Casting the Coens—There will be an open casting call for the new Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men this Sunday, April 23, at the Student Center Ballroom on the Highlands University Campus in Las Vegas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Coen brothers (makers of such fine entertainment as Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona) will shoot the film in Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Albuquerque beginning on May 24. Casting directors are looking for strong characters, including bikers, Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. The casting call will also be on the lookout for cars built before 1980 (the year in which the film is set). No Country for Old Men is based on the recently published novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy and concerns a rural sheriff hunting for a suitcase full of money and a demented killer. If you go, be sure and tell Joel and Ethan that The Dude sent you.
The Sin Fronteras Film Festival was started four years ago by SOLAS, the University of New Mexico's Latin American Studies group. “The festival was pretty small and mostly focused on sociopolitical concerns,” admits Dorothy Baca, who has signed on this year as the festival's new director. Baca, who also serves as director for the Arts of the Americas Institute at UNM's College of Fine Arts, hopes 2006 will be a breakout year for the festival, reaching out of the campus and into the community.
For me, professional bull riding ranks somewhere between Olympic curling and women's billiards on the list of all-time favorite sports. In fact, like people who only go to church on Christmas, I'm one of those people who really only watches sports on Super Bowl Sunday. So, it's pretty safe to say that the new documentary Bullrider is not aimed at me.
Despite a number of extremely popular TV series, ABC is proceeding with the sort of reckless abandon of a third-place network. Their new fall schedule is crammed with new shows, and mere weeks away from May Sweeps network executives are still running premieres. Earlier this week, for example, ABC unveiled the newest effort from overachiever J.J. Abrams (who, in addition to cranking out “Lost” and the recently returned “Alias,” is also directing the latest installment of the Mission: Impossible series).
“The Great Quake” (National Geographic 7 p.m.) One hundred years ago, San Francisco had one hell of an earthquake. This year, the city is celebrating (if that's the word), the anniversary of this earthshaking (literally) event. Here, National Geographic Channel gives us a history of the 1906 San Fran earthquake featuring lots of recreations. (Sadly, I'm picturing a Mack Sennett one-reeler with dudes in bowler hats falling down a lot.)
“Decoding the Past: The Other Nostradamus” (History 7 p.m.) Fringe-dwelling Christian/New Age prophet Edgar Cayce allegedly predicted World War II, the Great Depression and the deaths of several presidents (all conveniently revealed anecdotally and after the fact). Of course, Cayce also predicted that 1933 would be a “good year” (it was, in fact, the worst year of the Depression), that scientists would discover a “death ray” from Atlantis in 1958 (still waiting on that one) and that China would convert entirely to Christianity by 1968 (ditto).