Friday, November 03, 2006

'Half Nelson' puts the squeeze on 120

Half Nelson Crowd
Originally uploaded by

The Robinson Film Center's Chris Jay reports on last night's screening below. I couldn't go because I was doing this. I want to know what readers thought of the movie and event. Lastly, note what Chris writes about the next movie in the series:

"A small but enthusiastic group of around 120 moviegoers attended The Robinson Film Center’s one night-only engagement of ‘Half Nelson’ starring Ryan Gosling on Thursday night. The crowd was a true cross-section of Shreveport-Bossier City, comprised equally of scruffy college students, professionals still dressed for the office, and retirees. Most of the audience members with whom I spoke had read the glowing reviews of ‘Half Nelson’ and were exuberant about having the opportunity to see the film without driving to Dallas.

"The film’s honest portrayal of a young, drug-addicted history teacher’s struggles to keep the lives of his students on-track while flirting with complete self-destruction obviously left many audience members shaken. Perhaps the most difficult (and rewarding) aspect of the film is that it does not end with the standard Hollywood-style redemption of the protagonist. We’re left with a glimpse of what this man’s life could be like were he able to stay sober, but no reassurances that he can. A group of around 50 audience members remained after the credits rolled and gave a standing ovation for 'Half Nelson,' which was a wonderful moment to witness. In these times of dropping box office grosses and endless, mindless sequels and re-makes, bringing this film to Shreveport-Bossier City was rewarding.

"Thursday’s ‘Half Nelson’ screening was an experiment of sorts, to see whether Northwest Louisiana would turn out for a film like this. The organizers were encouraged enough by the attendance and enthusiasm on Thursday night that we have decided to bring one film per month (roughly, depending on holidays and the usual scheduling considerations) until the grand opening of The Robinson Film Center in downtown Shreveport. Possible films for December are ‘The Science of Sleep,’ ‘The U.S. Vs. John Lennon,’ and ‘The Queen.’ I am always seeking community members who are willing to help promote these events. If you would like to help pass out flyers and spread the word, e-mail me at To receive monthly updates about this series, sign up for our e-newsletter at"

-- Chris Jay

1 comment:

Sammy said...

I'm from Shreveport, and was quite excited to find an indie theater in Little Rock when I moved. I think the one movie a month deal is a great idea, but I'm not so sure that Half Nelson was a great choice. I've recently seen packed audiences at movies like Little Miss Sunshine, The Science of Sleep, and Prairie Home Companion...but a movie featuring the guy made famous by The Notebook? That's pushing it..ha.