Slammin’ Selections—Warehouse 21’s annual Slam ’n’ Jam is the latest in a long history of W21-sponsored youth video slams. On Friday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m., selected films will be “slammed” in front of a live audience and a panel of judges at The Moon (formerly Club Luna at 519 Cerrillos in Santa Fe). All these short (8 minutes or less) submissions came from local filmmakers between the ages of 12 and 21. The cost is free for teens and $5 for adults. For more details, log on to www.warehouse21.org.
Astronomically speaking, summer officially begins on June 21 here in North America. Economically speaking, it gets started long before that. Summer movie season, for example, has traditionally kicked off on Memorial Day weekend. The Memorial Day to Labor Day marathon now accounts for 40 percent or more of the movie industry’s annual box office. It’s no wonder movie studios, eager to milk as much cash out of summertime ticketbuyers as possible, have been inching the summer movie season further and further back. This year, the release of Spider-Man 3 on May 4 (three full weekends before Memorial Day) signaled the start of a very long, hot summer.
Odds are, if and when you go to the theater to see Ratatouille, the new film from Pixar Animation Studios, you’ll first be greeted by a brief sneak preview of the company’s next major feature Wall-E. That film isn’t scheduled to hit theaters until next June. But the roughly 10-second glance you’ll get of this animated fable about a lonely robot has got more charm and endearing appeal than the last six CGI films Hollywood has cranked out. Following that, you’ll get to see one of Pixar’s trademark short films—a hilarious little sci-fi romp titled “Lifted.” That film alone is worth the price you’ll pay for admission. And that’s all before the feature even starts.
With the advent of TiVo and other digital recorders, television networks and advertising agencies have been scrambling to find new ways of assuaging big-budget clients upset over the high-tech practice of “zapping.” Zapping is the process of using your remote control to fast-forward past TV commercials. Back in the day, viewers actually had to get up off the couch and go take a crap to avoid commercials. Now, technology allows us to shrug off Madison Avenue with the push of a button. What a bunch of ungrateful bastards we all are. We sit there, watch a free episode of “Three and a Half Men,” produced graciously for our entertainment by CBS, and don’t have the simple decency to return the favor by ordering a Pizza Hut P’Zone when the network tells us to.