Favorite

The Observer, Nov. 5 

Make no mistake, this is an observation and not a complaint. The Observer would never complain about the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, which is one of our very favorite things in our favorite state. We go every year.

What we observed with some concern last week is that many films seemed to be suffering from a malady that has afflicted other kinds of entertainment. The Observer can remember TV shows that were very well done at 30 minutes but suffered when stretched to an hour. The average Hollywood movie used to come in at not much more than 90 minutes. They're elongated now to the point that The Observer always checks on the length before we buy a ticket, having too often found aching to get up and leave but feeling that we dare not without seeing the ending, especially since we paid so much to get in. (The increasing cost of Hollywood movies is a story for another time.)

When we started going to the Hot Springs Festival years ago, a documentary more than an hour long was a marathon of a movie. Many of the best films ran no more than 20 or 30 minutes, some considerably less. This was particularly true of those that were intended to be funny. Brevity was and is the soul of wit.

But on one day at this year's festival, no movies were shorter than an hour, and one was an hour and 45 minutes. Most of the ones The Observer saw needed cutting.

More people are making documentaries, and some of them don't fully appreciate the value of good editing. There's probably more money available for documentaries, too. The earlier film makers never got their hands on enough of it to make a documentary nearly two hours long. 

 

The Observer doesn't have too many close friends, but one of them is Stuart “Sy” Hoahwah. Stuart is a poet, and a dang fine one. He's a card-toting Comanche — graduated from the University of Arkansas's creative writing program awhile back. He recently published a book called “Velroy and the Madischie Mafia” through West End Press in Albuquerque. When The Observer got his copy, we found that old Stu had dedicated one of the poems inside to us. Nobody ever did that for us before. Jaded as we are, it still dang near moved us to tears.

 

Plum Bayou Combinations

The bayou dries up at the edges

The place desires sunken cars and compromised love

The old clapboard mansion disappears

Tornadoes and UFOs are working together

Sounds of a chainsaw on the trail

Sounds of hunger in an angry man

Barbwire on the horizon

A red horse stands up, steps over like a human

I am still thinking about the ghost

It is still thinking about me

I watch white dogs of the dawn

A hand struggles at the water's surface

 

On Halloween night, The Observer and fambly was motoring home from our Auntie's house at around 1 a.m. Auntie lives way out in the sticks and in the fall and winter, she throws epic get-togethers, with a bonfire, and hot dogs to roast, and marshmallows to burn, and we hang out in the cold air until the wee hours of the morning, watching the sparks from the fire compete with the stars.

Driving home from one of those on Halloween, we spied, sitting at the red light at the corner of Markham and Scott, the ultimate proof that the trend toward Skank-o-ween costumes — those Halloween get-ups for adult females that reveal more skin than three hours on Bourbon Street — has jumped the shark.

Standing at the corner was a young lady of perhaps 22. It sure looked like she was in her panties to us. Up top, she had on what appeared to be a red and black bustier. Crowning her head was a set of ladybug antenna — the only thing that seemed to separate her outfit from a page out of Victoria's Secret. Did we mention that it was all of 45 degrees at the time? 

The Observer hates to sound like a prude, especially given that we enjoy the sight of a comely young lass in her skimpiest as much as anybody. But remember kids: While you're flaunting it in the freezing cold, it might be a good idea to bring a coat.

 

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Arkansas Traveler

    The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Latest in The Observer

  • 18

    The day this issue hits the streets this week is Junior's 18th birthday, if you can believe it. The Observer surely can't. All the long years we've known that baby and boy and now man have slipped past in less time, it seemed, than it takes to wipe a tear from the cheek.
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • Lucky to be dumb

    When The Observer and a few friends picked up the Ford Escape with a tent on top after landing in Iceland, the renter called our plan "bold."
    • Nov 30, 2017
  • Year one

    The Observer is a bit late with this, but we felt we needed to say something about passing a year in Trump's America.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation