Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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Creative Class of 2015: Kathryn Tucker

KFTuckerFilmmaker Kathryn Tucker returned to her native Little Rock three years ago after spending time in New York (four years) and Los Angeles (six years). In NYC, she worked for Miramax Films. She left Miramax to help make an independent film (Loggerheads) in North Carolina that was accepted at Sundance. She then moved the LA for 6 years and became of member of the Director’s Guild of America (DGA).

During that time she worked with a wide range of movie stars, including Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Anniston, Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes and Ryan Gosling. Among her projects in LA were This Is 40, Oblivion, Gangster Squad, Knocked Up and the TV shows “Glee,” “Private Practice,” “Bones,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “7th Heaven.”

She returned to Little Rock (where she was a 1996 graduate of LR Central High) three years ago and has produced an award winning short (“One Please”) and a feature (All the Birds Have Flown South) written by the Miller brothers. She is currently completing a screenplay for a movie she will direct in 2016 and is under contract with AETN to produce and direct a documentary bio of former Gov. Mike Beebe.

 

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Celebrate Juneteenth at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Juneteenth logoAs part of the local Juneteenth celebration, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts a day long event featuring activities, vendors, food and entertainment for the entire community. Events run from 11am to 5pm.

This year’s music line-up includes Ricky Howard, Delya Russell, Foreign Tongues, Steven Young – Artists United, Butterfly featuiring Irie Soul, Epiphany and the Big John Miller Band.

The museum will also celebrate an opening of a new exhibit on Arkansas African American legislators.

At 1pm, MTCC, in partnership with AETN, PBS and the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, presents this free documentary film premiere of American Experience: Freedom Summer.

FreedomSummer-PosterCMYK for webThe screening is in advance of the national broadcast premiere. This 2014 Official Sundance Selection from acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson will premiere at MTCC in conjunction with the Annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom. This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom Summer.

As the campaign launches, 700 student volunteers are trained to register voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and help establish an alternate political party to represent the rights of those previously disenfranchised.

After learning of these impending summer activities, the white establishment in Mississippi prepares to fight off an invasion. Young activists, students, and local citizens work through their fear together, hoping to make a difference in black communities. As the summer wears on, many of their fears are realized.

A panel and Q & A will follow the premiere.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.


Little Rock Film Festival Celebrates Opening of Ron Robinson Theater

lrff_mp_hdr_logoLast week the new Ron Robinson Theater opened in the Arcade Building at the corner of President Clinton and River Market.  One of the anchors of this facility is the Little Rock Film Festival.
To celebrate the grand opening, the Little Rock Film Festival has scheduled a series of events.
Things kick off tonight with the documentary Ain’t In It for My Health.  This honest look at the life and career of Arkansas native and music legend Levon Helm was one of the highlights of the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival.  The film starts at 7pm.  It will be followed by a Q&A with Amy Helm.  Then at 9pm, Amy Helm and Handsome Strangers will take the stage for a concert.

On Saturday, January 18, at 3pm, the Ron Robinson Theater will be screen the “Best of the LRFF’s 48 Hour Film Project.”  the titles shown will be La Grande Fete, Surprise Party, Abbatoir, Vacation, The Door, The Plumber, Last Chance Romance, Drain, The Third Save, and Deuces.  

At 7pm on the 18th, the documentary Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again will be shown.  This documentary/concert film about Arkansas native Sleepy LaBeef will be followed by a Q&A with Sleepy LaBeef and Dave Pomeroy.  At 8:30pm, LaBeef and Pomeroy will be in concert.

On Monday, January 20 at 7pm, the HBO Documentary Film Moms Mabley will be screened.  A special Martin Luther King Day presentation about the iconic African American standup comedienne Jackie “Moms” Mabley, who broke racial and sexual boundaries and continues to inspire comedians to this day. In her directorial debut, Whoopi Goldberg pays homage to this pioneering legend.

Tuesday, January 21 will feature a program entitled “Locals Rule” at 7:30 pm.  These standout  Arkansas short films from the first seven years of Little Rock Film Festival represent some of the most creative work on the national festival circuit. From offbeat comedies to Gothic tales, these films show the vibrancy of the Arkansas Film Community.  The titles to be showns are Ballerina, Cain and Able, Mary, The Orderly, Pillow, Spanola Pepper Sauce, and The Van.

Wednesday, January 22 at 7:00pm may seem more like Halloween as The Little Rock Horror Picture Show presents One Please and Contracted.

  • One Please– Summers in suburbia get weird when Michael Berryman comes to town. The short film is an Arkansas premiere from the award winning team behind ‘Pillow’.
  • Contracted – Russellville native Eric England returns to Arkansas with his latest project, Contracted, a feature length thriller about what can go wrong when the party goes out of hand. England’s previous films, Madison County and Roadside, both screened at the Little Rock Horror Picture Show. Director Eric England and actress Najarra Townsend will be in attendance.

On Thursday, January 23 at 7:30pm, an episode of the Sundance series “Rectify” will be shown.  The Sundance series, “Rectify,” created by former Little Rock resident Ray McKinnon, has deservedly landed on many critics’ best of the year list. The series follows Daniel Holden as he struggles to deal with life on the outside when DNA evidence releases him from prison  after he served 19 years  for a rape conviction. Following a screening of Episode 4 from the first season, writer Graham Gordy will discuss the project.

The week-plus long series will culminate on Saturday, January 25, with a screening of Ladder 49 at 7pm.  North Little Rock native film director Jay Russell will be in town to present his film, Ladder 49, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. Ladder 49 is a 2004 film centered around the heroics of fictional Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison, who is trapped inside a warehouse fire, and his recollection of the events  that got him to that point.  Following the screening of Ladder 49 the Little Rock Film Festival will host a grand opening party in the lobby of the Ron Robinson Theater. Music, Food and Drink provided.


LRFF’s Reel Civil Rights Film Festival concludes with – Beyond Galilee – Central Park Five – George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire

GeoWallaceThe Little Rock Film Festival’s Reel Civil Rights Film Festival concludes today with three different films. The concluding one is George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire at Historic Arkansas Museum at 6pm.

George Wallace was one of the most controversial and conflicting figures of the second half of the 20th Century in America.  Four times governor of Alabama, four times a candidate for president, he was feared as a racist demagogue and admired as a politician who spoke his mind. A lightning rod for controversy, Wallace both reflected and provoked tensions in American society over more than four decades. This film traces the rise of the firebrand politician from his roots in rural Alabama to the assassination attempt that suddenly transformed him.

Winner of the Sundance 2000 Film Festival Special Jury Prize, “George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire” is produced by Paul Stekler and Dan McCabe and written by Steve Fayer (“Eyes on the Prize,” “Vote for Me,” “Rock & Roll,” “Nixon”). According to PBS, this film places the public and private George Wallace within the turbulent history of the 1960s and 1970s, tracing a powerful story relevant to today’s presidential politics.

The first film of the day is Beyond Galilee at 12 noon.  It is the story of the Civil Rights movement in Shreveport.  Following the film, director and producer Tim DeWayne will lead a talkback.

At 3pm, the documentary Central Park Five will be shown.  It explores the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park.  Social justice activist Iris Roley will lead a discussion following the film.