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Flashback: Larry Flynt shot in Lawrenceville

On that warm March afternoon, what pastor Fred Musser first thought was the sound of freight palettes dropping from a truck turned out to be the crack of a .44 caliber Marlin rifle—a weapon designed to kill large game.

Q&A with Natasha Trethewey

With Emory professor Natasha Trethewey named poet laureate of the United States, discussions of Southern identity get a higher profile.

Derivation of Dirty South

“What chu know about the Dirty South?” Aside from being a track and infectious refrain on Goodie Mob’s 1995 debut "Soul Food," the term has devolved in spelling (Durty Souf?) and evolved wildly in connotation.

Q&A with Jim Farmer

Atlanta’s Out on Film celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary October 4 to 11, making it one of the longest-running LGBT film festivals in the country. Festival director Jim Farmer offers a preview.

Out on Film is now one of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the country. Reeling, Chicago’s LGBT festival, went on hiatus recently after thirty years. How do you keep Out on Film growing and prospering in these tough times? In addition to the week we do in the fall, we now hold screenings throughout the year. That has really helped us get the brand out there.

How has the Atlanta Pride Festival’s move to the fall had an impact on Out on Film? The festival is quite literally now Pride’s opening act in October, isn’t it? There are a lot of great opportunities to work with Pride on programming. Instead of just handing out pamphlets at Pride in the summer, we now have a chance to do screenings together. We’re trying to reach the same people, the same audience. It’s great to build that energy together.

When the Out on Film committee assembles to decide the festival’s lineup each year, how, um, spirited does the debate get? It does get spirited, but never ugly or antagonistic. We realize that we’re programming for our whole community. We all have our favorite films, we all have films that we root for, but at the end of the very, very long day, we realize we have a responsibility to make selections that will resonate with our entire LGBT audience. We don’t take it lightly.

There are LGBT film festivals all over the country. What’s unique about programming for the audiences at the largest one in the Southeast? My partner and I went to Frameline in San Francisco this year. [Many days] they screen from 11 in the morning until 2 a.m. They just love film there. Atlanta loves film too, but not quite enough to support an around-the-clock schedule like that. It’s a balance. We’re always about quality, first and foremost. But we also have to consider what sells. We have to put butts in the seats. So it’s a mix of really strong films that people might not have heard anything about yet—with a spotlight on Atlanta and regional filmmakers—and lighter things that will automatically sell themselves. Case in point: the Eating Out films. They’re fun romantic comedies with cute boys running around. When you’re a nonprofit film festival, you can’t argue with a sold-out audience of 200.

Twenty-five years ago, LGBT film festivals had far fewer offerings to select from. Your choices were thematically split between heart-wrenching coming-out pictures and heart-wrenching AIDS-focused films. Now you’ve got everything from gay teen-sex comedies to gay slasher flicks. Is this job more fun in 2012? It’s been an amazing evolution. Anybody can be a filmmaker these days. From a technology standpoint, it’s an easier environment for creative people to get something made without a big studio and without a huge budget. Years ago so many of the films that were submitted were dark and depressing. Topics have broadened now to include things like gay adoption, gay marriage, and relationships. Now when the films come in, they often have characters where being gay is just one element; it’s no longer the focal point. They just present everyday people, going about their everyday lives. Being gay is just one part of that.

We’re now living in an era where the president of the United States supports gay marriage. Are you beginning to see the results of those societal changes with what filmmakers are address

Birth of Martha Lumpkin, Atlanta’s namesake

Atlanta wasn’t really planned. It just kind of ... happened. Our streets follow the lines of former cow paths (which explains why I always get turned around on Moore's Mill). And our name evolved in a similarly scattershot manner.

PB2 peanut butter powder

For the die-hard peanut butter addicts who love the taste but hate the fat or calories, here's something to consider.

Dedication of the Gold Dome

The dedication of Georgia’s new Capitol on July 4, 1889 was an exercise in mixed metaphors. The ceremony, a grand legislative procession from the lawmakers’ temporary digs in an opera house on Marietta Street to the gilded edifice six blocks away, was carefully staged to symbolize democracy as an institution.

The murder of Alberta King

On Sunday June 30 1974, Alberta Christine Williams King played “The Lord’s Prayer” on the organ of Ebenezer Baptist, the church where her father, A.D. Williams, her husband, Martin Luther King Sr., and son, Martin Luther King Jr., all had served as pastors.

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