KUAR's Ben Fry will moderate a panel discussion with the authors of a new book that explores the legacy of Arkansas on film on Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m. at the Old State House Museum. Robert Cochran and Suzanne McCray will discuss their new book, Lights! Camera! Arkansas!, a companion to the Old State House exhibit of the same name. Cochran and McCray will also sign books.
Lights! Cameras! Arkansas! traces the roles played by Arkansans in the first century of Hollywood’s film industry, from the first cowboy star, Broncho Billy Anderson, to Mary Steenburgen, Billy Bob Thornton and many others. The Arkansas landscape also plays a starring role: North Little Rock’s cameo in Gone with the Wind, Crittenden County as a setting for Hallelujah (1929), and various locations in the state’s southeastern quadrant in 2012’s Mud are all explored.
Cochran and McCray screened close to two hundred films—from laughable box-office bombs to laudable examples of filmmaking – in their research for this book. They’ve enhanced their spirited chronological narrative with an appendix on documentary films, a ratings section and illustrations chosen by Jo Ellen Maack of the Old State House Museum, where Lights! Cameras! Arkansas! debuted as an exhibit curated by the authors in 2013. That exhibit will close on July 31, 2015.
Fry is the manager of UALR Public Radio and teaches courses in film history and criticism at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also hosted Second Friday Cinema, screening a series of Arkansas-related movies at the Old State House Museum on Second Friday Art Nights since January 2014.
For more information, visit The Old State House Museum website.