Culture watch

Beverly Hills Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Montford

Could it be that low-budget indie-flick Don’t Fade Away will be the first film to truly capture the cultural essence of downtown Asheville? The $1.7 million cinematic vehicle for The O.C. star Mischa Barton has booked a surprising number of local haunts for the shoot. According to sources within the production company, locations such as Barley’s, The Orange Peel, Haywood Park Hotel and The Mountaineer Inn — not to mention the local Hooters — will be used for shooting. But the reflection of local culture doesn’t appear to end there, as an outdoor music event bearing a striking similarity to the Lake Eden Arts Festival will also play a role in the film. Strangely, the film appears to have practically no online presence — typically considered to be a key buzz-building tool for indie productions — and even the film’s title doesn’t appear on search engines such as the Internet Movie Database. This makes confirming some rumors — such as the cameo appearance of rapper Ja Rule in the film — difficult at best. The film is set to wrap local production at the end of November.

A Witch By Any Other Name

If there’s one place you don’t want a linguistic faux pas, it’s when you’re casting one of those oh-so-delicate love spells. Sure, you prepare your tincture under a full moon in a silver bowl, call out to the appropriate netherbeing, and yet, with a simple slip of the tongue, you’ve accidentally requested a lover who looks like Clint Howard rather than Clint Eastwood. Yikes! Worse yet, imagine trying to stumble your way through such arcane spellcraft in a foreign language. Well, for Italian readers of The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems, that’s been a constant problem. But no more, thanks to the Editoriale Gruppo Armenia of Milan, which recently bought the Italian rights for the translation and repackaging of the tome. Soon to be published as Il Libro Degli Incantesimi (or The Book of Incantations), the DIY-magic guide will also feature a redesigned cover. The Goodly Spellbook was written by local pagan leaders •Diuvei (former Xpress staffer Steve Rasmussen) and Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman), and has been rather popular with the international (if English-speaking) pagan crowd. While this could easily be chalked up to deals with the beyond, it’s safe to say that savvy promotion by the sorcerous duo has also had an impact on the book’s sales. According to a statement released by the authors, a book-signing tour in Italy will follow the translation’s release. For more information, visit


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