Local Color - Dec. 6, 2012

Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 10.12.2012

>> female announcer: This is a
production of WKNO, Memphis.
Production funding for this
program is made possible in part
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Hey, I'm Mamie
Welcome to "Local Color."
I'm so glad you guys are here
with me.
I missed you, John.
>> Beifuss: I'm glad to be here.
>> Shannon: So obviously, we're
going to talk about some movies.
>> Beifuss: Good!
>> Shannon: And Chris, you've
got the New Ballet Ensemble
coming in?
>> Davis: I do.
>> Shannon: So who alls coming?
>> Davis: I've got Katye Smythe
and some of the dancers from New
Ballet Ensemble to talk about
the mix of "jookin" and ballet
that go in to the "Nut ReMix."
>> Shannon: You know, Pat's
daughter, Violet, can not say
enough about it.
This is one of her favorite
I can't wait to hear.
Have you guys heard about "It's
a Wonderful Life" radio play?
>> Davis: The Tennessee
Shakespeare Company.
>> Shannon: Yes, have you heard
about it, John?
>> Beifuss: No but I'm certainly
familiar with the source
material, the movie.
>> Shannon: What year did that
movie come out?
>> Beifuss: 1946
>> Shannon: Okay, so what
they're doing is the movie - the
production is going to be at
Dixon in the gallery, the
And what they're doing is
they're building a set and it
looks like the 1946 radio stage.
And there's seven actors that
are doing all of the parts.
>> Davis: And sound effects and
so forth.
>> Shannon: And they're doing
old commercials and everything,
as well.
>> Davis: The Tennessee
Shakespeare Company has been
branching out from Shakespeare
for a while.
Last season they did a Truman
Capote Christmas Story and they
did some Tennessee Williams.
So they're stretching.
>> Shannon: Now this is going to
be through December 16, 7:00 and
then Sundays at 3:00.
And also, one thing to note on
December 13 - it's free for
You know how I love that.
>> Davis: I like free for kids.
>> Shannon: I do, too.
>> Beifuss: I put on my short
>> Shannon: Put on your short
pants and go and enjoy the show.
So Chris, have they done this
>> Davis: There have been
versions of it done here before
Playhouse on the Square has done
This is the first time for
Tennessee Shakespeare Company.
Like I said, last year they did
the Truman Capote Christmas.
>> Shannon: I remember that.
John, don't go anywhere.
We're going to talk about movies
in a few minutes but first,
Chris is going to be right back
with a special guest from the
New Ballet Ensemble.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Davis: Ballet slippers, toe
shoes, old school Adidas - all
of these things tell a Christmas
>> Smythe: Yes but we have to
say Nike because they're our
>> Smythe: I think they may own
everything by now anyways so it
doesn't matter.
>> Davis: But for nine years,
the New Ballet Ensemble has been
reimagining "The Nutcracker."
>> Smythe: That's right.
>> Davis: Let's go back in time
and tell me a little bit about
how we go from a "Nutcracker" to
a "Nut ReMix."
>> Smythe: Well, I've been
dancing "The Nutcracker" since I
was eight years old.
And so I thought it was time to
change the story a little bit to
make it more local, more
inclusive, and more
Plus, there's a beautiful
"Nutcracker" here - a
traditional "Nutcracker" with
Ballet Memphis.
It's fantastic with the Memphis
Symphony and absolutely
So we don't need to replicate
So it's just kind of fun.
And it's all those theatre genes
that are in me, too, you know.
I was a child of the theatre as
well as ballet and did a lot of
experimental theatre in Los
And my mother always wanted me
to be a writer so this is how I
get to make my mom happy, too.
I got to write a new story.
And it's fun because we change
the story depending on the young
people who are involved in our
And young people are game
They're the ones that feel the
cultural shifts before anybody
knows they're there.
And so they've really been the
collaborators that have pushed
this forward.
>> Davis: And at what point do
you really start beginning to
bring the street elements of the
hip-hop dancing, the very
Memphis specific "jookin" to
bare on the classical element?
>> Smythe: Well, from the very
beginning I wanted a hip-hop
battle because I never liked
that Clara threw a shoe at the
mouse and that he died.
I don't want anybody dying in my
I'm a very peaceful person.
I don't like a lot of
And what I love about hip-hop is
that it really is a culture of
peace, peaceful.
You dance out your battles but
everyone loves one another in
the end.
Even when we're aggressive when
we're dancing, it's all about
love and harmony and getting
And so I wanted this to be sort
of a healing dance for the
And so initially I thought -
hip-hop battle, it makes sense.
It's not a gang.
It's more like "West Side
You know, the rats and the
Yeah, we'll snap at you.
We'll do a little of this.
But it can be aggressive without
being confrontational.
I don't know if that makes any
sense - hop-hop.
But the "jookin" came in to it
because of the artists.
I mean, every change that we've
made in this story and it does
change a little bit every year.
And then in the artistic make-up
has been because of the current
gathering of artists who are
involved at New Ballet, a
specific talent that they have.
>> Davis: We're at this weird
point in history - I say
This sort of great point in
history where this Memphis style
of dance is being recognized
nationally and internationally.
And both as something that
exists as a pure form but also
something that is really making
inroads in to classical dance
across the spectrum.
And we see Lil Buck touring with
Yo-Yo Ma and doing these
How much do these things mesh?
How much do they conflict?
How hard is it bringing these
two distinct things together?
>> Smythe: That's really
And I think Gene can really
speak to that, too.
Because he's been a [art of the
program as long as Lil Buck.
They joined the program at the
same time.
So initially they joined the
program so that they could
receive more classical technical
foundational training because
they were in high school.
They were at Yo! Academy and
they needed more technique.
And their teacher, Terran Gary,
brought them to New Ballet and
we started partnering.
And so they performed.
Everything was very, I hate the
word, but segregated.
You know, here's the hip-hop.
Here's the ballet.
Here's the African.
Here's the Flamenco.
They all existed in these
separate pots.
But the beauty started happening
through chance performance in
the studio and playing.
So if Gene walked in to the
studio and I had on a Mozart
Quintet, he's just so naturally
graceful and musical, as is
Buck, that they would just
You know, well, you have to do
that-not me.
But they would just start moving
to the music.
And I see ballet in everything.
I'm a ballet bun head, right?
So to me, it's all ballet.
>> Davis: Maybe you guys can
flip the script on that and tell
me how you saw the more hip-hop
elements in the ballet.
>> Seals: Usually when we see
ballet being done, you can
always see like a hip-hop move
in it.
So when we take, like let's just
say a jete in ballet, you can
always just take that and then
just hit the snap.
Your left foot go behind the
right foot.
You can always spin on it or you
can go backwards.
>> Smythe: or you can jook out
of it.
>> Seals: Yeah, you can jook out
of it.
>> Davis: So we've got a new
twist on an old favorite.
You've got a lot of Memphis
coming to an international
I want to thank Katye for being
here with us today and the
members of New Ballet Ensemble.
If you're planning on movie
night this weekend, stay tuned.
Next, we're going to talk to
John Beifuss about what's
playing now in your neighborhood
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: I missed you, John
I'm glad you're back.
>> Beifuss: I'm glad to be back.
>> Shannon: We've got a lot to
talk about.
>> Beifuss: We do.
>> Shannon: Okay, let's just go
ahead and jump right in -
>> Beifuss: "Lincoln",
Well, everyone knows, I guess,
that's the new Steven Spielburg.
It's not really a biopic of
Abraham Lincoln.
It focuses very specifically on
the effort to get the amendment
passed in the House of
Representatives that would
abolish slavery.
So it's really timely because it
sort of shows the nuts and bolts
behind the scenes machinations
that are necessary to get even a
progressive, you know, even
something good passed.
To get something that's good
passed requires a lot of, I
don't want to say villainy.
But, you know, in part of a hero
like Lincoln there's some
ethical compromises that have to
be made.
So the movie's relevant to the
political process that we see
going on right now all the time.
>> Shannon: So it's been going
on for centuries.
>> Davis: And what a better way
to do a biopic instead of like
trying to get every little.
You know, just to spend a little
bit of time on every bit of the
life but really focus in on a
key point in the person.
>> Shannon: Yeah, I like that.
>> Beifuss: Yeah, I agree.
And Daniel Day Lewis, it truly
is superb.
I mean, he walks with this sort
of stoop.
He affects this sort of high
pitched voice.
No body really knows what
Lincoln sounded like.
But the thing that, to me, was
remarkable by the performances,
to me, it had no actors vanity.
Like usually when you see an
actor and he's got a costume on
and he has an accent, you sort
of can see behind his eyes this
sort of self satisfaction about
what a good job he's doing in
the role.
But to me, Daniel Day Lewis has
Lincoln really looked like a
creature from another age.
Like, he seemed like he was
behaving as much like a person
from the nineteenth century
could behave in what my idea of
that would be which obviously is
just imagined.
>> Shannon: We know Sally Fields
really been hitting the circuit
hard talking about how she got
the role and her role as Mary
Todd Lincoln.
How did she do?
>> Beifuss: She's good.
She's fine.
You know, I still remember
seeing her as "The Flying Nun."
"Gidget" was a little before my
time but "The Flying Nun" was
right there for me.
And she's fine.
>> Davis: I come in there right
about ""Smokey and the Bandit."
>> Beifuss: So she's good.
Tommy Lee Jones is great.
Every actor in it.
Henry Thomas, the little kid
from E.T. that Steven Speilburg
directed, he's in there as a
soldier briefly.
So I would definitely recommend
>> Davis: And for people who
like historical detail, the
design is extraoridinary.
>> Beifuss: Yeah, the design is
The photography, the script is
so nuts and bolts about the
political process that the
beautiful cinematography is
almost a contradiction of the
realism of the script because
every frame is suitable for
framing, to be redundant.
But it works.
It works somehow.
So I would definitely recommend
>> Shannon: Well, going from
"Lincoln" I want to go the other
What abut "Wreck it Ralph"?
>> Beifuss: You know, I guess
I'm sap but I loved "Wreck it
I really did.
Have you seen that one?
>> Shannon: I haven't seen it.
I'm dying to go see it.
>> Beifuss: You know, it's sort
of like a "Toy Story" in a video
game, null you.
Where in "Wreck it Ralph," the
movie imagines that when the
lights are out and the gamers
have gone home, the video
avatars and the video arcade
come to life.
And they interact and they have
their own personalities and
But this is by Disney, not
And the Pixar movies are great.
But they really grab you by the
lapels and insist that you
recognize how great they are.
And this "Wreck it Ralph" is a
little looser, a little more
It has a good message about
friends and family and all that
like every animated film.
>> Shannon: Let's face it.
Disney always has a good
You know, that's one thing that
they do really well.
>> Beifuss: And plus, the video
game premise is made to order
for digital animation.
So you have all of these
different characters, like guest
appearances by Pac Man and Mario
and all of these real
And they all look different and
they all work.
And so it makes the movie really
visually fascinating so I liked
it a lot.
>> Shannon: Well, one thing that
sounds visually fascinating to
me is "Silver Linings Playback"
and I'm just going to leave it
at that.
Have you seen it?
>> Beifuss: Yes, it's "Silver
Linings Playbook" actually if I
may correct your language there.
>> Shannon: I would like to play
it back.
I love Bradley Cooper.
>> Beifuss: Bradley Cooper is
Jennifer Lawrence who I always
thought she looked a little bit
like a teenager, which I guess
she was or may be is.
But she's fully grown now and
she's incredible in this.
Robert DeNiro who has, to me,
has not made a good movie in a
long time.
It's been a very long time.
He's almost been in some really
bad, embarrassing movies.
He's great in this.
And this is very much a modern
screwball comedy.
And you know, screwball is a
slang term for crazy.
And so this sort of literalizes
that concept because this is a
screwball comedy about people
who might, in fact, be crazy or
at least borderline disturbed.
Bradley Cooper gets out of a
mental hospital.
He begins to start a friendship,
kind of a reluctant friendship,
with Jennifer Lawrence who has
her own issues.
And Robert DeNiro is Bradley
Cooper's father.
He's obsessive compulsive.
And somehow it all works.
And really, it has a happy
ending and that's not giving
anything away.
But unlike a lot of these
romantic comedies, this movie
really earns it's happy ending.
Like, you don't feel like it was
Like, you feel like the
characters really deserve their
So I recommend "Silver Linings
Playbook" highly.
>> Shannon: Well now, "Anna
This is the Tolstoy adaptation,
>> Beifuss: Yeah, and to be
honest, that train couldn't come
fast enough for me.
>> It's a 19th century, you
know, affair.
>> Beifuss: You know, it's done
in the style by the director Joe
Wright where it's done sort of
like a musical even though it's
not a musical.
You've probably read about this.
It's like a theatre piece.
It basically takes place in a
repurposed open theatre.
They move the flats and the sets
around as characters move.
People react to things and
choreographed synchronicity so
it's really stylized.
So in a way, it deserves credit
for trying to something new with
an off-told story.
>> Davis: It's a little "Kung Fu
>> Beifuss: Yeah but I love
"Kung Fu Hustle."
>> Davis: It's very hard for
"Kung Fu Hustle" to take itself
as seriously as "Anna Karenina."
>> Beifuss: Yeah, and like I
said, it just, you know, and
people always often tell me that
they didn't like a movie because
they didn't care about the
And usually when they say that,
it means the characters were
evil or bad guys.
And that never causes me not to
care about characters.
But honestly watching this, I
did not care about Anna Karenina
or the count, her lover.
I just didn't really care what
happened to them so.
>> Shannon: Well now, "Killing
Them Softly" is set in New
And this has got some pretty
heavy hitters in it.
This is Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta,
James Gandolfini.
So obviously this has got a mob
link, I'm guessing.
>> Beifuss: It's a modern.
Well, it's set in 2008 and it
takes place at the start of the
presidential campaign and the
corporate bailouts.
And it ends during Obama's
inaugural speech, more or less.
So it has a very heavy political
message going on in which it
connects the gangster-ism and
mobster-ism to corporate
And that's an old theme in
gangster movies ever since the
depression and "The Godfather",
of course, made that famous.
The Corleones were just
practicing a different type of
>> Davis: All the way back to
John Gay's "Beggar's Opera."
The criminal says he's going in
to banking because it's safe
when he takes.
>> Shannon: Right.
>> Davis: This is not a new
>> Beifuss: Right and this movie
pummels you in the face with
this idea like the way a couple
of the thugs in there pummel Ray
The difference being that you
won't vomit blood but you'll
still get the message.
But having said all that, I
still liked it a lot because
it's very rare to see a movie,
especially with stars in it like
Brad Pitt, that doesn't offer
any redemption to the
I mean, this one made people
want to go see it.
But no body comes out of this
movie a better person than when
they started and that's pretty
rare in a sort of a major
release movie.
So the message is so obvious but
it's also kind of audacious in
it's cynicism.
So I want to see "Killing Them
Softly" again because I'm not
quite sure if I liked it or not.
But I liked it but not quite
sure how quote good it is.
And it's directed by Andrew
Dominik who did the "The
Assassination of Jesse James by
the Coward Robert Ford" a few
years ago and I loved that
That's one of my favorite movies
of the past decade.
So I'm willing to give him the
benefit of the doubt and see
this again and see if it rises
in my estimations.
>> Shannon: But you know John,
every movie that you've ever
said "I really want to go back
and see it again"--when I've
seen it I'm like, "Wow, that was
really good."
So thanks for that.
You know, now tell me about
"Rise of the Guardians."
>> Beifuss: It didn't do well at
the box office.
It's another animated movie from
DreamWorks, digitally animated.
>> Shannon: It bothers me.
>> Beifuss: Well, the animation
is stunning.
I mean, it really is one of the
most beautiful looking movies
I've seen in a long time.
It's right up there with the
Pixar animation.
It's sort of a "Justice League"
or "Avengers" of children's
mythical or bedtime figures.
Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, the
Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman
recruit Jack Frost to go in to
battle against the Boogeyman.
So the Boogeyman is like their
But the reason this movie
bothered me is because they're
I'm sorry.
Thank you for correcting me.
Yes, the boogeyman is their Loki
and it's Jude Law who could have
just as well been Loki as Tom
Hiddleston for that matter.
But the reason it bothered me,
like when you watch these
specials like "A Charlie Brown
Christmas" - well, that one is
blatantly religious.
But like the original "How the
Grinch Stole Christmas", the
Chuck Jones animated version,
it's not religious but it has a
message of faith, more or less.
But this movie really does posit
that if you take away toys and
eggs, kids will stop believing
in Christmas and Easter will
Even I found that offensive.
>> Shannon: Well, we've got to
end on that happy note.
Thanks, John.
>> Beifuss: Thanks for having
>> Shannon: Next, I'm talking to
Anna and Abby from the Memshop
event coming up in Overton
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: I'm so glad that you
guys are here with me.
We're going to talk about
Memshop Holiday Pop-up, right?
Okay, and this is such a great
Abby, tell me all about it.
>> Miller: Sure, so from
December 6 through 23 we're
going to be popping up.
Local retailers, entrepreneurs,
and makers will be at Overton
We'll have over 40 vendors plus
two pop-up shops, a community
café, and various classes.
>> Shannon: Okay, now this is
really cool because this is in
the spaces that aren't currently
occupied at Overton Square.
And what we're trying to do is
show people a glimpse of what
can be.
And we're doing this at such a
great time because it's - I love
the small business.
Actually, I came down and saw
the spaces during Small Business
And I went to Maggie's Farm and
started my Christmas shopping.
And the place looks beautiful.
So you're going to have - tell
me about the vendors.
What kind of vendors are you
going to have there?
>> Miller: Sure, so the local
Etsy team which goes under the
brand Indie Style Market, they
have a collection of over 40
different vendors.
So you can get your candles,
your home goods.
They'll have art, jewelry,
pretty much anything for anyone
on your gift list.
>> Shannon: And now you tell me
you're also going to have like
how-to classes.
>> Miller: Exactly, we'll have
demos pretty much everyday-
anything from making your own
candles, to book binding, to
belly dancing.
>> Shannon: So if I come and
make a candle, can I take it
home with me?
>> Miller: Definitely.
>> Shannon: Awesome!
And do I have to wear like
anything that shows my belly to
do the belly dancing class.
>> Holtzclaw: Oh, no.
>> Shannon: Whew, thank
Anna, it's so good to see you.
We've known each other a couple
of days, haven't we?
>> Holtzclaw: Just a few.
>> Shannon: I'm so proud of
>>Holtzclaw: It's really
It's bringing all of this
activity and love back to, you
know, Mid-town and stuff and
really celebrating.
You know, it's great kind of tie
in I think of the action and the
love and the passion that so
many people have for Overton
And talking again about how
we're bringing all that back in
the future.
>> Shannon: And you told me that
you're kind of not only in all
the shops along Madison but what
are you doing inside where the
ice skating rink used to be?
You're doing something really
special in there, right?
>> Holtsclaw: That's where the
vendors that Abby was just
talking about are going to be.
All of the Etsy artists will be
there selling their wears.
>> Shannon: Awesome!
What are the times?
>> Miller: The market will be
open Thursday through Sunday.
So Thursday we'll be open 4:00
to 8:00.
Friday and Saturday will be open
from 10:00 to 8:00 and Sunday
10:00 to 6:00.
>> Shannon: Well, tell me about
the big thing that's going on
Friday night.
>> Holtzclaw: Next Friday night
from 5:30 to 7:30 Santa will be
there to light the Christmas
tree at Overton Square.
>> Shannon: Girl, it's this
Friday night.
>> Holtzclaw: Oh, that's right.
But so Friday night, Santa will
be there.
He will light the Christmas tree
for us along with there will be
live music and the Holiday
Market that night.
All the vendors will be there.
Shopping will be available.
So you can come over, eat
dinner, shop, go to the theatre,
see Santa.
>> Shannon: Can we get our
picture made with Santa?
>> Holtzclaw: You absolutely can
get your picture made with
>> Shannon: That is so cool.
>> Holtzclaw: Bring your own
It is people taking their own.
>> Shannon: You know what, I
like that so much better.
Because if you've got someone
there that's set up, it's almost
like I really wish I would have
gotten that candid shot but you
don't feel like you can.
So we can, right?
>> Holtzclaw: Yes, this is
candid with Santa.
>> Shannon: I love that!
So what about all the
restaurants and everything that
are at Overton Square?
It looks so good.
They're going to be open.
>> Holtzclaw: Everybody's going
to be open and ready to serve
>> Shannon: Oh, man.
Okay now listen, I've got also
Friday, the Sache pop-ups
include color mash.
What is color mash?
>> Miller: So there's this new
trend for women and I guess men,
too, about hair chalking.
It's a temporary way to add
color to your hair for a few
And they're going to be there
with their style team kind of
showing people how to add those
reds and blues to their hair.
>> Shannon: Oh, I love that.
And then on Saturday, a Pistache
French Pastry pop-up.
>> Miller: Yep, she's going to
be popping up.
She's new to Memphis.
She's been here about six months
and she's going to be popping up
little carts.
You can get some holiday treats
while you're at the market.
>> Shannon: What is the Cosmic
That's from 11:00 until 12:30.
>> Miller: So the Cosmic
Collective is actually one of
our pop-up stores.
It's, there'll be a café,
healthy food, vegan foods,
smoothies, juices, that type of
And then they'll be running a
program that has belly dancing,
Kundalini Yoga.
They'll have community music
>> Shannon: And now it says that
Indie Style Market, that starts
at 11:30 and goes until 1:00.
And that's the eco-friendly
candle making, the book binding.
And music by Kate Lawson.
>> Miller: Yep!
>> Shannon: Awesome!
Now what about Sunday?
It sounds like you've got the
whole weekend planned.
>> Miller: Yep, Sunday we'll
have the two pop-up stores plus
the style market open.
And we'll have music from Will
Graves and Chris Milam.
>> Shannon: Oh, that's so
Y'all please come back.
And this goes until December 23
so there's no excuse.
Go out and join the - have fun
at the Memshop Holiday pop-up.
Thank you Anna and Abby.
In just a second, Chris and John
and I will talk about Memphis
Traditions for the holidays.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Well, Chris, I can't
believe that this is the 9th
annual Ballet, what is it?
>> Davis: Nut ReMix, yeah.
Well, I was telling Katye I
couldn't believe it's been 11
years since they started up.
I mean on one hand, it seems.
And on the other, they've become
such an institution in that
short period of time, it seems
like they've been with us
>> Shannon: And you know, how
cool is the Memshop?
That's going to be exciting.
Are you guys going to go to
Overton Square and shop?
Don't get me a belly
dancing lesson for Christmas,
John Beifuss.
Do you hear me?
>> Beifuss: Alright, a hula
dancing lesson it is.
>> Shannon: Hula is fine.
And then also, the holiday
I can't wait to go catch some
holiday movies.
They're a great way to number
one, get away from the family or
number two, go and be with your
>> Davis: That's what we give my
little brother for Christmas.
>> Shannon: Do you really?
>> Davis: Yeah, he's a blended
family so when they go, there's
like 30 of them.
So they never get to go as a
family even.
So we give them a gift
certificate so they can all go.
>> Beifuss: That's a good idea.
>> Shannon: Thanks guys!
Come back next week and go out
and enjoy your holiday local