Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tulsa's Clark Wiens: A Hometown Cinema Hero

Tulsa's nonprofit movie house, Circle Cinema, celebrated a landmark this week: selling more than 2,000 tickets over a five-week period to a single movie, Sweet Land.

Writing in the Tulsa World yesterday, film critic Michael Smith reported this landmark, quoting the Circle's co-founder Clark Wiens. Wiens said the theater sold all of its 100 seats more than 10 times, making Sweet Land the Circle's biggest success since it opened in 2004.

Smith called the film "a remarkably moving gem." "It was about the land, and many of us aren't that removed from our land roots. That's what appealed to people," Wiens added.

The AltTulsa crowd agrees. Sweet Land is a beautiful film, a well-told story about the immigrant experience in Minnesota in the early twentieth century. Although the movie has closed, Wiens told Smith that the film may return later this year.

Tulsa is fortunate to have Clark Wiens in its midst, and we salute him for his energy and vision. In less than three years, Wiens and his staff have turned the Circle Cinema into a center of cultural enrichment and cinematic diversity in T-town.

We'll see you at the Circle.

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