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Saturday, March 28, 2015, 11:06 a.m.
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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

On Film: Foothills FilmFest taken for granted

posted: 03/27/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

As is its custom, the 2015 Ozark Foothills FilmFest will be held in two sessions -- one on April 3-4, the other April 10-11. There's a pragmatic reason for this; the festival exists largely for the benefit of the people of Arkansas, most of whom have to work or go to school weekdays.

Spirits: Whiskey use Justified in series

posted: 03/22/2015 2:33 a.m. Discuss

"In this house, we drink whiskey."

Columnists: A decisive turning point for football

posted: 03/22/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

There are not many jobs that will pay a 24-year-old $540,000 for six months' work.

Vietnam saga to screen at Ron Robinson

posted: 03/20/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

There will be a free showing of Rory Kennedy's Oscar-nominated documentary Last Days in Vietnam at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Central Arkansas Library System's Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served, and the doors will open at 1:30 p.m.

Review: Leviathan

posted: 03/20/2015 1:45 a.m. Discuss

Sober and deliberate, with the gray force of inevitability, Andrey Zvyagintsev's remarkably well-wrought Leviathan is a compelling drama set in contemporary Russia about a car mechanic who has built -- apparently by himself -- a ramshackle house on a spit of waterfront land somewhere in the country's northwestern interior. It is a beautiful spot, coveted by the corrupt mayor Vadim (a remarkable performance by Roman Madyanov, an actor I've never seen before but whom I'll never forget), who uses the Russian equivalent of eminent domain -- the power of the state to take private property for public use -- to compel the owner to sell.

Review: Timbuktu

posted: 03/20/2015 1:43 a.m. Discuss

The desert is empty, khaki and rolling. Then there is a gazelle, sprinting through the dream. The crack of what we instantly recognize as gunfire, a Toyota pickup with a half-dozen men riding in its bed are firing on the animal. They raise their AK-47s. They miss, they miss, the animal vanishes.

Critical Mass: Lead Belly legacy

posted: 03/15/2015 2:05 a.m. Comment 1

A boxed set is like a little tomb, a way of finally categorizing and, ultimately, dismissing a given artist. You get several CDs and a lesson, all you need to carry forward.

Columnists: It's up to us to be ashamed

posted: 03/15/2015 1:46 a.m. Comments 5

Most of us will always be able to preserve our self-delusions. Most of us will always entertain a least a vague and nagging doubt about our virtuelessness.

Review: Eva

posted: 03/13/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

The history of robots on screen predates even the coining of the term by Czech writer Karel Capek in his 1920 play R.U.R. (the acronym stood for "Rossum's Universal Robots").

On Film: Second Best Exotic unusually pleasant

posted: 03/13/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

For three weeks in a row, the weather caused the cancellation of my LifeQuest Arkansas class.

Critical Mass: Keep on Keepin' On samples music career

posted: 03/08/2015 3:26 a.m. Discuss

I haven't gotten around to reading Robert Christgau's new memoir Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man (Dey Street Books, $27.95) but I will acknowledge that the former Village Voice rock critic -- specifically his old "Consumer Guide" (see it at -- is probably the biggest influence on the way I approach writing what we used to call "record reviews."

On Books: Dead Wake among books too good to remain unread

posted: 03/08/2015 3:26 a.m. Comment 1

Google says it was Frank Zappa who said, "So many books, so little time," but I'm thinking that has to be a misattribution. Not that Zappa couldn't have said it or because it seems out of character for that most erudite autodidact (how can he have been dead for more than 20 years?). But it feels much more antique.

Columnists: To test the wild and dark and cold

posted: 03/08/2015 1:58 a.m. Discuss

Audi doesn't want to go outside.

On Film: What doesn't fit has place on blog

posted: 03/06/2015 1:51 a.m. Discuss

One of the things you may or may not know about me is that in addition to editing this section and writing for the newspaper, I also maintain blood, dirt & angels (, a website devoted mostly to pop culture.

Love of Brussels sprouts a lifelong affair

posted: 03/04/2015 2:05 a.m. Comment 1

I almost wish I hated Brussels sprouts.

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