paulson (who plays Mary Lee, Ellis' mother).
Paulson, in particular, has nice, insightful things to say about Nichols.
He has a real old soul...He's very gentle, but specific. Very much in command. He's very self-possessed, which I think is an interesting quality for a man so young and a relatively new filmmaker. All that does, for me anyway, is inspire great confidence that I can trust whatever he's wanting or needing in a scene from me and trust that it is the exact right thing... I'd do anything for Jeff Nichols. He could ask me to do any part — big, small, toothless, peg-legged — I'd do it.
New Orleans veterans The Dirty Dozen Brass Band bring the swinging second-line sounds to Revolution Friday, for an all-ages show, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
UPDATE: I just got word that Little Rock Film Festival pass-holders can get into this show for just $5.
The Political Animals Club hosts Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter for a look back on the 2013 legislative session, Governor's Mansion, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., $20 (includes lunch).
Little Rock's finest cover band, The Libras, returns to the White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5.
Fans of improv comedy, take note: ImprovLittleRock is back with two shows in one night: "Spring Flurries" at 7 p.m. and "Summer Blockbuster II!" at 10 p.m., The Public Theatre, $8 for each show.
You can also get your yuks at The Joint, where The Main Thing's "Wiener Day at the Rollercade" rolls on, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $20.
This is your final chance to catch The Weekend Theater's production of "The Paris Letter," Jon Robin Baitz's story of Wall Street powerhouse Sandy Sonenberg, who finds his personal and professional life threatened by the unraveling secrets of his past. It's Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., $12-$16.
Arkansas Festival Ballet presents "The Adventures of Pinocchio" at the Arkansas Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $15-$20.
GOOD TIME RAMBLERS
9 p.m. Stickyz.
The Good Time Ramblers are probably a familiar name to most Times readers. The five-piece has spent the last several years honing an Americana sound with roots in the classic rock canon, playing steadily and sharing the stage with some notable country and Red Dirt acts.
This is an 18-and-older album-release show for the band's new full-length, "Bigelow Strange," the follow-up to the 2009 recording "Nashville Cowboy." The 8-song album sounds fantastic (it was produced by keyboardist/vocalist Jeff Coleman and engineered by Coleman and Jason Tedford), especially the keyboards and shimmering pedal steel.
"Illegal Things" gets the record off to an energetic start, with tales of youthful hijinks. "Six Feet Deep" finds the Ramblers considering the pursuit of material things and asking whether it was all worth it. "Last in Line" has some subtly sophisticated, Knopfler-esque guitar playing. It's an earnest, driving rocker and one of the best tunes on the album. "Nothing Left" closes out the album with hypnotic, chiming guitar/keyboard interplay, gorgeous leads and a moving chorus. It's a bit of a departure from the Ramblers' signature sound, but it's a bet that paid off and a fantastic track.
Juanita's hosts "An Open Book: An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October," 9 p.m., $25. The evening will include a Q&A, reading from his book "Crazy Making" and an acoustic set of never-before-heard songs.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series wraps up, with an ASO chamber performance featuring Arkansas Chamber Singers performing Mozart's Requiem, First United Methodist Church, 7 p.m., $10-$35.
7 p.m. South on Main. Free.
The Oxford American begins its programming at its new South on Main venue with a good'n: author Nathaniel Rich. His latest novel, "Odds Against Tomorrow," has been praised pretty much across the board.
It's about Mitchell Zukor, a young mathematician who takes a job that puts him at the forefront of corporate hedging, calculating the odds of various disasters that might befall society. But soon an actual catastrophe unfolds. It's sort of a comedy of manners/apocalypse thriller that Vanity Fair called "scarily prescient and wholly original."
Rich will read from the book, and if you have not yet secured a copy of it, WordsWorth Books & Co. will have some on hand, presumably so you can get him to sign his name on it. Little Rock-based writer Jay Jennings will emcee, and The John Burnette Duo will play music.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton's "Short Term 12," which won both the Audience and Grand Jury prizes at SXSW, opens the Little Rock Film Festival tonight. It's excellent. Indie star of the moment Brie Larson stars as Grace, a young woman who oversees a section of a foster home full of kids who've been abused or suffer from mental illness. Grace is tough, but caring, always in control. Or so it seems, until developments in her personal life and at work dredge up a dark past and send her into a tailspin.
I know if I were reading that plot description and knew nothing else about the movie, "AVOID" in red letters would probably pop into my mind. When does a movie about troubled kids, or institutionalized people of any age, ever get it right?
Well, Cretton and his fine cast do here. Larson is a revelation. Ditto for "The Newsroom's" John Gallagher Jr., who play's Grace's boyfriend and co-worker Mason. Rarely, have we seen young actors give such strong performances as Kaitlyn Dever, already showing promise as Loretta on "Justified," and Keith Stanfield, who play the main troubled kids. Cretton avoids all the lazy stereotypes and easy manipulation we so often see in similar movies. He's produced a naturalistic film that's warm, funny and packs an emotional wallop.
I'm thrilled to get the chance to moderate the post-screening discussions with Cretton, Dever and Stanfield. The film screens at 6:30 p.m. at the Argenta Community Theater and again at 7:30 p.m. at The Rep. That's collectively many, many more seats available than in years past, so don't not come for fear of being turned away.
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