December 21 is the Winter Solstice. That makes this Saturday the shortest, darkest day of the year. So why not celebrate with a bunch of short, dark films? The producers of the Dark Matters Film Festival have seized the opportunity to return with their second annual Horror Bites! collection. A grand total of 32 short films from around the globe will be screened that day at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. These horror, sci-fi and fantasy-oriented films hail from Iceland, New Zealand, Mexico, China, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Spain, France, Poland and the United States (including some from right here in New Mexico)—which just goes to show you, the world is one dark place.
Things kick off at 2pm with “RE: Animation,” a selection of twisted CGI, stop-motion and traditionally animated cartoons from both near and far. Things continue at 4pm with “Laugh Till It Hurts,” a down-and-dirty assembly of blackly comic shorts. At 6pm it’s “Monsters and Madmen,” a horrific glimpse into the minds of monsters—human and otherwise. The day wraps up at 8pm with the final block of shorts “In Other Worlds,” a mind-bending sampler of weird sci-fi and dark fantasy. Tickets are $7 per block ($5 students) or $15 for an all-day pass. If you’re busy on Saturday, the festival will trek up to Santa Fe for a special two-block screening (“RE: Animation” and “In Other Worlds”) at the Jean Cocteau Cinema on Sunday afternoon. Check out Horror Bites on Facebook for trailers, synopses and a complete schedule of films.
NBC dumped its annual Christmas Eve airing of It’s a Wonderful Life in order to bring viewers a rebroadcast of The Sound of Music Live! with Carrie Underwood. That means your opportunities to see the film in time for the holidays have dropped considerably. How can you mess with tradition at this time of year? Fortunately the KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque is going all-out with family movie classics this holiday season—including It’s a Wonderful Life. On Friday, Dec. 20, you can see Frank Capra’s 1946 film on the big screen, as nature (and Hollywood) intended. Doors open at 7:30pm. The film starts at 8pm. Tickets are $5-$7. You can pick them up at the KiMo box office or at kimotickets.com.