Relive THE LAST WALTZ tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

The Last Waltz PosterOne of the seminal North American music groups in the 1970s to 1990s was simply named The Band.  Relive The Band in its glory tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater as it screens the 1978 movie The Last Waltz.

This film screening celebrates “one of the most important cultural events of the last two decades” (Rolling Stone).

Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz looks at The Band’s historic 1976 farewell concert and features Arkansas music legends Levon Helm and Ronnie Hawkins.

The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group including Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, and Levon Helm. Their time backing Bob Dylan was when they first reached prominence, but they were originally formed as The Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins.  Following the Farewell Tour, as did so many other groups, The Band reconstituted itself from 1983 to 1999. And Levon Helm made music up until his final days.

In addition to featuring the members of The Band, The Last Waltz contains appearances by Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, and Van Morrison, among others.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Film starts at 7:00 p.m. Beer, wine, and concessions will be available!

Arkansas Heritage Month – Little Rock’s Jeff Nichols at Cannes

NicholsLittle Rock native Jeff Nichols’ latest film, Loving, premieres at Cannes today. The film showed at 8:30 am and 11:30 am Cannes time. (That would be at 1:30am and 4:30am, Little Rock time). It also shows at 7pm Cannes time (12 noon, Little Rock).

Loving, which was written and directed by Nichols, tells the story of the Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial married couple who were sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958. It is set for national release in November and is being distributed by Focus Features.

Nichols was first brought the project by Martin Scorsese. A 1997 graduate of Little Rock Central High, he was intrigued by the story and the opportunities it provided him as a filmmaker.

The film stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as the central couple. Others in the cast include Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll, and Bill Camp.  Edgerton, Shannon and Camp are part of Nichols’ informal repertory company of actors. Interestingly, Shannon and Camp are both nominated for Tony Awards in the same category (Featured Actor in a Play) for work they have done on Broadway this spring in American classics: Shannon in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and Camp in Miller’s The Crucible.

This is Nichols’ third film to screen at Cannes, following 2012’s Mud (which like Loving was in contention for the Palm d’Or) and 2011’s Take Shelter (which won the top prize at Cannes’ Critics Week).  His first feature film was 2007’s Shotgun Stories.

With Loving’s screening at Cannes, Nichols is in a select group of directors to have one film screen at the Berlin International Film Festival (where he showcased Midnight Special) and another at Cannes in the same year.

Three times the films at Ron Robinson Theatre today

Today at 2pm, 7pm and 10pm – the Ron Robinson Theater will be showing films from three film series.

10293551_442168355955975_3022379310636653597_oFirst up: Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  It is part of the KidFlix series continues with this classic summertime film.

The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

Rated PG

11411691_442455602593917_2545526596582798755_oNext (at 7pm) is the Oscar winning Annie Hall.  Woody Allen’s signature film of wit and intellect stars Diane Keaton, Allen and Tony Roberts. It is part of the new Great Directors Series at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

Rated PG

11357394_442496422589835_8505962773701526998_oThe day is capped off with “You talking to me?” in Martin Scorsese’s chilling and riveting Taxi Driver.  It kicks off the ReWind Series.

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Rated R

Noon today – Grammy winner Sharon Isbin speaks at Clinton School; performs with ASO this weekend

isbin_sony_soho_11This weekend, Grammy winning guitarist Sharon Isbin will be performing with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Prior to those performances, she is speaking today at noon at the Clinton School.

Isbin is a Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist and the founder of the Guitar department at the Juilliard School in New York City. She is the author of “Classical Guitar Answer Book” and the director of the guitar department at the Aspen Music Festival. She is also the winner of the Guitar Player magazine’s Best Classical Guitarist award, First Prize winner of the Toronto Guitar 75 competition, and has received numerous other awards. Isbin has appeared as a soloist with over 170 orchestras and has commissioned more concerti than any other guitarist.

She is a multi-Grammy Award-winning artist and has performed for the memorial tribute at Ground Zero, was featured on the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s film “The Departed,” and has performed at the White House by invitation of President Obama and the First Lady. Isbin will speak and perform with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra