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A New Film Series At The Speed Defends Guilty Pleasures — And Those Who Love Them

Courtesy Speed Museum

A new film program at the Speed Museum is focusing on "guilty pleasures," those less-than-highbrow selections that we love anyway.

"It would be something that you wouldn't typically own up to when asked what your favorite films are, especially when somebody is talking about screening something in a museum setting," says Dean Otto, curator of film at the Speed.

"The Defenders" will happen quarterly as part of "Social Speed," a monthly evening event that includes lectures, gallery tours, games, drinks and other performances.

Here's the setup: For each event, a local celebrity will choose a "guilty pleasure" film that will only be revealed to the audience at the screening. The audience will be sworn to secrecy about the selection, so as to protect the innocent — or not-so-innocent. After the screening, the celebrity will have to defend his or her choice in a discussion with the audience.

"This is a way to kind of expand on the different genres that are out there, and also for people in the community to really share their love of cinema as well," Otto says.

The first guest will be musician and actor Will Oldham, followed in August by Todd Brashear, former owner of the late lamented Wild & Woolly Video store. Although the film doesn't have to be finalized until a couple weeks before the screening, Otto says Brashear is already trying to make up his mind.

"Todd sends me new titles probably once every other week," Otto said.

"The Defenders" is one of several new film initiatives Otto is starting, now that the newly reopened museum includes a 142-seat cinema that can show films in a number of different formats. "CineCuisine" will pair a food-related film with a specially prepared meal by a local chef. There are also plans in the works for "B-Movie Bingo," in which the audience would play a bingo game based on things that happen in a low-budget film. Also on the to-do list is a short film slam with the Louisville Film Society.

"I want to create a more interactive experience for people who are visiting the cinema," said Otto.

The first "Social Speed" takes place Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., and the as-yet-unnamed film will screen at 7 p.m. Tickets for the film are first-come, first-served at the cinema door, and will be given out beginning at 6 p.m.

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