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Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival celebrates 25 years 

FRIDAY 10/7-SUNDAY 10/16

HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

Various times. Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa and other venues. $8-$250.

It's time again for cinephiles to descend on Hot Springs for 10 days of documentary films and parties. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the festival, a notable accomplishment on its own — the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest all-documentary festival in North America — but one that's especially impressive considering the festival was on the brink of financial ruin just a few years back. But under the leadership of Executive Director Courtney Pledger, and thanks, in part, to the festival's unloading the historic Malco Theatre, which cleared away a mountain of debt, the HSDFF has flourished in recent years. And befitting a silver anniversary celebration, organizers have put together another sterling lineup and slate of special guests this year. "Command and Control" (7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7), the documentary adaptation of Eric Schlosser's book of the same name about the Titan II missile crisis in Van Buren County in 1980, opens the festival with special guests Robert Kenner, the director, and Schlosser. "Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise" (4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8) tells the story of the famed poet, activist and Stamps (Lafayette County) native; festival honorary co-chairman Louis Gossett Jr., who appears in the film, will attend the screening. Norwegian director Aslaug Holm's documentary diary "Brothers" (3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11; 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12) tracks the lives of her sons over the course of a decade. It won the top jury prize at Hot Docs and has been favorably compared to Richard Linklater's feature film "Boyhood." No festival film is more of the moment than "Do Not Resist" (6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11; 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13), an examination of the militarization of police. It's won wide critical praise and earned a top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. The delightful "Good Ol' Freda" (11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15), about the Beatles longtime friend and secretary Freda Kelly, returns to the festival because Kelly is the special guest for Ron Howard's "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years" (1:30 p.m. Oct. 15). Shot over the course of four years, "Company Town" (4:20 p.m. Oct. 15) documents Crossett residents' battle with a Koch brothers-owned factory over pollution. On Sunday, Oct. 16, you can watch the winners of the festival's various awards. See a full schedule and buy tickets at hsdfi.org. LM

SATURDAY 10/8

GRASSROOTS RADIO CONFERENCE KEYNOTE SPEECH: CLYDE CLIFFORD OF 'BEAKER STREET'

7 p.m. Low Key Arts. $10.

Once upon a time, eerie "space sounds" were broadcast from Wrightsville to cover up the hum of the large cooling fans for the transmitter at KAAY-AM, 1090, and they emanated from transistor radios in Communist Havana City, Cuba, where only 20 percent of radio programming was allowed to be in English. An atypically relaxed announcer took requests for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young from listeners in Iowa and, as the "Arkansongs" program on KUAR-FM, 89.1, details, "letters arrived in Little Rock bearing far-flung postmarks and exotic stamps requesting songs, posters or anything from bands like Frigid Pink or Savoy Brown or Quicksilver Messenger Service." Clyde Clifford, the voice of that nighttime underground radio ambassador "Beaker Street," gives a keynote speech accompanied by a barbecue dinner at the 20th annual gathering of the Grassroots Radio Coalition in Hot Springs Oct. 7-10. It's hosted by the solar-powered community radio station KUHS-FM, 97.9, which features sessions throughout the week preceding on "solar power installation, open source software, FM transmit chains, grant writing, live remote broadcasts and station management." For tickets and a full schedule, visit grc2016.net. SS

FRIDAY 10/14-SUNDAY 10/23

ARKANSAS STATE FAIR

Arkansas State Fairgrounds. $3-$28.

The beauty of the State Fair is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but there's no denying the crowds that line the midway and visit the wonders to be found in the Hall of Industry and the adjacent displays of blue-ribbon prizes for quilts, birdhouses, fig jams, charcoal drawings, spun wool, poems, etc. Former Poison front man-turned-reality-TV-star Bret Michaels kicks off the music lineup Oct. 14, followed by Trapt and Saliva on Oct. 15, fresh off the "Make America Rock Again" tour; New Orleans rapper Mystikal on Oct. 16; Rick Springfield on Oct. 18; R&B singer Al B. Sure on Oct. 19; country radio mainstay Clint Black on Oct. 20; blues shredder Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Oct. 21; Arkansas's own Collin Raye on Oct. 22 and the newly revived soft-rock R&B group After 7 on Oct. 23. Here's a rundown of the special promotions: $2 off gate admission for Arkansas Federal Credit Union members on opening day; free admission for adults with children 6 and under and free Kiddie Rides for those kids from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 17 and Oct. 21; free parking and free gate admission from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 17 to 21; admission, rides and parking for $1 each on Oct. 17; free admission for those with military I.D. Oct. 18; free adult admission with the donation of four canned food items and free child admission with the donation of two canned good items Oct. 18; free admission for women from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 19; free admission with a college I.D. from 6 p.m. to closing time Oct. 20; $3 admission for FFA, FCCLA, 4-H and Boy and Girl Scouts Oct. 22 until 5 p.m.; KIPR Power 92's 92 minutes of free admission for kids 12 and under from 11 a.m. to 12:32 p.m. Oct. 22, and on most days, $28 armbands entitling the wearer to unlimited rides. For tickets and details, visit arkansasstatefair.com. SS

FRIDAY 10/14

BOOKS, BOURBON AND BOOGIE: OXFORD AMERICAN GALA

7 p.m. South on Main. $200.

There's a comfort in getting what you bargained for, musically speaking, but every now and then, a concert is a complete surprise, as it was during the 2015 version of Oxford American's annual fundraising ball, when patrons who probably attended on the promise of a performance from film star Mary Steenburgen or to hear Kim Carnes sing "Bette Davis Eyes" left completely stupefied by the charged energy of native son Shawn Camp. The limp, overpolished version of Camp's song "Would You Go With Me" that Josh Turner brought to the airwaves in 2006 was given a glorious jolt by Camp's ever-forward momentum and swagger, and Camp's rendition of "Sis Draper" — a rollicking piece he and Guy Clark wrote about a fiddler Camp knew when he was young — picked up steam like a locomotive going downhill. It's that sense of frenzy, of impossibly fast bluegrass picking, that Jerry Douglas' The Earls of Leicester — the Flatt & Scruggs tribute supergroup of which Camp is a member — has showcased to a world audience since its formation in 2013. Chef Matt Bell is serving up family-style barbecue, a silent auction out back raises funds for the Oxford American magazine, and the bar will be responsible for the caliber of signature cocktail that helped last year's audience stomach the possibility of collectively calling the hogs with nary an eyeroll. SS

SATURDAY 10/15

'RAD' ON THE RIVER

3 p.m. First Security Amphitheater. Free-$10.

According to 2013 analysis from The Guardian of 10,000 movies in the Rotten Tomatoes database, the 1986 BMX teensploitation movie "Rad" has the widest disparity between critical and audience opinion. Ninety-one percent of Rotten Tomatoes users have given it 3-and-a-half stars or more; no critics at the time of its release gave it a positive review. About as good as it gets, from the New York Times: "The bicycle acrobatics behind the credits at the opening of 'Rad' are so spectacular that you wonder what the movie can do to improve on them. The short answer is, nothing." But critics don't matter when it comes to nostalgia or appreciation of so-bad-it's-good kitsch. That's why the 30th anniversary screening of "Rad" at the First Security Amphitheater should bring out the hordes. If, like me, you grew up in the 1980s with at least a vague interest in BMX bikes, you pestered your mom to rent this movie over and over, but unless you own a vintage VHS or Laserdisc copy, you haven't been able to see it in 25 years. For everyone else, how can you resist a movie made up of mostly BMX montages, where taking the SATs vs. racing a bike to win cold cash and a Corvette is a central conflict, with a soundtrack that includes a song with the chorus " 'Cause there's thunder in your heart / Every move is like a lightning" and with a young Lori Loughlin (of "Full House" fame) as the love interest and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Bart Conner as a "Karate Kid"-style villain who goes everywhere with his arms around two super-permed blonde ladies? Downtown Little Rock Partnership Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom, firmly in the nostalgia camp, organized this free screening (7 p.m.), and built it into an afternoon of festivities. At 3:30 p.m., there's a meet-and-greet with actor Bill Allen, the star of "Rad," and BMX pioneer Martin Aparijo. It costs $10; everything else is free. From 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., there'll be a stunt show and jam session by Southern BMX. Then — must-see alert! — at 6:15 p.m. there'll be a re-enactment of the romantic BMX-dance Allen and Loughlin's characters do in the movie. There'll be food and drink for sale. LM

SATURDAY 10/15

MÖMANDPÖP

10 a.m. Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library. Free.

In the briefest of musical critiques, Dillania Jackson described Mömandpöp thusly: "I thought my head was going to explode, it was so good." Now, Jackson's no Peter Guralnick — because she's still in elementary school — but her sentiments are fairly representative of reactions from the Eureka Springs audiences for whom Bobby Matthews and Virginia Ralph have been workshopping their live performance as duo mömandpöp. In the span of the 13 tracks that make up the duo's eponymous debut album, the pair name-checks Play-Doh and Duran Duran while exploring the virtues of listening to your elders in "Old People Are Cool," teaching the color spectrum in "Roy G. Biv," delving into the difficulties of creative expression in "The Big Water Number" and emphasizing the crucial role of stockings in "Socks and Shoes," in which sock-wearers are rewarded for their diligence with feet that smell like "toffee apples." The concert at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library celebrates the release of the album, recorded by Jason Weinheimer at Fellowship Hall Sound, complete with album art by the ever-inventive Isaac Alexander. Weinheimer's and Alexander's children join Bobby and Virginia's daughters to form the album's children's chorus. SS

TUESDAY 10/18

ARKANSAS TIMES PRESENTS: 'PERSEPOLIS'

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.

Whether "Persepolis" is an essentially Iranian film depends on whom you ask. In a letter to the French Embassy in Tehran preceding the film's showing at Cannes, the Iran Farabi Foundation wrote, "This year the Cannes Film Festival, in an unconventional and unsuitable act, has chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts." According to Marjane Satrapi, though, the author of the two eponymous graphic novels from which the animated film springs, its intention is broader. "If we used real images, it would be a few Arabs in a country. Right away it would be an ethnic film. It becomes the problem of those people who live over there and are crazy about God; but drawings, with their abstract quality, emphasize the universal." With the help of Marc Jousset and a team of animators working in pencil, Satrapi lifted the images of her 9-year-old self growing up in Iran amid the upheaval of the Islamic Revolution and set those images into motion, detailing her scandalous fandom of Iron Maiden; the death of her uncle Anoush, a communist revolutionary hero; and her eventual departure from Iran to a French high school in Vienna to avoid arrest. See riverdale10.com for tickets, and be sure to check out the accompanying podcast from our film series' partner, Film Quotes Film, on Soundcloud the day before. SS


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