Wednesday, June 8, 2016

S.C. Film Institute finds new location, reopens after last year's flood damage

Back in action

Posted by David Hall on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:33 PM

The South Carolina Film Institute will host a grand reopening at their new location, 1016 Woodrow St. in downtown Columbia, Saturday following the loss of their previous location during the severe flooding experienced statewide in October.
October's flood damage forced SCFI to find a new location in Columbia. - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • October's flood damage forced SCFI to find a new location in Columbia.

We reported in October that the nonprofit, which has been making films in the state since 2014, sustained approximately $30,000 in damages following the flood. Their office space on Devine Street was completely flooded and the institute lost valuable equipment as well as the space.

Since then, the institute has been working at getting back to work. A gofundme was started to help, but according to co-owner Marcus McCall, much of the funding to secure the location and equipment came from within the organization.

“We did get some support with gofundme,” McCall said. “But we decided pretty much to spend our own money and reinvest back into our business to get it back rolling.”

According to McCall, SCFI was impacted severely by the setback, but kept working anyway. McCall said Saturday’s event is to let the community know they’re back at full capacity.

“We want to let people know that we’re here,” McCall said. “We want to remain a staple in the film industry in South Carolina, Columbia especially, and we’re not going anywhere.”

According to McCall, the new location has office space, a studio for talk shows, and a film photography studio. Saturday’s event will include free food, painting stations for adults and kids, and a discounted member rate of $20, as opposed to the usual $70 fee, McCall said. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. and will continue through the  afternoon, ending around 4 p.m.

McCall said the institute plans to continue to make full-length feature films and documentaries for the community and let members gain experience in the film industry.


'Vaxxed' screening at the Terrace starting Friday

See the controversy for yourself...

Posted on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 10:56 AM

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Starting this Friday, June 10, the Terrace Theatre will screen Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, a film that claims to be one of America’s most controversial movies of the moment. Documenting a cover-up by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the faulty safety study of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, the film delves into the controversy of the vaccination process from the perspective of whistleblower and CDC Senior Scientist William Thompson. According to the film, the CDC concealed and destroyed data after a 2004 study revealed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Though the film contains undercurrents that seem strongly anti-vaccine, director Andrew Wakefield and producer Polly Tommey claim the film is merely presenting data, previously unreleased to the public, showing a correlation between the introduction of the MMR vaccine and the proliferation of autism cases in the past 20 years. The film has caught the attention of many people, including high-profile celebrities such as Robert De Niro, who touted its importance after the Tribeca Film Festival pulled the film from its slated world premiere on April 24. (De Niro is one of the festival's co-founders).

“It said something to me that was valid,” De Niro said. “Maybe some things were inaccurate, but if the movie was 20 percent accurate, it was worth seeing.”  The refusal to premiere this film was considered by some to be a First Amendment issue; despite some hiccups, the film has experienced box office success.

Friday's shows are at 2:35 and 6:45 p.m. You can buy tickets here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Confessions of a Southern Charm newbie: Ep 10

These are troubled times

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Let's all just pretend we're OK - SCREENSHOT
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  • Let's all just pretend we're OK
Hey, everybody. This week we’ll be talking about disappointment. I’ll try to make it fun, I guess.

So last night, when it came time to tune the old laptop into Southern Charm, I slowly began to realize that it just wasn’t happening. As the images clipped and glitched by, I was forced to face the sad reality that I wasn’t going to be able to watch the show via my usual set-up, which involves me dressed in tinfoil with my arms stretched to true north in hopes of strengthening my wifi. At this point you should realize that I don’t know how the internet works.

Anyway, I eventually had to do something I never thought would happen — I purchased an episode of Southern Charm. I downloaded it. It lives on my computer now. I can watch it over and over again until the heat death of the universe. So my laptop had let me down, but it also provided the only solution to my dilemma. This is what I kept in mind as I watched this week’s episode, which shows our cast of characters really being put through their paces.

We open with Craig, who is dressed as Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack, visiting his former boss. Craig has come looking for some sort of guidance. He’s let down J.D. with the whole bourbon, hotel business, and he’s now looking to return to pursuing a career as a lawyer. What a world that would be. Craig’s face plastered across benches. He maybe gets his own show, a legal drama titled Charleston Law, where he defends golf cart thieves and uncovers the seedy underbelly of counterfeit shrimp and grits. I would watch this.

Thanks, life! - SCREENSHOT
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  • Thanks, life!
Next in line, we find Shep meeting up with his lady friend, who has some bad news. She wants a commitment, but Shep isn’t ready to settle down. It’s a little uncomfortable watching someone getting broken up with. Also, they ordered an entire bottle of wine. Do they just have to sit there after the break-up and finish it? What’s the etiquette for this situation? I feel like Shep should get a hug and a to-go cup. I know I often make fun of Shep’s name for sounding like a wiping maneuver, but this saddens me. Shep says he’s afraid of commitment, which is an important thing to be able to admit. It’s better that he acknowledges that part of himself rather than try to carry on a relationship out of fear that he’ll disappoint the other person. Maybe one day he’ll be ready to settle down with a Mrs. Shep and have a lot of little Sheps and Shepinas running around, but today is not that day.

Speaking of not being ready for children, Cameran pays her mom a visit. Her mom is drinking a cocktail from a thimble and has the look that I describe as “senator poet.” She seems like the type of woman who would be great at running a book club. She’s a delight. Cameran confesses to her mom that she doesn’t want kids, and her mother is totally fine with it. I’ve had this conversation with my mother, but the news that I will not be siring any grandkids has yet to set in. I assure you that I am not parent material.

“Dad won’t stop talking about how good of a movie Tremors is, but he doesn’t understand how health insurance works. I’ve never been to the dentist, and he mixes cough syrup in with all my food to keep me docile. He was supposed to help me with my science fair project, but instead he just wrote the word ‘futility’ on a poster board and sent me off to school.”

Thanks, unborn son.

Back to Southern Charm, we follow Shep and Cameran as they attempt to sell a home to the Most Interesting Man in the World from those Dos Equis commercials. Within seconds, Shep has mentioned the Civil War and made up 20 random words for house parts. According to Shep, the bathroom was carved from one giant slab of marble and there’s a pool on the roof. The house is actually bigger on the inside like the Baxter Building from the Fantastic Four, and it has the same exact layout as the mansion from the game Clue. Cameran eventually tells Shep — the only name in real estate — that she can no longer work with him. He says now he’ll have more time for naps. Shep’s life is that of a house cat.
"I don't always buy houses, but when I do, I ask for a garage for my beard." - SCREENSHOT
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  • "I don't always buy houses, but when I do, I ask for a garage for my beard."
Later in the evening, Thomas meets up with the rest of the guys to celebrate the birth of his son. They have some odd discussion about the importance of having a male heir because it is 1780, and then the rest of the conversation centers around genitals. At one point, Thomas says something like “Look at those balls” while flipping through pictures on his phone, and I remember why I cry into my pillow at night. After a harrowing conversation about circumcision, we jump to the next scene where Shep is meeting Whitney for lunch.

They have a conversation about relationships, but all I can look at is Shep’s “I Voted” sticker. Shep voted. Or he stole someone’s sticker. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. “Is Shep a better citizen than I am?” I ask myself in a moment of chilling introspection. Sometimes when you gaze into the abyss, Shep stares back.
Continuing our emotional rollercoaster ride with Shep, we see the heartbreak kid stopping by to visit Landon, who decides now is a good time to confess her love for him. Shep manages to hold in a spit take before making a hasty exit. Put this behind you Landon, for Lockhart Steele is coming.
Lockhart Steele is back! - SCREENSHOT
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  • Lockhart Steele is back!
For those of you who don’t remember, Steele is considering assisting Landon in the publication of her travel-arts-food magazine, which she will also be extending to encompass complete world knowledge. You can tell Lockhart Steele is in town because you can see his helicarrier hovering over the city. If you told me that Lockhart Steele’s business card is a raven trained to say only his name, I would believe it. Just typing the name Lockhart Steele has caused my computer to grow a beard and lease a vintage Trans Am. The kingmaker that he is, Steele says Landon’s magazine/website isn’t progressing fast enough before igniting his jet pack and crashing through the ceiling.
This week’s episode ends with a dinner at Patricia’s. Being one of the unclean, I can’t imagine what it is like to set down to dinner with Patricia. She leads the table like some sort of conversational general. Each question is strategic and precise. They are the cruise missiles of discourse.

Once again, J.D. steers the discussion with Thomas to paternity tests. He says the last results were inconclusive, and everyone latches on. But I understand his reluctance to dig up the truth. These children are already in his life. Either things remain exactly the same or he gets the biggest disappointment of his life. Both Shep and Craig have had to face personal and professional setbacks this week, and maybe Thomas just wants to avoid joining the club. As this season of Southern Charm winds down, a lot of the cast is at a pretty low point. Will they have time to recover? I guess we’ll see.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Confessions of a Southern Charm newbie: Ep 9

Birth and horses

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 12:10 PM

Craig's rules for life - SCREENSHOT
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  • Craig's rules for life
Welcome back, everyone. Hope you all had an enjoyable holiday weekend and spent at least a few moments drunkenly arguing with your loved ones about whether a hotdog is a sandwich. This week’s episode of Southern Charm got into some pretty heavy territory, so let’s jump right in and try to see what lessons we can extract from it.

We open things back at Whitney’s L.A. home, which is the architectural equivalent of a sleeping pill. If walls could talk, these would spend their time explaining why the lute is under-utilized in modern American music and listing hummus recipes. Over breakfast, Whitney and his lady friend discuss Shep and Craig’s upcoming visit. Whitney attempts to describe the concept of a promise ring and mentions that it is something that someone receives when they are “going steady.” His use of what may be an outdated term gets a laugh from his companion, but I’m right there with you, Whit. I get made fun of every time I describe a young couple as “courting,” but I just brush it off, run down to the pharmacy for a malt before heading back into the office to refill the ink on my mimeograph. The important thing to remember is that Whitney and I are definitely not born of an ageless race cursed to walk the Earth forever. Such rumors are unfounded, and I assure you that my current human vessel is only 28 years old and completely susceptible to the ravages of time.

Moving on, we find Kathryn paying a visit to the spa with Cooper, who looks way too much like the Lady Elaine Fairchilde puppet from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Nightmares aside, Cooper advises Kathryn to live her life as she wishes and not allow Thomas to influence her decisions.
The resemblance is uncanny - SCREENSHOT
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  • The resemblance is uncanny
Turning toward the other side of the relationship, the episode then jumps to Thomas and J.D., who are fresh off the polo field or course or whatever you call the grounds on which polo is played — polotorium, maybe, or the Polodome. Two horses enter. Two horses leave because polo is a perfectly civil game.

Anyway, J.D. and Thomas chat about the upcoming birth of T-Rav’s son. J.D. recommends a paternity test, but also suggests that women typically don’t like being asked for such. This is an astute observation from J.D., as involving Maury in the birthing process may not be conducive for a good time. Thomas seems pretty chill about all this, but the very idea of asking someone for a paternity test seems terrifying to me. I don’t think I could bring myself to do it and would probably go on living a lie just to avoid an awkward conversation. It is for this reason that I once went by the name Dave for several weeks after starting a new job and never summoned the courage to correct anyone. After a week or so, I had passed the point where I might be able to correct someone without seeming like a lunatic. My coworkers upstairs knew me as Dustin, but downstairs I was Dave. That went on for a pretty good while, until an uncomfortable elevator ride that went something like this:

Downstairs worker: “Hey Dave, how are you today?”

Upstairs worker: “Why are you calling him ‘Dave’? Dustin, did you tell people to call you
Dave? What is wrong with you?”

Me: [Remains silent for three solid minutes before leaping through an office window and running off into the woods never to be seen again.]

Back to Southern Charm, Cameran and Landon are spending a fun afternoon making candles. Maybe next they can go tan some leather or apprentice for the local cobbler. Landon confesses that she may not be fully invested in establishing a committed romantic relationship because she is subconsciously holding out for Shep, which is also the name of a failed children’s toy from the ’80s that was basically just a Mr. Potato Head with a drinking problem.

We also learn in this episode that Landon was once married. Now she’s torn with whether to move on and pursue a relation-Shep with her friend or burry her feelings. With that plot point established, we move back to the West Coast as Craig and Shep arrive at Whitney’s. Things are pretty tense between Craig and his host after their argument in the mountains, but Craig apologizes, and Whitney extends his version of an olive branch, which is a Coors Light. Coors Light: The beer you give to someone you kind of hate.
"Who said I've been alive forever?" - SCREENSHOT
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  • "Who said I've been alive forever?"
Later in the evening, Whitney’s lady friend, who I believe is named Larissa, joins the boys before they begin their evening of revelry. Larissa mistakes the words “Shep” for “shit,” and I’m like “Come on. That’s my routine, Larissa. Leave the Shep-based humor to me.”

It’s at this point that things deteriorate and everyone starts saying things that are complete nonsense, and I love it. Shep mentions how when you get “perfectly drunk” you’re really good at pool. Whitney rallies his friends by saying, “Let’s wake up in the morning covered in blood and vomit” because I guess he learned to party from GG Allin. Then Shep says he promises to “spit in the devil’s eye.” This is all capped off with Craig saying that it’s a good thing that he and Whitney and Shep are all guys — otherwise they’d be talking shit about each other on Twitter for three years. Is this what women do? I know this is what Kanye West does. I don’t quite know if this is a universal female trait.

Skipping ahead to the morning after the big party in L.A., we see Whitney stepping out of his room to survey the damage. In a moment I never could have predicted, he steps onto his porch and beams at a puddle of vomit that he discovers. “The mark of a good party is finding vomit with a partially digested meatball,” he says with the pride of a father flipping through the family photo album to find page after page of bodily fluids. Whitney then goes to wake everyone up. I guess to tell them about all the exciting vomit people left at his home. Much to my disappointment, Shep is not passed out in a treetop.

Back in Charleston, J.D. is on the search for Craig as their company prepares for the big bourbon launch event. After several unanswered calls, J.D. phones Shep to say he is running out of niceness with his new employee. Shep passes on this message to a sleepy-eyed Craig, but he also reveals a personal pet peeve. It turns out that Shep finds it unacceptable to have a full voicemail. This is an interesting bit of insight into Shep’s mind, which up until this point I assumed was just full of Big Johnson T-shirt ideas and a single unspeakable urge.

Craig and Shep’s hang-out session at Whitney’s house takes an even stranger turn when Craig orders a masseuse. This nice young women proceeds to give Craig a rub-down as Shep looks on and asks her about energy. This is completely disturbing. Why do they all need to be in the room together? There’s some weird thing going on with all this, and I think we should try to figure out the masseuse’s last-known whereabouts. Between Kathryn and Cooper at the spa and Craig in L.A., a large portion of this episode was dedicated to watching people get massages.
Run away. Everyone just run away. - SCREENSHOT
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  • Run away. Everyone just run away.
Returning to Charleston, it is the day of the bourbon launch at the horse race, which is the most Charleston sentence I have ever written. It may be too small for you to see, but the period in that last sentence is actually Bill Murray riding a palmetto bug to brunch.

On their ride to the horse race, our cast enjoys a rich bounty of champagne and Doritos ­— the Shep of meals. Craig is pouting because he has a hangover and has become bored with this whole bourbon thing, which was his life’s calling only a few weeks ago. While talking to J.D., Craig mentions that he has never had to cancel a trip for work reasons, and with that I am done. I can’t look at you right now, Craig. I thought I knew you, but you’ve hurt me. I need a minute.

The rest of the episode is dedicated to the birth of Thomas and Kathryn’s son. This is really sweet, and I think the show did a good job of handling a nice moment between the two without forcing some unnecessary drama. Regardless of how you feel about Southern Charm and Thomas and Kathryn, it is kind of incredible to think that they showed a person’s first day in the world. Only moments old, their son hasn’t even seen his first exotic bird-themed party.

The episode ends with a shot of Thomas holding his newborn and saying, “Hopefully you won’t make all the dumb mistakes I’ve made.” Amen, Thomas. Amen.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Southern Charm S3 E8: Craig becomes Kathryn's drama queen proxy

The Rules of Reality

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:15 PM

Oh New Craig. In desperate need of a storyline besides "he's a loser," Craig gins one up by creating some drama with Whitney. I have a feeling he is getting coached by Kathryn on how to do this reality show thing. Since she's pregnant and on bedrest, she can't conduct her own drama so Craig is a convenient puppet.

As Cameran notes, he's acting like a high school girl who wants to be in the middle of it all, which is pretty much how this Bravo TV thing works — and Kathryn knows how to work it. This is the girl who started out as a bit player but quickly became Southern Charm's starring act. But Craig must be careful. When you start throwing molotov cocktails, one might just blow up in your face. 

As the crew sits around drinking wine and relaxing in Shep's happy place, Craig unleashes his pet theory on Whitney: you loved Kathryn and she "lived with you" (on reality shows five days of hooking up equals living together) and then she dumped you for Thomas and now you hate her. 

Needless to say, this does not go over well. Whitney is gobsmacked by the accusation. Naomie visibly cringes. Cameran tells him he should be ashamed of himself (classic Southern snap). JD and Elizabeth look mortified. And Shep is disgusted at Craig for smearing his happy place with a bunch of crap. Landon, however, seems secretly amused at the whole thing.


Apparently, Craig is doing this to get back at Whitney for that time in Delaware when Whitney told Craig's parents that Craig was partying hard every night. 

After Whitney storms off, Cameran tries to broker an apology to help Craig keep the friendship intact. Craig's non-apology simply rehashes his theory, which just makes Whitney madder.

Naomie tells Craig, who appears to have some tobacco tucked into his lower lip, how embarrassing his behavior was. Craig refuses to back down from the self-righteous belief that he was just doing the right thing to stand up for his friend Kathryn. 

Molotov cocktail explodes in his face. Tobacky goes everywhere. 

The next morning, Whitney wakes up pissed and decides to take his ball and go to his lair in LA. And what a lair it is. A white box made of glass and money. 

But first, we must attend to some T-Rav/Baby Mama drama. T-Rav was planning to go to LA with Whitney and celebrate the pending childbirth of his new son, but Kathryn has discovered this nefarious plan and is doing what she can to prevent this from happening by getting into "a tizzy" — which is Southern for losing her shit.  

T-Rav is easily manipulated ("better to keep Kathryn at peace than to deal with her wrath") and cancels his plans, much to Kathryn's delight. When he sends her a "bo-kay" of flowers, Kathryn laughs at his sentiment. Ooh, she's a cold one. 

The rest of the episode is Craig trying desperately to get back into the good graces of Cameran and Whitney. Shep helps him by trying to convince Whitney to let Craig come out to LA in T-Rav's place: Grudges are for losers! 

Craig meets with Kathryn and tells her that he's done being her proxy and can't take on the role of drama queen because it sucks and he's not willing to lose friends over it. 

Later, there's more fun to be had at Kathryn's when T-Rav drops by to put together the changing table. T-Rav can't wriggle his way out of this confrontation no matter how hard he concentrates on putting that table together. She's an expert on making this goober squirm.

Back in LA, Whitney creeps on his girlfriend Larissa, plying her with stir-fry, balloons, orchids, baths, German words, and a goofy love song (watch video below). She seems appropriately mortified, but it's actually pretty sweet to see Whitney have feelings since we all pretty much think he's a vampire or some other nefarious creature of the night.

Next week: Whitney relents and Craig heads to LA with Shep to party with hot chicks while Kathryn and Thomas head to the hospital to birth their baby. 


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