The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s ongoing Spanish film series takes an entertaining diversion this month with Vampires, Demons and the Goth. This mini-retrospective leapfrogs from 1929 to 2005 to examine the history of the Spanish horror genre. The series begins on Thursday, Feb. 5, with 1959’s El Cebo, about a seemingly timid man who hides a second pathological personality guilty of kidnapping and murdering little girls. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the series continues with 1988’s Amanece, Que No Es Poco, a surrealist comedy in which an engineering professor returns to his native Spain to discover that his mother has been murdered. On Feb. 19, it’s Jess Franco’s delirious 1998 flick Vampire Blues and on Feb. 26, it’s Guillem Morales’ 2005 thriller El Habitante Incierto. All films are presented in Spanish with English subtitles. All films begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC’s Bank of America Theater. Entrance is free, but seating is limited. For more info on Vampires, Demons and the Goth, log on to albuquerque.cervantes.es.
Animator Henry Selick doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his work on The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tim Burton has his name stamped all over that Halloweeny classic, but it was Selick who directed the film and supervised its distinctive stop-motion animation. Selick also helmed the stylish 2001 adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. (For a glimpse of Selick’s early genius, hunt down his award-winning 1991 short “Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions.”) Perhaps now Selick will get a little credit where credit is due thanks to his painstaking work writing and directing the dark-yet-juvenile fantasy flick Coraline.
Every year right around this time, dedicated but previously distracted movie fans race to the cineplex in a mad dash to soak up as many Academy Award-nominated films as possible before the awards ceremony. If you’ve slacked off for the past six months, filling up your Oscar dance card in the next few weeks will be a daunting prospect. Heck, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will take 166 minutes out of your life and that’s only one of the films nominated for Best Picture.