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SXSW.jpgThe Great Invisible is a documentary about the negligence that resulted in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2014.  Margaret Brown, who grew up in the Gulf area, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the South by Southwest Documentary Feature Competition for her work on the film.



Lock and Roll by Will Black

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Will Black.jpg
Will Black
Lock and Roll is not your typical skateboard movie.  This is Will Black's first film, having jumped into filmmaking head first in order to tell this story.

The story of Treaven Mitchell, a skateboarder from Jackson Tennessee who lost his father, a Marine veteran, in a mindless robbery.  Treaven, who operated his skate shop out of part of his father's locksmith business, had to learn to cope with his father's death. The bond they had is evident throughout the piece as he remembers his father, Troy Mitchell, and how supportive he was in helping Treaven and the rest of his family.

In the end, Treaven comments on the importance of holding on to what you love and who you love. Wise words indeed!

Below is the trailer for the movie and my conversation with Will where he explains what motivated him to make it.  
 
The Historian Poster.jpgThe Historian will be making it's Hollywood debut this Thursday at TLC Chines 6 Theatres.

Written and directed by Miles Doleac it is a story of complicated relationships for a history professors that has moved to a new university to escape his past.








John Cullum & William Sadler.jpgWriters are often told to write what you know.  Miles Doleac takes it a couple of steps further.  He writes, directs, and acts what he knows in The Historian.

Miles is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. His specialty is in the Classics Department. I recently had a conversation with Miles and Tamarah Murley about the movie and here is what I found.  The story was influenced by his witnessing of the dumbing down of education because of administrative constraints and the Common Core Standards Initiative  that has been in the news so much lately.

This is his directorial debut but being an accomplished theatre and film actor he knew what he was getting into.  He had help with his long time friend and theatre director Mackenzie Westmoreland who helped him produce the movie but also had never worked in film before.  


"This script is a gift to actors."- Glynnis O'Connor, on The Historian


To make the movie the best it could be he brought on board some of the finest actors he could get. 
Casting William Sadler as the university history department head Valerian Hadley,  along with Tamarah Murley as his secretary Jill who wants to keep the office running smoothly and without turmoil.  John Cullum plays Valerian's aging father in the movie.  You may remember John from the TV series Northern Exposure.  A theatre veteran as well as film, he has won 2 Tony Awards for his acting performances.

In this movie Miles plays history professor Ben Rhodes, who has just moved to a  university where he doesn't exactly get along with his boss, Valerian Hadley, the head of the department.  Valerian does not make it easy for Ben, though I think he see's something of himself in the young professor.  They are also at odds over Anna (Jillian Taylor), who is one of Valerian's favorite grad students and a love interest of Ben.

Colin Cunningham & Glynnis O'Connor.jpg
Also appearing is an actor I've admired for many years ever since I saw her in a TV production of the play Our Town is Glynnis O'Connor.  I'm glad to find her in this movie.   As Dean Jan Messer she must weigh the arguments of all involved. To do what's best for the school in spite of Ben's conflict with Valerian, and his ideas about teaching and how the school should be run.

As I mentioned earlier Miles is an actor in the theatre.  He just finished a very successful run of Les Misérables at the Saenger Theatre in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The musical got held over an extra day for an encore performance.  That's what you like to hear.

This movie has everything you might expect to encounter in a college setting: drama, relationships, happy, sad, and funny.  Sure to be a hit you'll not want to miss.


Miles Doleac as Ben Rhodes .JPG
Check out the trailer below and read the conversation with Miles and Tamarah.