Culture watch

Time Enough For The Pain

Take 20-plus teams of local filmmakers, fill them with cinematic dreams and desires, and then give them two frantic days to do the impossible — script, cast, design, shoot, score and edit a short film. Add in a random genre and a preselected prop, character and line of dialogue, and you’ve pretty much got the wondrous nightmare that is the Asheville stop of the 48 Hour Film Project. And the prize at the end of this agony of cinematic creation? Bragging rights and at least one guaranteed audience screening. Expect to see downtown Asheville swarming with wannabe Spielbergs from Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23, and, the next week, expect to see screenings ranging from cinematic dreck to surprisingly watchable entertainment. Visit for more information. (Deadline has passed for creating new Asheville teams, but support positions are still open on existing teams.)

A Shot In The Dark

It’s not just Asheville that’s caught the cinema bug — even our more mainstream neighbors are trying to get in on the film business. The Greenville, S.C.-based film company Paranoid Pictures recently began work on their first feature film, being shot entirely in their hometown. Pitched as a comedic mystery, Shot By Shot features a five-member cast (all still well below the drinking age — the oldest is 18) playing a struggling film company (who says art can’t reflect life?) trying to solve the murder of a film-festival president whose body was dumped in their offices. The overwhelming odds are that the film will be little more than a glorified home-video project, but Paranoid has been surprisingly professional when it comes to sending out press releases and getting location contracts, so there’s at least a chance it could be no worse than Pauly Shore’s Jury Duty. Learn not much more at

The Horrible Agony of Human Reproduction: LIVE!

From 2000 to 2004, playwright Karen Brody traveled around the country finding out how “middle-class, educated women give birth in America.” The end result was a lot of talk about fear, hope and squeezing objects roughly the size of whole rotisserie chickens out their wombs. Hence, Birth: The Play, which appears to be setting itself up as the next Vagina Monologues. Seeing as how downtown Asheville’s drama hipsters simply can’t miss out on the next big trendy play about gynecology, a local production of Birth is already in the works. NC Stage’s Catalyst Series is currently auditioning for a cast of seven women for a production due later this summer (get it?). Proceeds from the show will benefit the International Cesarean Awareness Network. Learn more at


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