Classes are filling up at the University of New Mexico for the fall 2007 semester. That means the SouthWest Film Center at UNM is back with another season of great cinema. SWFC reopens on Thursday, Aug. 23. with a two-week tribute to recently deceased film legends Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni. Bergman’s 1968 drama Hour of the Wolf and Antonioni’s 1960 classic L’Aventura will screen as a double-feature Aug. 23-26. Bergman’s autobiographical 1982 film Fanny and Alexander and Antonioni’s 1962 anti-romance L’Eclisse will be double-featured Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.
For those of us who can remember running home after school to catch back-to-back episodes of “G.I. Joe” and “The Transformers” on TV, going to the movies in the ’80s meant one thing: kick-ass adventures with little kids. (Of course, if you google the phrase “kick-ass adventures with little kids” these days, I suspect a sit-down with Chris Hansen is in your future.) Sure, the ’80s may have given us terrible music, a dipshit hack of an actor for president and government scandals galore, but they also offered up some pretty unforgettable kid-friendly epics such as The Goonies, Explorers and, of course, the king of them all—The Monster Squad.
Though most Americans don't realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far-flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. There’s no need for complicated linguistic translation when someone is sticking their head up a frozen turkey’s butt.
Eye of the Beholder—Americans love beauty pageants. Not. The Learning Channel has purchased the rights to televise the Miss America pageant for the next three years. Given the history of the annual parade of bikini-wearing and patriotic song-singing, one has to wonder why TLC bothered. Back in 1960, when there were significantly fewer television sets in this country, the Miss America Pageant drew 85 million viewers. Forty-seven years later, broadcast television gave up on the event after the 2004 show drew a record-low 9.8 million viewers. Cable TV has made an effort to sell the show in the years since, with continually diminishing returns. Country Music Television was the last network to try, pulling in fewer than 3 million viewers last year.
“Wildcatters” (Discovery 8 p.m.) Discovery Channel continues its mission to document each and every lousy, messy, potentially deadly job on the planet.