Labors of love on the screen 

Market Street Cinema has an interesting movie on for another week –- Andy Garcia’s “The Lost City,” a love letter to his native Cuba, in which Garcia not only directed and starred, but also composed the music and performed much of it on piano. It’s a period piece centered around the rebellion against President Batista in 1958, not only by Castro and his communist-backed army but by other rebels seeking a free Cuba.

Garcia plays Fico Fellove, owner of El Tropico, a cabaret-nightclub in Havana. The best moments of the film are the music performances in El Tropico, as well as those by street musicians. Garcia, however, plays a song-and-dance man with the dourness of his Terry Benedict character (though without the ball-breaking ferociousness) from the “Ocean’s 11” and “Ocean’s 12” films. Fico’s and his family’s tragic story — one brother fights for liberty, another sides with Castro’s legions, while Fico and his father and uncle prefer the status quo — makes for good drama, but it’s the color and music that make the film.

I was lucky enough a few weeks to ago to see another labor of love, this one on a lot more limited budget. Shoestring, in fact. Little Rock native Jeff Nichols screened “Shotgun Stories” for friends and possible investors at Pleasant Valley Country Club. He warned everyone beforehand that it still needed more work. I didn’t go as media, or a reviewer, per se.

But after seeing it, I asked Jeff if I could get the word out. It’s a great story, about three brothers battling four other brothers, all of whom call the same man their father but who hate each other. Nichols and a cinematographer friend from North Carolina beautifully filmed the movie mostly around England and Scott. For a soundtrack, Nichols only had to look to his brother, Lucero’s Ben Nichols, who provided background acoustic guitar and more.

Jeff Nichols’ goal now is to get the film ready and entered in Sundance. His labor of love is going to require some help — he can’t go around like Andy Garcia and get Hollywood big-shots to open their wallets — but this story about real people and real places, in Central Arkansas, needs to be seen. If you’re interested in learning more, e-mail Jeff at jeffnic@hotmail.com.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The arrival of autumn open line

    Here's the open line. Harvest Fest still happening in Hillcrest. Hog Roast tomorrow in North Little Rock in perfect weather.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • Nasty women rise up against The Deplorable Donald

    It had to happen. Donald Trump's debate interjection that Hillary Clinton was a "nasty woman" has become a battle cry among women; a Twitter meme; a Facebook favorite, and, naturally, a marketing opportunity for T-shirt, button and bumper sticker makers.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • Formal opposition emerges to Issue 3, the corporate welfare amendment

    It became apparent this morning that at least some money would be spent in opposition to Issue 3, a massive corporate welfare proposal to allow the state to pledge unlimited tax money to private projects and to allow local governments to also give money to private business and chamber of commerce lobbyists, a practice that has been ruled unconstitutional currently.
    • Oct 22, 2016
  • More »

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

Latest in Jim Harris

  • What a great, fast eight years

    Eight years. I’ve really been “at the job” of newspapers for much longer, it just focused on entertainment during these past eight years. Starting next week, it will focus on sports. Again. Where I started eons ago.
    • May 4, 2007
  • Mickelson goes by the numbers

    It's all in the short game, Phil Mickelson says s at Alotian.
    • Apr 26, 2007
  • Back to what I really love

    Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull
    • Apr 23, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Five Fun Fall Activities

Five Fun Fall Activities

Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Good Weather

    Lakewood pop-up gallery makes a home for art in limbo.
  • Lessons learned

    Picture Bret Bielema pole-vaulting for a minute. Then, once the laughter subsides, hear me out with this absurd analogy.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Lessons learned

    • I think you meant to write, 'Consider for a minute Bret Bielema pole vaulting.' As…

    • on October 20, 2016
  • Re: Good Weather

    • Great article, true words!! Good Weather is an amazing place.

    • on October 20, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation