“Hell on Wheels” on AMC
American Movie Classics, already rocking three of the best shows on TV right now—“Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead”—pushes its luck by jumping on yet another genre with the neo-spaghetti-Western “Hell on Wheels.” If the show seems somehow less than the sum of its parts at this early stage, perhaps it’s just that it’s got so much to live up to when compared to AMC’s other offerings.
A silent, experimental Japanese horror film with a live jazz accompaniment? How often do you get a chance to witness that particular messed-up mashup? Well, you will this weekend. On Nov. 12 and 13, the silent Japanese vampire film Sanguivorous (Kyuketsu) will sink its fangs into Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Written and directed by Japanese experimental filmmaker Naoki Yoshimoto and featuring a performance by avant-garde butoh dancer Ko Murobushi, the film focuses on a sickly young woman who is horrified to learn she is descended from generations of vampires. The film’s world premiere screenings will feature live musical accompaniment by renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and Chicago saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr. Presented by Tidepoint Pictures and the Albuquerque Film Office, the screenings will take place at 8 p.m. at Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre on Saturday and at 3 p.m. at Santa Fe’s Warehouse 21 on Sunday. Tickets will run $12 general admission or $10 students and seniors.
The Week in Sloth
The South Valley’s 13th annual Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade was on Sunday, Nov. 6. Revelers danced and cruised down Isleta while hundreds of costumed and face-painted onlookers snapped pictures, cheered, and snacked on duritos and cotton candy. Among the procession were flower tossing skeletons, vibrant lowriders bumping up and down on hydraulics, protesters speaking out against officer-involved shootings and Wall Street greed, and a ghastly rainbow of musicians and performers. Here are a few.
Yjastros showcases veteran dancer and symphony orchestra in nostalgic El Museo
A janitor spends his life working in an art museum. Over decades of quietly mopping the halls, he’s developed relationships with the people and places that adorn the canvases of his wide, rambling office. Through them, he sees the characters and memories that shaped his life. As he visits with the images, he watches them jump out of their frames and begin to dance.
Julian Barnes’ latest novel is a murky, ruminative masterpiece
Is the Dirt City’s H20 plan working?
Nah, it’s those kids in the park that are really dangerous
hONEyhoUSe lifts up a voice
Eclectic breakfast and lunch on a quiet Downtown corner
Café Lush is like a daydream of the way things might be in some future hybrid of Europe and Albuquerque. It’s an urban café on a quiet street corner, with a small menu of simple yet well-crafted dishes and a pledge to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. But unlike in Europe, the red and green chile won’t disappoint—unless you’re a member of the New Mexico anticumin coalition.
Holiday snacking with a local twist
From strip malls to busy intersections, three restaurants with new menus almost blend into the Heights’ neighborhood sprawl. You have to look twice or you may miss them; then be prepared to eat well and within your budget.
Photos from our sixth annual scavenger hunt
Any one of the 70-odd teams that signed up will tell you: Our photo scavenger hunt ain’t easy. But they’ll also be quick to add that it’s one hell of a good time.
Burque’s DIY culture emporiums of yore
The brains behind a hundred arty calaveras at Boro Gallery
Donovan Richard knows how to get inside an artist's head. That's why he handed out 130 ceramic clay skulls he molded, cast and fired—for free. He asked artists to render the white skulls into a token of remembrance for a lost loved one to be enshrined in an altar. It's all part of a project titled A Day to Remember: Día de los Muertos, culminating at Downtown's Boro Gallery.
Jacob Lewis dazzles in Albuquerque Little Theatre’s Cabaret
ALT’s production of Cabaret is a good show. It has solid actors, a well-developed set and a live orchestra providing a strong backbone to its many musical numbers. But there’s one element to Cabaret that’s not just good, but great. That would be Jacob Lewis.
Artist Eva Avenue thinks police officers could be more Zen-like. That notion and the much-documented officer-involved shootings in Albuquerque are the driving inspiration behind I ♥ Cops, a group show she's curated at Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery.
Public access operator loses its contract with the city after 30 years
Who’s on first? I don’t know, but I want to meet her.
Shakespeare was a fraud, says the man who showed us space aliens building the pyramids
Speculating on whether Shakespeare actually penned the plays for which he is justifiably famous is the academic equivalent of wondering if Elvis is still alive. Famous people aren’t allowed to simply expire—they must be resurrected via silly conspiracy theories concerning their life, their death and the veracity of both. It doesn’t matter if the figures are historical (Abraham Lincoln, Jack the Ripper) or pop cultural (Jim Morrison, Tupac Shakur): The unwashed masses will keep them alive with talk of murder, scandal, cover-up and conspiracy. (Michael Jackson, shake hands with Marilyn Monroe.) Very often, these conspiracies involve some preposterous leaps of logic—up to and including alien intervention.
“Grimm” on NBC
The second of this TV season’s new, fairy-tale centric dramas is NBC’s “Grimm.” Unlike ABC’s occasionally preposterous and decidedly ungrounded “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s fantasy series at least has a clear-cut identity. It is, simply put, a standard-issue police procedural ... with monsters. While that might not be as creative a premise as “Once Upon a Time,” it does give the show an easy access point for viewers who might otherwise be put off by a show that requires a major suspension of disbelief and a lot of explanation.
Just in time for Day of the Dead, recently deceased movie rental mecca Burning Paradise Video has risen from the grave. After a frantic month in limbo, the store has reopened at its newest digs, 120 Yale SE (one block south of UNM). You can still go there to rent the best in cult/alternative/foreign/mainstream DVDs. But now you can also purchase just about anything in the store. Burning Paradise’s new business model is as a buy/sell/trade DVD store, meaning tons of fresh merchandise every week. The new location is larger than previous iterations, allowing for a welcome expansion of movie-related posters, toys, zines and T-shirts. If you wanna come check out the groovy new location, this Friday might be a good time. Starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4, the store will host a grand reopening party, complete with free snacks, live entertainment from local techno-punks Vertigo Venus and all kinds of super deals. Hit it up on Facebook for more details.
The Week in Sloth
More than meats the eye
When I started getting fussy about which meats I’d eat in the line of duty, I knew it might limit the pool of restaurants I could choose from. But I also hoped my quest for clean meat would draw places out of the woodwork that I otherwise would have missed. Ariana Halal Market and Café is one such place.
Butch Cassidy takes his own famous advice and goes to Bolivia in vivid revisionist Western
Used to be Westerns were standard-issue Hollywood boilerplate. From the silent era up through the ’50s, cowboy movies were the backbone of the film industry. These quick-and-easy tales of white-hat heroism were simple, escapist fare—the equivalent of cop movies in the ’80s or superhero movies today. Nowadays, with rare exception (Cowboys & Aliens, for example), when someone chooses to make a Western, it’s not some flippant wild West fantasy about good guys and bad guys. More often than not, today’s Westerns are dark, elegiac compositions about a long-faded way of life—and, by extension, a long-faded genre of moviemaking.
Everything is coming up hop flowers in the world of craft beer in 2011. Bubbling up from less than 100 breweries in 1980 to an all-time high of 1,716 before the year began, 2011 is poised to be the year craft brands finally overtake the old big three: Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors (now AmBev and MillerCoors). Overall beer sales fell by 1 percent in 2010 while craft sales jumped 11 percent.
A 103-year-old University Heights landmark faces demolition
“Once Upon a Time” on ABC
One of the more perplexing trends of the fall TV season is the resurgence of fairy tale characters. Thanks to ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and NBC’s “Grimm,” prime time is flush with Big Bad Wolves and Little Red Riding Hoods hanging around the modern world. Have we all forgotten the valuable lessons we learned when “The Charmings” went off the air back in 1988? Namely, that ... nope, I’ve forgotten.
Yup. Arnold Schwarzenegger is coming to town. Arnie’s big, fat, post-political comeback film is primed to shoot right here in New Mexico. The ex-Governator has signed to star in the action flick The Last Stand for Lionsgate Entertainment. The movie will be directed by Korean up-and-comer Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters; The Good, The Bad, The Weird). It spins the story of a disgraced LAPD officer who retreats to a sleepy New Mexico border town to serve as sheriff. The calm is disturbed, though, when a ruthless drug kingpin escapes from FBI custody and mounts a convoy heading to the Mexican border at 200 mph. Naturally, the bad guy has to pass through Arnie’s little town to get there, promising lots of high-octane action (and hopefully some ’80s-style quips). Johnny Knoxville is also in it. So there. Production on the film started Oct. 17 and is expected to shoot on locations across New Mexico and Nevada through November.
The Week in Sloth
Tracks that go boo
Raven Chacon talks motel butchery and mayhem
Richard Maitland’s life on view at Gallerie Imaginarium
Joel Osteen’s divine suggestions on how to turn that frown upside down
Vampires like sinking their teeth into organs (the kind that spurt blood). Organists, on the other hand, have proven to be quite adept at impressing their creative chops on vampires.
Comfort without cruelty
Vegan food has a reputation for being bland and boring. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course, but the cuisine and the people who cook it have inherited this stigma. For proof that vegan food can be comforting and filling, we have Mint Tulip, which opened this spring where 20 Carrots used to be.
So many dishes, so little me
I usually take pictures when I dine out. Some wind up in this column to illustrate a piece or are posted on FB to share with friends. But I’m missing photos of some amazing meals—meals where I can’t be bothered to take a snapshot before diving in. At that moment, my appetite takes over, and the food writer has to wait.