Rock the Oscars 2019: Mary Steenburgen

It is Oscar month, so it is fitting to highlight at Arkansas’ own Academy Award winning actress, Mary Steenburgen on her birthday.  She was born on February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas.  After moving to North Little Rock as a schoolgirl, she had her first starring role as Emily in the 1971 Northeast High School production of Our Town, which was the new school’s first play.

Her big break in the movies came when Oscar winner Jack Nicholson picked her to star opposite of him in Goin’ South.  This was followed by Time after Time before she appeared in Melvin and Howard.  For that film, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  It also marked the first of three times she starred with Jason Robards (the other two being Parenthood and Philadelphia).  Over the years, her films have run the gamut from period piece (Ragtime, Cross Creek) to sophisticated comedy (Romantic Comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy) to fantasy (Back to the Future III) to holiday comedy (Elf).  She has been hard to pigeonhole into a specific “type” of actor because she has played so many different types of roles.

Throughout her career, Mary Steenburgen has been a champion of the arts in Central Arkansas.  In 1986, she starred in and was executive producer of End of the Line, filmed in Central Arkansas, directed and co-written by Arkansan Jay Russell, and also starring Kevin Bacon, Wilfred Brimley, Levon Helm, Barbara Barrie and Holly Hunter.  More recently, Steenburgen has also been an active supporter of the Oxford American magazine as well as South on Main restaurant and performance venue.

She has been an active supporter and a board member of the Arkansas Cinema Society.  During the 2018 FILMLAND she appeared in panel discussions on comedy and on her TV show “The Last Man on Earth.”

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Rock the Oscars: Mary Steenburgen

It is Oscar month, so it is fitting to highlight at Arkansas’ own Academy Award winning actress, Mary Steenburgen on her birthday.  She was born on February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas.  After moving to North Little Rock as a schoolgirl, she had her first starring role as Emily in the 1971 Northeast High School production of Our Town, which was the new school’s first play.

Her big break in the movies came when Oscar winner Jack Nicholson picked her to star opposite of him in Goin’ South.  This was followed by Time after Time before she appeared in Melvin and Howard.  For that film, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  It also marked the first of three times she starred with Jason Robards (the other two being Parenthood and Philadelphia).  Over the years, her films have run the gamut from period piece (Ragtime, Cross Creek) to sophisticated comedy (Romantic Comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy) to fantasy (Back to the Future III) to holiday comedy (Elf).  She has been hard to pigeonhole into a specific “type” of actor because she has played so many different types of roles.

Her upcoming projects include Book Club with fellow Oscar winners Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as Oscar nominees Candice Bergen and Andy Garcia; and also Antiquities — filmed in Arkansas and featuring many members of the growing Arkansas film community.

Throughout her career, Mary Steenburgen has been a champion of the arts in Central Arkansas.  In 1986, she starred in and was executive producer of End of the Line, filmed in Central Arkansas, directed and co-written by Arkansan Jay Russell, and also starring Kevin Bacon, Wilfred Brimley, Levon Helm, Barbara Barrie and Holly Hunter.  More recently, Steenburgen has also been an active supporter of the Oxford American magazine as well as South on Main restaurant and performance venue.

Heeeere’s THE SHINING – tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

RRT shiningStanley Kubrick’s 1980 thriller The Shining will be chilling the big screen tonight at the Ron Robinson Theatre at 7pm.

Based on the Stephen King novel, The Shining was directed by Kubrick from a screenplay he wrote with Diane Johnson.

Jack Nicholson is appropriately cerebral and scary as he alternates between wrestling with writer’s block and wielding an ax.  Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Anne Jackson and Joe Turkel are also in the cast.  Set largely in a desolate hotel, the movie was a chore for the actors due to the incredibly long hours of shooting each day.  As a director, Kubrick was overly exacting.  But the result of the hard work comes through on the screen.

Though he was excruciatingly demanding on Duvall, Kubrick took cares to make it a pleasant filming experience for six-year-old Lloyd.  It was not until a decade later that Lloyd realized it had been a horror film, because Kubrick and others kept him out of the way during the more violent scenes.

See it all on the big screen tonight.

CHINATOWN screened tonight at Ron Robinson Theater as part of Arkansas Times Film Series

chinatownRoman Polanski’s 1974 film classic Chinatown will be shown tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater as part of the Arkansas Times Film Series. This is presented in conjunction with the Little Rock Film Festival.

Here is how the Arkansas Times describes the film:

The quintessential L.A. noir and the best role of Jack Nicholson’s career, the movie was named the greatest film of all time in a 2010 critics poll by The Guardian. Roger Ebert called it a “tour de force” and “not only a great entertainment, but something more, something I would have thought almost impossible.” An atmospheric, totally engrossing mystery involving water and sexual dysfunction, this is rare opportunity to see the classic on the big screen.

The screening will begin at 7pm (January 15). Tickets are $5.

In addition to a starring turn by Nicholson, the film features searing performances by Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Darrell Zwerling and Diane Ladd. Nominated for eleven Oscars, it won the Best Original Screenplay for Robert Towne’s haunting tale.