Russ Kirkpatrick is the kind of filmmaker who when he’s not making a movie, he’s often watching new movies. Or his favorite movies.

But as the manager of Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions, he always seems to be making a film — and he’s making them locally.

His Tulsa company is responsible for films such as the Emmy-winning “Boomtown: An American Journey,” a 45-minute history-of-Tulsa documentary.

He’s now producing “Lucia’s Voice,” a documentary about Lucia Lucas, who took the stage in the title role of Tulsa Opera’s production of “Don Giovanni” this year and became the first transgender performer to sing a leading role with a major U.S. opera company.

Other projects are in a variety of different production phases, but the goal for “Lucia’s Voice” is for the public to be viewing it in 2020, he said.

“I’ve always been fascinated by film, and now as a filmmaker myself, I am still fascinated,” he said.

For this recurring series of stories, we asked Kirkpatrick about all of his movie favorites.

What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

One of my all-time favorites is “Cinema Paradiso” because of the score from Ennio Morricone and that childhood curiosity for cinema that it portrays.

What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen and why?

“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” We’ve all had an airport counter “moment.” The mixture of Steve Martin and John Candy is just incredible, and I travel a lot, so traveling in the winter, that trying to get home for Thanksgiving, it’s all very familiar.

What is the movie that scared you and why?

“The Shining.” It’s the sinister, slow-moving reality of the horror playing out on screen and Jack Nicholson’s character going from a seemingly normal, good-natured guy to becoming the face of Satan. Terrifying.

What is the movie that makes you cry and why?

“Schindler’s List,” just the gravity of this hell on Earth. There are so many moments, I can’t point to just one.

What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past year and why?

“Roma” because of director Alfonso Cuaron’s stunning storytelling ability. But the best movie I’ve seen in 2019 would be “Apollo 11,” which I saw at Sundance Film Festival. From an editing standpoint, the film cobbled together enormous amounts of film footage to magnificently capture this history with a beautiful score. And without a narrator.

What is your favorite movie experience, maybe one you saw as a kid, or with friends in summer, or a midnight movie, and what made it so special?

Drive-in movies with my son. “Forrest Gump” and “Jurassic Park” somehow seemed better outside under the stars.

At the theater: Where do you prefer to sit, and what are your refreshments of choice?

In the middle of the theater. I visually like that dead-center experience. My favorite refreshments would be beer, when available, and popcorn. Light salt and butter. I know it’s so unhealthy, but it’s so good!

What old movie would you love to see on the big screen, either again or for the first time?

“To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s just such a powerful story. We’re heading to New York to see the play on Broadway this summer, and I can hardly wait.

What upcoming movie are you looking forward to seeing?

“Killers of the Flower Moon.” I’m interested in seeing Martin Scorsese’s take on Oklahoma’s Native American history. Keeping in mind it’s a dark chapter, I’ll be interested to see how that story is told. I hope it is even-handed, and I think it will be.

Do you have a favorite movie star whose movies have many times made you go to the theater because you like that person’s films so much?

Anthony Hopkins. I mean, his presence, wow. To be able to work with him in a movie would be fantastic. In “Remains of the Day,” he was so elegant, and in “The Silence of the Lambs,” he was so terrifying, so seeing him adapt those characters is just remarkable.

Is there a director whose films you like so much that you will see any movie that they make?

There’s Stanley Kubrick and there’s Steven Spielberg. For Kubrick, it’s stylistically the way that he was able to get things from his brain to the screen. As a filmmaker observing it now, it’s just staggering how he did it. And with Spielberg, I just love the idea that there is this director who can move in and out of commercial projects that are so artistic and others that are so popular. I pretty much love everything he’s ever done.

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Michael Smith


Twitter: @michaelsmithTW

Scene Writer

Michael writes movie reviews and features, interviews Oklahoma performers and covers entertainment events for the Scene and Weekend sections of the Tulsa World. Phone: 918-581-8479