Georgia Brewed Cinema is a month-long celebration of food, beer, and movies made in Georgia. Each night, we’ll show off a different side of our great state with a movie filmed here, a unique menu of local delicacies, and locally brewed beer pairings from Georgia’s own Wild Heaven Beer.
Why movies, beer, and food? Because we think those are three things we do pretty damn well in Georgia, so why not celebrate them.
We handpicked these movies because we think each one shows a different side of Georgia, and by watching them together in chronological order, we hope to get a better sense of Georgia’s representation on film from the 70s to now – who we are, who we’ve been, how the rest of the world views us, how we view ourselves.
We’re starting with Smokey and The Bandit, because for our money that’s the movie that put Georgia on Hollywood’s map (in the post Gone With The Wind era). It was a huge, unexpected hit in 1977, making $300 million worldwide (well over $500 million in 2018 dollars) and cementing Burt Reynolds as the biggest movie star in the world. It is a deeply silly, ridiculously fun movie that tries to show Georgia as the fun-loving, rebellious capital of the New South – a true relic of a time when both Burt Reynolds and CB radios were cool.
Next, we’re showing a completely different side of things in Drumline, because so much of what makes Atlanta great is in its diversity – specifically its African-American institutions – and its music. Our reputation as a Black Mecca is crucial to our city’s identity, and it’s on full display here. And like Smokey, it's also a ridiculously fun time capsule of sorts, of a time period that tried its hardest to make Nick Cannon a movie star, and almost succeeded.
Finally, we’re capping things off with Baby Driver, which exemplifies our transformation into the “Hollywood of the South.” Georgia’s film industry now contributes $7 billion to our economy annually, and Atlanta ranks behind only Los Angeles and New York in terms of film production. Somewhat disappointingly, though, Atlanta rarely gets to play itself in movies. Instead, we get a lot of screen time as other places, like zombie-infested dystopias, spooky 80s midwestern towns, and Wakanda – which is why Edgar Wright’s 2017 movie is such a breath of fresh air. It’s a hollywood blockbuster that references Spaghetti Junction and Octane Coffee, and if you pay close attention you just might see the GA Beer Garden herself.