LITTLE ROCK Six years ago I was on a kick to find and watch every film that took place in or mentioned Arkansas. Naturally Billy Bob Thornton’s films were first on my list. Sling Blade was an unexpected masterpiece that forced me to rethink the eccentric bad boy who was linked to Hollywood starlet Angelina Jolie.
After Sling Blade I found Chrystal, a film by Ray McKinnon (whom I would later come to know and idolize). Chrystal was the type of film that I wanted to make, something dark, personal, and full of Southern Gothic touches. I was lucky to meet the late Lisa Blount, who stars in the titular role, at the Little Rock Film Festival a couple of years ago when she came to support her husband’s film That Evening Sun.
I was pretty star-struck and taken aback by her gentle, sweet personality. Chrystal is a film I try to make everyone who cares about Arkansas filmmaking go see. The music in the film is remarkable and the performances are uniquely inspired. Blount sings a wonderful Ozark folk song for her “Pa Da,” played by Harry Dean Stanton, on the porch, and every time it gives me goose bumps.
The Little Rock Film Festival is holding a screening of Chrystal at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 through the Argenta Film Series.
Admission is free, thanks to a grant from the William F. Laman Public Library System in North Little Rock, and tickets can be reserved at afschrystal.eventbrite.com. The screening will be at the Argenta Community Theater at 405 Main St. in North Little Rock. More information on the event is available at littlerockfilmfestival.org.
Levi Agee is a programmer for the Little Rock Film Festival. E-mail him at:
MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 09/07/2012
Print Headline: Screen gems