Arthouse Garage Podcast

Podcast Transcript for Bonus Episode: FILMLAND 2020 Preview

Read the Podcast Transcript for Episode 33: Bong Joon Ho's The Host

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Andrew Sweatman 0:08
Hello, hello and welcome back to Arthouse Garage, the snob free film Podcast, where we make art house indie classic and foreign cinema accessible to the masses. I’m your host Andrew Sweatman, and today we are bringing you a bonus episode. The podcast is currently in the middle of season five, in which we are looking at contemporary Asian filmmakers, like Bong Joon ho and Hirokazu koreeda. But today we are taking a break from that to highlight an exciting local Film Festival. At Arthouse garage, We love making challenging films accessible, but we also love supporting the local film community here in Arkansas, where we’re based. coming up this week, October 1 through fourth is filmland, the annual Film Festival from the Arkansas cinema society. The Arkansas cinema society was founded in 2017 by filmmakers Kathryn Tucker and Jeff Nichols. And this will be the third annual Film Festival. And there are some really exciting films coming this year, including Nomad land from director Chloe Zhao, which has been winning lots of big awards, most notably the Golden Lion, which is the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. And we’re also getting the film one night in Miami, which is the directorial debut from Regina King. That’s also been getting tons of buzz. So I’m very excited. And because this is 2020, and nothing is normal this year. filmland has a unique format that I’m excited to discuss with today’s guests. Today I am joined by the Arkansas cinema society’s Director of Operations Lilly Peterson, and their communications director Janelle Klein, thank you both so much for being here. And how are you

Unknown Speaker 1:41
doing? Great. Thank you for having us. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 1:43
I’m so excited. We could get on here and talk about this because it’s something I look forward to every year for the last few years as it’s gotten started. So let’s talk about film in 2020. So as I alluded to the festival looks a little bit different this year. Can you guys fill us in on how it works? How we can watch these movies and how you guys decided on this year’s format?

Lillie Peterson 2:04
Sure. I think the biggest question is how we decided and I mean, this is not a normal year, as you said. But we didn’t want to lose that community element of gathering together to watch movies in the same room. Obviously, we can’t be in rooms right now. So we’re switching to a drive in at MP outdoor cinema in Little Rock, Arkansas. And we’re doing another online element, which we’re calling filmland digital experience where you can watch all of the films that we selected for our Sunland Arkansas program. The film in Arkansas program is made up of films that are either made in Arkansas or by in our Kansas, the best way to see all of that is to become a member, which we can do at our website, Arkansas cinema society. org, which gets you half off ticket to the drive in and you get free access to everything that we have online, you can’t come to the drive in, you still will be able to see the Q and A’s with the filmmakers afterwards, which is still pretty cool deal. Otherwise, you can buy tickets online for 40 bucks a pop for one car at the driving to be a lot of fun. tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow. And voting is open for the Arkansas program through October 1 at noon. So folks can vote for the Arkansas program. And it’ll be shown the winners will be shown on the screen at some Lance driving.

Janelle Cline 3:18
Yeah, and I just want to add to that, I think really the reason that we decided to do this driving is because we all miss the community, right? You know, we’ve been watching movies as they these big box off press releases have dropped to our television. And in part of what makes the cinema society so great is the fact that in addition to you know, just showing great films, we also have these Q and A’s, we really dig into what the community wants to know. And they get to know the filmmakers in you know, in the world, really, because we’ve had international fix as well. So I think we wanted to still focus on community and you can’t do that from your living room completely. So having this drive in kind of gives us that shared sense of space, with still maintaining what we need to do to keep every Wednesday.

Andrew Sweatman 4:15
Yeah, that’s really that’s great. And I’m so excited that we have a drive in here in Little Rock. And so when I heard you guys were partnering up I was so that’s not that was perfect. So I’m excited to get out there and be in a crowd watching a movie again, and what great movies we’re getting. Before we talk about the movies, one of the things I’ve been really impressed with about ACS is the ways that you guys have championed diversity and use your position to highlight important social issues. So last year, we had a Ladies Night that was completely focused on women filmmakers. We also had the warrior race to screening with the discussion of LGBT issues that follow that or you guys did a screening of the HBO show insecure at Philander Smith, and then recently there’s been virtual screenings of some documentaries about Gender Gap. Is that something that’s always important to you as an organization? And did that play into the programming of this year’s festival?

Unknown Speaker 5:06
Yeah, for sure. We always gravitate towards programming that shines a light on the underserved unheard voices in like our state, in our community in our country. So a quality in our opinion, a it’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. And just representing all of the beauty and diversity that there is in our country seems like a no brainer film is a way to see through someone else’s eyes. And so we definitely we’ve tried, we’ve send out asks to a huge, diverse crowd of films and filmmakers. And it’s sort of just a mixed bag of who comes back and says, Yes, we would have loved to have a film that more geared towards children this year, a lot going on in that arena to show a variety of different films and are super thrilled with what we what we kind of have going on. And it seems pretty diverse with a an awesome, awesome female director this year. Mm hmm.

Andrew Sweatman 5:58
Yeah, let’s talk about those movies. Because there are some really exciting ones coming up this year. Can you each Tell me maybe one or two that you’re most excited about? And then I’ve got a couple pics as well.

Unknown Speaker 6:07
I only

Unknown Speaker 6:09
did about one night in Miami. Yeah. Like, I I cannot wait. I always say you know Mama’s excited when she gets a babysitter two weeks in advance. That’s that was me. I was just thrilled when we got this. Maybe I cannot wait to see it. Not only I mean, are we coming off with like Hamilton and you saw Leslie Odom Jr. is amazing performance in that I’ve heard. He is an amazing exam cook in this and I can totally see it. I mean, he’s fabulous. And everything he does. And so I’m just really that’s the one that when I think about like what maybe do I want to sit down and spend my time watching this year. And to on top of that, get to actually hear the q&a with the playwright himself and one of the stars of the movie. afterwards. I literally cannot wait until Friday night.

Andrew Sweatman 7:07
I’m so excited to write and Regina King has been everywhere. lately. I keep seeing her things. And I’ve been watching the watchman show. She’s so good. And so I’m really excited to see her behind the camera. So yes, I’m excited about that one to you.

Unknown Speaker 7:19
I’m gonna have to say that I have a split though, between the way I see it. And Nomad. So the way I see it, I love a good documentary, particularly about people who document things. And so he has been a documentarian of presidency for decades. And that’s something that’s very interesting to me. So I’m excited to see kind of what that looks like. I haven’t seen much about it. And I’m excited to see that one but also Nomad land, like Obviously, I’m excited to see Nomad. And so I mean, I’ve loved Fargo and so there’s no way that I would miss that one. Even if I didn’t work here. Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 8:00
Yes, exactly. Well, it’s first of all about the way I see it. Yeah, that one when I heard what that was, some months ago, I think I started following Pete Souza on Instagram, maybe like two or three years ago, because he’s sharing all these amazing portraits of the Obama family and just maybe that was just missing those days. Seeing him on it. But there’s others documentary about this is great. So I’m excited about that. And then yeah, Nomad land as you’re hearing that’s going to be my my pick for on the drive inside. It. I been hearing so much about it and Chloe Zhao is just kind of one of our most exciting young filmmakers. I think I haven’t seen anything she’s made. But I’m going to try to watch the writer before. Before I come for no man, man, but yes, I’m very excited about that. And then hearing that this, you know, quote, unquote, Oscar front runner, early pick, has Francis McDormand in it like yes, sign me up. It sounds sounds amazing.

Unknown Speaker 8:52
It’s a no brainer.

Unknown Speaker 8:54
Yeah. Like, and I’m with you on the way I see it. You know, I was I’ve been a journalist for a long time. And I, you see, every photo from the White House is, you know, captioned credit, do that every single time. And so you’re his name has just become so familiar to me, that it’s kind of fun to see the person who I’ve seen his work for so many years, but in a different way. I’m excited for that one, too.

Andrew Sweatman 9:21
Yes. Well, I guess we’ve mentioned all the driving ones except for dreamland. So I don’t know as much about that. But let’s go and talk with it for a second because it stars Margot Robbie, and really, yeah, that’s all you need for me to want to say. She’s so incredibly and sort of coming of age story from what I understand. So that sounds great, too. I’m excited for that one. My other pick is going to be on the digital side and it’s one of the Arkansas features called St. Francis. Which again, these are kind of lesser known movies and I don’t know terribly much about this but I saw a bunch of buzz on Twitter about it some months ago. I think it played it in Denver or somewhere and and some people I follow were were saying This is one of my favorite things from the festival. And I didn’t know it had an Arkansas connection. So come to find out, it’s playing here. So I’m excited to. And that’s the digital ones are already available to members. So I’m maybe tonight I’m going to take the time to watch that one. But that’s one that I’m, I’m excited to see. So the festival runs through the fourth. But there’s actually sort of a bonus screening as well on October 7, on the virtual side, in partnership with the long running hot springs Documentary Film Festival. The film is you cannot kill David Arquette, which I also I actually follow a guy who is a big pro wrestling fan and a film critic. He was raving about this movie a few weeks ago. And so if again, it’s just, this is popping up now for film and I can’t wait to see it. Tell me how the screening came about and how this partnership came about.

Unknown Speaker 10:49
We love hot springs, we love all the other film festivals in the state and any opportunity we have to partner with what else we take it. They scream documentaries, Mr. Our cats wife, Christina is on our board. So that kind of was a natural partnership for us to say, hey, we’ve got her. You’ve got documentaries. Let’s do this together. So yeah, it’s gonna be really awesome. I saw sizzle reels for this film back in, I think spring of 2019. And I’ve been excited for it ever since. So I’m super excited to see it. It also on one of my top picks actually, aside from all the films that were Yeah. So that one is exclusive to our members and to film buff and all access pass holders for the hot springs documentaries on festival. So you’ll need to go and get a membership to see that one.

Unknown Speaker 11:35
Yeah, and honestly, that that one, I’m with you, David Andrew, because like all the wrestling fans in my life have been hyping this. I mean, and wrestling fans are their own little fact of culture. You know, they have like, lingo, and it’s just really fascinating. And so I had no idea that David Arquette was hated in the wrestling community. Until all we started talking my ear off about it. They’re like, Oh, my gosh, you got to see this. Like, what really, I had no idea. This is not something that is what is known to me. So it’s really exciting to kind of see when different groups of passionate viewers intersect into one thing. We’ve got our film buffs, and we’ve got our wrestling lovers, all together just psyched about this movie.

Andrew Sweatman 12:29
Yeah, it’s an interesting thing. So I mean, my understanding, I don’t know everything about this, but I’m gonna learn in the movie. But for people who don’t know, I think so David Arquette, basically after the screen movies, he had kind of some notoriety there, kind of quit acting and became a pro wrestler and didn’t have a great reputation there for some reason. So that’s the interesting background to this. So become a member so you can watch it. And to be clear, so the membership, all this information is at Arkansas cinema membership is discounted this year. So that’s more affordable. Is that correct?

Unknown Speaker 13:02
Yes, we wanted to make it as accessible to as many people as possible. So we lowered the price to $50 for the whole year.

Andrew Sweatman 13:09
That is amazing. So the pay the $50, you get all the virtual stuff, plus cheaper access to the drive as well. And access to virtual q&a. So yes, that’s a really great value for $50 this festival is really exciting. Is there anything else about film that we haven’t mentioned that you think people should know?

Unknown Speaker 13:28
Food trucks? Yeah, I was gonna

Unknown Speaker 13:32
I was gonna say, I think the other thing that people miss about the movies is the movie popcorn. And so this is like your opportunity to go get some you know, you’re still safe in your car with just your family. But go get yourself some movie popcorn. And And not only that, as Lily mentioned, we have food trucks coming and we have like a desert food truck and you know, a dinner food truck there every night so you can get some really amazing food as well if you’re not maybe a popcorn person, but my husband happens to be like at one point he literally just went to go buy movie popcorn. So when we watch a movie at our house, get enjoy it together. I thought it was the craziest thing until I found out that like a dozen other people that I know have done that as well. So

Andrew Sweatman 14:17
don’t want to

Unknown Speaker 14:18
thank you. Yeah, okay. Apparently he’s not insane. But it’s Yeah, I guess if you’d love popcorn that much. But this is like lilies right there. We’re really creating this experience there. So you have the drive in, but you also have food trucks. And you have the concessions and you’re it’s really just gonna be a great environment.

Andrew Sweatman 14:38
Well, I’m so excited. Thank you guys so much for joining me on the podcast is pleasure having you You’re both Welcome back to just talk about a movie sometime if you would like as well. And I appreciate you being here.

Unknown Speaker 14:49
Thank you.

Andrew Sweatman 14:50
Yeah, and thank you listeners so much for listening to art house garage. We’ve got a few years worth of episodes now and you can hear all those in your podcast app of choice. If you want to support art house garage You can leave a rating or review in your podcast app or you can buy an art house garage t shirt at art house garage comm slash shop. You can stay in the loop about our house garage and Arkansas film community goings on by subscribing to our email newsletter that’s at art house slash subscribe or you can email me directly Andrew at arthaus Garage COMM And of course follow on social media you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and letterbox just search our house garage in all those places. And that will do it for this episode. Thank you again for listening Big thanks to the Arkansas cinema society and until next time, keep it’s not free.

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Picture of Andrew Sweatman

Andrew Sweatman

Andrew is a writer, podcaster, and film lover who wants to help people think critically about movies. He lives in central Arkansas with his wife Allison and two children, Rosie & Beau. Andrew is the Senior Editor at Arthouse Garage and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA). Find him at and on Twitter and Instagram: @ArthouseGarage.

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