Tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater – Streep and Hanks in Spielberg’s THE POST

Image result for the post movieTonight’s movie at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater is The Post.  It is part of their movies of a Movement: The Civil Rights & Social Change Collection!

Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks).

The pair race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

The screening starts at 7pm. Admission is $5.


Run Forrest Run – CALS Ron Robinson screens FORREST GUMP tonight

Forrest Gump PosterNo word on whether there will be boxes of chocolates available at the concessions stand, but the CALS Ron Robinson Theater will be showing Oscar winner FORREST GUMP tonight.

The story follows the life of low I.Q. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and his meeting with the love of his life Jenny. The film chronicles his Zelig-like experiences with some of the most important people and events in America from the late 1950s through the 1970s including a meeting with Elvis Presley, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, fighting in Vietnam, etc. The problem is, he doesn’t realize the significance of his actions. Forrest comes to embody a generation.

Others in the cast include Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinese, and Mykelti Williamson.  The movie was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth).

The showing starts at 6:30pm. The cost is $5.00.

Rock the Oscars: Joanne Woodward

In 1980, Oscar winner Joanne Woodward came to Little Rock to film the TV movie Crisis at Central High.  In the movie she played Elizabeth Huckaby, who was vice principal for girls at Central High during the desegregation of the school.  Huckaby had written a book about her experiences which was published earlier in 1980.

The film, which aired on TV on February 4, 1981, also starred Charles Durning and Henderson Forsythe.  Several local actors also appeared in the movie.  While much of the interior scenes were shot in Dallas, there were exterior scenes shot at the Central High.  Other Little Rock locations were also used.

Woodward was born on February 27, 1930.  In the early 1950s, she split her time between theatre and TV, both based in New York City.  In only her third year of making motion pictures, she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role(s) in The Three Faces of Eve.  As she continued to make movies, she received three other Best Actress nominations over the decades.

In the past two decades, she has focused more on directing and producing theatre, with some voice work for films.  Her last motion picture onscreen role was in 1993’s Philadelphia, where she played Tom Hanks’ mother.


Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman at Ron Robinson Theater this weekend

One of the advantages of the new CALS Ron Robinson Theater is the fact it can be programmed fairly quickly.

In tribute to the late stage and screen actor/director Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Little Rock Film Festival and Central Arkansas Library System have programmed a special weekend of films celebrating his career.

It kicks off tonight at 7pm with Magnolia and continues tomorrow at 7 with Charlie Wilson’s War.  On Sunday, his Academy Award winning performance as the title character in Capote will be screened at 4pm.

All films take place in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater inside the Arcade Building on the CALS campus.  The screenings are free.

MAGNOLIA – Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2000 film is an epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley. Arkansan Melinda Dillon and Hoffman were just two of the actors in this ensemble film.

CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR – Mike Nichols and Aaron Sorkin’s comic drama was based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson’s covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.  Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Hoffman teamed up to lead the cast of this movie.

CAPOTE –  During his research for his book In Cold Blood, an account of the murder of a Kansas family, Truman Capote writer develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers. Hoffman won an Oscar for his uncanny portrayal of this brilliant and troubled writer. Catherine Keener received an Oscar nomination for her performance as lifelong Capote friend, reclusive author Harper Lee.

Ben Piazza focus of Old State House Brown Bag program

piazza“Ben Piazza: Becoming the American Dream” is the title of a discussion at the Old State House today at 12 noon.

Piazza was a Little Rock native who starred on Broadway as well as appeared in movies and TV from the 1950s through the 1990s. Throughout his career he acted with Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Jane Fonda, Robert DeNiro, Cher, Dan Akroyd, John Belushi and Walter Matthau among others.   Ben was also a friend of playwright Edward Albee and appeared in many of his plays throughout the 1960s, including The American Dream and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

During his career Ben saw seismic shifts in the acting profession.  He experienced the theatrical, TV and movie industries turned on their heads because of radical changes which few could have foreseen.

This discussion looks at Ben Piazza’s life and career as Broadway and Hollywood underwent drastic changes in the second half of the 20th Century.  It also discusses his career as a writer – most notably the novel The Exact and Very Strange Truth and the Off Broadway play Lime Green/Khaki Blue.

The program is being held in conjunction with the Old State House Museum’s exhibit Lights! Camera! ARKANSAS!



Movies in the Park: BIG

215px-Big_PosterMovies in the Park has a big night tonight.  The feature is the 1988 film Big.  A quarter of a century after it was first released, this film still is hilarious and heartwarming.

Tom Hanks’s star turn cemented his status as a Hollywood leading man.  The film also firmly established Penny Marshall as a feature film director.

Joining Hanks in the cast are Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl, David Moscow and Jared Rushton.   The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Hanks received his first ever Best Actor Oscar nomination and screenwriters Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg were nominated for Original Screenplay.

Movies in the Park is a free outdoor movie series in Little Rock’s River Market. They take place at the First Security Amphitheatre. The mission of Movies in the Park is help foster a sense of community and enjoyment in downtown Little Rock and throughout Central Arkansas by bringing people together to enjoy a movie in a unique setting along the scenic banks of the Arkansas River.

Movies start at dark. Visitors are welcome to bring picnics but please no glass containers and pick up afterwards. Those choosing not to bring their own picnic, the park does have concessions available for sale.

Bring bug spray, picnic and family and have a good time!

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau Technical Services department provides all the equipment for the movies.