You can check out my cover story in this week's paper on Memphis-connected filmmakers Ira Sachs and Kentucker Audley, who are both involved with multiple films at this year's festival, most notably new features — Sachs' Keep the Lights On and Audley's Open Five 2 — that are provocatively personal. I also touch on a quartet of selections rooted in Memphis cultural history, including the two highest-profile screenings tonight. Separately, colleagues Chris Davis and Greg Akers join me to highlight a handful of potentially overlooked festival selections.
The gala screening tonight of Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Playhouse on the Square, 6:30 p.m.), the fine new documentary portrait of the great Memphis ’70s band, is sold out, but there's plenty more to choose from.
Audley is the co-lead in Sun Don't Shine (Circuit Playhouse, 7 p.m.), a Florida indie that's also the directorial debut of actress Amy Seimetz. An interesting collision of Audley's more typical microbudget, post-mumblecore with traditional genre cinema, Sun Don't Shine puts Audley and Katie Lyn Sheil (who are both also in the Indie Memphis “midnight” movie V/H/S) in a car traveling down a sun-baked Florida highway, with some strange cargo in the trunk. The film was a big hit with jurists and critics when it debuted at the South by Southwest Film Festival this spring.
Sun Don't Shine trailer:
Film buffs can dive into The Story of Film, a 15-hour British film-history doc showing in chunks throughout the festival at the Brooks Museum of Art (part one at 10:15 a.m. today, part two at 6:15 p.m.), and also Side By Side (Brooks Museum, 8:30 p.m.), a thorough look at changes in film production — namely the transition from actual film to digital — that I wrote about here.
Side by Side trailer:
Finally, tonight's schedule includes the festival's most star-laden competition feature with Between Us (9:30 p.m., Circuit Playhouse), a theatrical adaptation that pits a pair of bickering couples (Julia Stiles and Taye Diggs, in one corner) in an uncomfortable reunion.
For a full schedule and ticketing information, see IndieMemphis.com.