A look back at the winners and losers of summer 2012
By Devin D. O’Leary
The last day of summer hits Sept. 21. But for most folks, the season has a Memorial-Day-to-Labor-Day symmetry to it: 15 glorious weekends to luxuriate in swimming pools, ice cream trucks and air-conditioned movie theaters. For the box office, however, summer petered out weeks ago, coming to a dead stop the weekend after The Bourne Legacy got released and limping forward for another three weeks on cheap-ass horror movies (The Apparition, The Possession). So, now that it’s all over, who triumphed and what got marked as a tragedy in the dog days of 2012?
True sensibility distinguishes the music of Slumgum, which includes Rory Cowal (piano), Dave Tranchina (bass) and Trevor Anderies (drums). Thoughtful and adventurous, the quartet makes the listener feel at home.
With the baseball season reaching its climax and the tomato plants demanding attention, it gets harder to find time for music. Nonetheless, a few albums in a variety of jazz genres have snuck past late-inning heroics and the tomato hornworms, and into the rotation this summer.
Huh. Apparently, Mark Wahlberg will spend September shooting not one, but two movies in our fair state. Aside from the based-on-a-comic-book cop drama 2 Guns (with Denzel Washington), Wahlberg will also star in the based-on-a-true-story war drama Lone Survivor.
TV writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy has had a solid run of it. He went from “Popular” to “Nip/Tuck” to “Glee” to “American Horror Story.” Now, he’s trying his hand at sitcoms with “The New Normal.” Murphy’s never shied away from humor, but he’s always had the hour-long format to play in. That’s allowed him plenty of room in which to shoehorn his trademark social criticism. “Glee,” for example, has about a 1:1 song-to-sanctimonious-speech ratio. Clocking in at a network-standard 22 minutes, “The New Normal” doesn’t leave a ton of room for the funny. But Ryan’s working on it.
Your favorite newsweekly invited local artists to makeover our distribution boxes. We’re unveiling the results at Boro Gallery on Friday. Danny Skinz, a style writer, tells us all about tackling his inventive box project.
A gray snapper is split down the middle so perfectly and precisely that, after the spine is removed, the fish lies flat, flatter than any flounder. It’s arranged skin-side down with nothing but white flesh exposed, then covered in onions and a creamy, mustardy chile sauce before it’s baked into something you’ve never seen or tasted before.
Wry, wistful romantic comedy breaks up with Hollywood tradition
By Devin D. O’Leary
Celeste and Jesse are the perfect couple. They’re inseparable. They finish each other’s sentences. They annoy their friends with their endless inside jokes. The only problem is they’re not a couple. Not anymore. They’ve been separated for six months and are getting ready to divorce one another. Not that you could tell by looking at them. This creates a problem for their many mutual friends, who find the non-couple’s clingy, codependent relationship just plain weird.
At this point it’s hard to tell which new fall shows will be good and which will be awful. But what’s to stop us from making snap judgments based entirely on cast, concept and the teaser trailers available on YouTube?
The New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase is returning to Guild Cinema, Oct. 12 through Oct. 14. The annual event is designed by the New Mexico Film Office as a way to spotlight the creative talent of local, independent filmmakers. It’s a first-come, first-served platform for artist of all levels, screening films of just about any length or genre. The best works will be selected to participate in a tour of theaters and public access channels around the state. So, if you’ve got a short, feature, documentary, animation, experimental film or whatever, and you’d like to nab a little local exposure, here’s your chance. Entering your film is free. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 14, at 5 p.m. Entries postmarked after that deadline will not be accepted. To download an entry form, go to the revamped Film Office website.
This month marks 20 years of newspapering in New Mexico on the part of this mighty alternative publication. In that time, the Alibi has fostered the creation of copious art, including 1,002 covers and counting. To celebrate the milestone we decided to mull over the corpulent archives and curate a little show that looks back on two decades. Along with the collection of our favorite covers, other mementoes and office curiosities will be sprinkled in for good measure. Find out just how hostile staffers can become when someone takes the last of the coffee and neglects to make more.
Marty Crandall is the vocalist and one of three guitarists in Albuquerque shoegaze quintet Sad Baby Wolf. The band includes fellow ex-Shin Neal Langford, Marty’s brother Maury Crandall (ex-Giranimals), Sean McCullough (ex-Oktober People) and Jason Ward (ex-Starsky). On Friday, Aug. 31, Sad Baby Wolf observes its tour kickoff with a show at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). CanyonLands and The Deadtown Lovers play the opening spots at the 21-and-over event.
Blackout innovates with a trio of domicile-driven love stories
By Leigh Hile
A philandering poet, a pair of clowns and a woman on the verge of burning her house down. These are several of the characters played by Jeff Andersen and Lila Martinez in Blackout Theatre Company’s latest original work, Stories of Us: A Guide to Home Improvement.
If I hear one more damned story about the zombie apocalypse, I swear I’ll ... read it like all the others that came before. Sure, the blogosphere may be sensationalizing a series of horrific events that have ended in people being shot, eaten and internally microwaved by bad acid. But whether these events are happening on the streets of Florida or prime time TV on AMC, there are those of us who can’t help but gnaw on tales that depict a doomed world full of undead cannibals. If you need insight into why we like this kind of sick shit, just ask your friend the horror-buff film major if you can see her thesis paper on sociopolitical metaphor in the work of George Romero. (Trust me, she’s written one.)
French-Canadian classroom drama teaches a lesson on healing
By Devin D. O’Leary
Inspirational teacher stories have long been a staple of the movie industry. But few of these live-and-learn dramas have had the quiet, unadorned impact of Canada’s Academy Award nominee Monsieur Lazhar.
The White Sands International Film Festival has worked hard to build itself up over the years. The festival—which moved from Alamogordo to Las Cruces in 2009—takes place Wednesday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 26. This year’s Opening Night Showcase kicks it off with Bringing Up Bobby, a drama about a European con artist and her son who find themselves stuck in rural Oklahoma. The film is directed by actress Famke Janssen, who will be in attendance. Other invited guests include the film’s main stars, Milla Jovovich and Bill Pullman. Emmy-nominated actor Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) will present his one-man show / seminar on “Performing Your Life.” Other workshops and panel discussions include one on independent filmmaking and a look back at “100 Years of Movie Making in New Mexico.” Noted screenwriter and award-winning playwright Mark Medoff will present “Screenwriting: The Hero’s Journey.” More than 100 features, shorts and documentaries will be screened over the course of the five-day event. Things culminate on Sunday night with the re-screening of the award winners for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Director. Events will take place at the Black Box Theater, the Rio Grande Theater and the Cineport 10.