Little Rock Film Fest line-up unveiled | Rock Candy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Rock Film Fest line-up unveiled

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM

"(500) Days of Summer"

As we've come to expect, it's a diverse assortment of narrative features, docs, shorts and Arkansas-focused material. More of the latter than in years past it seems. It's hard to find trailers or reviews of a lot of what's screening, but after a quick perusal, here's my list of nine worth anticipating. Check it out the full schedule here.

Also, a reminder: The fest is May 13-17 and passes are on-sale now.

1. "(500) Days of Summer" One of the buzziest from Sundance, it's a nonlinear look at love and loss starring indie idols Zooey Deschanel (swoon) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Trailer above. LRFF capsule and screenings.

2. "Died Young, Stayed Pretty" A documentary about weirdo rock poster artists. If the film is half as good as the trailer it'll be well worth catching. LRFF capsule and screenings.

3. "Downloading Nancy" Another buzz-y film from Sundance, but with a different sort of buzz. It's the timeless story of a self-mutilating woman (Maria Bello), who hires a mans she meets on the Internet (Jason Patric) to come kill her. Entertainment Weekly called it a "highbrow-pervo conversation piece" and said "It was like the film was raping my face." I don't know if it's really something I'm genuinely anticipating, but I admire the gall of the organizers to book a film like this, which would never ever screen here otherwise. Can't wait for Linda Caillouet to weigh in! Here's the trailer, and here are the LRFF capsule and screenings.

4. "Goodbye Solo" This film, from highly touted Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani, tells the story of an improbable friendship between a Senegalese cab driver and an elderly Southern man (played by Red West, who was part of Elvis' Memphis Mafia). It won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival last year. Here's the trailer and more from the LRFF.

5. "Hand of Fatima: The music and writing of Robert Palmer" Not a film, though Palmer's daughter, Augusta, will show clips of her long-in-the-making doc about her dad, "The Hand of Fatima." Instead, it's a panel discussion on the life and legacy of Robert Palmer, the Little Rock native who was the New York Times' first pop music critic, who wrote the seminal book on Delta blues "Deep Blues," and who produced essential albums from the likes of Junior Kimbrough and Cedell Davis. The homie Derek Jenkins is moderating and Palmer's widow JoBeth Briton and Robert Cochran of UA feature on the panel.

6. "Herb and Dorothy" A charming looking doc about a married couple, who despite modest means — Herb's a postal clerk and Dorothy is a librarian — amass, at least according to the film, one of the most important contemporary art collections ever. Trailer and synopsis courtesy of the LRFF here.

7. "Kassim the Dream" As mentioned before, a doc about champion boxer and former Ugandan child soldier, Kassim Ouma. More, including a trailer, here.

8. "The Room" Supposedly the greatest terrible movie ever made. A huge phenomenon in LA. The trailer will give you the idea. More from the LRFF here.

9. "That Evening Sun" Also mentioned before, this film adaptation of a William Gay short story seems likely to be the big draw of the festival. LR's Ray McKinnon stars with Hal Holbrook. Trailer and more here.

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