Screen scene: Local film news

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A resident of Hayesville during his final years, Mark Linkous created influential indie-rock under the name Sparklehorse until his death in 2010. On July 28, the Jackson County Library in Sylva hosts a screening of the new documentary The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse, narrated by Linkous' Franklin-based friend and collaborator Angela Faye Martin. Photo by Timothy Saccenti

• Asheville-based conservation group Dogwood Alliance premieres an animated short film at Grail Moviehouse on Wednesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. The work tells the story of the Bolala, an ancient mythic spirit that acts as the guardian of the forests, rivers and wildlife of the southern United States. The animation’s producers will be in attendance. Free and open to the public. dogwoodalliance.org

• The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva hosts a screening of The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse on Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. The documentary, which made its U.S. and European debuts in April, chronicles the life of influential indie-rocker Mark Linkous, who battled drug and alcohol addiction, paralysis and debilitating mental illness that led to his eventual suicide. Following his death in 2010, U.K.-based filmmakers Alex Crowton and Bobby Dass worked with Linkous’ friend and collaborator Angela Faye Martin to craft this loving portrait. The film incorporates narration from the Franklin-based Martin and interviews with Linkous — who spent much of his final years in Hayesville — as well as David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven), Emily Haines (Metric), Adrian Utley (Portishead), John Parish (PJ Harvey), Matthew Wright, Ed Harcourt, Gemma Hayes and others. Free and open to the public. fontanalib.org/sylva

Mechanical Eye Microcinema holds a screening of Nuts! on Friday, Aug. 5, at 5:30 p.m., at the Asheville Art Museum. Penny Lane’s documentary recounts the strange but true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who, in 1917, discovered he could cure impotence by giving men transplants of goat testicles. The film mixes hand-drawn animated re-enactments, interviews, archival footage and a slightly unreliable narrator on its way to increasingly odd revelations. Free and open to the public. mechanicaleyecinema.org

• Film historian Frank Thompson’s monthly Director Appreciation Night series at the Asheville School of Film continues Friday, Aug. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with an in-depth look at the works of John Ford. The cost of the seminar is $20, and spots may be reserved onlineashevilleschooloffilm.com

Go Back, the entry from team Alone in a Crowd, was awarded Best Film of the 2016 Asheville 48 Hour Film Project. The short work centers on a father who invents a time machine that returns him to the present as a child and the effects of that change on his friends and family. The film will represent Asheville against fellow city winners from across the country at Filmapalooza 2017 in Savannah, Ga. Judging the qualifying local entries were film critics Michelle Keenan of Rapid River, Marcianne Miller of Bold Life and this writer.

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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