Ten to watch 

Our must-sees for this year's Little Rock Film Festival.

'PASSENGER PIGEONS': Deals with disaster.

'PASSENGER PIGEONS': Deals with disaster.

Dir.: Pedro Gonzales-Rubio, 70 min.

Having already garnered a number of awards in, amongst others, the Rotterdam International and Miami Film Festivals, this minimalist piece of cinema verite is the topic of much cineaste chatter for the way it delicately treads the line between fiction and non-fiction. In fact, after the film's premiere, newcomer Gonzales-Rubio couldn't escape being asked whether "Alamar" is a feature or documentary film, to which he replied "I just think of it as a film." Very loosely dramatized, it follows an actual father in real life circumstances as he takes his aging father and his five-year old child on a days-long Mayan fishing trip before his ex-wife returns to her native Rome with their son. Taking cues from remodernist heroes like Bela Tarr and Gus Van Sant, this nautical, coming-of-age meditation on masculinity and cultural identity may not be the fastest-paced film, but the beautifully colored, bittersweet trailer is one of the most hypnotically engaging and promising of the entire festival. Riverdale, 1:15 p.m., Thu. June 3; Riverdale, 3 p.m., Sun. June 6.

Dir.: Phedon Papamichel, 93 min.

The latest directorial effort from celebrated cinematographer and director of photography Phedon Papamichel ("Sideways," "Walk the Line," "W.") takes him back to his native country to show the story of two teenage stepsiblings, a guarded, sarcastic young photographer and his dour but newly sexually empowered stepsister. Stuck in rural Greece after a car wreck, they have to rely on a drunken American expat drifter (played by Nick Nolte) as a guide as they traverse the ancient landscape to return to civilization. Little Rock plays home to the world premiere of "Arcadia Lost" and, as such, the little information about the film is closely guarded. But doesn't that pique your curiosity even more? It certainly does for us. Director Papamichel and others will be on hand during the festival. Riverdale, 8 p.m., Fri. June 4.

Dir.: Sam Wainwright Douglas, 90 min.

Architect, Auburn University professor and fifth-generation Mississippian "Sambo" Mockbee founded the radical, charitable Rural Studio to lead his students in an ongoing project to provide residents of Alabama's "Black Belt," one of the most impoverished areas in North America, with houses that are "warm, dry and noble." Also, beautiful examples of modernist architecture built on a budget — good-hearted Fallingwaters specking a rural, post-apocalyptic neighborhood completely crippled by poverty. The Rural Studio participants not only worked, they lived, ate, played (a lot of baseball with) and socialized with the community at large. Now, if you're one of the folks that finds "Extreme Makeover" a bit garish, you'd probably scoff at this writeup. But don't worry — the movie opens with archival footage of one of the residents chastising one of the students for being opportunistic. It's a feel-good, but a smart one that acknowledges its own controversies. Also, it's my pick for the one Clinton School of Public Service Showcase film you can't miss. Clinton School of Public Service, 12:30 p.m. Sat., June 5.

Dir.: Brent Stewart, 74 min.

Another deliberately paced meditation on kinship and loss, this one takes a bit more of a subtly twisted slant than "Alamar," thanks to the direction of Brent Stewart, cohort to one of the great American cinematic provocateurs, Harmony Korine. The dimly lit, melancholic character study sees a Vietnam veteran turned real-estate broker in Tennessee wed a much younger Vietnamese mail-order bride to quell his uneasiness about his war. It's sure to slowly tug a tear and a smirk or two from anyone with even a hint of sympathy for the lonelier of our neighbors. Prospective viewers, look out for the "I doh" scene. Riverdale, 5:45 p.m., Sat. June 5



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John Tarpley

  • The Beatles anew

    Daniel Whelan's remixes expose hidden treasure in the Fab Four's catalog.
    • Aug 17, 2016
  • Walter was the worst

    But Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, the Danettes and Steve Winwood wow at Verizon Arena.
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • A new era for Riverfest

    In its 38th year, Little Rock's annual summer music festival reinvents itself.
    • Jun 2, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Cover Stories

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »


  1 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

Most Recent Comments


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