South of the Border Cinema
Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, the National Hispanic Cultural Center will begin a monthlong series of contemporary films from Latin America. The fourth annual Cine en Construcción series kicks off with the Mexican film Fuera del Cielo about a group of people, including a recently freed convict, who get involved in a robbery. The series continues on Oct. 15 with the Uruguayan film Alma Mater about a lonely supermarket checkout girl whose life is shaken up by a charismatic transvestite. Oct. 22 brings the Argentine film Extraño, which focuses on the delicate relationship between an ex-surgeon and a young pregnant woman. The series wraps up on Oct. 29, with the Argentine film La Demolición, in which a demolition worker befriends a delusional woman living in an abandoned factory. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Shows begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC’s Bank of America Theater (1701 Fourth Street SW). Cine in Construcción is free and open to the public. For more details, log on to nhccnm.org.
Return of the B Movie
An interview with Full Moon founder Charles Band
To a certain percentage of the population—those who grew up in the dawning Home Video Age of the ’80s—the name Full Moon Entertainment still holds a certain nostalgic resonance. Founded by writer/director/producer Charles Band after the collapse of his small-scale theatrical studio Empire Pictures, Full Moon was created with the sole purpose of stocking America’s burgeoning video stores with slick-looking, low-budget horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. Thanks to popular series like Subspecies (four films), Trancers (six films) and Puppet Master (nine films) and successful one-offs like Meridian, Robot Jox and Oblivion, Full Moon was a staple of the direct-to-video realm for decades.
To paraphrase Mr. Keats’ most famous line: A thing of beauty is a joy for fans of “Masterpiece Theatre”
Jane Campion—writer and director of The Piano—is in familiar territory with Bright Star, a lush, intimate, swoon-inducing biopic about the doomed romance between 19th century English poet John Keats and his little-known personal muse, Fanny Brawne. Viewers are apt to find themselves in familiar territory as well, because even if you don’t know your literary history, you can rest reasonably assured knowing where this true-life Romeo and Juliet tale is headed.
“The Jay Leno Show” on NBC
When “The Jay Leno Show” premiered in primetime several weeks ago, eating up roughly a third of NBC’s primetime lineup, it was generally agreed that the network was making a calculated gamble. Even if the show failed to live up to expectations, it would be markedly cheaper than producing five hour-long dramas for the same time slot. Still, most onlookers were vocally dismayed over the similarity between “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Jay Leno Show.” All the signature bits—from Jaywalking to Headlines—were there. Kevin Eubanks was on the sidelines joshing along from behind his guitar. The monologues featured the same mixture of light political humor and Octomom references. The celebrity interviews were typical, slow-pitch affairs. About the only notable difference was the loss of Leno’s desk.