Writing for Reality—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series returns with a Saturday morning seminar titled “Writing Commercial Documentaries Now.” Discover your own inner March of the Penguins with noted documentary filmmaker Craig Coffman. Since 1997, Coffman has produced over 60 hours of documentary programs as a supervising producer, writer, editor or director for The History Channel, Discovery, Food Network, Fine Living, TLC and others. Coffman's seminar will center on what kind of writing is going on in the projects now airing on and sought by cable networks. The event will take place at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE), from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Admission is $15, which includes refreshments and handouts. Full-time student and teacher rate is $10. For more information on the Screenwriter's Speaker Series, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film represents an epic collaboration between the Anthology Film Archive and Deutsches Filmmuseum. Curated by Bruce Posner and produced by film historian David Shepard, Unseen Cinema compiles more than 150 short works from the formative days of film. Beginning before the turn of the 20th century and stretching to the start of World War II, this collection of little-seen works represents not merely some of the earliest cinematic efforts, but some of the most groundbreaking.
Following foursquare in the footsteps of Norma Rae, Silkwood and Erin Brockovich, North Country introduces us to real-life female crusader Josey Aimes (well, in real life, her name was Lois Jensen, but I guess that's a minor point). Directed by New Zealander Niki Caro (Whale Rider) and starring Oscar babe Charlize Theron (Monster), North Country is a dirt-streaked David and Goliath tale about the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit ever filed in America.
For the second year in a row, Albuquerque's only cult/alternative/trash video store, Burning Paradise, has teamed up with the maniacs at Troma Entertainment to bring TromaDance New Mexico to Albuquerque.
In this season's troika of “aliens and oceans” TV shows, ABC's “Invasion” seems to be pulling ahead of CBS' “Threshold” and NBC's “Surface.” “Threshold” has pushed past its “finding a UFO at the bottom of the ocean” pilot, but hasn't gotten any better for it. “Surface,” meanwhile, remains mired in its E.T.-as-Jaws premise. “Invasion,” on the other hand, has succeeded, thanks to some atmospheric writing and some solid casting.
“Smallville” (KWBQ-19 7 p.m.) After all the ribbing poor Aquaman has taken on HBO's “Entourage” this season, I don't think I can watch “Smallville”'s take on the character without chuckling. ... Of course, since it's on WB, you know he's gonna be hunky.
“The Apprentice” (KOB-4 8 p.m.) Tonight, “each team designs a float to promote a new science fiction adventure film.” ... Yeah, these kids are gonna storm the business world with their prom committee-like skills.