Cinema I/O, Good Weather gallery team up to show arthouse films in Little Rock

Irma Vep, the 1996 film written and directed by Olivier Assayas, will be screened by Cinema I/O and Good Weather Gallery at 420 Byrd St., in Little Rock.
Irma Vep, the 1996 film written and directed by Olivier Assayas, will be screened by Cinema I/O and Good Weather Gallery at 420 Byrd St., in Little Rock.

Beginning Saturday and running through June 25, Cinema I/O will present screenings of arthouse films in an eight-seat, black box theater at Good Weather art gallery space, 420 Byrd St., in Little Rock.

“Irma Vep,” the 1996 film from writer-director Olivier Assayas, will be shown Saturday at 2 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Additional screenings will be at 5 p.m. June 4, 7:30 p.m. June 7, 5 p.m. June 10 and 2 p.m. June 11.

“Tale of Cinema,” director Hong Sang-soo’s 2005 film, will be shown at 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. June 4. It can also be seen on June 10 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; at 5 p.m. on June 11 and on June 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free, though donations will be accepted. Since seating is limited, viewers are encouraged to reserve tickets. See cinemaio.org for details.

Additional films will be announced later, said Cinema I/O board member Omaya Deshaun Jones, who also curates a monthly film series for the Arkansas Times at Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema.

“What we want to do is build more of an arthouse film community here,” Jones says. “I think that through the Arkansas Times film series, we’ve built a little bit of an audience and people seem receptive to stuff that is more out there.”

Enter Good Weather, the art gallery that was started in 2012 by Haynes Riley in the garage of his brother’s North Little Rock home before moving to Chicago in 2019. Earlier this year, Good Weather leased the sprawling space at 420 Byrd for “Barely Visible,” a survey of works by Milwaukee artist John Riepenhoff that opened in April.

The exhibit will remain up through the film series and can also be viewed by appointment, Riley says.

Riepenhoff is the founder of the Beer Endowment project, a collaboration between local breweries and artist-run groups to create signature brews to promote the arts. Through the project, Good Weather worked with Lost Forty Brewing to produce Good Weather Cold IPA. Money raised through the sale of the beer helped fund the Cinema I/O screenings.

Another connection: artist Layet Johnson is on the Cinema I/O board and also created the illustration on the Cold Weather IPA cans.

Jones and Riley have known each other since they were students at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“Haynes knew what we were trying to do and when he got this location, he thought it would be a great place to kick everything off,” Jones says. “It basically forced us to go ahead and act. He just ignited this process.”

Riley is happy that Good Weather could help.

“I think it’s important for any art ecology in any city to have things that are artist-led, grassroots and guided by passion and a deeper understanding of the subject matter,” he says. “For us, any opportunity we have to support these types of activities in Arkansas and have it be more open to a larger and disparate audience is really special.”