Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It'll be OK, everyone. Southern Charm is back in April

We’re sure you have complaints

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:18 AM

Yup, they're back - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Yup, they're back
Breathe deep. Clear your thoughts. Southern Charm is returning April 3. There, it’s over. Now you know. But let’s talk about how this makes you feel.

A lot has changed in the world since season three of Southern Charm ended. America has a new president. Beyoncé is having twins. Some other things probably happened. I guess what I’m tying to say is I’m here for you, and we are going to make it through this fourth season of Southern Charm just like we did the last one — together.

Leading up to the big premiere in April, let’s take some time to figure out what we can expect this season, both in terms of what will happen on the show and in response to it. Loyal readers can expect a return of the City Paper’s weekly recap column “Confessions of a Southern Charm Newbie” wherein I stumble through summarizing what has happened on the show as well as offer whatever additional commentary is needed.

“But Dustin, how can you still be a newbie when you’ve already watched an entire season of the show?” you might ask.

That’s a great question.

Moving on, in addition to the usual barrage of negative comments arguing that even acknowledging Southern Charm is akin to cultural suicide, it seems inevitable that someone will respond to any new article about the show with that old chestnut: “Fake news!”

How soon until we see this? Will it happen on this very article? Because you know someone has that witty rejoinder loaded up and ready to go. Rest assured that this person likely showed up to their last family reunion uninvited. This is the type of person who aggressively explains to children that cartoons used to be much better when they were young. Don’t let these people distract you from enjoying a show you like. I’ll try not to let them distract me from writing about it. And centuries from now when Charleston is completely submerged in seawater and digital overlords harvest our teeth to fuel their calcium rays, humanity can look back fondly on a time when a reality show about dinner parties was enough to get people riled up.

So moving ahead, let’s check out the preview for the new season.

We start out with a few brief shots of carriage horses, so we definitely know we’re in Charleston, I guess. Then Shep — our dear Shep — leads a toast “To the bourgeoisie.” Apparently, during the off-season, Shep has seized the means of production. Remember everybody, “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

Then the cast is seen trekking deep into the woods with shotguns to sate their bloodlust, before hitting the dance floor to remedy their boogie fever. As viewers, we can also expect an upcoming episode that includes an “Indian healer” who is psychic.
Craig calls on this woman gifted with a sight that reaches beyond time and our feeble understanding of existence to ask if “anyone here has bad intentions for the group?”
The seer responds by making this face, which is all our faces.

'This is not why I went to psychic school.' - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • 'This is not why I went to psychic school.'

Skipping ahead, Craig still doesn’t know about becoming a lawyer. Cameran has thrown away her birth control. Also, there is a new guy. Hey new guy. You seem OK. And I say that simply based on the fact that he isn’t actively whipping gravel at the faces of his castmates. The bar is very low. Try not to trip over it.

'This is not why I went to reality TV school.' - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • 'This is not why I went to reality TV school.'
Speaking of bars, we later see Cameran enter Shep’s apartment to find his kitchen counter littered with empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Also, there is some weird totem at the center of the mess, which makes it all look like some great offering to an old, forgotten god. Maybe we learn this season that Shep has ties to Quetzalcoatl. That would be something.

Shep's kitchen or the contents of a shark's stomach, you decide - SCREENSHOT
  • screenshot
  • Shep's kitchen or the contents of a shark's stomach, you decide

Anyway, like every episode of the show, the preview ends with everyone lobbing insults around a dinner table. Shep threatens someone, saying that if they mess with the bull, they will, in fact, get the horns. Perhaps Shep is a follower of Apis, ancient Egyptian bull deity and herald of Ptah. We’ll just have to tune in on April 3 to find out. Or you can just read the recaps. Either way is fine.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Help Middleton Place Foundation fund their new documentary, 'Beyond the Fields — Slavery at Middleton Place'

Making visible the invisible

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 1:03 PM

  • Vimeo screen grab
This spring, the Middleton Place Foundation hopes to release a new documentary, Beyond the Fields — Slavery at Middleton Place. The film is expected to expand upon the plantation's long-practiced interpretation, one that illuminates the lives of the enslaved African Americans who toiled on Middleton's land. Middleton Place currently offers a Beyond the Fields tour, based on a 2009 book of the same name, and they want to take the history of the plantation one step further with this documentary.

But they need your help. Middleton Place Foundation currently has a page up at Crowdrise asking for donations to the documentary, which it calls both an educational and artistic endeavor. The donation page reads, "This project is partially grant-funded, and the Middleton Place Foundation, a 501-c3 education trust, is looking to supplement that funding, in order to create a stunningly modern and adept look at this very important, and too-long ignored topic. Along with rare footage of documents, artifacts, and landscape that only Middleton Place can provide, the filmmakers have embarked on a journey to interview the most knowledgeable scholars in the field on the issues and history surrounding slavery in the south." You can donate here.

This isn't the first documentary about Middleton Place. In 2013 Middleton Place: A Phoenix Still Rising, premiered, celebrating the wildlife, gardens, and history of the plantation. Then director of marketing Warren Cobb said that he hoped that the video would inspire people to visit the historical landmark and "all it has to offer for visitors." Needless to say, the 2013 documentary didn't quite dive into Middleton Place's history of enslaved peoples as Beyond the Fields hopes to.

A five minute Vimeo preview of Beyond the Fields offers a look at some of the documentary's speakers, including guide and professor, and sometimes Middleton Place reenactor Ty Collins; author and historian Walter Edgar (find his podcast, Walter's Edgar Journal here); professor, historian, and director of Suffolk University's Black Studies Program, Robert Bellinger; author and founder of the Barbados & The Carolinas Legacy Foundation, Rhoda Green; founder of the Colour of Music Festival, Lee Pringle; and historian and author Karen Fields, who has written books like Lemon Swamp and Other Places: A Carolina Memoir.

The documentary opens with the very reason that Middleton Place is creating this historical film — the enslaved left very few artifacts and personal papers. Middleton Place Foundation, according to the film's narrator, hopes to "make visible those who had been invisible." As Bellinger says, "People want to think about slavery, as something that happened, people worked, but what they forget is that along with the physical labor the bodies brought, each body had a mind."

Beyond the Fields - Slavery at Middleton Place from Sunhead Projects on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mr. Mercedes spotted shooting at Little Jack's Wednesday

Filming on Upper King Street today

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Crews spotted set up at Little Jack's Tavern on Wednesday - SAM SPENCE
  • Sam Spence
  • Crews spotted set up at Little Jack's Tavern on Wednesday
Film crews took over Upper King Street restaurant Little Jack's Tavern today to film the TV adaptation of Stephen King's crime series 'Mr Mercedes.'

The cozy throwback-themed restaurant had a new sign up reading "Demasio's Lunch + Dinner," which evokes images of family-owned Italian joint. (This is a hard boiled detective story, after all.)

The crews chose a good rainy day to shoot, since the set included spouts for staged rain. Props and lighting was also set up alongside the forthcoming Pancito and Lefty building.

Police directing traffic said that shooting was set to continue into late afternoon. Little Jack's Tavern said they were closed for today only for filming.

Mr. Mercedes, a 10-episode series based on the King trilogy, stars Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway. It's been filming around Charleston for a few months now and is set to debut first on AT&T Uverse and DirecTV in 2018.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

ETV hosts a screening of 'Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise' Feb. 13 at the main library

The heart of a woman

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 1:31 PM

Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s - MAGNUM
  • Magnum
  • Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s
The ETV Endowment, a nonprofit that funds programming for SCETV and SC Public Radio, hosts a one-hour film preview of the documentary, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise at the main branch of the Charleston County Library (66 Calhoun St.) on Mon. Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. On Tues. Feb. 21 the full documentary will air on SCETV. This is the first full-length film about the prolific writer, poet, activist, and actress who passed away in 2014.

A part of the PBS American Masters series, the documentary premiered at the 2016 Sundance film festival and has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack were able to capture insightful interviews with Angelou before her death, along with interviews from Bill and Hillary Clinton, Common, and Oprah Winfrey.

Register for the free screening here.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes filming downtown in Wagener Terrace


Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 4:29 PM

  • Staff
  • Staff
After seeing crew signs and production trucks scattered around the upper peninsula the past few weeks, we ran across the filming of the Mr. Mercedes TV series on Sans Souci Street today in North Central. The show is based on the Stephen King detective novel trilogy.

The crew has been filming a few days at a time over the past few weeks, setting up shop downtown at a couple of different locales. Trucks and crews have been seen staging at the Charleston Rifle Club off Heriot Street.

The show was announced originally featuring Star Trek's Anton Yelchin before he was killed in a bizarre car accident. Replacing him is Harry Treadaway from Penny Dreadful. The cast also features Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter), Scott Lawrence (Avatar), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight), Ann Cusack (Nightcrawler), and Mary Louise-Parker (The West Wing).

Mr. Mercedes is set to stream next year on Uverse and on DirecTV's Audience Network.

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