Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This Week At The Cinema: Indie Memphis Winners and BTS

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 3:22 PM

"Magic Bullet"
  • "Magic Bullet"

Tonight at Studio On The Square, The Ballad of Shirley Collins. It would be hard to imagine what contemporary music would look like without the invaluable folk and blues archives of Alan Lomax. The songs he and his partner Shirley Collins collected on their epic road trip across the US in 1959 provided the basis for a couple of generations of music. Collins gets her due in this documentary, presented by Indie Memphis, that follows her through those years and into a successful career as singer of traditional English songs, before losing her voice in mysterious circumstances. Tickets available at Indie Memphis.

Wednesday night, what's sure to be the best shorts program of the year happens at Crosstown Arts: The Indie Memphis Award Winners Encore. Films include "Black 14," an exquisitely edited, all-archival documentary film about a 1969 anti-racism protest by black college football players in Wyoming, and Narrative Short Film winner "Magic Bullet" by Amanda Lovejoy Street. The Hometowner short award winners include narrative short "Bonfire" by Kevin Brooks; Music Video Award winner "I'm Yours" by Faith Evans Ruch, directed by Melissa Anderson Sweazy; "Minority" by Will Robbins, and the experimental documentary "Windows" by Jason Allen Lee. More details at the Indie Memphis website.

Magic Bullet Trailer from Amanda Street on Vimeo.

Thursday night at the Paradiso, Korean boy-pop sensations BTS get the Truth Or Dare treatment with Burn The Stage: The Movie.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Music Video Monday: Kohinoorgasm

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 1:05 PM


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Make it a day at the beach with Music Video Monday.

Director Jing Niu is currently an artist in residence at Crosstown Arts. She has used part of her time to complete a video for the sitar-filled song "Chalo" for Los Angeles-based world popper Kohinoorgasm.

Niu took Kohinoorgasm (aka Josephine Shetty) to the California shore for this ecstatic, light-filled video she created on lush 16 mm.

"I had been wanting to shoot on film for a while, so this was a very special project," says Niu. "In addition, we shot the film with an all people-of-color crew and cast. I hope that all folks of various backgrounds can enjoy this film."

Shetty says the song and video are meant to empower. "'Chalo' celebrates cultures of queer femme mutual support and queer femme abundance despite misogyny's attempts to deplete us of our power and magic."



If you would like to see your music video featured on Music Video Monday, email cmccoy@memphisflyer.com

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Time Warp With Ahnold this Saturday!

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 2:19 PM

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's career in the 1980s ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. That makes the former governor of California the perfect subject for this month's Time Warp Drive-In.

Schwarzenegger, a former professional bodybuilder whose first screen appearance was in the documentary Pumping Iron, starred in two perfect movies in the Reagan era. One of them is Conan The Barbarian, and I will accept no disagreement on that point. The second one is James Cameron's breakthrough picture (if you don't count Piranha II: The Spawning) The Terminator. Not much I can say about The Terminator that hasn't already been said a thousand times. If you've never seen it, yes, it is every bit as good as you've heard, and watching it in a drive-in is pretty much the ideal setting. And if you want a master class in how to cut a trailer, take a look at this one. They don't make 'em like this any more.

Next up is a film that epitomizes the rut he fell into in the late ’80s. Where The Terminator was violent, it was also one of the smartest science fiction scripts ever filmed. Predator is all about bulging biceps and firearms. And yet, Ahnold carries it effortlessly. To see what happens when he's not the lead, check out this year's flaccid Predator remake.


Two years later, Paul Verhoeven was using Ahnold's public image as a tough guy to sell his over-the-top, borderline satirical take on Philip K. Dick's Total Recall. And yet, amidst all the weirdness, Schwarzenegger still carries the film! Just witness the horror show of the Ahnold-less remake. This is why, despite the fact that he is almost singlehandedly responsible for the introduction of the Hummer into civilian life, I can't hate the guy. He's got chops.


Finally, a Stephen King adaptation that was set in the then-far-away future of 2017, The Running Man. Schwarzenegger is, predictably, great in this, but not for the usual reasons. He's kinda clueless as the now all-too-real satire swirls around him, but playing the material completely straight is absolutely the right move here, especially since he's playing off of a gloriously over-the-top Richard Dawson. Did I mention this movie essentially predicted the plague of reality TV, but somehow didn't go far enough to see that the dystopia that blighted entertainment genre would create when we essentially elected Richard Dawson's character president?


Time Warp Drive-In starts at dusk on Saturday, November 10 at the Malco Summer Drive-In.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Music Video Monday Special Edition: Indie Memphis Winners

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 12:14 PM

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Tonight, the 21st annual Indie Memphis Film Festival closes with a program that is always a highlight. The Hometowner Music Videos bloc contains 35 exceptional videos by Memphis artists and filmmakers.

At the awards ceremony last Saturday night, the Indie Memphis jury awarded Best Music Video to "Gomenake" by Someone Who Isn't Me (S.W.I.M), directed by Akis Papastathopoulos. Both the band and the filmmaker are from Athens, Greece.


The jury awarded two Hometowner videos: Honorable Mention went to "BW" by Weird Maestro, directed by your columnist, Christopher Scott McCoy. "BW" will make its world premiere tonight at the festival, and we'll feature it on Music Video Monday when Unapologetic Records is ready to drop it.

The Hometowner Jury Award winner is a Music Video Monday alumna: "I'm Yours" by Faith Evans Ruch. The video was helmed by Melissa Anderson Sweazy, who co-directed Good Grief, the documentary which pulled off a rare sweep of the jury and audience awards and the poster contest at Indie Memphis 2017.


Tune in tomorrow (after you vote) for a full list of winners from Indie Memphis 2018!

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Indie Memphis 2018 Saturday: Van Duren, Brian de Palma, and Shorts Galore

Posted By on Sat, Nov 3, 2018 at 5:24 AM

Saturday is the most packed day of Indie Memphis 2018.
Kristina Amaya, Karla Jovel, and Leslie Reyes road trip through Los Angeles in Sepulveda.
  • Kristina Amaya, Karla Jovel, and Leslie Reyes road trip through Los Angeles in Sepulveda.

It begins with Sepulveda (10:30 a.m., Hattiloo Theatre), a film about friendship I wrote about in this week's cover story.

August at Akiko's (10:45 a.m., Studio on the Square) by director Christopher Makoto Yogi is a meditative visit to Hawaii, made by a native of the island paradise.

The Hometowner Youth Filmmaker's Showcase (10:45 a.m., Playhouse on the Square) presents 17 shorts from the recent Indie Memphis Youth Festival, including the winning film by 16-year-old Jaynay Kelley, "The Death of Hip Hop".

Jaynay Kelley's "The Death Of Hip Hop"
  • Jaynay Kelley's "The Death Of Hip Hop"
The first Hometowner feature of the day has a distinctly international flavor. Waiting: The Van Duren Story (1 p.m., Playhouse On The Square) is simultaneously a story out of music history and the saga its own creation. Van Duren is a Memphis musician who spent time in the Ardent/Big Star orbit in the 1970s. His two albums of immaculate, forward-looking power pop fell victim to the same kind of dark machinations as Alex Chilton and company. When Australian filmmakers and music fans Greg Carey and Wade Jackson discovered these obscure records, they had no context for the music and set out to discover the story of how Van Duren fell through the cracks. The film chronicles their own journey of discovery and Van Duren's wild ride through the music industry. Both the filmmakers and their subject will be on hand for the screening, and Van Duren will perform at Circuit Playhouse at 3:30 PM.
Van Duren meets Bruce Springsteen in Waiting: The Van Duren Story
  • Van Duren meets Bruce Springsteen in Waiting: The Van Duren Story

The feature documentary Wrestle (3:30 p.m., Playhouse On The Square) has been on a festival circuit roll lately, taking home both the Audience Award and the Best Sports Documentary Award at the recent Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. Wrestle, which follows a team of high school athletes from J.O. Johnson High School in Huntsville, Alabama, was praised by the Hot Springs judges for its "intimate and personal cinematography and elegant editing." Co-director Suzannah Herbert has a Memphis connection: her father is artist Pinkney Herbert.
Wrestle
  • Wrestle
When asked about recommendations for what to see at any film festival, I always point people towards shorts blocs. These programs are always full of diverse, different films not bound by the rules of mainstream feature filmmaking. Plus, if you don't like one film, just wait a few minutes and it'll be over, and the next one will probably be better! Shorts are also the best way to discover up and coming new filmmakers.

The first of two shorts blocs Saturday afternoon is the Narrative Competition (3:45 p.m., TheatreWorks). The seven short films in this year's main competition come from Canada and the U.S. The 19-minute "Magic Bullet" is from director Amanda Lovejoy Street, who previously appeared at Indie Memphis as an actress in Amber Sealey's 2011 feature How To Cheat.

Magic Bullet Trailer from Amanda Street on Vimeo.

The Hometowner Narrative Short Showcase (6:30 p.m., TheatreWorks) includes films from Memphis filmmakers Jessica Chayney and Amanda Willoughby; Nathan Chin; Justin Malone; and O'Shay Foreman. Alexandra Van Milligan and Sammy Anzer's "Stand Up Guys" is episode 3 of a web series by a local improv troupe. "Dean's List" by Daniel R. Ferrell is a high school noir thriller that made its debut at this year's Memphis Film Prize. "U Jus Hav To Be" is a story of workplace ennui directed by and starring Anwar Jamison, an Indie Memphis veteran and film educator. "The Best Wedding Gift" is the latest by prolific comedy director and Indie Grant benefactor Mark Goshen Jones, a two-hander with Savannah Bearden as a scheming bride-to-be and Jacob Wingfield as a best man who is in for a big surprise.
Savannah Bearden in "The Best Wedding Gift"
  • Savannah Bearden in "The Best Wedding Gift"
The Music Video Competition (9 p.m., Theaterworks) brings videos from the US, Israel, Australia, Greece, and this one from the German band Fortnite and directors Sven D. and Phillipp Primus.

Fortnite 'Gasoline' TEASER from Sven D. on Vimeo.

Finally, at 11:30 p.m., a horror thriller gem from early in the career of Brian de Palma. Sisters stars future Lois Lane Margot Kidder as a knife-wielding psychotic who really, really doesn't like cake.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Indie Memphis 2018 Friday: MIA, Diana Ross, and Negro Terror

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 6:32 AM

After a gala opening at the Halloran Centre Thursday night, Indie Memphis moves to Overton Square on Friday. The schedule is packed with great stuff beyond what I could fit into this week's cover story about the festival. 

Madeline's Madeline (1:10 PM, Studio on the Square) is an acclaimed, visually inventive film by director Josephine Decker, who won the Craig Brewer Emerging Filmmaker Award at Indie Memphis 2014.



She began as a refugee from Sri Lanka, and ended up playing on the world's biggest stages. Matangi/Maya/MIA (3:40, Studio On The Square) is a documentary about the fascinating life of political dance pop musician M.I.A.


The festival's first world premiere is Diego Llorente's Entrialgo, a beautiful vérité documentary about life in rural Spain.

Entrialgo || trailer from diego llorente on Vimeo.

The second world premiere of the day is Shoot The Moon Right Between The Eyes (6:30, Studio on the Square). It's a musical by Austin, Texas director Graham L. Carter that sets the music of John Prine amidst a story of a pair of small-time grifters who meet their match in a strong willed widow. It's inventive, heartfelt, and a little rough around the edges, which is totally appropriate for a film that takes inspiration from Prine's lyrics.

Shoot The Moon Right Between The Eyes [Official Trailer] from Graham L. Carter on Vimeo.

At 6:30 at Playhouse on the Square, the Hometowner Documentary Shorts bloc features films from Memphis artists, including Lauren Ready, Jason Allen Lee, and Klari Farzley. Best of Enemies director Robert Gordon and producer Kim Bledsoe Lloyd's film "Ginning Cotton at the Dockery" tracks down the men and women who worked at the last functioning cotton plantation in Mississippi. Memphis musician Robbie Grant makes his directorial debut with "Ben Siler Gives Ben Siler Advice," in which Memphis filmmaker and Flyer film contributor Ben Siler meets a younger Memphian named Ben Siler and tells him how the world works. It pretty much does what it says on the box, in two hilariously depressing minutes.
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At 9:10, there's a genuine only-at-Indie Memphis moment. Mahogany is a 1975 star vehicle for Diana Ross, directed by Motown impresario Berry Gordy (and a couple of ringers). Also featuring a smoking turn from Billy Dee Williams in his prime, and a smash hit number one song from Ross as a theme, it's a 70s classic. To illustrate the depth of the Mahogany cult, the film will be proceeded by "Mahogany Too,, a short film shot on Super 8 by Nigerian filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu that is a lighting retelling of Ross' film, featuring Nollywood star Esosa E.


At 9:10 on the big stage at Playhouse On The Square, an experimental documentary about Memphis' most radical band makes its world premiere. In Negro Terror, director John Rash maintains a light touch, focusing on the sights and sounds of the hardcore punk band's legendary stage show, and the words of the band's three very different members, led by Omar Higgins, an anarchist Hari Krishna devotee who is a longtime member of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP). In what is definitely a first for Indie Memphis and probably a first for just about anywhere, the band will provide a live soundtrack for the film about them as it premieres.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Music Video Monday: John Kilzer

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 10:56 AM

Today's Music Video Monday world premiere is ready to take our country back!
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Longtime ambassador of Memphis music John Kilzer is prepping a new album for 2019. Scars was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang and a band of Memphis all-stars that included Steve Selvidge, Rick Steff, Steve Potts, George Suffolk, and Dave Smith.

The album is set for release in January 2019 on Archer Records, and the first single "American Blues" will drop on November 23rd. Kilzer says the protest song is “Jangly, happy, almost languid. It hides the stringency of the lyric.”

He believes musicians must make political songs that both speak to the moment and to eternity. “I hope it has enough polyvalence to last. I think the prototype of the protest song is ‘For What It’s Worth’. It’s germane in any time period.”

The video is directed by Laura Jean Hocking, who has previously done award-winning work for Kilzer. "I was inspired by the courage of the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, and the wave of activism they inspired in young people." says Hocking. "I was excited to work with Janay Kelley. I saw her short film 'The Death of Hip Hop' at the Indie Memphis Youth Festival and thought she was very dynamic onscreen. I needed that energy for this video."

Here's world premiere of "The American Blues":


Vote on Tuesday, November 6! 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Halloween (2018)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 11:26 AM

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as the original Final Girl Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green's new Halloween sequel.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis returns as the original Final Girl Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green's new Halloween sequel.
Michael Myers has always been the more streamlined and stately of hallowed movie murderers. His simple mask, his silence, the emptiness of his suburban streets, and the score: they all promise the thrill and nothing else. You will be scared, and there will be no entanglements. Like many franchises, repetition mocks that simplicity, and the films chase the dragon of their initial good. David Gordon Green's new sequel Halloween gives Myers the treatment he calls for: this is a slasher film that looks away. It is restrained, comparatively.

Myers’ victims are photographed faraway, through glass, through windows, with non-diegetic sound in montage, with blurred lights dotting the night sky around them, through chain-link. The film rearranges the same images in impressionistic combinations to tell the same slasher story we've seen so many times. Green, an art film director whose career detoured into large budget comedies, does some of his stronger work here. He tells an archetypal stabby killer story in an almost tasteful manner. Many of the deaths happen out of sight, minority characters are introduced not just to be killed off, and character psychology makes sense.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has reacted to Michael Myers killing her friends in the first film (the many sequels are ignored) by becoming obsessed with him. She hoards guns and boobytrapps her house. Her Myers-centric doomsday prepping has estranged her from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), which in turn drives a rift between Karen and her own daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). It’s realistic, but a little dour: as their grandmother’s almost-murderer escapes from the local insane asylum, the family sulks and lashes out at each other. But a generational sisterhood reacting to murder is a corrective to a lot of slasher horror, which continually offers up female bodies to be isolated, considered as objects and metaphorically raped. The reaction the films often deny them (because they disappear after their assaults) is the ability to work together to protect themselves and emote a different note than fear.
The original Michael Myers, Nick Castle, reprises his role opposite Curtis. Castle later co-wrote Escape From New York with John Carpenter.
  • The original Michael Myers, Nick Castle, reprises his role opposite Curtis. Castle later co-wrote Escape From New York with John Carpenter.
"Have you ever really liked a girl and you just couldn't have her?" the film's requisite nerd character asks Michael, thinking he's a neighbor dressed for Halloween. Later his crush Allyson finds Laurie's albino target practice dummies and freaks out over their idealized male and female forms in the dark. Awareness of the subtext of slasher films is great, though it does not necessarily make a great movie. Possibly over the next decades discomfort over subtext will mutate slasher films until they're just about consensual sex with role play. Gorehounds will go somewhere else.

Or rather the confusion between scares, real-world misogynist violence, and sexuality will separate. Pointedly, most of Michael's victims are older, unobjectified males.
Michael is effective, killing in the background of shots, moving slowly like the mundane nightmare he is. He smashes heads, rips open jaws, and opts for a hammer and fire poker. Characters implore him to "Say something," but he resolutely does not.
Laurie is frazzled. Curtis is underwritten but good. After a movie full of characters framed through windows, when Laurie finally sees The Shape (as Michael Myers was referred to in the original Halloween script) staring at her from afar in this film, she immediately shoots at him, breaking glass, ruining his gaze. Green does well with scary buildup, specifically in the ending sequence and an encounter on the highway. He peppers the film with his trademark loose-ended conversations, here between a babysitter and her charge, a hunter and his dancing aficionado son, two police officers discussing Vietnamese sandwiches, and cemetery visitors talking about the graves of Bernie Mac and Muddy Waters. But these conversations don’t really tie into the main plot, they just highlight the humanity missing from the murder spree.

Perhaps it would be better if the film followed those conversations, and forgot to ever check back in on the killings. As slasher films repeat, and their checklist of jump scares and gore becomes secondhand to the viewer, excess is own reward. What sticks out in my mind from other Halloween sequels has nothing to do with John Carpenter’s original success. I love the satirical Silver Shamrock song of Halloween III, and the bone deep silliness of Busta Rhymes using martial arts to defeat Michael in Halloween: Resurrection.

That’s why between Jason, Michael Myers and Freddy Kruger, I prefer the Friday the 13th series. Its continual incompetence at telling even the most basic story results in a borderline absurd and surreal mishmash which doesn’t scare, but is always more fun for it.

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Cinematic Panic Film Festival Brings The Weird

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 9:14 AM

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When you think of “film festival fare,” what usually comes to mind are sincere indie dramas, light language comedies, and earnest documentaries about social issues. But that’s not what’s on the marquee for Memphis’ newest festival, Cinematic Panic.

Black Lodge Video was a Cooper-Young institution for 15 years. As anyone who frequented the place can recall, there was always a few film freaks hanging around in the store watching selections from its vast video catalogue. You never knew what you were going to see on the vintage big-screen projection TV.

Since the Lodge shut down its original location four years ago, co-owner Matt Martin has been on a frustrating and seemingly quixotic quest to bring it back to life. Last year, it was announced that they had finally found a new home. The bigger and better Black Lodge would relocate in a storefront at 405 N. Cleveland. The completely new space will include not only the legendarily huge video collection for rent, but also an arcade with new and vintage video games, and a combination movie theater and music venue in the back.
Evil Dead
  • Evil Dead
Once the new Black Lodge was in operation, Martin says he envisioned a weekly event called Cinematic Panic that would be in the spirit of the old days of cinephiles daring each other to watch the unwatchable. “The idea was to show the most weird, off-putting, bizarre, uncategorizable movies I could find.”

But while he was helping Memphis filmmaker Chad Allen Barton with the Piano Man Pictures Roadshow, a touring retrospective of films created by the collective, Martin says Barton suggested changing the concept. “He said something that struck me: If you do it every week, the shock loses its power.”

Barton and Martin set out to try something new: a film festival dedicated to outré cinema. They scheduled the first Cinematic Panic festival for October, when the new Black Lodge was scheduled to be completed, and called for submissions. “We wanted to see what we can find here locally, and as far as our reach can muster,” says Martin. “That turned out to be global.”
From Beyond
  • From Beyond
Barton says they were unprepared for the more than 300 submissions they got from all over the world. It was an avalanche of the kind of movies that rarely get screenings in conventional festivals outside of midnight slots. “Everybody wants to be Sundance,” says Lodge co-owner Danny Grubbs.

“We’re underneath Sundance,” says James Blair, Lodge partner and chef who is designing the menu for the new kitchen. “We’re in the sewers of Sundance. That’s where you’ll find us.”
Last House On The Left
  • Last House On The Left
Martin says movies intended to unsettle have been around the beginning of cinema. “What does Edison first shoot for? A version of Frankenstein. Shock and horror has been a staple of fiction since drawings on the cave. We look back at the Edison stuff, or look at Nosferatu, or “Un Chien Andalou” by Dali and Buñuel. These are all films that were trying to explore the newly created concept of cinema, and asking, how far can this go? Can we shock and terrify with just images and sound? The answer, of course, was a resounding yes.”

But the Black Lodge team was dealt setback after setback as they tried to create the new space. “We’ve been panicking for a year and a half at this point,” says Blair.
"Return of the Flesh Eating Film Reels"
  • "Return of the Flesh Eating Film Reels"
Grubbs says the construction is “80% done.” The 6,000-square-foot space lacks internal walls, but the floors, plumbing, bathrooms, and other critical systems are already complete. When it became apparent that the store would not be complete in time for the scheduled film festival, the team did some soul searching and decided to stage it as a pop up event in the cavernous space as a thank you to the Black Lodge faithful. “People have waited a long time, patiently, for the new Lodge to be built,” says Martin. “We don’t get to be public about its development very often. We knew everybody was anxious, so we decided to give them a glimpse. Come inside the space and watch movies on this massive screen. Get a feel for what the Lodge is going to do.”

Running five days starting Wednesday, October 24th, Cinematic Panic is jam-packed with classic weirdness and new strangeness. To set the tone, the first night will feature Videodrome, David Cronenberg’s landmark mashup of body horror and mass media theory, as well as David Lynch’s little seen 2002 “sitcom” Rabbits which stars Naomi Watts as a humanoid rabbit.


Other werid classics screening include Todd Solondz’s 1998 black comedy Happiness, Peter Jackson’s perverse puppet show Meet The Feebles, the 1986 H.P. Lovecraft adaptation From Beyond, Sam Rami’s groundbreaking comedy horror Evil Dead, and a pairing of Last House On The Left and Audition. “[Last House On The Left] is a brutal film by anyone’s standards," says Martin. "It’s a difficult watch. But it’s 40 years old, and as relevant as ever with its comments on assault and sexual trauma. It’s one of the films that changed horror from the old school world of monsters and castles to the monsters next door to you. Then we chose Audition because of the role reversal of female as tormentor.”

Memphis made movies include two features: Barton’s satire Lights, Camera, Bullshit and Jim Weter’s 2012 At Stake: Vampire Solutions. Among the 101 short films are John Pickle’s “Return of the Flesh Eating Film Reels,” and works by several Memphis filmmakers, including Ben Siler and Laura Jean Hocking.
Joe Finds Grace
  • Joe Finds Grace
Eight features will screen in competition, including Joe Finds Grace, a film Barton describes as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame goes on a road trip of self-discovery.”
There’s no jury, so winners of the short and feature competition will be determined purely by audience reaction.

The snacks Blair has prepared fit with the festival's "I dare you" theme, such as chocolate covered grasshoppers and fermented Japanese string beans. There will be musical performances scattered in with the films, and Saturday night after Evil Dead, the festival will transform into the popular Black Lodge Halloween show, headlined by Negro Terror.

Grubbs says after the festival is over, they plan to finish construction and hope the new Black Lodge will be fully operational by the end of the year. This will be the first of many Cinematic Panic festivals. “We’ve got eight projectors, so we could do multiple screens in the future if we wanted to,” says Grubbs.

“No. No.” says Barton. “Please. No.”

Cinematic Panic runs from Wednesday, October 24 to Sunday, October 28 at 405 N. Cleveland. Schedule available here.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Music Video Monday: Harlan T. Bobo

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 11:54 AM

It's a crazy clown time world premiere on Music Video Monday!
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Well, not so crazy, but still clowny. Harlan T. Bobo has been responsible for some of the best Memphis music of the 21st century. And yet, he still remains an elusive figure. In 2009, I interviewed Craig Brewer about his pioneering web series $5 Cover, which featured a classic performance of "Too Much Love" delivered by Harlan while on stilts and wearing full clown makeup. Brewer said capturing Harlan's act felt like "getting Bigfoot on tape." You don't believe it's possible, but here it is, staring at you.

In the last few years, Harlan has decamped to France. But he returned earlier in 2018 to record his album A History of Violence for Goner Records. Music Video Monday is proud to bring you the world premiere of the great looking video for "Nadine", directed by James Sposto. Spend a few glorious minutes in Harlan's brain, and thank us later.


If you'd like to see your music video featured on Music Video Monday, email cmccoy@memphisflyer.com.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Shocktober V Gets Scary At The Time Warp Drive-In

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 12:50 PM

The Lost Boys leads off the Shocktober Time Warp Drive-In
  • The Lost Boys leads off the Shocktober Time Warp Drive-In
For the last five years, the October edition of the Time Warp Drive-In has been the most popular. It's horror movie season after all, and the Warp crew knows what you want.

This year's ghoulish festivities kick off with a choice slice of ’80s cheese. The Lost Boys made stars of Kiefer Sutherland (who delivers the immortal line "Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots. How do they taste?"); Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (collectively known from that moment on as "They Coreys"); and Jason Patric. Joel Shumacher's best film also features a cameo by Tim Copello, aka Saxophone Guy from Tina Turner videos, whose oiled physique and powerful mullet make him the most pure avatar of the Reagan Era.


The next film continues the theme of secret suburban vampires. The directorial debut of writer/director/actor triple threat Tom Holland, Fright Night is set in the then-present-day of 1985, but it has a charming classic Hammer horror quality to it. It features Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge, mild-mannered mom-dater by day, bloodsucking freak by night. Or something like that. Fright Night is one of those cult horror films that actually deserves its cult.


Then the vamp action moves from the 'burbs to the city. Tony Scott's illustrious directing career began in 1983 with a bang. The Hunger stars the super-sexy pairing of Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie as vampire lovers on the prowl in New York City, and Susan Sarandon as their next snack. Check out this trailer, which uses "perverse" as a selling point.


The final Shocktober film takes its vampires to a rural setting. Near Dark was the second film from director Katherine Bigelow, who would later go on to become the first woman to win a Best Director Academy Award. It was a flop upon release, but has been elevated to cult status by horror cinephiles for its sheer inventiveness. Is this the first appearance of the "vampires move around in the day time in blacked out automobiles" trope that Buffy The Vampire Slayer loved so much?


The Time Warp Drive-In starts at sundown on Saturday, October 20 at the Malco Summer Drive-In. 

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This Week At The Cinema: Johnny Cash and Twilight

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 12:22 PM

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It's the calm before the storm this week at Memphis movie theaters, as the end of October and the beginning of November bring two film festivals to the Mid South.

Wednesday night, Indie Memphis and Rhodes College presents Johnny Cash at Folsom, a documentary by Bestor Cram. Cash's 1968 comeback album, recorded live in front of a captive audience at the infamous Folsom Prison in California, became an all time classic of American music. This film tells the remarkable story of how the record came to be, and the lives it touched in the 50 years since. The show will start at 7 p.m. at McNeil Concert Hall, and tickets are available at the Indie Memphis website.


Then on Thursday, Oct. 18, comedian Michael Jr.'s stand up comedy special More Than Funny: Everyone Has A Punchline plays for one night at the Malco Paradiso and Collierville theaters. Take a look at some of Michael's punchlines here.


At the Paradiso on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., the enormously popular Twilight series celebrates its 10th anniversary. It's the franchise that launched the careers of actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, both of whom have grown into great actors since their start as lovelorn young girl and lovelorn ageless vampire.

See you at the movies! 

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Music Video Monday: Mark Edgar Stuart

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 11:34 AM

Today's Music Video Monday is coming at you from multiple angles.
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Memphis folk rocker Mark Edgar Stuart shot the video for his new song "Mad at Love" on top of Petit Jean Mountain. "It was a special place to me as a child growing up in Arkansas," he says.

Director Jonathan Thomason used a vintage 8 mm film camera to shoot Stuart, matching footage that Stuart says is from "... some old home movies that my mom had hidden away in a drawer for nearly 60 years, but had never seen it 'till now. Seeing my late father and grandmother alive and so young was pretty amazing. The easy chair was a tribute to my father and an image carried over from my first video 'Remote Control.' I wanted both videos to have a common thread even though the song subjects are different."

Mark Edgar Stuart's new album is now available worldwide. Here's "Mad At Love":

And, to complete the easy chair motif, here's "Remote Control".


If you would like to see your music video featured on Music Video Monday, email cmccoy@memphisflyer.com

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Week At The Cinema: Horror Classics and the Search For Clean Water

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:12 AM

The Convent
  • The Convent
The week in cinema starts off with an all-time great horror film. Halloween is one of the most influential movies ever made. John Carpenter's 1978 film launched Jamie Lee Curtis' career, basically created the entire slasher subgenre, and jump-started the director's miracle decade which produced stone cold classics like The Fog, Big Trouble In Little China, Starman, and They Live. It's rolling tonight at the Paradiso at 7 p.m.


50 Meters Underground is a documentary by Argentinian director Lucas Van Esso. Located in the north of the country, the Wichi people, an indigenous population, are forced to toil long and hard to find sources of drinkable water. Presented by Mariano Pozzi and the Human Rights Film Festival of Buenos Aries and the Environmental Film Festival of Buenos Aries, the documentary is a work in progress that has screened in very few other places in the world. The film begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 9th at Studio on the Square. Tickets available here.
50 Meters Underground
  • 50 Meters Underground
Pozzi will also be on hand on Wednesday, Oct. 10th for a second documentary from Argentina. Piripkura, by directors Mariana Oliva, Renata Terra, Bruno Jorge, is a search through the South American jungle for the last remaining members of the Pripkura tribe. It won the Best Documentary award at the Rio de Janerio Film Festival, and the Human Rights Award at Amsterdam's IDFA Film Festival. It plays on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 PM at Studio on the Square, and you can get tickets here.


On Thursday, October 11th, at the Paradiso, more seasonal horror. Bloody Disgusting's Retro Nightmare Cinema Series presents a double feature of slashers and chillers, beginning with Jim Santos' 1983 film Sweet Sixteen.


Then it's something of a precursor to this year's horror hit The Nun. The Convent would have been a more accurate title for The Nun, seeing as how there multiple demon nuns involved in that one. But since it was already taken by a 2000 film by Mike Mendez, whose previous credits include Big Ass Spider!, I guess they just went with the singular. Frankly, The Convent, a gonzo-religio-spat-fest starring immortal genre goddess Adrienne Barbeau and also some other people, looks ten times as much fun as The Nun. Put this in your peepers:


See you at the cinema! 

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Music Video Monday: Alex Greene and the Rolling Head Orchestra

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 11:06 AM

Today on Music Video Monday, turn on the news.
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Memphis Flyer Music Editor Alex Greene has a long and distinguished musical career. As a member of Memphis bands like Big Ass Truck and the Reigning Sound, he has taken our music all over the world. These days, when he's not hipping you to the best performances and recordings in the Bluff City or touring Europe as a supporting member of The Hellcats, the seminal punk outfit founded by his wife Lorette Velvette, he's the head of the Rolling Head Orchestra.

“We have a history of Columbus Day shows and recording sessions,” says Greene. “It kind of captures what we're about, questioning these mythic realities we take for granted, just by presenting them in a slightly skewed light. We actually cut the classic jazz standard 'Christopher Columbus,' on the holiday, with a lyrical update inspired by Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. And on the same day, we cut "Rattle the Cage (Turn on the Tube)", which portrays the dark side of our online addictions. Though it somehow celebrates that compulsion at the same time. It's a bit of a paradox.”

This video for "Rattle The Cage (Turn On The Tube)," is the first from the Rolling Head Orchestra's new album American Elegy, which Greene describes as "an 11-song cycle of national devolution," is directed by Memphis producer and filmmaker Kim Bledsoe Lloyd.  Check it out, and remember to vote on November 6th.


If you would like to see your music video on Music Video Monday, email cmccoy@memphisflyer.com

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