Friday, June 18

Critic joins Cinema Society for holiday film screening and discussion

James Stewart, Donna Reed and kids form a fortunate family in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:

Meaning of ‘Life’

The Arkansas Cinema Society and the Arkansas Arts Center will screen Frank Capra’s 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” at 6 p.m. Thursday online with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist/film critic Philip Martin using the classic film to explain the fundamentals of film theory.

Martin will be live-tweeting during the screening and, following the film, at approximately 8:15 p.m., will lead a live video discussion. Register at; “admission” is pay what you can.

The film is also available via online subscription streaming platforms Amazon Prime and Hulu and, for free (with ads) at It will also air at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve on NBC.

“For nearly 20 years, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was free content for anyone who wanted to show it,” Martin writes. “So television stations showed it a lot. Some television stations ran nonstop marathons of the film during the holiday season.

“It’s a far stranger and more complex movie than that. It might have been the movie that broke Frank Capra. My opinion of it changes every time I see it. It has some remarkable qualities. It also seems profoundly sad. It is a deeply American movie.”


Cartoon conversation


Eight cloth dolls of Arkansas political figures made by Rosemary Fisher for “Phydeaux and His Friends,” the 1950s political satire show she created with her husband, cartoonist George Fisher, are on display at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will hold a virtual panel titled “Ballots & Laughs: Panel Discussion of Arkansas Political Cartoonist George Fisher” at 5 p.m. Thursday via the center’s Facebook page,

Center Curator Chaney Jewell and Adam D. Heiden, archivist of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Special Collections, will discuss Fisher’s career as a political cartoonist for the North Little Rock Times, Pine Bluff Commercial, Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Times.

Eight cloth dolls made by his wife, Rosemary Fisher, for the show they created, “Phydeaux and His Friends,” which aired on KATV-TV in the 1950s, are now on display at the center, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff.

The talk is part of the center’s “Meet the Curator” series and is in conjunction with the center’s current exhibition, “Ballots & Laughs: Political Cartoons of Ray Walters,” on display in the center’s International Paper Gallery through Jan. 23 and available online at Funding comes from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Call (870) 536-3375 or email [email protected]

Go Beaux Arts

Russellville’s Arkansas River Valley Arts Center is seeking nominations for its Beaux Arts Awards in four categories: Lifetime, Patron, Visual Arts and Performing Arts. Deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 7. Find a nomination form at; email to [email protected] or mail it to River Valley Arts Center, P.O. Box 2112, Russellville, Ark. 72801. Call (479) 968.2452.

Unleash the Beast

The Professional Bull Riders’ Unleash the Beast tour, part of the 2021 Bad Boy Mowers Mowdown, will offer two shows featuring the world’s top 35 bull riders, 6:45 p.m. Feb. 20 and 1:45 p.m. Feb. 21 at North Little Rock’s Simmons Bank Arena. The lineup is expected to include Hamburg native Chase Outlaw. Tickets are $26-$41, with VIP packages available, and will be sold in pods of 2-6 seats. Visit or, or call (800) 732-1727.

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