Civil Cinema—The Spanish Civil War film series at the National Hispanic Cultural Center fires its opening round salvo on Thursday, March 23, with Julio Medem's 1992 drama Vacas. The film will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Screening is free and begins at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (1701 Fourth Street NW).
Ask the Dust
Depression-era melodrama simply depresses
Occasionally, Hollywood filmmakers are allowed to engage in what is known as a “vanity project.” This is normally a film that an actor, writer or director is desperate to make and has typically spent a very long time developing. The basic rule of thumb is this: If a filmmaker has spent more than 10 years working a project, audiences can reasonably assume it's going to suck. Why? Hard to say. Perhaps it's simply that artists lose their perspective when it comes to a project they've invested so much in.
South African gangsta drama more cute than cutting edge
The titular character in the Academy Award-winning foreign film Tsotsi is a dead-eyed teenage thug living the hard-knock life in a crumbling Johannesburg ghetto. (“Thug” being the literal translation of the symbolically sobriquetted “Tsotsi.”) Our protagonist is also the leader of a tight-knit gang of friends/cohorts just big enough to encompass all the usual clichés (one guy is big and dumb, one guy is skinny and violent, one guy is smart and wears glasses).
My Crabby Boss
“Deadliest Catch” on Discovery
Whenever I think I hate my job (which, honestly, isn't all that often--maybe during the rare National Lampoon Presents film or the occasional “Skating with Celebrities” results show), my mind drifts toward the pursuit of other occupations. I'm figuring, at this point, the window of opportunity for “astronaut” and “international super spy” has pretty much closed on me. Of course, the other thing that keeps me safely shackled to my desk here at the Alibi is the realization that it could be a hell of a lot worse. I could make my living tarring roofs or filling potholes or--God forbid--writing scripts for “The Simple Life 4.”
The Week in Sloth
“My Name is Earl” (KOB-4 8 p.m.) Earl tries to make up for a lot of troubles caused by that little mix-up known as Y2K. Jeez, I hope he wasn't responsible for that. He's gonna have to refund people for a lot of canned goods and gas-powered generators.
“Best of Amusement Parks 2006” (Travel Channel 9 p.m.) If you're thinking of trucking the family off to some overpriced brand-name playground this summer, perhaps you might want to tune in and find out what the hottest destinations are.