Columbia’s prodigal son, Kyle Smith, returns home to show his critically acclaimed film, “Turkey Bowl,” this Wednesday, June 1 at 7pm at Ragtag Cinema.
Kyle was called the next Robert Altman by Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, but the story of Kyle Smith’s “Turkey Bowl” begins in 1998 on the hill in the Lake Woodrail neighborhood on the south side of Columbia. A group of kids, from the wrong side of town*, lollygag around the neighborhood swiping Coca Cola and Goldfish Crackers from neighbors and dreaming of Hollywood. Well, only one of them was dreaming of Hollywood. Another was completely convinced she was the next Ernest Hemingway (minus the misogyny, alcoholism and womanizing). Only one of these kids reached their dream**.
In all seriousness, Kyle grew up in Columbia and attended Rock Bridge High School. He took Rich Hadfield’s Music and Film Studies course. During one class, David Wilson spoke to the students about his film, “Magic City,” and the beginnings of the Ragtag Film Society (way back when films were screened at The Blue Note.) Over 10 years later, Kyle’s own film shows at Ragtag as part of the Homebrewed series. (I’m not sure if I’m more excited about seeing Kyle’s film, or about the buskers and beer…)
Let’s get to know Kyle Smith, small town boy, with big dreams:
What have you been doing since you graduated Rock Bridge in 2002?
I lived in Chicago and worked in “new media” before following my Midwestern forefathers to the fine weather of Los Angeles where every evening feels like a Columbia autumn.
What is “Turkey Bowl” about?
Turkey Bowl is about a group of friends playing an annual game of touch football, told in real-time, based on a real event that happens on a baseball field in a Columbia subdivision every Thanksgiving.
What do you miss most about Columbia?
I miss being able to drive in one direction for 15 minutes and be lost in a good way.
If you could transport one thing from Columbia to Los Angeles, what would it be?
I would move that new parking garage from downtown, if only because we could really use those spaces in Los Angeles.
What’s your fondest memory of Columbia?
Watching a firefighter manually lower a disco ball (with rope) off a fire ladder near the courthouse on New Year’s 2001 – our own makeshift Times Square. We were drinking sparkling champagne straight from the bottle.
Either a movie set in Missouri or a period piece about a rock band, if I am lucky enough to do this again.
Homebrewed Film Series: “Turkey Bowl” w/ dir. Kyle Smith!
Wednesday, June 1
$8 for public, $5 for members
*Parts of this story have been fabricated. But the good stuff is true.
**The other one thought up some new dreams, including the dream of writing for The CoMo Collective.