DigiFest Gets Definition—The annual Digifest Southwest Film Festival has wrapped up another week of frantic filmmaking here in the Duke City. Last Saturday night, an estimated 900 people descended on the Kiva Auditorium to watch the festival's premiere screening. Seven short films were shot in and around Albuquerque last week, and all seven were handed in, shot and edited, just under the wire for Saturday night's screening. This year was the first in which filmmakers got to work with High Definition digital cameras, giving this year's Digifest's the most high-tech lineup to date.
Are you familiar with the term “high concept?” It's a Hollywood buzzword used to describe a film so simplistic that the entire concept can be summed up in a single, catchy sentence. Hollywood likes high concept. White Chicks, the new comedy jam from the Wayans brothers, could very well be the highest concept film of the summer. Basically, somebody walked into a movie studio one day and said, “How about a movie in which two black guys dress up like white chicks?” The studio executives thought it over for all of two seconds and said, “Great! We'll call it White Chicks.”
Movies about the making of movies tend to be self-indulgent sitcoms about the trials and tribulations of filmmaking—winking mea culpas issued by directors and writers who have fed long enough at the Hollywood trough to be faintly embarrassed by it all. When Hollywood turns the camera on itself, the results can be hard-hitting and satyrical (The Player, certainly); but, more often than not, the final product is more slyly self-aggrandizing than the material it purports to mock (Burn, Hollywood, Burn anyone? Sim0ne perhaps?). The simple truth may be that Hollywood just doesn't have a very good perspective on itself.
Reality TV isn't the most original genre on the Idiot Box. So it should come as little surprise that two networks would debut two shows within a week of one another, both centering on the ritzy realm of Las Vegas casinos.
“Introducing Graham Norton” (Comedy Central 9:30 p.m.) Comedy Central imports BBC hit “The Graham Norton Effect” to American shores. Since most folks have never heard of Norton, here's an introductory special letting viewers know what his deal is. Graham's a talk show host. He's British and he's gay. That's pretty much it. The loose, catty talk show Norton hosts is pretty entertaining, though.