, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 21, 2012

Festival offers weekend of film and filmmakers

Marlyn Mason is a veteran of films. The 71-year-old actress starred in three major motion pictures, including Elvis Presley’s second-to-last movie, “The Trouble With Girls,” starring as the leading lady. Her credits also include a dozen television movies and many more television shows.

But her latest work came from behind the camera.

She’s in Muskogee this weekend from Medford, Ore., to take part in the Bare Bones International Film Festival, which concludes Sunday. Films will be shown in downtown Muskogee this weekend, including Mason’s.

Her film, “The Bag,” which will show at 5 p.m. today at the Roxy Theater, is about elderly suicide. The film is based on her mother’s death.

“It’s about 75 percent on her and 25 percent embellished,” Mason said. “It’s a subject nobody wants to talk about, and I don’t think anyone should have to go through something similar.”

The film’s name has a double meaning, Mason said.

“My mother was storing her pills in a bag, and she was a bit of a bag at the end,” Mason said. “I was with her the last week of her life. The film is personal, but I’m OK with it. She’s not dead to me.”

Mason also will take part in a staged reading of “Zelda’s Ever Blooming Flowers,” a screenplay by Lorraine Portman. The reading will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Muskogee Civic Center.

Portman, from Florida, is back at Bare Bones for the second time. She showed “Saving Sophie” at the 2004 festival.

She said Bare Bones is essential to keep the art of movie making alive.

“Festivals like Sundance are independent films the way these are independent,” Portman said. “Those films already have avenues. Bare Bones does an amazing job with people who come in without the LA background.”

As Bare Bones enters its final 2012 weekend, co-founder and co-coordinator ShIron Butterfly Ray said there is lots in store for Muskogee.

“It’s not just a great outlet for people who are making movies and music videos and documentaries,” Ray said. “It’s a great chance for Muskogee to see a lot of good things they might not otherwise see.”

Ray said the total of features shown at this year’s festival is almost 200.

“We’ve got horror films and action films and romance films and films for kids — there’s something for everyone,” Ray said. “We have documentaries and music videos. We show all kinds of things.”

Ray said the name “Bare Bones” comes from the limited budgets the movies shown work under.

“These are all films with a budget of less than $1 million,” Ray said. “It’s really amazing what some of these people can do with so little money in terms of effects and explosions and things.”

Reach Mike Carrels at (918) 684-2922 or

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or

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