Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scrappers in Montgomery/Jackson

I’m writing on the road from Montgomery to Jackson, just crossing the Chunky River in the deep deep green of the Black Belt. Ben was kind enough to do another timelapse so you can see for yourself, also featuring some Spanish moss we picked up last week in Savannah so we could ride in style:

Scrappers #2.5 from scrap movie on Vimeo.

We had the pleasure of screening at the second theater on our tour, Montgomery’s 1941 art-deco Capri:

The Capri Community Film Society is lucky to have a charismatic Director / Programmer / Fundraiser / Foreman Projector / House Manager / Ticket & Concession Salesman and all-around Crusading Knight Templar of Independent Cinema for Alabama wrapped up in Martin McCaffrey:

If Martin has an analogue in Chicago, it’s in the shadowy figure of James Bond, walking encyclopedia of film projection, who physically keeps independent cinemas all over the nation running. And who, un-coincidentally, sold the Capri its 35mm and 16mm projectors, still going 20+ years later. A Montgomery ode to you, James:

Martin took us on an excellent, freewheeling tour of the… if I may?... psycho-geography of the city of Montgomery. Civil War, Civil Rights, integration, disintegration, revitalization. There were crosses on the lawn:

Space missions:

A fountain spewing pink water,
Interventions from the heirs of Hank Williams:

And, of course, plenty of information about the tragically lost histories of movie theaters in Montgomery, Alabama, and the USA.

The tour ended near the quixotic intersection of Jefferson Davis and Rosa Parks Avenues..

And did I mention that today is the 150th anniversary of the first salvo of the Civil War?

About 25 friendly Montogomerians came out and talked with us afterward.Lest this sound small to your big city mind, Martin slipped us data to prove that Scrappers at the Capri out-grossed nearly all the nearby multiplex films for the night, including:

Soul Surfer / Insidious / Arthur / Hanna / Diary of a Wimpy Kid / Your Highness / Limitless / Source Code / The Lincoln Lawyer / Red Riding Hood / Rango / Sucker Punch / HOP / Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son / Battle: Los Angeles / Paul … and The King’s Speech

Southern Circuit for the win!

Since I'm a little late actually getting this post up, let me also thank Melissa and all the students, faculty and community members who came out to our screening at Millsaps College in Jackson. It might sound like I'm repeating myself at this point in the trip, but we had one of the lengthiest and best discussions so far -- traversing cinematography, economics, ethics, and the reasons why anyone should either make or watch documentary films. As well as some after-hours conversation with our gracious hosts Conner and Scott about the Jackson Volcano. Thanks to all, and keep it up!