Hendren Night—Aaron Hendren, New Mexico's “most beloved and best-looking filmmaker” (his press release, not my words), will be saluting himself by screening a series of shorts at the Santa Fe Film Center on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Short films to be screened include “Stuck,” “How to Make Friends and Be Popular,” “Lentigo” and “Fetish.” Hendren is currently focussing on making a feature film and this one-time-only screening promises to expose audiences to his no-budget work with “guns, fish, tattoos and the occasional masking-tape bikini.” The screening gets underway at 7:45 p.m. The Santa Fe Film Center is located at the former Cinemacafe site (1616 St. Michael's Drive in Santa Fe). For more information, log on to www.santafefilmfestival.com/filmcenter or visit Hendren's home page at www.eggmurders.com.
As many people in the know (read: parents with kids) are probably aware, Zathura is a sequel to 1995's hit fantasy film Jumanji. Both are based on the awe-inspiring picture book worlds of children's author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg (whose work also inspired the movie The Polar Express).
For nearly four decades the Nihilist Spasm Band has been either alienating or awing brave audiences with noise. From swingin' London, Ontario, they are the inventors of noise as art and claim that they are the uncles of punk rock. The members (who are actual nihilists) got together in 1966 using an amalgam of instruments and improvisation. Over the years, the band collected and fashioned relative oddities from customized intruments made from PVC pipe, kazoos (some attached to megaphones), violins, guitars and pots and pans. In appropriate nihilist form, the band regards none of the instruments as "precious." Instead, they are sources of noise and are subsequently abused as such. What results is cacophony beyond comprehension. While admitting that it is and was sometimes terrible, the NSB became an entity that did not attempt to create music for enjoyment; rather, it created noise as an affront to order and society, its members seemingly taking delight in offending people.
There's a moment early on in Jarhead, Sam Mendes' blackly comic adaptation of Anthony Swofford's warts-and-all book about active duty during the first Gulf War, that sets the stage for what's to come. A group of eager young Marine recruits are suffering through the sort of exhausting, screaming, nose-to-the-mud military training we've come to expect since Full Metal Jacket. During a brief break, the soldiers take in a movie, Francis Ford Copolla's seminal Apocalypse Now. It's the scene with the helicopters. As the attack choppers swoop in, Wagner's “Ride of the Valkyries” kicks in. The Marines are going nuts. They're screaming, cheering, humming along with the soundtrack, aping every movement, every line of dialogue. This is their idea of war. And they love it. But, just as things are about to get good, the film is cut off. The lights come on. Saddam Hussein's troops have invaded Kuwait, and it's time to ship out. The fantasy is over.
“My Name is Earl” may be the best new show on television this season. Which is convenient, because NBC needs a hit like New Orleans needs wet/dry vacs.