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

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