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Free screenings of 'West of Memphis'

There will be six free showings of the documentary West of Memphis over the next seven weeks.

The documentary about the West Memphis Three was produced by Peter Jackson, best known for directing the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Two screenings are set for 7 p.m. tonight (Sept. 12) and tomorrow (Sept. 13). Tonight's is at the Malco Paradiso, and tomorrow's at the Cordova Cinema. Advance tickets are not available.

This is the fourth major feature documentary about the case. Three HBO films were done by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission): Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996), Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), and the Oscar-nominated Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011).

Here's John Beifuss' story on the free screenings.



Outflix continues through Thursday

The 15th annual Outflix Film Festival is continuing through Thursday at the Malco Ridgeway Four. The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission is supporting the festival that is featuring movies with LGBT content.

John Beifuss at the CA looks at Outflix here, and Chris Herrington of the Flyer writes about it here.

Tickets are $9 per feature; $24 for three features; $45 for seven features; or $75 for a week’s pass.



'Romance' blooms Sept. 12

The Romance of Loneliness, filmed in Memphis, is having its premiere on Sept. 12 at Malco Paradiso.

The indie project is a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. The Romance of Loneliness shot for 19 days in May, 2011 and hired 6 local cast and 10 local crew.

It's produced by Memphis-based Paper Moon Films (Nick Case and Ryan Watt). Another Paper Moon project, Open Five, was also assisted by the Commission.

The Romance of Loneliness, by Sarah Ledbetter & Matteo Servente, is about a confused young woman named Amanda who abandons her plan to go out west to instead accompany her grandmother to the same-sex wedding of her cousin Cristina at a West Tennessee farmhouse.

Smells Like Screen Spirit says "The Romance of Loneliness plays sort of like a fairy tale ... but it maintains its strong grip on reality, remaining ever-faithful to the subtlety of its storytelling."

The Romance of Loneliness is the feature-debut for co-directors Sarah Ledbetter & Matteo Servente, the lead debut for musician/actress Amy LaVere, and the third feature film by Memphis production company Paper Moon Films.

Lynn Cohen, known for her collaborations with Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, as well as playing Magda in Sex & The City, is featured in a lead role as the scene-stealing grandmother Mina.

The ensemble cast is comprised of other notable rising actresses Anna Margaret Hollyman (Small Beautifully Moving Parts) and Rebekah Brandes (Bellflower) joining Memphis talents Caroline White, Kentucker Audley, Bart Shannon, Jerre Dye, Luke White, Kim Justis, John Still and Ann Wallace.

The premiere will also have a concert by local musicians Deering & Down, whose music is in the film along with tunes by Memphians Star & Micey and Luke White.

Sarah and Matteo met in Paris at the NY Film Academy and attended the following year of school in Sydney. They collaborated on Dammi Il La, shot in Italy and Spain. Matteo moved to Memphis in 2007 to join Sarah developing The Romance of Loneliness.

The Sept. 12 event begins at 6:30 p.m. at Malco Paradiso. Admission is $15. Tickets are available at or at the door if available.



Outflix schedule announced

The 2012 Outflix Film Festival runs from Sept. 7-13 at the Malco Ridgeway Four theatre. This is the 15th year the festival has been showing LGBT films in the Midsouth. 

The opening film, Cloudburst, stars Academy Award-winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as a pair of geriatric lesbians who hit the highway and pick up a hunky young hitchhiker along the way.

Go here to see a schedule of the films.



Legendary broadcaster Marge Thrasher dies

Longtime popular television and radio personality Marge Thrasher died Friday after a long illness. She was 78.

"I would see Marge on T.V. and I would think, oh, you know, I'd like to do that and then when people would find out that I was studying television, I remember more than one person asked me. Oh, you want to be the next Marge Thrasher? I really didn't know quite how to answer that," says Memphis Film Commissioner Linn Sitler.

Read more in this Fox13 News story by Les Smith. 

Here's The Commercial Appeal's obituary. 


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