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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

Invisible empire of the senseless

posted: 07/26/2015 2:27 a.m. Comments 3

I'm writing this a few days before the Ku Klux Klan event that was scheduled to be held near Monticello last night; I'm hoping that you didn't hear much if anything about it and that nothing newsworthy occurred.

Critical Mass: Super or superficial?

posted: 07/26/2015 1:53 a.m. Discuss

"Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening."

Mr. Watson, you presumed

posted: 07/24/2015 2:37 a.m. Discuss

"Mr. Holmes" is the sort of movie that doesn't often come around in the summertime, a sedate and ruminative affair about an old man sorting through the accumulated detritus of his almost-over life, trying to remember the details and work out whether any of it means anything.

On Film: Film festival to be Arkansas' Outfest

posted: 07/24/2015 2:31 a.m. Discuss

One way to look at cinema is as a glimpse into the lives of others.

How we are complicit in the Mexican cartels

posted: 07/19/2015 2:25 a.m. Comment 1

I don't usually write about books I haven't finished, but I get the feeling that I'll be reading Don Winslow's new novel The Cartel for a long time. It's more than 600 pages and I'm reading it carefully and slowly, for a few minutes every night.

Spirits: Spirits at 5-year high at Rock Town

posted: 07/19/2015 1:57 a.m. Discuss

Whether or not Little Rock's Rock Town Distillery was the state's first distilling operation since Prohibition when it opened in 2010 depends on how you look at it. Ed Ward was in his 80s when he obtained a license to produce his Uncle Ed's Arkansas Moonshine in Newport in 2010. And his Uncle Ed's Arkansas Moonshine may have beat Rock Town's first batch to market. It might have obtained permits from the state first.

On Film: Getting a start on best movies of '15

posted: 07/17/2015 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Of the obligatory duties associated with this job, the making of lists ranks up there with the silliest. Not that I mind making them; it's not difficult to come up with names or titles and a line or two justifying their inclusion in whatever subset I'm defining. It's just that I have trouble taking myself seriously when I pretend to authority -- sure, I can give you a list of the best movies of the first half of 2015, but I know that 15 minutes later I'll think of a film I left out. I don't really think about movies in ways that can be reflected by hierarchical rankings. I don't even like grading systems.

On Books: Wright Brothers fails to soar

posted: 07/12/2015 2:06 a.m. Discuss

The intersection of "the good" and "the popular" is so slight that a Venn diagram representing the relationship of the two sets might look like kissing billiard balls. This is an obvious problem for people like me who write about cultural phenomena for a general audience -- most movies are mediocre or worse, but people go anyway and find a way to enjoy them.

Screaming at clouds and thinking about movies

posted: 07/12/2015 1:54 a.m. Discuss

I have never gotten used to the sensation of walking out of a movie theater into blasting daylight.

On Film: For fun, can't top movie in a theater

posted: 07/10/2015 2:45 a.m. Discuss

We've been going to the movies a lot lately, and not just for professional purposes. Our summer hasn't exactly turned brutal yet, but it's still hot enough on a weekend afternoon to discourage a lot of activity. So we make it down the hill to catch films I'd otherwise wait to see on DVD.

Review: A Little Chaos

posted: 07/10/2015 2:39 a.m. Discuss

In 1997, Alan Rickman, a reliable character actor who is often the most watchable performer on the screen, made his directorial debut with a low-key movie called The Winter Guest. The film was a modest undertaking, the film version of a Sharman McDonald play that Rickman had directed on stage.

CRITICAL MASS: Young makes music he wants, not always a good thing

posted: 07/05/2015 2:10 a.m. Discuss

Politics often seems the enemy of art, for politics forbids the admission against self-interest or the equivocal gesture, the acknowledgment of any of the gray territories in which art dwells. Politics requires staying on message, toeing the line and keeping discipline. If politics is about doing what is possible, if it's about taming dreams into substance, then art is about exploring the ineffable reaches of the invisible realm.

You can't always get what you want

posted: 07/05/2015 1:56 a.m. Comments 3

Most of us learn early on that we don't always get what we want. Part of growing up is bumping up against our own limits, discovering that no matter how much we try and want, no matter what the inspirational posters and the Hollywood movies tell us, there are some things we can never achieve. We can only run so fast, jump so high or think so deep.

Personal Space

posted: 07/04/2015 1:54 a.m. Discuss

Yslan Hicks Where I live: In the midtown area of Little Rock, with my husband, writer Bill Jones, and our three geriatric cats, Lulu, Serena and Samantha.

Review: The Overnight

posted: 07/03/2015 1 a.m. Discuss

Patrick Brice's little movie The Overnight was one of the highlights of this year's Sundance Film Festival. It has become notorious in some circles, mostly for a quick poolside scene that occurs in the film's second act. If you've read anything about the movie, it's likely you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't I'd rather send you to Google than spoil the mild surprise for the potential audience.

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