Apr 272011

A guide to some of the director’s most notable films

By Grayson Johnson

Earlier this month, Sidney Lumet, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished producer/directors, passed away at the age of eighty-six.  After being in the business for over seventy years and directing over fifty films, Lumet left a giant body of work in his wake. His legacy is acclaimed with forty-six Academy Award nominations and a great deal of film history. With a strong focus on crime dramas with social relevance, his films remain some of the most intriguing, well-acted, and entertaining of their time.  Roger Ebert calls him “one of the finest craftsmen and warmest humanitarians among all film directors.” Since there is no better time to appreciate something than after it is gone, this is a look back at few films that highlight Sidney Lumet’s historical career. Continue reading »

Mar 162011

Doc on Lexington’s “Happy’s Hour” premieres at the Kentucky Theatre

By Grayson Johnson

For those not old enough to remember “Happy’s Hour,” the live local children’s program aired on Lexington’s WQTV from 1976 to 1980.  Hosted by Happy the Hobo and his sidekick Froggie, the show became an immediate hit. Its unique brand of improv comedy won over the kids of Lexington and made instant celebrities of its stars.  “Every kid in my neighborhood, myself included, thought they were rocks stars”, says local documentarian Michael Crisp.  “I was one of thousands of children who loved that show”.

Crisp’s latest film, When Happy Met Froggie, chronicles the show’s great popularity while simultaneously telling the inside story from the cast and crew.  “We take a look back at the show itself, highlighting its highs and lows, as well as its hilarious and sad moments, both on and off the set,” says Crisp. Partnered with producer Andrew Moore (as Remix Films), Crisp now has directed three feature documentaries. The Very Worst Thing (2010) weaves the tale of a mysterious school bus crash in Floyd County in 1958.   Polterguys (2010) provides a hilarious inside look at Key West’s most popular ghost tour company.  Now, with this 3rd documentary, Crisp continues to highlight remarkable local stories. Continue reading »

Feb 162011

Screenings at Kentucky Theatre and Lexington Public Library focus on cultural issues

By Grayson Johnson

Now in its thirteenth year, Lexington’s own One World Film Festival is currently underway, showcasing recent movies that bring to light poignant cultural themes and ideas.  “We’re not trying to hit you over the head with it,” laughs festival organizer Annette Mayer. “But, in a subtle way, in a pleasant way, to expand your knowledge.”  The festival brings in both narrative and documentary films that highlight pressing social issues both in America and abroad.  “Through film,” Mayer notes, “maybe we can understand cultural diversity.” Continue reading »