Argenta Film Series screens 'Searching for Sugar Man' 

THURSDAY 9/19

FRANK DEFORD

7 p.m. Embassy Suites. $100.

Surely, Frank Deford must be our most august sports commentator. He's without a doubt one of the profession's most revered and respected practitioners, having served on the staff of Sports Illustrated for about five decades and having been voted Sportswriter of the Year six times by his colleagues. Each week I listen to Deford on NPR's "Morning Edition." His observations are always hella cogent, and they're delivered with the sort of fine sense of delivery and timing and elocution that one imagines he first honed in the classrooms and lecture halls of his alma mater, Princeton University. There are no sacred cows for Deford, no trace of the fealty to power structures and institutions that so many of his peers seem to exhibit. An old boss of mine — a Fox News-style Republican right down to his Sean Hannity-endorsed cufflinks — once remarked to me that, even though he couldn't stand the borderline communist propaganda of those pinko socialists over at NPR, he just had to listen every Wednesday morning to hear Deford hold forth on the relevant sports-related topics of the day. Although this event is a bit on the pricey side, it does include dinner, a reading and book-signing, and it benefits Friends of KLRE/KUAR public radio.

THURSDAY 9/19

ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN'

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.

The Little Rock Film Festival's monthly Argenta Film Series returns and, as usual, they've lined up an intriguing flick. And as with last season, it's free courtesy of Laman Library. "Searching for Sugar Man," directed by Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Critics heaped nearly universal praise on the film, which follows two obsessive South African fans of U.S. folk-singer Sixto Rodriguez, who cut two killer, utterly ignored psych/folk albums for the Sussex label in the early '70s and then disappeared. Somehow, he became enormously popular in Apartheid-era South Africa (bonus trivia: he was also huge in Australia; I first learned of him from my friend Paul, who lived in Brisbane back in the '90s and while there befriended some kids in a band called Viva Rodriguez). These being the pre-ubiquitous-Internet days of the '70s and '80s, there had long been rumors that Rodriguez had self-immolated on stage. The film tells the story from the perspective of these fans, who longed to finally learn what had become of the man called Rodriguez, whose songs spoke to them so powerfully.

SATURDAY 9/21

HARVESTFEST IN HILLCREST

11 a.m. Hillcrest. Free.

Though the temperatures may still be a bit on the summery side, autumn is just about here, with its deep-blue skies and orange leaves. You can just now feel the change in the air and see it in that different sort of sunlight that comes with late September as the days grow shorter and Earth continues its orbit. Hillcrest's HarvestFest is always a really fun way to commemorate this changing of the seasons, what with the music and vendors and food and seeing a bunch of people you know and oh yeah, cheese dip! There will be a cheese dip competition, because if there's one thing the good people of Arkansas love more than competition, it's cheese dip. It's in our blood, literally. There will also be a fashion show, vendors and live music. Performers include the great Jim Mize, John Willis, The Canehill Engagement and headliners Centro-Matic, led by celebrated Texas songwriter Will Johnson. It's fun for the whole family, you guys.

SATURDAY 9/21

ARKANSAS TIMES FESTIVAL OF IDEAS

Various times and venues. Free.

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