Ben Dickey and 'Blaze' draw strong reviews after Sundance premiere | Rock Candy

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ben Dickey and 'Blaze' draw strong reviews after Sundance premiere

Posted By on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 1:40 PM

click to enlarge 'BLAZE': Ben Dickey and Alia Shawkat star. - SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
  • Sundance Film Festival
  • 'BLAZE': Ben Dickey and Alia Shawkat star.

"Blaze," the new bio-pic-ish feature film about cult singer/songwriter and Arkansas native Blaze Foley, and its star, Little Rock native Ben Dickey, are earning critical praise after the new film debuted Sunday at Sundance. Dickey is a musician, well known by folks who were paying attention to the local scene during the late-Towncraft era, when he played in Shake Ray Turbine. Later, in Philadelphia, he formed a vintage-y rock band called Blood Feathers. More recently, he's been working solo to great effect. The movie, directed by Ethan Hawke, is his first acting work. But it sounds like he nailed it:

From the Hollywood Reporter (which also has a video interview with Dickey, Hawke and the rest of the cast):

A belated but heartfelt eulogy for a songwriter who didn't live long enough to drink himself to death like his most famous friend, Ethan Hawke's Blaze will be the first introduction most viewers have to Blaze Foley. A contemporary of Willie Nelson and the other "Outlaw" country artists, Foley was troublesome even by their standard — belligerent and (at least according to the film) frequently kicked out of clubs for performing drunk. Hawke goes in search of his tender side and finds it in a big way, thanks in large part to a charismatic lead performance by musician Ben Dickey, a first-timer who doesn't look it.

From Variety:

Benjamin Dickey’s performance is gnarly and true: His Blaze can be a charmer (especially when he’s beguiling truck drivers with his long joke about a coffee enema), but he can also be a sullen lout, and when we meet his father (Kris Kristofferson), who can’t do much but grin and ask for a cigarette from his institutional bed, we see why Blaze, in his way, is so broken. His dad was a drunk who hit him and threw away the family’s food money on bottles of Thunderbird. Maybe that’s why Blaze is so…unconnective. He’s damaged goods, though that links him up to any number of the haunted country and blues singers of the past. His songs ring out because he knows that pain.
The vagaries of film distribution make it hard to predict the future of indie films with buzz, but you'd think that this would likely make its way to the Arkansas Cinema Society one of these days. Dickey is longtime pals with ACS executive director Kathryn Tucker.

Tags: , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • New "Rock the Culture" podcast: How you gonna fight that?

    In this week’s episode of our new podcast, host Antwan Phillips and guest host state Rep. Charles Blake offer perspective and conversation on the “Freaky Friday” incident at UA Little Rock, ongoing campaign finance issues at city hall and diversity and de-escalation training for police officers. They also discuss the state teachers union and the looming battle for the preservation of state teachers’ retirement fund with guest Tracy Ann Nelson, the executive director of the Arkansas Education Association.
    • Apr 24, 2018
  • Chelsea Clinton to come to Little Rock for Clinton School talk

    Chelsea Clinton will come to Little Rock Sunday, May 20, to talk about her new children's book, "She Persisted Around the World." It's a companion to her bestselling "She Persisted." The location is still to be determined. She'll be interviewed onstage and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre will do a reading of the book.
    • Apr 23, 2018
  • The Wendell Griffen News Cycle Edition

    Embattled Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, a group of UA Little Rock students repeatedly shouting the n-word while singing along to a popular song, the federal corruption trial of former Sen. Jon Woods and more — covered on this week's podcast.
    • Apr 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017
  • New music from Isaac Alexander

    New music from Isaac Alexander.
    • Jul 14, 2017
  • No Small Talk Ep. 8: Katy Henriksen, Springs Arts preview

    A packed episode this week of "No Small Talk": a chat with Katy Henriksen, from Of Note on KUAF; Stephanie Smittle breaks down the Spring Arts issue; and we finish up with just a tiny bit of Oscar chatter.
    • Mar 9, 2018

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre to suspend operations immediately

    “The inability to reach its projected goals for charitable giving and ticket sales, and the change in the theatre landscape in Little Rock have created a perfect financial storm for The Rep,” Board Chair Brian Bush said. “The Rep’s ticket sales have been on a downhill slope for several years. Our community is on the verge of losing an amazing arts organization and tremendous asset to our city. Closing The Rep will have a devastating impact on the redevelopment of Main Street and the creative corridor.”

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation