31 May 2011

#LRFF2011 - Giveaway Winner and Interview with Levi Agee

With this video below we get to do two things.  Interview one of our favorite personalities, Levi Agee, who just so happens to be acting in one of the shorts at this year's Little Rock Film Festival, Cotton County Boys.  We asked Mr. Agee if he would be the one to draw the winner for our LRFF2011 Bronze Pass Giveaway and he thankfully obliged.  We want to apologize for some of the issues with the video itself, and that problem will be rectified tomorrow.  Check back Thursday around noon for our coverage from the red carpet of the Arkansas premiere of The Last Ride and the block party that follows!

The winner will be able to pick up their two passes at Riverdale 10 on Cantrell.  If you didn't win you can still purchase passes there as well!  Also check out the latest trailer for Cotton County Boys below!

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#LRFF2011 - 2 Films

Wrestling for Jesus - Directed by Nathan Clarke
This documentary film from Madison, Wisconsin native Nathan Clarke follows a man from South Carolina as he starts a Christian professional wrestling league in order to evangelize his neighbors.  While his intentions are good, his personal life begins to disintegrate.  And when one of his wrestlers breaks his neck things get even more complicated.  This looks to be an emotionally moving documentary that we're very curious to see.  Also Nathan Clarke will be at the festival with this film.

Wrestling For Jesus Trailer from Nathan Clarke on Vimeo.

Commerce - Directed by Lisa Robertson
This film was a part of the American Film Institute and their Directing Workshop for Women this past year and in the past two weeks won the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Production Grant.  This grant will allow for Robertson's film to be made into a full length feature film.  Commerce is a psychological drama set in Los Angeles about the perils of compulsive gambling, and how that addiction can affect the people around them.  The film stars Joel Gretsch (V, Steven Spielberg’s TAKEN), Annabeth Gish (BROTHERHOOD, WEST WING, THE X FILES) and Noel Fisher (THE RICHES, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN: Parts I & II). Director Lisa Robertson will be at LRFF this week!

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29 May 2011

Little Rock Film Festival Pass Giveaway

If you live in the central Arkansas area- or will be in town the first week of June-  and haven't gotten your pass to this year's Little Rock Film Festival yet, no need to fear! We're very pleased to announce that Have You Been There will be giving away a pair of bronze passes to the 2011 Film Festival! (That's an $80 value, ya know!) What exactly do these passes grant you access to? Why only EVERY SINGLE* 2011 LRFF film and panel! That means you can see all the films we've already covered and then some, plus hear professionals talking about what they know best in the LRFF Talks series.

All you have to do is click here to like us and here to like the Little Rock Film Festival. Then leave a comment below to let us know you liked the pages! If you don't have a google account you can select the Name/URL profile and just type in your name! The winner will be drawn Tuesday, May 31st.

If you just can't wait (or want a little more access to festival events) click here to purchase your own passes!

*Bronze passes do not include admittance to the opening night film screening.

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27 May 2011

Cake Batter Truffles

Earlier in the week I promised a not-so-healthy-but-super-easy-and-drool-worthy recipe, and today I'm delivering. Say hello to chocolate dipped cake batter truffles. Yes, you read that correctly. My favorite thing about these was that they actually taste like batter, which has a decidedly different flavor than the baked version we all like to call "cake." My second favorite thing? Only 5 ingredients. After only a couple of days I had to get them out of my house. It was just too easy to walk by and pop one (...or four?) in my mouth. I boxed them up, took them to the station and watched and they were quickly devoured. I imagine you will see the same results. You can find the recipe here.

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26 May 2011

Personality Snapshot du Jour - #LRFF2011

K. Lorrel Manning Picture by Jayme Thornton  
K. Lorrel Manning is the writer/director of the critically-acclaimed, feature film Happy New Year, which stars Michael Cuomo and was executive produced by Iain Smith (Wanted, Children of Men, The Fountain). The film received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival (Narrative Competition). Happy New Year tells the story of “Sgt. Cole Lewis” who, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital. Through humor and pathos, Lewis becomes a ray of hope in the ward, as the men find a way to combat their post-war grief. However, just as their luck starts to change, Lewis soon faces his fiercest battle yet. Happy New Year is based on Manning's play and award-winning short film of the same nameHappy New Year anticipates a limited theatrical release on 11.11.11 (Veterans Day) in select cities across the United States.  It is in competition for the Golden Rock at this year's Little Rock Film Festival. Manning's additional works include A&J Rule the Universe (Off-Broadway, 2006) and Wool (New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fellowship. His other plays have been developed at theatres throughout New York City, including the Roundabout, Rattlestick and the Barrow Group. He holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University. He is also the lead singer of the politically-charged rock band La Res (www.vivelares.com). He currently resides in New York City.

Have You Been There:  What inspires you the most?
Lorrel Manning:  I'm really inspired by artists in any field who take risks and follow their hearts, regardless of what's popular at the moment. Sadly, there isn't much art being made from the heart these days. Or maybe I just need to look a little harder for it.
HYBT: Do you have a mentor? Who?
  I’ve had a few really great teachers and advisors over the years, but I would say the person who’s had the most influence on me has been my mother. To me, she’s been the strongest person I’ve ever known. I’ve never seen someone show so much strength against adversity.  Making HAPPY NEW YEAR has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Convincing people to fund a film about Iraq vets during a recession was no easy feat. My mother’s strength, which she passed down to me, definitely came in handy.

HYBT: Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to?
LM: Honestly, I haven’t been to many exotic places, but I would say San Francisco holds a dear place in my heart. Whenever I go, the minute I step off the plane I’m overwhelmed with excitement. For some reason, that place just agrees with me.

HYBT: What is your favorite piece of art, be it a film, music, painting, etc.?
  I would have to say Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” painting. I love everything he’s ever done, but every time I look at this piece, my imagination runs wild about the possibilities of what’s going on “in the cafe”. What is the couple to the side talking about? Why is the guy in the hat sitting alone? Is he lamenting a breakup? Is he about to rob the place? The possibilities are endless. Discovering this piece at a young age had a serious effect on me. It was the first time I realized how powerfully complex a work of art can be.

HYBT: What effect do you think the place you grew up had on you and your work? 
LM:  I was born in New York, but I grew up in the South. I'd often spend my summers in NYC, and, honestly, New York felt more like home than South Carolina did. The South is full of beautiful, fascinatingly complex people, but I was never inspired to write about them. Halfway through my 2nd year at Columbia Film School I suddenly grew tired of writing about East Village hipsters and decided to set a story in my hometown. I soon discovered that I had a goldmine of characters and experiences to draw from. It was overwhelming. That was when I truly discovered my voice.

HYBT: What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
LM: I have this weird ability to remember incredibly minor details of conversations that I have with people. I'm an intense listener. When people are talking to me I usually have a visual narrative going in my head at the same time - like a movie. I then file "the movie" away. It freaks people out when I can later recall minor details about their own lives that they may have forgotten they told me. I'm just replaying the movie.

HYBT: What's something you'd like to learn to do?
LM:  I would really love to learn how to paint. I actually fell into theatre and film by accident. During my sophomore year in high school, I needed one more elective to round out my schedule. I talked my way into an Intermediate art class that was available at the time I needed. After the first week, the instructor pulled me aside and kindly told me that I didn’t have the basic skills needed to survive the class and that I should leave. I was devastated. She then told me that there was a desperate need for males in the drama department. So, I walked down the hall and knocked on the door. I was accepted immediately. Ha!

HYBT: What's something about you that would surprise people?
LM: Oh, man, where do I start? Most writers that I meet are shocked when I tell them how obsessed I get with the backstories of my characters. I often start with the parents of each significant character meeting for the first time, writing up to the moment the character makes his/her first appearance in the story. I then toss out the back story – usually about 15-20 pages. By that time, the character is totally in my blood, and I no longer need the history to guide me. I did that for the majority of characters in HAPPY NEW YEAR. It sounds completely nuts and unnecessary, but it works for me, and it really gets the creative juices flowing.

HYBT: Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
LM:  Yes! Writing the HAPPY NEW YEAR script was pure hell at times. I and lead actor/producer Michael Cuomo interviewed over 80 veterans from various wars for this film. A number of these people were opening up for the very first time about their combat experiences and how difficult their lives were in the aftermath. Many of the stories and images were truly horrifying, leading to many sleepless nights. There were many times where I felt I was losing my mind as I struggled to stay focused on the script and not crawl into a corner and cry. Sometimes I did.

HYBT: Who's your favorite television or movie character?
LM:  There are many, but I would say the character of "Larry ’Lonesome’ Rhodes” (played magnificently by Andy Griffith) in Elia Kazan’s A FACE IN THE CROWD. “Lonesome Rhodes” is a ne'er-do-well who becomes a powerful television personality, reaching Oprah Winfrey-like status overnight but soon plummets back to obscurity when he lets the power go to his head. This movie is a great lesson in the power of humility and a warning to not abuse the gifts you've been given.  Griffith gives one of the greatest (yet overlooked) performances in the history of cinema. See it!
Happy New Year plays the LRFF on June 2nd at 6pm and June 4th at 3:20pm, Riverdale Cinemas.  More info at www.happynewyearfilm.com

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Quick Hit: New Harry Potter Character Poster

All this week Warner Bros. has been releasing posters of different characters in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  We haven't brought you any of them until now, because it's Neville Longbottom, the least likely character to get a poster (except he's really an integral part to the final bit of the story).  Check it out!

from collider.com

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25 May 2011

Personality Snapshot du Jour - #LRFF2011

Michael Cuomo
picture by Susanna Thornton
Meet Michael: The Actor

Michael Cuomo is the lead actor and producer of the critically-acclaimed, feature film Happy New Year, which was written and directed by K. Lorrel Manning, executive produced by Iain Smith (Wanted, Children of Men, The Fountain) and received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival (Narrative Competition).  Cuomo reprised his dual roles as lead actor and producer from the award-winning short film and original off-broadway production.  Happy New Year anticipates a limited theatrical release on 11.11.11 (Veterans Day) in select cities across the United States.  It is in competition for the Golden Rock at this year's Little Rock Film Festival. He has performed at Off-Broadway theatres throughout NYC, including Rattlestick, Naked Angels and the Barrow Group. Cuomo trained with Joseph Chaikin, Brad Calcaterra and Seth Barrish in New York.  Originally from Baltimore, he currently resides in New York City. Happy New Year plays the LRFF on June 2nd at 6pm and June 4th at 3:20pm, Riverdale Cinemas.  More info at www.happynewyearfilm.com

Have You Been There: What inspires you the most?
Michael Cuomo: I'm most inspired by art that gets underneath the surface.  Whether it be a painting, a piece of theatre or a film ---- I especially enjoy work that eschews traditional boundaries and provokes, educates and stimulates.  If we aren't changin' --- we're dyin'!

HYBT: Do you have a mentor? Who? 
MC: I've had wonderful teachers in my life, but I think the best has been my mother.  She didn't always have it easy, but she continues to find a piece of positivity in everything that she encounters, even if only for a moment.  Her faith in humanity is tremendous.

HYBT: Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to?
MC: I actually haven't traveled much in my life, but I especially enjoyed visiting friends in Paris last year.  New York City is my home, but I could certainly spend some of my time in Paris.  I remember sitting outside a cafe on Rue Des Trois Freres in the MontMartre area and I thought 'I could really live here," and I rarely feel this way about any other city.  The Sacre Coeur was incredible!  

HYBT: What is your favorite piece of art, be it a film, music, painting, etc.?
MC: I would have to say the Beatles' White Album.  I truly appreciate the risks they were taking and the fact that the album marks a time when the band's creativity was peaking, despite extreme personal tension and chaos in the studio.  For me, the double album embodies the band's ability to push to new limits, take risks and in some cases, fail miserably with reckless abandon.  Oh Yoko ... why'd you do it!

HYBT: What effect do you think the place you grew up had on you and your work?
MC: Growing up in an antiques store in Baltimore had a major effect on me, particularly as an actor.  At a young age, I was exposed to so many different walks of life, whether it be race, class, age or sexuality.  I was taught to be accepting of all people, which has provided me with freedom as an actor to explore and inhabit complex characters without any judgment or stereotypes.  And the city of Baltimore is a wild time ---- just watch a few John Waters films!  

HYBT: What’s something you know you do differently than most people? 
MC: I have a photographic memory, so when I meet someone, I take a mental picture of their face and file it away in my mind.  I've bumped into acquaintances after a 10-year absence and been able to explain where we met, who they are and several elements of the original conversation.  It is amazing to watch folks 'remember' as I describe the past, but it freaks some folks out too, so I have to be careful!

HYBT: What's something you'd like to learn to do?
MC: I'd like to learn how to swim ---- I imagine that may come in handy some day!

HYBT: What's something about you that would surprise people?
MC: I'm incredibly shy.  I actually didn't start acting until my early 20s, because I had immense stage fright and was basically awkward socially.  I tried auditioning for a few plays in college, but I could never make it past the waiting room room without running into the bathroom and vomiting up my lunch --- literally!

HYBT: Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
MC: I think the entire creative process breeds insanity, so I'm not sure that one is ever mutually exclusive of the other.  I've witnessed many artists, particularly musicians, working on a new piece and it can seem completely disconnected from reality, but the art often works out quite beautifully.  There were certainly times when I basically felt 'insane' shooting HAPPY NEW YEAR, yet I look at the work now at times I see extreme beauty within darkness.

HYBT: Who's your favorite television or movie character?
MC: My favorite film character is Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown in MY LEFT FOOT.  I'm very attracted to these types of stories, probably because I connect with the idea of being an underdog and having to fight for self-expression.  Daniel Day-Lewis is revelatory in every performance, but this particular character is so nuanced and emotionally-complex ---- I have to say this is still his best work.

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Quick Hit: Brand New Trailer for Green Lantern

This trailer is brand new as of this morning, and it explains a little bit about the whole Green Lantern universe which we don't really understand.

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Chistopher Meloni Leaving Law & Order

It was announced last night that Detective Elliott Stabler will no longer be a part of NBC's Law & Order SVU.  Christopher Meloni and his bosses could not come to an agreement on a contract for a 13th season of the popular show.  Now that Mariska Hargitay has a brand new child there are questions if she will stay for a 14th season (She has a contract for next season).  Now they're looking for some sort of replacement.  Who do you think would be good?

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24 May 2011

Not Gaga for Born This Way

Photo from gagadaily.com
It's probably not a good sign when Amazon.com makes your brand new album available for $0.99 on it's release date. That's just what they did with Lady Gaga's newest offering, Born This Way. We're not complaining that they did because we were able to snatch it up and give it a listen, whereas we otherwise probably wouldn't have bothered based on the album's first few releases. We're sure there will be plenty of "little monsters" who will run out and buy it due to pure dedication. But now that we've heard the album... we kind of want our $0.99 back.

Here's the thing though... we like Lady Gaga.  She's got an amazing voice, and is great at generating fairly constant news.  But it's not always wise to tell the worldwide media 6 months before your 3rd album in 2 years comes out that it's "the best album of the decade."  That's a lot to live up to.  The best song on the album is "You and I" because it's the least techno sounding song and moves it more in the direction she'll probably go next.  More of a gritty southern feel (there's definitely still techno elements though), it's actually quite country.  We're serious in saying don't be surprised if her next album is a country album, and it'll probably be better than the average release out of Nashville.  One only needs to listen to "Born this Way (Country Road Version)" to see that she definitely has a talent for this.

We're also not going to go into all the comparisons to Madonna that are going across the blogosphere and media, even though we have a lot of thoughts on that issue.  Maybe this album is just a misstep along a path to a long career by a talented musician.  Maybe we just don't get it, but this album has been one of the most heavily cross promoted albums we can remember.  Just last week Words with Friends (which is owned by Zynga the makers of Farmville) was heavily promoting the new album by entering you into a contest every time you played certain Gaga related words and Zynga also created a Gagaville for fans of both Lady Gaga and Farmville.

Our least favorite song on the album is the 3rd single, "The Edge of Glory" it's a weird late 80s soft pop, Celine Dion like song.  It features saxophone from the E Street Band's saxophonist which adds to the cheese.  The song that might actually be the most fun is "Scheibe" which seems to be an homage to German techno hits of the 90s.  It begins with Gaga saying "I don't speak German but I can if you like".  One of the other good songs on the album is "Bloody Mary" with a nice staccato string sound through out. Lady Gaga has an amazing voice and does showcase it on every one of these songs.  We'll definitely continue to listen to her and as she grows, we just wish the album really would have been the best album of the decade, we might just listen to the Madonna albums Ray of Light or Music in the meantime (most of today's pop music sounds like those albums anyway).

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Quick Hit: First Trailer for Take Shelter

You can look at the rest of our coverage of Take Shelter here.

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23 May 2011

#LRFF2011 - 2 Films

Our ongoing series of films we are excited to see at this year's Little Rock Film Festival continues today.  And remember you can go back through all of our LRFF related posts by clicking here.  Be sure to book mark that link and check back often.

Happy New Year
directed by Lorrel Manning
Starring Michael Cuomo Happy New Year is a film about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the consequences of PTSD.   The film made its world premiere at South by Southwest this past spring, where they wound up adding extra screenings due to the demand for this film.  It's one of the most buzz laden films of this year's LRFF.  Director Lorrel Manning and actor Michael Cuomo will both be in attendance and we're very excited to meet them.  It looks to be a very moving film.  As a side note/bonus the film also features actor Alan Dale aka Charles Widmore from LOST (that makes two actors from the show in films at this year's festival). You should definitely take the time to check this film out and come back to our site for our interview with Mr. Manning and Mr. Cuomo.  Click here for the trailer.

Bright directed by Benjamin Busch
Writer/Direct Benjamin Busch is best known for his recurring role on HBO's The Wire and luckily for us he's been able to make a short film featuring members of the cast of it as well as Generation Kill.  The film is about the character of Troy who is trying to overcome his fears with the help of his blind adopted father Irwin.  LRFF Shorts Programmer Jacob LeMaster recently told us about this film and how amazing it is to watch, as you can see here.  We're very intrigued by the trailer for this film and can't wait to see it.

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#LRFF2011 - Trailer for Film World Premiering in Little Rock

A few days ago we told you one of the films we were excited to see was an animated short from Chicago filmmaker Christopher Kai Olsen called Karl Dahl and the Golden Cube.  Mr. Olsen told us soon after that the trailer would be coming, and now it's here.  The week of the festival we'll have an interview with Mr. Olsen that animation fans definitely will need to check out.

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Zucchini Fries

This weekend I found myself scouring Pinterest (my food board here) for something to satisfy my urge to bake something fun. The fun recipe I settled on will come later this week (just a heads up- while this recipe is light, my "fun-later-in-the-week" one is not), but in my searching I ran across another that sounded too delicious and easy to pass up. These baked zucchini fries turned out even better than I expected. Justin and I both agree that we could trade a plate of these healthy alternatives for greasy fries any day. The recipe can be found here! I really, REALLY hope someone out there tries these and if you do, let me know how they turned out for you!

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22 May 2011

Quick Hit: New TV Spot for Harry Potter 7 Part 2

This is a brand new trailer as of this weekend featuring some new footage from HP7 part 2.  Check it out!

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21 May 2011

Quick Hit: First Picture of Villain in The Dark Knight Rises

One of the villains in Christopher Nolan's 3rd Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is the character of Bane.  In this film he's portrayed by Tom Hardy.  Bane's a chemically enhanced genius strong man, who at one point in the comics broke Batman's back.  He's one of his most difficult enemies he's ever had to face (He figured out just by watching Bruce Wayne walk that he was Batman).  Just for a point of reference here's a photo of Tom Hardy in Inception so you can remember who he is.

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LRFF2011 - Purchase Your Pass Party

Last night we covered the Little Rock Film Festival's Purchase Your Pass Party at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Little Rock.  We had an opportunity to speak with the Shorts Programmer for the festival, Jacob LeMaster.  He let us know a little bit about what we can expect to see at the Shorts program at this year's festival!  Even though it was a rainy night it didn't stop people from coming out and they had a blast!

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Personality Snapshot du Jour

photo by Shannon Sturgis
Meet Kelsie: The Comedienne 

We first discovered Kelsie Craig when we went to watch a friend perform with her improv troop. Let's pause there. Do you realize how hard improv is? Mallory found out when said improv friend pulled her up on stage during a show to be the "audience member inspiration" for a skit. It went something like this:
Improv Guy- "So, what do you do?"
Mallory- "Uhm...? I... Channel 4"
Improv Guy- "Oh, you work at Channel 4. What do you do there?"
Mallory- "I... uhm?"
You know who would have had ridiculously witty answers to those mundane questions, and probably would have delivered them in an awesome accent? Kelsie Craig. This Little Rocker (who's about to become a Nashvillian) spends her time hosting the Channel 5 Kids Club, teaching children at the Arkansas Arts Center and getting laughs in the Little Rock Improv Troupe. Um, isn't that how Sarah Silverman got her start...?
Anyway, Kelsie is staring in a film premiering at this year's Little Rock Film Festival.  Kelsie is one of the leads in Cotton County Boys a film we spoke about recently in this post.

Have You Been There?: What inspires you the most?
Kelsie Craig: Teachers. I love watching the transformation of young and old alike. Without teachers no one would ever learn anything. Think about it.

HYBT: Do you have a mentor? Who?
KC: Not one person specifically, but there are lots of talented people that I look up to and who have helped me. I look up to most of my friends. I have a lot of talented hardworking friends. There are also some comedians that I would like to emulate but they all have taken out restraining orders against me.

HYBT: Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to?
KC: Lots of places come to mind. But the one place that is currently got a hold of me is Nashville, Tennessee. I came to Nashville with my friends Amy and Graham to visit my boyfriend, Will, and stayed a week. It was that week that I knew I wanted to be there in Nashville. Have you ever been someplace and it was just easy to breathe? It's easy to breathe in Nashville.

HYBT: What is your favorite piece of art, be it a film, music, painting, etc.?
KC: This is a hard question. I'm in love with William Wordsworth. The Romantic Poets. Romanticism.

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

HYBT: What effect do you think the place you grew up had on you and your work?
KC: I grew in up in Rogers, Arkansas. Born in Stamps, Arkansas. Born and raised in Arkansas. I love Arkansas. I was encouraged to laugh and be silly and mimicked any voice I found amusing. I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself or to fail. It's scary sometimes but growing up around a supportive family really helps at the end of the day when no one laughs at your joke or you don't get a call back. Arkansas is a melting pot and makes for great character study.

HYBT: What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
KC: I FEEL very different. I think about other people's feelings and thoughts a lot. I think I probably do lots of things differently. I probably worry too much about other peoples feelings. Nah. I love people.

HYBT: What's something you'd like to learn to do?

HYBT: What's something about you that would surprise people?
KC: I have filmed over 100 episodes of a show you've probably never seen unless you live or lived in Conway, Arkansas between 2008 and whenever they stop showing the Channel 5 Kids Club. AND had Conway Corporation cable.

HYBT: Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
KC: Working with kids at the Art Center. Especially the Junior Arts Academy: kids 6-9 years old doing theatre. They start out really shy and by the end of the session they are screaming their lines. Maybe that's creativity becoming insanity...
Also most Improv Little Rock shows and rehearsals are insane AND creative. Always wanting more afterwards!

HYBT: Who's your favorite television or movie character?
KC: Karl Childers from Sling Blade. I love any actor that becomes the character. Billy Bob became Karl. Amazing film. and TV. Right now I'm really into Parks and Recreation.

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20 May 2011

And the Winner is...

And the winner of our first giveaway  is Samantha Simmons of Lawrence, Kansas.  Congratulations Samantha!  We will be sending you the cuff from Blue Autumn Avenue early next week!

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Quick Hit: Take Shelter Wins Critic's Week at Cannes

The title pretty much sums it up.  Yesterday Jeff Nichols' film won best film at Cannes' 50th annual Critic's Week.  He also won best screenplay.  Congrats are in order for the Little Rock, Arkansas native! To see a clip from the film click here.  Take Shelter was the only American film in competition.

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19 May 2011

Reminder: TODAY is the last day of our May Giveaway

Click HERE for all the details!

Keela Jumping

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18 May 2011

Gems of Netflix - Underlying Secrets Edition

In our second entry on films you should check out on Netflix we've got 3 doozies for you spread across 4 decades. These three films are ultimately in some fashion about dark secrets hidden from the general public and the eroding away of said secrets. Also these movies are fun to watch.

Parallax View -1974
Directed by Alan Pakula
Keela's favorite actor Warren Beatty and his giant hair star in this conspiracy thriller.  After a senator is assassinated on the campaign trail the reporters who witnessed the assassination start turning up dead.  It's up to Warren Beatty to solve this mystery and he soon realizes he's over his head.  This film has amazing cinematography and incredible action set pieces.  See the picture above?  That's the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, and those are men fighting on top of it.  For real.  They sure don't make them like they used to!  I am genuinely surprised no studio head has decided to remake this film.  Maybe they will after they read this post.  Also Mr. Feeney from Boy Meets World is in this film, and he's young and barely recognizable.  You should definitely check it out.

The Secret of NIMH - 1982
Directed by Don Bluth
This animated classic is one of the most remembered cartoons from Justin's childhood.  A dark adventure  about a mother field mouse who must seek out super intelligent rats to rescue her son, this movie has some of the most impressive hand drawn animation of its time. What is he secret of NIMH? We won't tell you, but if you saw this as a child you should go back and watch it again.  Directed by the man who brought us films such as All Dogs Go to Heaven and An American Tale this is where his classic darker animation style really begins.  Sadly he hasn't directed a feature since the mediocre 2000 hit Titan A.E.  You'll enjoy this film, here's the trailer.

The Joneses - 2010
Directed by Derrick Borte
This dark comedy starring David Duchovney and Demi Moore didn't get much theatrical attention (if any) but if you've got Netflix you should check it out.  The Joneses move into a nice affluent neighborhood that could be in any town in America.  They're the most attractive family in the neighborhood and have everything you could ever want.  Every family has got their secrets, some bigger than others.  It's nice to see David Duchovney in a role other than Fox Mulder.  It's also a decent directorial debut by Derrick Borte.

If you didn't hear Netflix now uses more bandwidth than any other service (about a 1/3rd of the nation's internet).  Movies like these might be why.

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17 May 2011

First Clip from Take Shelter

The film showed at Cannes today.  We're excited to bring you the first clip.

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Trailer for TinTin

poster from collider.com

Justin Here.  Ever since I was about 8 or so I've been a fan of TinTin a Belgium comic book written by Herge.  They're adventure stories in the 40's and 50's that go from the depths of Amazon to the surface of the moon.  Fun stuff.  So it really excites me that Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson are producing a trilogy of films based on the comics.  Spielberg is directing the first film and Jackson the second.  No word on who is directing the 3rd.  Just in time for awards season (even though I doubt it is what they're searching for) the first one arrives.  Here's the trailer below!

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16 May 2011

LRFF2011 - 2 Films

We continue our series of films we want to see at this year's Little Rock Film Festival!  You can view our previous two entries here and here.

Left by the Ship Directed by Emma Rossi Landi and Alberto Vendemmiati
This documentary tells the tale of 4 children in the Philippines whose mothers were prostitutes and fathers were American sailors.  When the US shut down its naval base in 1992 the fathers left their children behind.  Forgotten and never declared American citizens the children are forced to suffer racism and are never accepted as Filipino natives.  The film looks to be serious and heart wrenching, but hopefully uplifting.  It's making it's southern premiere at Little Rock Film Festival.

Karl Dahl and the Golden Cube Directed by Chris Olsen
Making it's World Premiere at this year's Little Rock Film Festival and written and directed by a former producer of Veggie Tales this animated short film looks to excite and wonder.  This short has been garnering buzz for the past few months across the internet as one to watch for and we'll have a video interview with the Director Christopher Kai Olsen up the second day of the festival.  The film is about two vaudevillian nutcrackers who try to stop a museum heist.  It looks like fun.  We'll try to bring you a trailer as soon as possible!

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Isn't She Lovely?

She's totally going to kill me for this.

A very talented friend of mine needed a quick head shot for an upcoming art show of hers. I am by no means a professional. However, I do have a pretty brag-worthy camera, so I swooped in to snap a few shots over the weekend. Like I said, she probably won't be too happy, but some of the photos were just too pretty not to share!

Click here to check out some of Liz's fabulous work. If you look closely you  might even spot yours truly in a few of her paintings!

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Chris Pine May be in Jeff Nichols' Next Film

from ew.com

There are reports out this past weekend that Captain Kirk 2 (Chris Pine) is in talks to star in Arkansas director Jeff Nichols' 3rd film currently titled Mud.  The reports say he will be playing the title character.  It seems all of this is still up in the air because Pine is about to go into production on Star Trek 2 and after that is expected to play Jack Ryan in the reboot of the franchise that Alec Baldwin/Harrison Ford/Ben Affleck made famous.  Nichols' latest film Take Shelter is getting a lot of early buzz for this year's awards season.  It'll be interesting to see. We'll get you the latest news on this as it comes out

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To Bangs, or Not To Bangs?

Luckily, you don't have to decide! In a turn of events so ridiculously simple you'll be angry at your three year old sister for not discovering it, a couple of designers revealed the secret to having the best of both worlds. Both Rodarte and Badgley Mischka sent faux banged models down the most recent runways.

The best part? I'm willing to bet you've already got the essentials for recreating the look. Got a cute barette or hair pin? Then you've got what you need. Like I said, the look is so incredibly straightforward that step-by-step instructions would be unnecessary. It's so uncomplicated that if I tried to teach you how to do it, I'd worry that you'd think I was mocking you. Take a look for yourself.

It's a very cool look with the added benefit of the illusion of swoopy bangs without the frustration of having them hanging in your face by the end of the day (I CAN'T be the only person this happens to, right?). Listen, hacking off the front chunk of your hair is a big commitment. And it can totally be worth it. But if you're just not ready to take that step, at least you've got the option to have part-time bangs. For lots of ladies out there, part-time is exactly enough!

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14 May 2011

Thor is in Snow White

Yes Thor is Also Captain Kirk's Dad

Today it was confirmed that Thor star Chris Hemsworth would be cast as the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman starring Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow White.  The film is going to be released December 12, 2012.  There will be another live action Snow White film about 6 months before.  We'll probably bring you news of both if you ask us nicely.  We'd also like to apologize for the lack of posting the past two days due to technical difficulties.  Next week look for Little Rock Film Festival news and posts!

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13 May 2011

New Photos from Harry Potter Part 7 Part 2

Warner Brothers just posted these photos on the Harry Potter facebook page here.

We're very excited for this final film in the series.  As we say every time our first post was on Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows, so Harry Potter will always be a close to the heart of Have You Been There.  These three photos were downloadable on the Facebook page.

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Quick Hit: YouTube Hilarity

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It seems America's favorite actor has upset quite a few New Yorkers who live around the set of Men In Black 3.  The city has asked the studio to move his massive 2 story trailer due to the sounds and smells that are disturbing the mayor.  Many in the area are depressed that a trailer has a larger living space than their NYC apartments.  The star was asked to move his trailer yesterday afternoon.  According to some sources the studio says this is the first time they've ever had an issue with the trailer.  Smith alledgely caught a cab and said "Hey smell you later!"

The bus courtesy of Brandon Riedie

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12 May 2011

Rumor: Hugh Grant to be One man in 2 & 1/2 Men

There are rumors going around Hollywood that Hugh Grant is about to sign a deal to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men.  We don't watch the show, but it seems that he might be a good fit for his past bad-boy antics that Sheen used to exhibit before his craziness that got him fired.  Not knowing much about the show itself we don't know what to tell you.  Maybe it'll be a much needed change?  It might even increase it's ratings, (it already was one of the TOP sitcoms on TV).  What do you think about this?

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11 May 2011

LRFF2011 - 2 Films

Today we show you two more films we're interested in seeing at this year's Little Rock Film Festival.

Another Earth - Directed by Mike Cahill
Probably the film with the most buzz at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and showing at this year's LRFF a month and a half before it hits theaters nationwide, Another Earth looks to be one of the most thought provoking sci fi films in years.  The night another Earth identical to ours is found a young woman crosses paths with a successful composer in a tragic accident.  The discovery of this duplicate planet brings many to believe they can fix the wrongs in their lives.  The films stars LOST's William Mapother (Ethan, the Other who kidnapped Claire) as well as Brit Marling who co-wrote the film with the director.

Cotton County Boys - Directed by Collin Buchanan
The story of what 3 sons will do to save their mothers farm.  This short stars Natalie Canerday (Sling Blade, Shotgun Stories), Candyce Hinkle (2010's True Grit) Terrel Case, Lynnsee Provence (Shotgun Stories), and our friend Levi Agee. Did we mention that this is a comedy?  It looks pretty sweet.

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10 May 2011

Personality Snapshot du Jour

Meet Sean:  The DJ 

Sean Brietzke, better known as Sean "Wonderbread" Biggs, started DJing drum and bass and jungle music in 2003. While spending weeks in a local underground bar, his friends encouraged him to expand his interest by borrowing one Technique 1200 and a mixer to add to his parent's 1980's Sony turntable.  In 2004 along with some other DJ’s Sean formed Believe Productions and began to throw parties for an ever growing crowd.  Sean was able to increase a fan base and resurrect interest in jungle/drum and bass by teaming up with the turntabilist Tristan Wingfield in 2008 and forming the drum and bass group [e/ffekt]. Incorporating true scratching and a hyped stage presence, [e/ffekt] was able to start a loyal following.  He’s performed with the likes of Dieselboy, AK1200, Dara, Icey, Huda Hudia, Elite Force and even "Jersey Shore's" Angelina. Now located in northern California, Sean  hopes to continue his 8 year-long career as an individual who encourages booty-shaking and good times for years to come not only in California, but worldwide.

Have You Been There: What inspires you the most?
Sean Brietzke:  Music. Since my sister bought me my first CD, Aerosmith's "Get a
Grip," I've been subject to the unavoidable world of music. Now that
technology has advanced to the point where one can spontaneously
download almost any song they fancy directly to their phone at any
given time I am able to continually explore new music and familiarize
myself with up-and-coming unknown artists. Donald Glover, aka
"Childish Gambino," has been one of my most recent favorites in the
past six months. I suggest anyone who enjoys intelligent indie-rap
should check him out.

HYBT:  Do you have a mentor? Who?
SB:  I can't claim to have anyone as impressive as Obi-Wan Kenobi in my
life, but my friends and family have always been a significant source
of guidance and advice. An individual who stood out more than most is
my friend Omar. He has been all over the world and has continued to
stay active in my life through many years. It helps that he married
another close friend of mine, but I will always credit him to giving
me a real start in the world of DJing. He turned to me one day when I
was trying to learn how to beat match on vinyl turntables and said
very plainly "that's what you do now."

HYBT:   Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to?
SB:  The California coast. I was fortunate enough to visit the area between
San Francisco and Los Angeles when I was younger and fell in love with
almost everything north of LA. I was fortunate to meet a great woman
who married me and brought me out to that area to live recently.
Having grown up in a smaller city such as Little Rock I felt limited
to a certain degree and now I live an hour away from so many beautiful
places that I don't think I'll ever grow tired of it.

HYBT:  What is your favorite piece of art, be it a film, music, painting, etc.?
SB:  "The Old Guitarist" by Pablo Picasso. It was a painting of a man
curled up with a guitar painted during Picasso's blue period and
always "struck a chord" with me.

HYBT:  What effect do you think the place you grew up had on you and your work?
SB:  Little Rock is a town trying very hard to become a city. It has a lot
of the advantages of a city but also has the small-town feel where
everyone seems to know you. Working in an area such as that is a very
nurturing environment where a lot of your efforts and ideas can be
developed with the help of others. It also instills a sense of hard
work in you, because you feel like you work with a family most of the
time and not just some corporate conglomerate. I know whenever I visit
Little Rock in the future I'll be met with smiles and it will be like
I never left.

HYBT:   What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
SB:  Odd question, because a lot of the time you think that what you do is
fairly normal until someone brings it to your attention that you're
doing certain things completely different than the rest of the world.
I'd say it may be my sense of "hope," my desire to constantly want
change, and my friendly disposition towards life.  That may sound
extremely corny, and I agree, but I've met a lot of people over the
years who seem to get into ruts and just accept their place without
ever remembering what it was like to dream of better days. I have
always felt that given the person that I am that I would find my path
and know that it would be great. Recently my life has changed
dramatically by meeting my now wife and moving 2,000 to live outside
of my home state for the first time. I know I'm in a much better place
and can't wait to see what life brings.

HYBT:  What's something you'd like to learn to do?
SB:  Play the piano! I blame my chubby fingers for never getting any good
at guitar, and I think they'd be the perfect fit for a set of piano
keys. Much of the music I enjoy has classical undertones, and piano is
a huge part of that.

HYBT:   What's something about you that would surprise people?
SB:  I am so big of a nerd that CNN once called me to talk to me about my
Star Wars collection, and a website of mine was featured on "E!
Entertainment Online" back in 2001 as part of an A-Z Star Wars Web
featurette. They even used one of my graphics on their title page. I
passed on the CNN interview because I felt I was completely amateur
when it came to collecting.

HYBT:   Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
SB:  That is a very unique and confusing question. I would say that the
world of film is best reserved for situations such as that. Seeing a
movie that you may disregard as completely insane at first may turn
out to be truly awe-inspiring. Watching "Enter the Void" was a lot
like that. It was a bit difficult to deal with all the insane imagery,
but once I started to understand what was going on I thought it was

HYBT:  Who's your favorite television or movie character?
SB:  My answer will cover many bases: Wolverine. The first comic books I
bought when I was 8 years old were "Silver Surfer" and "Wolverine." I
quickly ditched "Silver Surfer" and became a die-hard fan of the man
known as Weapon-X. Throughout television and movies his character
seems somewhat timeless and will always be a favorite of mine. I
recently found a green Wolverine bandana of him in his yellow and
black suit and cherish it as a momentous find from my childhood.

You can listen to some of Sean's music here.  You can find Sean on Facebook here.

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Suits for Summer

Mallory here.  With summer right around the corner, I've really started to consider my poolside wardrobe. I've never been one of those girls who has to rush out each year and buy five new suits. I've been perfectly content to add a new one to the mix every couple of years. However with this year comes a little something I like to call "Justin's and my honeymoon" and seeing as how this is a once in a lifetime event, I'm thinking an expansion and update to my collection is in order. Below is what I found scouring the interweb. I was actually very disappointed in what was out there. Most of what I found at all the best sites were average at best. Am I missing something? Is there one fabulous go-to swimwear site who's secret I'm just not in on? If you know, please share!

  1. Summer Place Suit; Anthropologie {$236}
  2. Polka Dot Suit; J. Crew ($102}
  3. Pattern Shift Bikini; Anthropologie {$196}
  4. Pick Your Path Bikini; Anthropologie {$266}
  5. Layer Cake Bandeau; Betsey Johnson {$174}
  6. Plunging Halter Maillot; Anthropologie {$178}
  7. Swan Lake Bikini; Betsey Johnson {$184}

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