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The Reel Civil Rights Film Festival Returns 

THURSDAY 9/20

RON WHITE

7 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $55-$66.

Best known for his trademark Gauloises, snifter of Courvoisier L'Esprit, blueblood upbringing and snappy catchphrase, "You can't fix stupid, but you can use a leveraged buyout to acquire it, strip it of its assets, fire all the workers, sell off the pieces and make a killing," famous private equity manager — wait a minute, I think I got the wrong press release. Aha, I accidentally grabbed the bio for Douglas "Waldorf Salad" Huntington IV. I've got the right one now. Ron "Tater Salad" White is best known for his ever-present stogie and bottomless glass of scotch, his role in the Blue Collar Comedy tour and his motto "You can't fix stupid." If you live in Arkansas, the odds are better than OK that you have a copy of one of his DVDs wedged in between "Shrek 2" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" somewhere in the vicinity of your 84" flat screen. If you'd like to see White perform some of his jokes in person, here is your chance. RB

THURSDAY 9/20

ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'CHRYSTAL'

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.

This month, the Little Rock Film Festival's Argenta Film Series screens "Chrystal," starring Billy Bob Thornton, Lisa Blount and Ray McKinnon, who also wrote and directed the film. The story concerns a convict who returns to his small hometown after a long stretch in prison, seeking atonement for his past misdeeds. I don't want to give away too much, so I'll just say that it's a beautifully shot film that is strange and strangely affecting. All three stars turn in fine, nuanced performances, particularly Blount, who passed away nearly two years ago. Her character, despite bleak surroundings and raw deals from life, emanates a damaged backwoods grace. Walton Goggins and Harry Dean Stanton are also enjoyable. The film has also got great music, and it was shot right here in Arkansas, specifically, up in my neck of the woods, outside of Berryville, a.k.a. Burvul. RB

FRIDAY 9/21

REEL CIVIL RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

7 p.m. Peabody Hotel. Free.

The folks behind the Little Rock Film Festival have certainly been making good on the promise to host year-round programming. In addition to the LRFF itself, you've got the ongoing Argenta Film Series (see above), the Little Rock Horror Picture show (now accepting submissions) and the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival, presented in conjunction with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. As the 55th anniversary of the Central High desegregation crisis approaches, this festival showcases several films that examine civil rights issues. Among the honorees are members of the Little Rock Nine, Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith, and singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. Screenings take place at the Peabody, Argenta Community Theater and the Oxford American (full schedule at nps.gov/chsc). The festival kicks off with a screening of "Miss Representation" at 7 p.m. Friday in the Conway Room of the Peabody, and winds down Tuesday at ACT with a ceremony honoring Belafonte and the Little Rock Nine and a screening of the Belafonte doc "Sing Your Song." All events are free, but require tickets, available at lrff.eventbrite.com. RB

SATURDAY 9/22

HARVESTFEST

11 a.m. Kavanaugh Boulevard in Hillcrest. Free.

Well here's a delightful way to spend a Saturday: Hillcrest's HarvestFest, the annual all-day celebration of one of the most downright charming neighborhoods in the city. The early risers and birdwatchers will get the whole thing started with the Audubon Bird Walk in Allsopp Park, starting at 7:30 a.m. The Run 4 Shelter Hillcrest 5K ($30) starts at 8 a.m., and afterward there'll be a chance for some post-run carb-loading (that's a thing, right?) with a pancake breakfast at Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church (it's $5). The food and retail vendors will unveil their wares at 11 a.m. all along Kavanaugh Boulevard. There will be many more activities, including a Corvette show, a cheese dip competition, a dog show, the Box Turtle Fashion show and music from Runaway Planet, Parachute Woman, Bad Years, Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu of Big Smith, Mayday by Midnight, Astromice, Kevin Kerby, Adam Faucett and Amasa Hines. RB

SATURDAY 9/22

ARKANSAS TIMES FESTIVAL OF IDEAS

11 a.m. various downtown venues. Free.

Assembling 50 of the most influential people in the state into a recent cover package got us thinking: Why limit this collection of impressive doers and thinkers to one cover story? Why not devote a weekend to them? On Friday, we'll honor all of them with a cocktail reception at the Old State House Museum. You're invited. Tickets are $25 (proceeds benefit the Old State House) and include access to open bar and appetizers (call 375-2985 to reserve yours). On Saturday, nearly 20 from our group of influential Arkansans will give FREE talks, demonstrations and participate in panel discussions at the Central Arkansas Library System's Main Library, the Clinton School, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Old State House. Starting at 11 a.m. and continuing until around 5 p.m., you'll have a chance to watch the likes of restaurateur Scott McGehee give a cooking demonstration (noon, Historic Arkansas Museum), master knife maker Jerry Fisk (11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Historic Arkansas Museum) show how he makes some of the most coveted blades in the world, and Brent and Craig Renaud (1 p.m., Clinton School) show clips from some of their not-yet-released documentary work. We've got names familiar and prominent participating — UA System president Donald Bobbitt (11 a.m., Main Library), Verizon Arena general manager Michael Marion (noon, Old State House), library director Bobby Roberts (noon, Main Library), fashion designer Korto Momolu (noon, Historic Arkansas Museum), state Rep. John Walker (1 p.m., Old State House) and Oxford American publisher Warwick Sabin (3 p.m., Clinton School). As well as a handful you probably don't know, but should. Such as Scott Stewart (3 p.m., Historic Arkansas Museum) of Slabtown Customs, who makes tiny, habitable houses and will have one on display; and start-up expert Jeannette Balleza (4 p.m., Clinton School), director of the technology business incubator ARK Challenge, who'll bring along a number of the entrepreneurs currently at work on their tech start-ups. And that's not even the full lineup. See the full schedule and RSVP to attend (to ensure you have a seat) at arktimes.com/festivalofideas. LM

MONDAY 9/24

TIM GUNN

7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $15.

Let's face it: Reality television has exalted some of the worst people on the planet and glorified some of the most heinously inappropriate behavior ever to be called entertainment. It has led many of us to seriously consider turning our backs on the 21st century and returning to life in caves, because that would be a more dignified existence than any that would allow such shameless, bloodthirsty jackals as the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Wherever to thrive. But there is one shining, impeccably dressed, refined, intelligent, gracious, thoughtful, well-mannered, sophisticated, utterly classy exception to all of this awfulness, and his name is Tim Gunn. Surely you have watched "Project Runway," the fashion competition show for which Gunn serves as mentor to aspiring designers. He's the best thing about the show. He's supportive, but appropriately critical when called for. He always rises above any petty bickering or bitchiness. He's the father figure who gives the contestants the grounding they need to "make it work" (sorry, couldn't help it). In addition to the show, he is the chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne. And if Gunn's installment of the "It Gets Better" series doesn't make you well up, you have no soul. RB

MONDAY 9/24

LITTLE ROCK TOUCHDOWN CLUB: JOHN L. SMITH

11 a.m. Embassy Suites. $10-$25.

We've all heard the phrase "throw in the towel" before. But have you ever actually heard someone throw in the towel? Do you want to know what it sounds like? The towel, heavy with the sweat of an exasperated, exhausted fanbase, lands with a barely audible "whump," a sound similar to the soft thud of the ashes of a million dreams being dumped onto a cold, hard floor. Seriously, if he didn't know what to say after the absolute flattening that was the Alabama game, what's he going to say here? I don't have a crystal ball to consult, but I'll go out on a limb and say that if the Hogs don't beat Rutgers on Saturday, he might just want to show up with an actual towel to throw in, which would communicate far more than we've heard from him thus far. RB

TUESDAY 9/25

GREIL MARCUS

6 p.m. CALS Main Library. Free.

This is a makeup date for the renowned rock critic Greil Marcus, who had to postpone his lecture at the Arkansas Literary Festival earlier this year. It's being presented as part of the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival, which is Sept. 28-29. Marcus will discuss his book "The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years" with Tom Wood, a DJ with TOM-FM. I'll admit that I've never been the biggest Doors fan in the world, with the exception of "The End." But I'm certainly up for hearing Marcus make the case for the band. RB

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