Nov 232011

Lexington native comes home for the holidays—in cinematic form

By Lucy Jones

There’s a lot to like about Michael Shannon.

He’s a native Lexingtonian, so that should earn him the instant affection and allegiance of anyone with a UK sweatshirt in her closet or a Local First sticker on his car.

Of course, if you’re an impossibly hard sell who somehow demands greater credentials for devotion than that, consider that at age of 37, Shannon is an Academy Award nominated actor who has worked with cinematic legends ranging from John Waters to Werner Herzog to Martin Scorsese.

I was more than happy to accept that statement as the most impressive thing about him, until I heard this: when Sony Pictures Classics began the platform release of his new film, Take Shelter, Shannon not only made his wishes clear that he’d like the film played in Lexington, he also specified that he wanted it shown at the Kentucky Theatre. A loyal friend of the Kentucky Theatre? In my book, there’s nothing more adoration inspiring than that. Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Audley proves that success is possible in a midsize city—even Memphis

By Lucy Jones

One of Tennessee’s most celebrated film directors has a name more evocative of that state’s neighbor to the north. Kentucker Audley (nee Andrew Nenninger, for those who might remember his face from the halls of Lexington Catholic) adopted the moniker when he claimed Tennessee as his new home.  “When I moved to Memphis, I wanted to keep Kentucky with me,” explains the 29-year-old writer, director, and actor.

Kentucker Audley discusses “Open Five” at the Kentucky Theatre. Photo by Lucy Jones.

Indeed, Audley has maintained his Kentucky roots. Recently, he proved Thomas Wolfe wrong by returning to his hometown of Lexington for a screening of his third directorial feature, Open Five. The sixty-three minute, largely improvisational film was shown on September 27 at the Kentucky Theatre as part of the 2011 Boomslang Festival. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

Limited Run of 1977 Japanese horror film House

By Lucy Jones

For those seasoned enough to remember the giant fold-out calendars that  were once inextricably linked with the Kentucky Theatre (if you were a typical UK student it was as likely for there to be one affixed to the outside of your fridge as it was for there to be beer inside it) it’s impossible to forget the premium that was placed on the midnight movie. Cult films on Fridays and Saturdays were a cultural ritual that provided an alternative to boozy bar escapades and an opportunity for less mainstream films to have their day—or, rather….really, really late night. Continue reading »

Mar 302011

DVD suggestions for those who can’t bring themselves to spend $8.25 on Sucker Punch

By Lucy Jones

For most people (ie: the normal and functioning among us) Spring is a time to rejoice. The weather turns warm, the flowers are in bloom, folks can finally return to the great outdoors. But, for those of us who would rather sit in a dark, climate controlled room and watch light flicker on a screen (ie: me), the outlook isn’t quite as rosy. As any movie lover knows, Spring is a traditionally slow time at the box office. The limited release Oscar contenders from winter have all rolled out, and the giant blockbusters of summer are still a season away. Continue reading »

Feb 022011

New documentary nears completion with the help of Kickstarter

By Lucy Jones

Artist Robert Morgan in one of the shots from John Ashley's unpublished book "The Pagan Babies"

Anyone who followed Institute 193’s successful financing campaign for Guy Mendes’ gorgeous new book 40/40: Forty Years, Forty Portraits knows the power of Kickstarter. Thanks to contributions raised on the nearly two year old website, Institute 193 was able to publish the book, individual financiers were able to count themselves as an important part of the process whilst simultaneously reaping tangible rewards, and the community as a whole benefitted from a project that documents some of the most interesting people and moments in Kentucky’s recent history. Continue reading »

Jan 192011

New KET documentary honors a legend and kicks off a film festival

By Lucy Jones

Showing people a picture of Harry Dean Stanton is like presenting them with a cinematic Rorschach test. If you ask them who he is, the answer says as much about them as it does about him.  “That’s the dad from Pretty in Pink.” “That’s the dude from Repo Man!” “That’s Brett from Alien.” Or, “that’s the guy from Red Dawn—‘Avveeeenge Meeeee!’” Based on the reply, you can gauge everything from how old a person is to which side of the cafeteria he/she probably sat on in high school. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

KET offers opportunity for Kentucky filmmakers

By Lucy Jones

Want to see your short film on television? KET is giving you the chance to do so.

The statewide public television network is seeking submissions for the 2011 season of Reel Visions, a program dedicated to showcasing the work of Kentucky filmmakers. The series aired its first episode during the summer of 2009 and has since broadcast three seasons of the half hour show. The content of featured shorts has ranged from meditations on love filmed at fast food drive-thrus to a “Twilight Zone” inspired tribute to the sci fi genre. But all of the films are unified by a common thread: they are made by folks who have lived and worked right here within our state. Continue reading »

Nov 102010

Documentaries inspire community engagement

By Lucy Jones

This month, in theaters, libraries, cafes, and museums throughout the country, people will be discussing Floyd County, Kentucky. What could catalyze people as far west as Seattle and as far east as Jamaica Plain to address, publicly and passionately, events that are happening right here in our own backyard?

The answer comes in the form of a groundbreaking series presented by the Independent Television Service. Continue reading »

Oct 272010

A movie classics road trip

By Lucy Jones

Some people cope with the end of summer better than others. Me, I’ve never had a problem with it. I burn easily, I don’t bar-b-q, and I seem to attract mosquitoes at a disproportionate rate to all of my friends. In short–summer doesn’t hold much lure for me. That is…until this summer.

As my first official summer as a born again Lexingtonian, the Kentucky Theater Summer Classics Series became my weekly dose of instant euphoria. Continue reading »

Aug 112010

Local production shoots in Red River Gorge

By Lucy Jones

Of all the myriad reasons that downtown Lexington is a desirable locale for film shooting, one of the more rarely discussed is the relative absence of bear attacks. But, for a largely local film crew assembled in the Red River Gorge this summer, the unexpected salience of this point was fairly unavoidable.

On location to shoot a feature film for Lexington’s own Four B Films, the cast and crew of Red River Moon found themselves in an unanticipated position late this June. After a black bear attacked a hiker, the park was closed indefinitely and the crew found themselves cut off from access to their planned locations. The shoot was interrupted, and producers ultimately had no choice but to temporarily cease production. Continue reading »