We live, arguably, in the most contentious of political times. ... Granted, things were probably pretty argumentative up on Capitol Hill during the Civil War—but America didn’t have 24-hour cable news channels, the blogosphere and talk radio back in the 1860s, so the volume was considerably lower. Today, it’s turned up to 11, with Republicans and Democrats seemingly unable to agree on whether puppies and kitties are cute. (And subsequently, having every pundit in the nation turning “puppygate” into the next major scandal.) By all indications, the American public is getting pretty tired of it. As a result, right now doesn’t seem like the most advantageous time to release a film as heavily political as The Ides of March.
Speaking from his overburdened office less than a week before the start of the Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, festival director Roberto Appicciafoco sounds weary but enthusiastic. He admits that ticket sales for this year have “kind of blown up.” That’s an understatement. According to Appicciafoco, online sales have jumped some 500 percent from this time last year. That’s ample evidence to suspect many of the festival’s film screenings will sell out and the multitude of parties (including a brand-new opening night soiree at Bailey’s on the Beach) will be packed with happy celebrants.
You’ve heard the bad news. We aren’t going to get any new “Mad Men” episodes until next year. While the Emmy-gobbling hit sits it out for a spell, NBC and ABC are kindly stepping into the gap, providing two shows that capture the same, sexy, suave, swingin’ ’60s vibe. NBC has got the nightclub drama “The Playboy Club.” And ABC has got the airline stewardess drama “Pan Am.”
New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts is joining forces with NMedia (the newly formed New Mexico Entertainment and Digital Industry Association) for a two-day summit designed to hash out various legal and business issues related to the film industry here in New Mexico. Six special lectures and two large panel discussions will run Oct. 6 and 7 at Santa Fe’s Zane Bennett Contemporary Art (435 South Guadalupe). On Thursday, for example, a distinguished panel of film industry professionals will head the “Issues in Indie Film and Film Festivals Panel: Social and Economic Impact of Film Festivals and Film on a Community.” (Yeah, it sounds like a lawyer wrote that title.) Award-winning underground auteur Jon Moritsugu (Scumrock, Fame Whore, Terminal USA), Jacques Paisner (founder of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival), Rich Henrich (founder of the Albuquerque Film Festival) and Frank Regano (International New Media Festival) will join representatives from the Santa Fe Film Festival, Closet Cinema and the New Mexico Department of Tourism. Evening panels at the Legal and Business Issues in Film Summit are free to the public, daytime lectures (covering topics like music copyrights and film financing) are $10. Click on the NM Lawyers for the Arts web site to RSVP (or just learn more of what’s going on).