Youth Development Inc.’s Mi Voz program is a free after-school program that allows middle school students to learn “above the line” video production. That means tweens get to write, produce, direct and star in their own short video projects. The most recent season of Mi Voz just wrapped up and YDI is celebrating by screening a series of youth-made shorts. This season’s shorts center around the theme of “The Zia’s Heart” and had students finding and documenting the lives and inspirations of New Mexican artists. Musicians, painters, woodworkers and candle makers are among the people profiled in this selection of mini-documentaries. The Mi Voz screening will take place on Friday, June 19, at Wool Warehouse (516 First Street NW) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Six short films will be presented. A suggested $5 donation gets you in the door.
Away We Go looks and feels like yet another entry in a long, unbroken line of admirably glum/funny, nerd/hipster-centric indie film dramedies (Rushmore, Roger Dodger, The Squid and the Whale, Garden State, Juno, Margot at the Wedding, Gigantic to rattle off just a few). As the film goes on, though, something starts to feel different. There’s something percolating under the surface here. Something more than just the impressive cast and witty humor in evidence. The other shoe drops when the end credits roll. (The opening credits consist solely of a title card, dropped some 10 minutes into the feature.) Amid the humble scroll of names are the identities of the director (Sam Mendes, the man behind American Beauty, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road) and the writers (Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida, sometimes referred to as “the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the literary world”). That’s some mighty important info to bury in the end credits.
One of the problems with romantic comedies is the dogged death grip they maintain on genre conventions. When’s the last time you saw a romantic comedy that avoided the “meet cute,” the “big lie” and the “climactic race to the airport for last-minute reconciliation”? Sometimes it makes me wonder if When Harry Met Sally ... is the only romantic comedy to ever actually get things right. Apparently, somebody broke that particular mold back in 1989, because we’ve been stuck with Maid in Manhattan/Made of Honor crapola ever since.
You know all those wacky viral videos your friends cop off the Internet and e-mail to you at work? Wouldn’t it be great to watch those again in the comfort of your own living room? ... What do you mean, “Not really?” That’s not the answer TV wants to hear right now. Realizing they’re free and plentiful, networks are cooking up a whole mess of shows featuring those short cellphone clips of people getting racked in the roundberries, puking up improper food products and doing weird things on foreign TV game shows.