The time has come for another round of New Visions/New Mexico contract awards. This program, sponsored by Governor Richardson and the New Mexico Film Office, is designed to assist local filmmakers by providing a total of $160,000 in contracts to help in the creation of narrative films, documentaries, animated and experimental work.
Judd Apatow kick-started his Hollywood career writing, directing and executive producing the underappreciated-in-its-time sitcom “Freaks & Geeks.” Nowadays, he’s Hollywood’s hottest comedy ace, having acted as the guiding force behind such theatrical hits as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. The surprise success of those two films has made Apatow the go-to guy for raunchy comedy. Despite the unapologeticaly R-rated antics of those films, Apatow is secretly a nice guy, slipping an unexpectedly sweet moral message underneath all the dirty jokes. Knocked Up was an ultimately good-natured romance about doing the right thing. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was a sex comedy that argued fairly convincingly for chastity.
Funerals aren’t inherently funny. But if you throw enough toilet humor, hallucinogenic drugs and naughty innuendo at them, they might be. That seems to be the prevailing attitude behind Death at a Funeral, a quaintly crude British comedy that isn’t all that funny, but tries really, really hard.
Discovery Channel, never shy about milking a successful concept (“Deadliest Catch” and “Lobstermen”?), is airing competing survival shows “Man vs. Nature” and “Survivorman.” Both feature manly men dumped into the middle of nowhere with nothing but their survival skills to keep them alive. But which of these two shows is the true survivor?