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On 'Frontline: Wikileaks" and Arkansas Netflix picks




9 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 AETN

It is the human condition, we suppose, that all of us who live long enough will feel like we just stepped out of our time machine here in a future where everything seems faster, brighter and more complicated than it should be. This writer sure feels that way from time to time, and we've had the Internet most of our life. We can only imagine what you strange visitors from the time of three-station TV and AM radio must feel like. One of the great leaps that we ARE happy about is the newfound accessibility of information. With just a few clicks of the keyboard, we can find things that it would have taken a dedicated reporter a day of phone tag to track down 30 years ago. With all that information, however, comes a number of ethical questions. How much information is TOO MUCH? The point on that argument right now has a lot to do with Wikileaks, the purloined, leaked and clandestine-circulated information clearinghouse run by Julian Assange. Founded in 2006 and drawing its information from both corporate and governmental whistleblowers all over the world, Wikileaks stands to change the way the world gets its information. Some say Assange and Wikileaks engage in straight up espionage, putting intelligence assets and soldiers at risk, and should be prosecuted. Others say they're the vanguard of free speech, toppling the old information gatekeepers who have kept the public ignorant and misinformed for decades. Here, the always-informative PBS series "Frontline" explores how Assange and Wikileaks have changed the information landscape for good and for ill, and where we go from here.


There's a squat-ton of made-in-Arkansas movies on Netflix Instant, available to watch at the touch of a button. Some of them are actually pretty good. Check it out:

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) — Yeah, we know this one doesn't quite count, given that the only shot of Arkansas in the film is a bit of stock footage of the Old Mill in North Little Rock, but lots of Arkies claim their piece of the epic Civil War potboiler proudly, so we will, too.

BLOODY MAMA (1970) — Roger Corman's crimesplotation flick about Ma Barker (Shelley Winters) and her gang of miscreant sons, who shoot their way through the Depression. Look for a very green Robert De Niro as her glue-sniffing young'un. Shot near Little Rock and Mountain Home.

BOX CAR BERTHA (1972) — Corman returned to Arkansas to produce another crime yarn, this time with a young whippersnapper of a director named Martin Scorsese at the helm. With Barbara Hershey in the title role of a Depression-era, train-robbing gun moll. Filmed in and around Camden.

A SOLDIER'S STORY (1984) — After a black soldier is murdered in a small Louisiana town, a black military attorney is brought in to investigate. Starring a young Denzel Washington, and filmed at Fort Chaffee and Clarendon.

END OF THE LINE (1987) — After they learn their railroad is about to be shut down, two engineers steal a locomotive and drive it cross-country to see the president of the company. Starring Levon Helm, Kevin Bacon and Wilford Brimley. Shot in Scott, Benton, Lonoke and North Little Rock.

BILOXI BLUES (1988) — After joining the Army, a naive New York kid (Matthew Broderick) gets shipped off to Mississippi for basic training, and butts heads with his possibly-insane drill sergeant (Christopher Walken). Directed by Mike Nichols, from a screenplay by Neil Simon. Shot at Fort Chaffee and Van Buren.

ONE FALSE MOVE (1992) — After an L.A. drug deal goes bad, a trio of criminals flee back home to Arkansas, where violence soon follows them. Written by Billy Bob Thornton, and filmed near Brinkley

SLING BLADE (1996) — The tale of a former mental patient who committed a terrible crime, and what he does to protect the boy who is his only friend. Billy Bob Thornton won an Oscar for his screenplay and was nominated for best actor. The film was shot mostly in Benton.

ELIZABETHTOWN (2005) — After losing millions of dollars for his company, a designer goes home to bury his father and meets an unconventional woman. Directed by Cameron Crowe, with some scenes filmed in Eureka Springs.

— David Koon

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