Disney and Pixar crown a medieval princess for the 21st century
By Devin D. O’Leary
In its surprisingly short existence (Toy Story came out in 1995), Pixar Animation Studios has rewritten the book on animation in general and computer animation in particular. When the plucky little company entered the big time less than 20 years ago, digital animation was a soulless enterprise suitable for trendy soft drink commercials and little else. Pixar not only contributed to a great leap forward in technology, it revitalized the animation industry by refocussing on the art and craft of storytelling.
The death of Ray Bradbury at the age of 91 sent us on a time-tripping flashback to 1999 A.D. The famed author passed through Albuquerque then as keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary of Los Alamos National Labs. We were lucky enough to score an interview with the man.
The Internet is all atwitter (and Twitter is all abuzz, I suppose) with the shocking (shocking, I say) news that perhaps reality TV shows aren’t as real as they seem. It came as little surprise to anyone, I assume, earlier this year when it was alleged that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reshot several dramatic scenes surrounding Kim’s divorce on a soundstage in Hollywood. And it’s hard to believe that anyone actually thinks anything that runs on truTV is anywhere close to a documentary account. (Pawn shop customers do not attack store owners as often as they do on “Hardcore Pawn.” And the slapstick stupidity of “Operation Repo” is starting to make professional wrestling look like Shakespeare in comparison.) But when a blog called Hooked On Houses spilled the news that HGTV’s “House Hunters” was bogus, the fake poop really hit the ersatz fan.
The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is gearing up for its record-setting 10th year. The festival’s 2012 anniversary will be (appropriately enough) a 10-day event. Organizers are looking for an army of volunteers to help out. Among the positions that need to be filled are assistant volunteer coordinator, advisory committee, Pride Parade and booth volunteers, marketing and community outreach, distribution, fund-raising, and all door/ticketing shifts at the festival itself. Perks include parties, prizes and free movies (natch). If you’re interested in signing up or would like more info, please contact Shannon Peterson at email@example.com or by phone at 450-6520.
Literary legend Max Evans on the landscape of Western writing
By Margaret Wright
Age is relative for Max Evans. Technically 88, he’s many hundreds of years older, he says, if you count his extensive traversals of metaphysical time and space. When the Western Writers of America held its annual convention in Albuquerque the week of June 12, Evans—one of the association’s most acclaimed and long-standing members—didn't have to travel much further than his own backyard to attend.
Foreign becomes familiar in Adobe Theater’s Men of Mah Jongg
By Christie Chisholm
Richard Atkins has been bugging the Alibi for months to see his show. Atkins is like a one-man band of the theater world, with a hand in playwriting and another in acting while his feet flit between directing and composing. Atkins was so persistent in his requests for our attendance that we actually started to get annoyed. But then we submitted. Now we understand why he was so adamant—The Men of Mah Jongg may be one of the best pieces of theater to come out of Albuquerque this year.
The appeal of Tía Betty Blue’s might seem skin-deep at first. The paint is fresh. The food comes fast enough to service a drive-thru window. A collection of bottled soda pops is so vast, it could be a gimmick. And the image of a raven-haired hottie—Tía Betty Blue, presumably—stares you down from the sign, the walls, the menu. But despite its candy-coated veneer, Tía B’s means business. The food is simple but thoughtful, and it’s different. And as long as food is the priority, who cares how cute the servers are?
State turns down cash for the elderly and disabled
By Margaret Wright
Nursing homes can mean the loss of familiar comforts, routines, social connections and independence. So why was a plan to help increase the number of people moving into independent living situations axed by the state without warning?
President Obama's decision to cease deporting young undocumented immigrants will keep thousands of families together. It is rightfully being celebrated in many households around the country. But it may have come too late to help the Dorado family.
Judging from Ocho, the new album from Felix y los Gatos, Felix Peralta (guitar, vocals) has been knee-deep in some hard times lately: relationship problems, too much partying, trying not to party, homesickness (living in the Heights and aching for the South Valley), car trouble and so on.
You’re invited to the Alibi’s Pre-Pride Glam Dance Party
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
In the ’70s, rock and roll flew an intergalactic cruise ship to the planet Glitter and mined its three moons—Pleasure, Androgyny and Polyester. Its captains were the likes of Ziggy Stardust, The Sweet, Slade, Queen, Elton John, the New York Dolls, T. Rex and the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Incorporating outrageous costumes and highly conceptual theatricality, this jubilant yet heavy sound that we know as glam was not just about amazing guitar parts (though there were plenty of them).
Guitarist and vocalist Felix Peralta is releasing a new album—Ocho—with his band, Felix y los Gatos. We asked the multigenre-influenced musician to give his catalog of songs a spin. Here are the random results.
A skilled application of kelly green and robin’s egg blue with muted brown. Asymmetrical lines add an appealing graphic touch. A happy photographic depiction of man’s best friend inspires feelings of tenderness in the viewer ... that dog is a good boy. On Saturday, June 23, Gecko’s in the heights (5801 Academy NE) is throwing a patio party for pooches wherein 20 percent of sales between noon and 4 p.m. will be donated to Animal Humane. (JCC)
The rise of the churrasco craze has given people a narrow, if somewhat authentic, view of Brazilian food. There are, indeed, a lot of churrascarias in Brazil—though in my five trips there I’ve yet to see a red-and-green block that you position according to how hungry you are. You can eat all the grilled chicken hearts you want, but until you’ve had rice and beans made by a Brazilian, you haven’t truly sampled the cuisine.
The Flash Fiction contest results are in. And this year, our beloved readers / literary virtuosos went decidedly anthropomorphic and animalistic. Sure, the prompts we provided included a rattlesnake and a deceased feline, but the bite you brought more than answered the call of the wild (including a couple of great ditties about civilized lions and cancer-stick-sharing birds and fish).
The advent of the vibrator gets the comic treatment, but filmmakers fail to touch a nerve
By Devin D. O’Leary
Imagine, if you will, a smirkingly lightweight comedy about the creation of the world’s first electric vibrator. Well, imagine no more, because the Brits have made one. Though nowhere near as odd as Alan Parker’s 1994 biopic about sexual health pioneer Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville), Hysteria is an unusual topic for cinematic enshrinement.
People in the entertainment industry prefer the term “reboot” as opposed to “remake.” That makes it sound like they’re doing something new and clever, when they really aren’t. Much as I was entertained, for example, by last week’s dusted off and relaunched nighttime soap “Dallas,” it’s basically the same old “Dallas,” but with cell phones. So, when MTV (MTV2, to be specific) said it was reviving the popular ’70s-era game show “The Hollywood Squares,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for rejoicing. However, by remixing the whole thing as “Hip Hop Squares,” producers have created something fresh, clever and rather cheeky.
The KiMo Theatre is honoring the work of Japanese cinematic master Akira Kurosawa with a seven-film tribute. The chronological retrospective begins this Thursday, June 14, with the 1949 crime drama Stray Dog. In it, the legendary Toshiro Mifune plays a rookie detective whose gun gets stolen during a sweltering Tokyo heat wave. Things continue on June 21 with the film that brought Kurosawa his first international acclaim, 1950’s award-winning Rashomon. That historical drama will be followed by 1954’s action-packed Seven Samurai (June 28), 1958’s Hidden Fortress (July 12), 1961’s Yojimbo (July 26), 1963’s High and Low (Aug. 2) and 1985’s Ran (Aug. 9). Films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students and seniors.
For Cissy King, remembering lines has always presented a host of challenges. But the veteran dancer-turned-actress has no trouble firing off some of the funnier misspeakings of her former boss, television variety show icon Lawrence Welk. King, who grew up in Albuquerque, danced on the program for more than 11 years.
The city’s facing a problem: What to do with an immeasurable number of feral felines? Trap, neuter and return (TNR) efforts are the latest answer, but a veterinarian is calling the process unethical and inhumane.
The image of veterans flinging their medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where the summit was held, provided an incredibly strong statement that our columnist will never forget. As powerful as that was, the act was far overshadowed by the violence immediately afterward, he writes.
Germany’s foremost rock export performs one last high kick
By Clifford Grindstaff
For more than 40 years, Scorpions' career has spanned a vast breadth overrockin' rock’s subgenres. The band pioneered or played deftly through proto-metal, ’70s anthem rock, regrettable ’80s hair metal and the urgent whisper that is the power ballad. Now, after taking other bands to school for decades, the Scorpions makes one last pass across the world before calling it quits. The “Final Sting Tour” will be filling face holes in Albuquerque on Thursday at the Hard Rock Pavilion.
Though Santa Fe de Nuevo México became a territory of the United States in 1850, six decades passed before it was finally anointed 47th state. Despite ongoing union-joining efforts on the part of the citizenry, the lapse was due to federal government reluctance—the inhabitants here were seen as uncivilized and just not quite Anglo enough—but in 1912 the state was judged adequately assimilated. This January, New Mexico observed its statehood centennial, and fiestas will continue throughout the year. One of the biggest will be effervescing in Downtown Albuquerque this weekend.
Here are some tried and true flyer techniques—mirroring and vintage photography—calling attention to a jangly, ruffled, bubbly evening. See the Roustabout Art Collective and Santa Fe’s Masnavi Dance Collective perform feats of belly dance on Marble Brewery’s patio stage (111 Marble NW). It happens on Friday, June 15, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation for performers. (JCC)
Familiar fairy tale looks ravishing but is ravaged by ambition
By Devin D. O’Leary
Hollywood, in one of those industrywide moments of serendipity, has suddenly realized that fairy tales are public domain and can be exploited for free. Hence, the explosion in Brothers Grimm-inspired storytelling (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s “Grimm,” Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood, Tarsem Sing’s Mirror Mirror, the upcoming theatrical versions of Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters). Arriving mere months after the last “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” adaptation (the aforementioned, slapstick-addled Mirror Mirror) comes Snow White and the Huntsman. While it may not go down in history as the definitive fairy tale feature, it will certainly tide us over until somebody pens a gritty, effects-filled reboot of “The Three Little Pigs.”
If we could put the suave, space-faring ladies’ man that is Lando Calrissian aside for a moment, we’d note that actor Billy Dee Williams has a long and distinguished career without the guy. Williams will be coming to town this weekend to sign autographs and to chat with fans as one of the guests at the 2012 Albuquerque Comic Expo. The Alibi talked with the actor before his arrival.
Alibi’s top 10 picks for the Albuquerque Comic Expo
By Devin D. O’Leary
The Albuquerque Comic Expo enters its giant-sized (dare we say “Giant Man-sized”) sophomore year this weekend. With so many exhibits, lectures, signings, parties, screenings and gaming tournaments to choose from, how do you figure out what to spend your time on? Should you comb though the dealers’ room looking for bargains on back issues of Justice League, or should you get in line for Katee Sackhoff’s autograph? We’ve chosen our top 10 faves from the still-growing lineup of events.
Considering all our nurse columnist has witnessed in her career—dramatic resuscitations and miraculous recoveries included—it’s a little funny that teaching a couple of dudes how to wipe a baby butt stands out as one of her proudest moments. But she met baby Melanie and her two dads years before "Modern Family" would air on prime time and the president would finallyevolveenough to voice his support of gay marriage.
People turned up at the Monday, June 4 meeting to comment on the proposal to put a Walmart at Coors and Montaño. The Council deferred a vote on whether to give the big-box chain five years to create a development plan. Councilor Brad Winter was absent, and Councilor Rey Garduño said he had to recuse himself from the vote.
Transgender funnyman opens up about laughing at life
By Sam Adams
Ian Harvie is living proof that comedy and catharsis go hand in hand. Billed as the world's first female-to-male transgender comic, Harvie routinely uses his experiences with discovering gender identity as the basis of his stand-up act. The Alibi caught up with Harvie in advance of Laughter Links Us Together, the Albuquerque Pride comedy show, which he'll be starring in on Saturday, June 9, alongside his friend Jason Dudey and Southwest FunnyFest founder Dana Goldberg.
Tall entries, short plays at Fusion Theatre’s annual fest
By Christie Chisholm
Now poetically in its seventh year, The Seven is one of Fusion Theatre Company’s most popular recurring events. Every year, Fusion puts out a call for new short plays. This year it received 748 submissions. The seven winners from that large pool will have their shorts produced this weekend at The Cell.
What with Hollywood snapping up every old TV show in creation to make campy theatrical comedies (21 Jump Street? Dark Shadows?), there’s hardly anything left for television to reboot. (Sure, we got a couple crappy episodes of “Charlie’s Angels” last season, but that was only after two big budget movies had their way with the series.) For the last five years, Hollywood bragged about shooting a feature film reboot of the once-popular nighttime soap “Dallas.” John Travolta was slated to be our new J.R. Perhaps mercifully, that seems to have fallen apart—and now TNT is free to rush ahead with its own brand-new prime-time version of the series.
The Albuquerque Film Festival is hosting a fundraiser called Geek Fest on Film this weekend at the KiMo Theatre. The fest starts Friday at 7 p.m. with a double feature of With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (a documentary about the famed comic book creator) and Attention Span (a film festival made up of 60-second flicks). Tickets are $10 each and can be picked up at kimotickets.com.
It’s one thing to know and possess all of the music of your favorite artist, and quite another to light candles for him each night. There are fans, and then there are fans. In early March when I introduced the Music Chambers column, I tried to entice readers to show me spaces in homes that are devoted to music, asking unseriously, “Is there a shrine to Gram Parsons tucked away in your attic?” About six weeks later, photos of just that—a bona fide Gram Parsons shrine—materialized in my inbox. Ask and ye shall receive!
Mike Giant is a visionary tattoo and graffiti artist who, although born in Upstate New York, grew up in Albuquerque. On Sunday, June 10, the San Francisco-based Giant makes an appearance in Downtown Albuquerque at the Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). He’s presenting a tea party for his zine, “The Skullz Press.” There will be art for sale, giveaways from his apparel and skateboard company, Rebel8, and ambience provided by Austin-based DJ Daze. The free, 21-and-over party happens from 3 to 7 p.m.
The first time I ate garlic flowers was for breakfast on a train from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The dining car didn't have a menu: You just sat down and they brought you food. A server delivered a plate of stir-fried chopped green things with pork and oyster sauce, along with a bowl of rice. It was years before that I realized that the pencil-thick green things were pieces of garlic flowers and flower stalks, collectively known as scapes.