Beloved Binge, an indie-pop duo from Durham, N.C., will pass through town on Friday, Feb. 20. to play a gig at Burt’s Tiki Lounge. This is of note to film fans because the group’s drummer, Eleni Vlachos, will screen a “humorous, pro-vegan documentary” she shot titled Seeing Through the Fence earlier in the evening. The screening begins at 5:30 p.m. at UNM’s School of Law, Room 2401. A Q&A with the director will take place at 6:30 p.m. Both film and concert are part of “Porch’n Tour,” a yearlong DIY tour the band embarked on this September. Log on to porchlifeproductions.com for details.
One of the hardest tasks for Hollywood screenwriters is finding good villains. The problem is not in crafting antagonists who are realistic or even well-suited to the hero in question. It’s in capturing the direction of America’s most up-to-date hatred and exploiting it without violating the politically correct terms of the day. For the run of the Cold War, Russians were the default villains in everything from James Bond movies to Rocky flicks. Then the Berlin Wall fell and they didn’t seem so scary anymore. In the wake of the World Trade Center attack, we had a good run of Middle Eastern villains. (“24,” anyone?) But the tides have turned once again, and we’re starting to view those of Arabic persuasion as allies in the war against terror. So where does that leave us looking for villain fodder? Must we fall back on that tired old evergreen, the evil Nazi?
Joining, if not flat-out founding, the underpopulated genre of “speculative documentary,” Koji Masutani’s Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived takes us on a “What if?” tour of one of the mid-20th century’s greatest historical junctures. Using copious amounts of archival footage and a lot of intellectual assist from Brown University Professor James G. Blight, the film rewrites history to show us how different things might have been had John F. Kennedy not been killed on that fateful November morning in 1963.
The Academy Awards, like most awards shows, exists mostly for people to complain about afterwards. Why was it so long? What was she wearing? How could that win Best Picture? It’s an important social steam valve that allows us all to vent minor frustrations around the office water cooler while avoiding other, more controversial topics of discussion (the war in Iraq, President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, “The Hills”—real or fake?).