Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Local Film and Television Commission Creates Emergency Fund for Film and TV Production Workers

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 12:33 PM

Director Andy Wolk on the set of Bluff City Law. - COURTESY NBC UNIVERSAL
  • courtesy NBC Universal
  • Director Andy Wolk on the set of Bluff City Law.
2019 was a banner year for film and television production in Memphis, with big, national productions coming to town to film in authentic environments. But now, with production at a halt worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the workers who staffed those productions are hurting. The Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission has started a program to try to help.

“Our crew has worked hard on projects small and big – projects like Netflix’s Uncorked, Hallmark’s Christmas at Graceland, and NBC-Universal’s Bluff City Law," says Film Commissioner Linn Sitler. "All have had a huge impact on the Memphis economy and Memphis tourism! Now’s the time for all of us to try to assist the local crew.”

The Commission's help comes in the form of a fund that can help out struggling crew members and their families with emergency grants. More than $5,000 has already been raised through donations and a GoFundMe campaign. The program is modeled after one started by Nathan Thompson of the Nashville Filmmakers Guild, which was one of the early donors to the Shelby County fund.

“We’re hopeful that we can secure some major grants," said Gale Jones Carson, chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission/Foundation. “When people think of the pleasure they have received from many of the productions our local crew has worked on, I think those that can give, will give. It’s all about helping those who have provided us enjoyment. It’s about securing the future of the film industry in Memphis and Shelby County.”

Relief grants of $500 are available to Shelby County residents who make more than 50 percent of their income from film and TV work, and who have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you would like to apply for a grant, or donate to the fund, visit the Shelby County Film and Television Commission website for details.

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Music Video Monday: Herion Young

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Music Video Monday is keeping it together in lockdown.

Memphis rapper Herion Young scored a major coup when he was signed to Future's record label Freebandz. But just when it was time to get his second single for the label underway, the 'rona hit. Young's song "Sacrifices," produced by Atlantean Mayhem, is relevant for these crazy times.

"Life shows you ups and downs," Young says. "Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get through the storm and fight for the sun to shine.”

Here's the video, directed by Mike Garcia:

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

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Unapologetic Releases New Comedy Chat Show "What You Doin, Nothin?"

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 9:00 AM

The ever-restless minds of the Unapologetic Records crew recently had a big show at Crosstown Theater canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic. (You can see some video of their epic Indie Memphis 2019 performance here. I was there, and it was even more spectacular IRL.) Now, to fight those lockdown blues, they're releasing a long-gestating project.

"What You Doin, Nothin?" is a combination of interviews and surreal comedy skits featuring Unapologetic's Cameron Bethany and A Weirdo From Memphis. "We shot this series in 2017, and, for a handful of reasons, never released it," says producer and Unapologetic mastermind IMAKEMADBEATS. "I think there couldn’t have been a better time than now."

The first episode, "Shaved", which features Memphis hip hop legend Project Pat, drops today (Monday, April 20th) on the Unapologetic YouTube channel. The second episode "Memphis Drill Sargent" will feature a guest appearance by Bluff City funnyman Tutweezy. After the first two episodes are released on YouTube, the remaining episodes will stream on the Unapologetic World app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. Here's a little taste of of the weirdness to come:

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Music Video Monday: Faux Killas

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 11:08 AM

Go into space with Music Video Monday!

Faux Killas’ new video is just the rocket fuel you need to launch you out of the COVID blues. The giddy “Space Force” is a punky blast of chant-along lyrics and anti-grav beats. The video sees our plucky heroes fly to another world on a mission of conquest, only to go native for the promise of cheap astro-beer and cosmic craps. Will our cosmo-rock-nauts survive the first mission of the Space Force? Watch this to find out!

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

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Watch Alex Greene and the Rolling Head Orchestra’s ‘A Trip to the Moon’ Live Score at Crosstown Theater

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2020 at 1:36 PM

On January 23rd, Alex Greene debuted a live score for two silent classics at the Crosstown Theater. Greene, who is the Memphis Flyer's Music Editor, was a resident artist at Crosstown Arts when he composed new music for Georges Méliès' 1902 Jules Verne-inspired special effects extravaganza "A Trip to the Moon"and the 1924 silent Soviet sci fi film Aelita: Queen of Mars. The performance, which you can read about here, was captured on video by Crosstown Arts' Justin Thompson. Since Crosstown's successful live score concert series has been put on hold, like everything else in the music and film world, they've decided to share Greene's performance. It is amazing. Greene's normal collaborators, the Rolling Head Orchestra, are joined by the strings, flute, and bassoon of the Blueshift Ensemble and Theremin virtuoso Kate Tayler Hunt. The dynamic ups and downs of the 11-piece mini orchestra bring new life to the visually creative silent films. For those who were there, it's a chance to re-live a great, unique Memphis performance. For those who missed it, here's your chance to rectify your oversight and get some quality quarantine entertainment.


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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Whistlers Brings International Intrigue to Indie Memphis Movie Club

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 2:03 PM

Catrinel Marlon as Gilda in The Whistlers.
  • Catrinel Marlon as Gilda in The Whistlers.
This week's new selection for Indie Memphis' Movie Club is a stylish thriller from Romania called The Whistlers. The Movie Club is bringing virtual screenings of the films that would be filling art house and festival circuit screenings about now, if not for the cursed virus. Director Corneliu Porumboiu's heist film puts his heroine Gilda (Katrinel Marlon) in a high-stakes relationship with Bucharest police inspector Cristi (Vlad Ivanov). The title comes from the obscure whistling language of the Canary Islands that comes in handy if you need to communicate clandestinely about shady stuff. 

The film is available as video on demand from Indie Memphis' new web portal, which you can access here. Half of the $12 rental fee goes to Indie Memphis. Tonight, Tuesday April 7th, at 8 p.m., Indie Memphis' Artistic Director Miriam Bale will host a Zoom discussion about The Whistlers with New Yorker film critic Richard Brody for Indie Memphis members and those who have rented the film. 

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Music Video Monday: Don Lifted

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 12:15 PM

Today's Music Video Monday is going long.

Don Lifted's Contour album from 2018 is a saga of teenage love and loss. It's been the source of some of the best Memphis music videos of the last two years. All along, Don Lifted's alter ego Lawrence Matthews (or is it the other way around?) has intended it as a multimedia experience, and has released the visual album on a DVD for sale at his shows. Now, he's releasing the entire album online, and we're bringing it to you here!

Contour is a mesmerizing 23 minutes. The low-key masterpiece video for “Muirfield,” shot by Kevin Brooks, takes on new meaning in the larger context. Matthews’ collaborated with Nubia Yasin for cinematography and editing, and Martin Matthews on camera.

Here's the long-form video your quarantine needs:

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

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Better Call Saul Puts on a TV Masterclass

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 9:17 AM

Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) offers 50% off felonies in Better Call Saul.
  • Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) offers 50% off felonies in Better Call Saul.
Here’s the trouble with prequels: Their ostensible reason for being is to explore an intriguing backstory suggested by their parent story. But here’s the rub: If the backstory was that interesting to begin with, it should have been the original focus of the story. Prequels are always at a disadvantage, story-wise.

This might be a daunting problem for most writers, but showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are not most writers. Now, seven episodes into their fifth season of the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, they’re using the story of small-time shyster Jimmy McGill’s transformation into sleazy lawyer par excellence Saul Goodman to draw some of the deepest characters ever attempted on television. Like Titanic, we all know the ship is going to sink, and the important part is how it looks to the people on deck.
Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk
  • Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk
This penultimate season has been about the characters’ duality, the gaps between how they present themselves to the different people in their lives, and what that says about who they are inside. Bob Odenkirk has been masterful in his presentation of the slide from Jimmy the screw-up prankster to the calculating, creepy Saul. Jimmy/Saul is, like any expert manipulator, a fine observer of people. But his blind spot is himself. He can fine-tune his personal presentation to fit the audience he needs to con at the moment, but he is either unwilling or unable to turn his piercing insight inward. The closest he comes in season 5 is the end of episode 7, “JMM,” when he sees the family of a person his drug lord client Lalo (Tony Dalton) murdered. But his crisis of conscience is short-circuited when he sees his old nemesis, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) and explodes in a self-aggrandizing tirade that buries Jimmy under an avalanche of Saul.
Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring
But that’s only one of a slew of great performances. Giancarlo Esposito’s stone cold demeanor as Gus Fring, the meth kingpin disguised as a fast-casual restaurant owner, is as nuanced a performance as you will ever see. Unlike Jimmy/Saul, Gus — who, it is hinted, was a soldier before he was a drug lord — knows himself, and the clarity of his self-knowledge is his greatest strength. In season five, we find that Gus tries to balance the evil that he does with good works back home in rural Mexico. His interior steel brings his fixer Mike (the brilliant Jonathan Banks) out of his funk after having to execute a friendly German engineer last season.
Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler
  • Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler
This season’s surprise MVP, it’s Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, Jimmy’s super-lawyer girlfriend. She alone sees the struggle between Jimmy and Saul, and tries to put a finger on the Jimmy side of the scale. Kim is the most ambivalent of them all. She reacts to Saul’s betrayal, which endangers her brilliant career, by forcing him into a marriage that is clearly the best thing that could happen to the guy. But, as her blowhard client Kevin (Rex Linn) points out to her in a rare moment of clarity, she could do so much better than Jimmy. Her ultimate goals, and how she intends to get there, remain a mystery.

Better Call Saul’s emphasis on character has been at the expense of the twisty, intricate narratives Breaking Bad did so well. The exception was episode 2 of season 5, “50% off,” where Saul Goodman’s introductory special of half-off felony defense representation sparks an epic crime binge that becomes the catalyst for Jimmy’s spiraling entanglement with the Salamanca drug cartel. A recurring theme has been meta-commentary on filmmaking itself. There’s a lot of overlap between the legal profession and acting, and Gilligan and Gould have found ways to blur the lines between the two. At one point, Saul becomes a director when he and his film student friends produce a TV commercial to gain leverage in a case against the Mesa Verde bank.

Breaking Bad helped launch the era of “prestige television,” and while it has spurred many imitators, its high points have rarely been equalled. Better Call Saul’s effortless virtuosity gives you what you really want out of a prequel — a chance to return to a familiar world and live there for a little while.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Supernatural Polygamy! Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands On This Week's Indie Memphis Movie Club

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 1:21 PM

Marriage is a sacred institution between two people and also sometimes a nude ghost. That's the premise of Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, this week's Indie Memphis Movie Club selection.

Based on a bestselling novel by Jorge Amado, the 1976 film by director Bruno Barreto set a box office record in Brazil that held for 35 years. Sonia Braga (who later went on to star in Kiss Of The Spider Woman and the other current Indie Memphis Movie Club selection, Bacurau) plays Dona, whose rakish husband Vadinho (Jose Wilker) dies in the film's opening scenes. Their relationship was tumultuous and unstable, but sexually satisfying. Looking for more stability, she finds love with Teodoro (Mauro Mendonça), He's a good husband, but boring in bed. Then, Vadinho's thirsty ghost returns to haunt his wife, and Dora must find an equilibrium between the two marital extremes.

Tonight at 8 p.m., Indie Memphis artistic director Miram Bale and film writer Monica Castillo will host an online discussion of the film's history, impact, and meaning in our present moment. Go to the Indie Memphis website for more details, and check out the trailer.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Music Video Monday: Stephen Chopek

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM


Hit the (virtual) road with Music Video Monday.

Memphis' one-man music video studio, Stephen Chopek, is back — or should we say, there and back again. Chopek has spent a lot of time on the road as a touring musician. He made the video for "Cherokee Arms" from clips he shot in transit.

"I moved to Memphis six years ago, and I was ready to write a song about living in Midtown," Chopek says. "Cherokee Arms is an apartment building on Madison Avenue that looks how Midtown Memphis feels to me — rough around the edges with strong character, understated with a solid presence, attitude with class. This video is all about getting there."

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

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Never Seen It: Watching Mad Max: Fury Road with Comedian Katrina Coleman

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:56 AM

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road

In the Time of the Rona, I’m reviving my Never Seen It series, in which I convince a cool person to watch a classic film they have somehow missed.

To kick off the revival, I hit up Memphis comedian and You Look Like show producer Katrina Coleman on Twitter, where she’s been doing a nightly movie watch party under the hashtage #cowatch. Our conversation (which happened on the phone, not in real life!) has been edited for length and clarity.

Before Fury Road:

Chris McCoy: How are you holding up?

Katrina Coleman: Good. I made one final grocery trip and put it all up. We stocked up on everything…I’m worried, but we just gotta keep going. [#cowatch] is to keep our spirits up with banter. It’s like, I know what I'm gonna do tonight. I’m going to sit and watch a movie. Do you like to watch it with me and follow along? If it seems like it would interest you, we can all experience the same thing. Actually, one of the rules was not to watch movies like this. I love post-apocalyptic movies, but I was going to stay away from them for a while.

CM: Well, if you’re going to break the rule, this is the one to break it for. What do you know about Mad Max: Fury Road?

KC: I've been told over and over again I have to watch it. When it came out in theaters, I was a bad feminist if I didn’t see it. I avoided it because I was I felt like I had to like it…I know the basic plotline, and I’ve seen a lot of the gifs. And I loved Max Max and The Road Warrior.
120 minutes later…

CM: You are now a person who has seen Mad Max: Fury Road. What did you think?

KC: [incoherent screaming] What I have is guttural noises and joy! It is very good! My dad was a truck driver. I love violence. I love yelling. It was a moral story. I was supposed to be tweeting about it, but I kept getting really engrossed with it! Also, my daughter sort of watched it with me. She’s 10, but she has really adult tastes. She was also playing with Legos at the time, so we did talk a little bit about plot and what's happening and why people do the things they do. But it's beautiful to watch! I'm a big fan of action porn. It was really well done. I don't know a lot about movies, but I had so many feelings. Now I want to murder all dudes except for the ones who repeatedly show their loyalty. But to ally yourself, you have to throw yourself out of a moving vehicle and shoot another dude. You could gain my trust!

Nicholas Hoult as Nux.
  • Nicholas Hoult as Nux.

CM: So like Nux. When starts out and he's like an incel, kind of like Trump follower, or an alt-right teenage bro.

KC: Actually, what I was seeing was just Lord of the Flies. That's what happens—unsupervised violence; total, sterile teenage boyhood.

CM: But then by the end, he sacrifices himself for everybody.

Riley Keough as Capable. Keough is Elvis Presley's granddaughter.
  • Riley Keough as Capable. Keough is Elvis Presley's granddaughter.
KC: Yeah. But he still doesn't do a 180, where he's a completely different person. In his final moment, he asked someone to witness him. In his mind he's realized that Valhalla waits for him, not for the glory of the warlords, but for the glory of sacrifice. That trait is always there and it's beautiful, but it was used for good. The idea that these were boys, but they don't live very long, so they just throw themselves into the machine for the defenses of whatever cause. But all it took, was the one tiny relationship building with him and [Capable]. It might've been the first time he fell asleep peacefully with someone. He spoons for the first time and it just changed his whole life.

CM: I love the scene where he eats the bug off of her. He’s like, “Oh! Protein!” It’s such a primate thing to do, to eat a bug off your partner.

KC: They’re tasting life for the first time, in a super base, disgusting way. This movie is very verdant while being like gross. It's very fleshy. There's a lot of, there's a lot of life in it. I don't know how to explain that, but it's pro-life, in that it is for life. The stakes are very high. It sort of views all lives together as one thing, and then the desert and the violence and the death is another thing. It struck me the moment when Max comes back, he's covered in blood. He's like, what is this? It’s mother’s milk—which we've already established earlier in the movie is literally human milk—and he uses it to wash the blood off of him. That hit me in a weird way. That part upset me the most… It's almost like a religious moment.

CM: You're an outspoken feminist. What did you think of this movie from that standpoint?

KC: Well, I have a point of frustration—it’s the concept of the Netflix category, “strong female lead,” like that’s a whole movie. So, like for someone with strong feminist values, it's just cool to watch a movie where you see people that look like you and your friends. It's also equal opportunity. Like, the grannies are getting in it! They're punching folks and shooting people. Everyone's on an equal level here.

But of course, it resonates with me that the male representation is just destruction, control, and ownership. "That's my child! My property!" Compared to the feminine sort of propagation, the mother with the seeds and how that was what she just kept trying to do. Just kept trying to keep planting, just keep going.

The wives who almost want to go back because they value continuing over anything else. The concept of preservation is built in so hard, and that's why Furiosa just one such character, because she values preservation. But she will destroy to get it, which makes her very specifically non-binary. like her ruthlessness and the moment where she says, no, we're not going back [for Splendid]. She has to verify that there's nothing to go back for. She says, "Did you see it? Did you see it?" She went under the wheels. But did you see it? Like that's what makes her really a trans character. Because it's usually what makes male characters really striking, when they have the moment of nurturing, the reluctant father figure.

CM: Interesting. Yes. That makes me think about Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. He’s like the tough sergeant the whole time, and then like towards the end you find out he’s, like, an elementary school teacher. He gives that energy out just a little bit every now and then…that nurturing energy.

KC: We, as humans, love to see a badass that will take anything's ass. If we can kind of quietly believe that person would protect us. I think that's part of what sort of holds us to a hero. Like, if some bad shit went down, this person who just just absolutely opened fire and murdered all these people and cut them in half, they do it to keep me safe.

Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa
  • Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa
CM: And Charlize Theron…

KC: I mean, a performance for the ages! So much of it is non-verbal. I love her as an actress, just full, like, full stop, obviously.

CM: [Cinematographer John Seale] shoots her sometimes like…it's almost like he's shooting architecture. She's just carved out of stone, you know? When I first saw this movie, I compared her performance to Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name.

KC: She’s quiet, and communicates everything with her eyes and micro-expressions. She has such a talent for the smallest things…And then there’s the big meme moment—“That’s bait.” I had never seen it in context.


I also appreciate how every line that Tom Hardy delivered, he sounded like he had just woken up. I know I've always been on the fence about that guy, but he's really great in this.
Tom Hardy as Max Max Rockatansky
  • Tom Hardy as Max Max Rockatansky
CM: Max, though, is almost like a like a sidekick in his own movie.

KC: So, one of my favorite things is the same thing I love about Die Hard. Like, how many hit points does this dude have? How is he standing up?

CM: That’s almost his function as a hero. Luke Skywalker’s function is to fight evil with his lightsaber. Max Rockatansky’s function is to take a punch and keep getting up.

KC: He gets shot literally in the face and is only saved by his crazy ideations of grief.
Courtney Eaton as Cheedo The Fragile
  • Courtney Eaton as Cheedo The Fragile
CM: [Cheedo The Fragile], she's the one who tries to run away, but the other wives talk her out of it. This time, I read that whole scene as a feminist allegory. You know, "Give him another chance! He’ll be good to me this time."

KC: You know, that is a constant struggle. If we conform enough, if we cater to the patriarchy…It's usually the older feminist, the ones who've been very successful in business, “The Pantsuits”, they call them, who tell us younger feminists to just go with it. Learn to smoke a cigar, learn to take the jokes, learn to deal with it. Yeah. That is super common. And it happens with younger feminists, but absolutely. And I think it's also been expressed in my colonialization the idea of just go with it to survive. How much is too much? Different people have different levels of how much is too much. Some people can take quite a lot of degradation before they believe it's worth risking their life.
Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe
CM: So, things have a bit of an apocalyptic feel right now, because of, you know, the plague. How did it feel watching Fury Road in this moment?

KC: It was wild. Comparing my life personally, at this time, has seen very small changes. Earlier, I went to the grocery store, but I saw the world in very different way. I also love post-apocalyptic fiction. I love considering it and thinking about it. Where would I stand? What would it be? How would I maneuver out of this world? The line, “Don't get addicted to water!” is the one that hit me hard. Even in such a dismal place, propaganda is still working well.

What we're experiencing right now in our country is 100 percent result of propaganda. It's like, it's all propaganda's fault that it's so scary. There's a thousand people on the ground with their buckets. Only the first 50 or 60 managed to fill up their buckets with water. The war machines, they don’t have to be as big as flashy as they are. The chrome and shiny warlords don't have to dress the way they do. It's just control. And that's the thing that's the most upsetting though about watching it, the thing that kinda just brings it home. If the prisoners figured out that they outnumbered the guards, it would be over real quick.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Indie Memphis Weekly Film Series Goes Virtual

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 3:49 PM

  • Bacurau
For years, Indie Memphis' weekly film screenings have been a highlight of life in the Bluff City. The organization, whose acclaimed annual film festival is the largest in the region, brings films to the big screen that otherwise won't play theatrically here.

This month, Indie Memphis, teaming with Malco Theatres, was scheduled to open its own dedicated movie theater in Studio on the Square. Obviously, the opening ceremonies have been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic lockdown. So Indie Memphis is doing what a lot of arts organizations are doing right now—going virtual.

The Indie Memphis Movie Club will be bringing you the same kinds of quality films you've come to expect from them at home. Instead of one screening a week, the films will be available for a full week. On Tuesdays, IM will bring you an online Q&A with the programming staff and special guests—usually the director or others involved in the production of the film.

The first week's film is Bacurau. Directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles's film is a huge hit in their native Brazil. The barbed political satire centers on a rural Brazilian village that suddenly finds itself missing from maps. The inhabitants try to cope as they find themselves under attack from mysterious forces, including maybe UFOs. Check out the trailer:

You can find out more about Indie Memphis' latest plans and activities on their new and improved website

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Music Video Monday: Mark Edgar Stuart With Garrison Starr

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 11:12 AM

Music Video Monday finds joy in togetherness.

When Memphis singer/songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart was stuck in a creative rut, he needed collaboration to help him out of it. "I’d been spinning my wheels creatively for most of 2019," he says. "I wanted to shake things up, and get outside of my creative comfort zone. I met Brandon Kinder at Ditty TV. Though we come from different musical backgrounds, I always admired him as a songwriter and a producer. I had written a song for my wife, a good old-fashioned love song, and he recommended that it be a duet. He suggested Garrison Starr. That seemed pretty far-fetched at the time. To me she was a star. I’d been a fan of Garrison since the Highland strip days back in the 90s. She accepted the invite and the song was complete. I figured you can’t have a single without a video, so with my phone I filmed my recent vacation to Puerto Rico with my wife. I thought it was kinda fitting, the two of us making 'One More Memory For The Road.'"

A virtual trip to Puerto Rico doesn't sound too bad about now, does it?

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

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Malco Theatres Go Dark To Fight Spread Of Coronavirus

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 5:22 PM

The Malco Paradiso theater in East Memphis
  • The Malco Paradiso theater in East Memphis
Malco Theatres has announced the closure of all of its theaters beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. “The health and safety of our guests and employees is of the highest importance”, said David Tashie, President and COO, “We will continue closely monitoring the situation and when given clearance, be ready to resume normal operations.”

Malco operates 33 movie theaters with more than 340 screens in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Louisiana. Vice President and Director of Marketing Karen Melton said in an email that the temporary closures were "in compliance with local, state and federal directives concerning COVID-19."

Melton encouraged Malco patrons who wish to support the theater chain to buy gift cards for use when the theaters re-open, and to support all local businesses affected by the pandemic emergency. 

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Oxford Film Festival Postponed Indefinitely Due To Coronavirus

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 4:16 PM


The 2020 Oxford Film Festival, scheduled to take place March 18-22, has been postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We have concluded that the only responsible decision is to postpone the 2020 festival until later in the year," says OFF board chair Sparky Reardon. "While we are heartbroken to have to make this decision, our first priority must be the health and safety of our community, our attendees, our supporters, and our filmmakers."

The annual film festival, which was scheduled to kick off next Wednesday with a selection of Mississippi films before proceeding with a gala screening of the 1990s cult classic Pump Up The Volume on Thursday, attracts filmmakers and cinephiles from all over the United States. Several Memphis filmmakers were scheduled to present their work at the festival, which maintains close ties to the Mid South filmmaking community.

Earlier today, Mississippi health officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 had been identified in the state. The patient is an adult male from Forrest County who recently returned from a trip to Florida. There is no indication the patient has connections to the film festival, but state health officials have recommended citizens avoid mass gatherings.

Given the fluid situation, the OFF has not yet set a date for the rescheduled festival. “It is our intention to present the full slate of exceptional films, speakers and panels at a later date when the festival may be held under conditions deemed safe by governmental and health authorities,” says Reardon. 

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