Favorite

The past week has been quite an exciting (and exhausting) one for The Observer. Not only did we get to play host to our colleagues from around the country and enjoy an afternoon with former President Clinton, but we finally finished recovering from (and basking in the afterglow of) making a movie.

The 48 Hour Film Project, an annual international competition to see who can make the best seven-minute film in just two days, returned to Little Rock this month, and Team Arkansas Times again girded for battle. Devastated as we were last year by a disqualifying late entry (but still a pretty damn good flicker, if you ask us), we puffed out our chests and declared that this year we’d give ’em all hell.

That turned out to be a bit more of an uphill fight than we’d anticipated. From 7 a.m. to midnight, we did battle with stifling heat, at Murray Park and in our backyard, suffering a million hellish pricks of sunburn, barking dogs and out-of-control wheelchairs, and producing enough sweat and body odor to crush a man’s soul. It was all in pursuit of art — well, art, and the opportunity to lay the smackdown on our rivals. Stinking and sopping wet, we trashed The Observer’s house, ran down our North Little Rock street screaming like idiots and stuck our bare backsides out of moving car windows. Our neighbors stuck their heads out front doors in a decidedly quizzical and gopher-like manner, no doubt fearing for their property values.

Yes indeed, it was High Art in the making. We will do anything for it.

What came out of that process startled even us. Though we had again written the script for our movie and (humbly, of course) knew it to be good, we were uncertain of what the final product would be. Truth be told, we were not expecting what we saw on our computer screen: honestly one of the best 48 Hour Films we’ve ever seen, no joke.

And as it turned out, it needed to be. This year boasted twice as many qualifying films as last, and overall quality was roughly twice as good. We attended the screenings of all 28 films at Market Street Cinema and were pleasantly surprised at how much everyone had learned since 2005. The stories were better, the visuals more interesting, the funny even funnier. Truly, there is quite the budding film scene here in Little Rock, and we’d very much like to see the city do more to support and encourage it — a robust art scene only helps a city grow, after all.

We were privileged enough to have our film screened dead last to close out the festival, and the audience reaction was everything we’d prayed it would be. We killed. We’ve got a couple of competitors nipping at our heels, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got a good shot at the title and some international bragging rights. Is it too much to dream that we might leave our mark on Hollywood Boulevard?

Regardless, and though we were left bone-weary, smelling like lumberjacks and saying a quiet prayer of thanks on Sunday that this comes only once a year, we found ourselves revitalized and ready to go again in a matter of mere days. Give us a camera and a crew and a Microsoft Word template, and we’ll give you seven minutes of joy.

The top 10 films will be screened on Thursday, June 22, at Market Street starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50. The winner will be named after the screening.



Three men — two in police or security-guard uniforms, the third a civilian — stood on the brick sidewalk watching with what seemed to be an odd amount of interest as a fourth man, looking in general a sight more raggedy, painted a new coat of white onto the picket fence outside the Historic Arkansas Museum.

The Observer was too far away to hear their conversation, but we imagined it:

“Bet you wish you didn’t have to WORK all day and could go a-swimming with the rest of us. But maybe you LIKE fulfilling your community service hours this way.”

“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a man get a chance to whitewash a fence every day? ...”

We didn’t get to stick around to see for ourselves, but we spent the morning imagining the raggedy man sitting on a barrel, swinging his legs and munching an apple, while the two uniforms whitewashed away, Aunt Polly none the wiser.










Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

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
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in The Observer

  • Dumb and smart, at the same time

    The Observer spent the week at a bar and thought a lot about a joke and its writer.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • -30-

    A newspaper died up in Atkins a few weeks back, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the sound of change jingling in a pocket, just too little of it to keep the printing presses rolling.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Does she know?

    Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

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 Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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