The upcoming Santa Fe Film Festival will present a special “sneak preview” night at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque this Thursday, Nov. 15. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the NHCC (1701 Fourth Street SW) will screen the Spanish-language (with English subtitles) film August Evening. Filmmaker Chris Eska will be present and SFFF director Stephen Rubin will introduce the program. August Evening tells the story of an aging, undocumented farm worker named Jaime (Pedro Castaneda) and his young, widowed daughter-in-law, Lupe (Veronica Loren), as they struggle to survive and find love in Mexico. Tickets go on sale the day of for $10 each. For more information, visit www.santafefilmfestival.com.
With its quick, brutal flashes of violence, its off-kilter characters and its deadpan funny dialogue, No Country For Old Men is unmistakably the work of indie auteurs Joel and Ethan Coen. Except that it isn’t, exactly. The film is based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy. The plot, dialogue and characters of this modern-day, neo-noir Western are lifted--frequently word-for-word--from McCarthy’s text. The result is a seamless blending of artistic worlds, a bloody, funny, beautifully shot, faultlessly acted thriller that has to rate as one this year’s best films.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to encapsulate an entire life story, artistic movement or historical era in 90 minutes or so. Thankfully, Punk’s Not Dead, an energetic new music documentary by Susan Dynner, doesn’t really make the attempt. Instead of trying vainly to be the end-all, be-all of punk rock filmmaking, this short, sharp doc acts as more of an endearing tribute to the (as yet) undying spirit of punk.
OK, I admit it. I’m scared. I fully support the Writers’ Guild in its strike against the major movie and television studios. At the same time, with many shows being yanked off the air and many others preparing to go into semi-permanent reruns, I’m a little worried about my job. Three months from now, if the strike is still going on, am I going to have to be penning pithy, philosophical columns about reruns of “Deal or No Deal”? I’m gonna have to do some serious channel surfing to find fresh stuff to write about.