The year in Arkansas culture, A-Z 

The Arkansas arts and entertainment year in-review.

Page 5 of 5

WM3 freed

The West Memphis Three — Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley — likely need no introduction for Times readers. And this year, they were set free, thanks in no small part to the "Paradise Lost" series of documentaries about the case made by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the third of which had its Arkansas premiere at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in October and will run on HBO on Jan. 12. In August, it was reported that renowned director Atom Egoyan would helm a $20 million adaptation of "Devil's Knot" by Times contributor and indefatigable WM3 advocate Mara Leveritt. Earlier this month, it was announced that Reese Witherspoon would star in the film. And Damien Echols is working on "West of Memphis," another documentary about the case, with director Peter Jackson.

X-rated True Grit

You know, it's just a damn shame when someone takes something that you love and turns it into a porno. But that's exactly what's happening to "True Grit." Some dudes are making a porn version of the Coen brothers' 2010 adaptation of Charles Portis' brilliant, timeless novel, according to September story on XBiz Newswire. And they didn't even bother to come up with a clever porn-pun variation on the title. It's just called "True Grit XXX," which could very well lead confused video store customers to wonder how they missed the other 28 sequels chronicling the further adventures of Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross.


Adrian Tillman, a.k.a. 607, is probably the hardest-working man in show business in Arkansas. Whether with solo projects or with his brother Bobby as the duo Ear Fear, Tillman is restless and relentless. On Halloween, he released "Yik3s!" On the album's Bandcamp site, Tillman notes,"I think Big KRIT had the best album out this year. We performed with him and beat him on stage. I wanted to beat his album. So i did that. Enjoy."


This daylong event — headlined by Toby Keith and billed as the first of an annual series of concerts to benefit the Little Rock Zoo — did not go as planned. And that is putting it mildly. The promoters had counted on a crowd of around 20,000 for the event, but only about one-tenth that many actually bought tickets. Several of the vendors and others involved in putting on the show said they were not paid, including the staging company, which had to leave the stage up for several days until workers could be paid to dismantle it. The Zoo eventually received a grand total of $4,000 in the form of a check from the promoters, the amount representing 25 percent of the gross alcohol sales, a requirement of the beer sales permit.


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More by Robert Bell

  • A Q&A with Pallbearer

    Little Rock’s leading harbingers of doom return with a new album, “Foundations of Burden.”
    • Aug 21, 2014
  • Thursday To-Do: KEN mode

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    • Feb 6, 2014
  • Bob Schneider at Juanita's

    Also, KEN Mode at Vinos', Red Octopus' 'Trysts and Turns' at the Public Theatre, Mothwind at Maxine's, Patty Griffin at George's Majestic, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Weekend Theater and Ash at Juanita's.
    • Feb 6, 2014
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  • Opinions split within GOP on "law and order" issues. Where will Asa stand?

    The New York Times reports that some Republicans are trending away from the lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key approach to criminal justice embraced by the party's old guard, in part out of a recognition that minority votes matter now more than ever. Asa Hutchinson wants to reach out to black voters — what better place to start?
  • Humanists sue over Baxter County nativity scene. Looks like another winner

    The Baxter Bulletin reported today on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Baxter County resident over the Nativity scene that has been erected on the Baxter County Courthouse lawn for decades by local lawyer Rick Spencer.
  • Live: Weedhorse, Flat Top Tony and John Neal Rock and Roll at Revolution (Photos)

    I arrived at The Rev Room Friday at 7:15 p.m., as a bartender was setting up for a busy night. I saw Mark Colbert (soundman) and Mark Sadler (lighting) and we talked shop a while. I saw Samantha "Sam" Allen (venue manager) and we caught up as well. Soon I met and interviewed Richie Barnard, the website coordinator for the Little Rock Scene, whose 10 Year Anniversary we were here to celebrate.
  • Here's to Hutchinson, McCain and American revulsion at torture

    On Nov. 16, 1776, Gen. George Washington stood on the Jersey Palisades and peered across the Hudson River through his telescope as the British tortured American militiamen who had surrendered and then put them to the sword. Hearing the screams of his men, according to an aide, Washington turned and sobbed "with the tenderness of a child."
  • Easy on the pay raises

    An independent commission appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and the chief justice began work last week to fulfill part of Issue 3, the constitutional amendment that eased term limits, banned lobbyist gifts to legislators (sort of) and provided a mechanism for pay raises.

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    Bowl games run the gamut, from the oddball and uninteresting to the compelling and rich (hat tip to Ron Burgundy). It's hard to imagine how Arkansas-Texas in any scenario would be a yawner, and the AdvoCare Texas Bowl next Monday night is a sellout for the first time in the game's relative infancy, so the appeal is unquestioned from the regional assessment and even on a broader scale will be embraced.
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