Bleak black comedy turns poor decisions into priceless comedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
Odds are if you remember Bobcat Goldthwait, you remember him as weirdo-gangleader-turned-rookie-cop Zed in the Police Academy movies and from a bunch of stand-up comedy specials back in the ’90s. While his name may not have been a topic of conversation lately, the guy’s been quietly working away in Hollywood, doing tons of voice work, directing a couple hundred episodes of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and creating a pair of edgy cult films (1991’s immortal Shakes the Clown and 2006’s taboo-busting Sleeping Dogs Lie). Now comes Goldthwait’s latest writing/directing effort, the gloriously offensive, scabrously funny, surprisingly subtle black comedy World’s Greatest Dad.
Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
Chocolatier aims to make medical marijuana go down easy
By Christie Chisholm
Scott Van Rixel's career in food started the day following his 12th birthday, with a dishwashing job at a Serbian fish fryery. "My mom and my dad would pick me up Friday night and make me strip down to my underwear outside because I stunk so bad of fish," he recalls. "It was miserable, but I loved it."
Did you know the Albuquerque Film Office has a Facebook page? Well, it does. It’s a great source of information for both filmmakers and fans of film. Wanna know which stars are hanging around the 505 this month? Looking to score a job as a grip? The hardworking folks at the Albuquerque Film Office can help you out. The AFO Facebook page is rapidly approaching 1,000 fans. The 1,000th person to become of fan of Albuquerque Film Office will win a secret (no doubt film-oriented) prize of some great import—so encourage your friends to join in. Log onto the ol’ Facebook.com and look up “Albuquerque Film Office.” They could use your support. And vice versa. If you’re a local filmmaker with updates, announcements, auditions, short film screenings or anything else you’d like posted to the AFO Facebook page, you can send them to Jesse Herron (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more details, check out FilmABQ.com.
Thursday nights continue to be a television bloodbath, with NBC’s no-longer “Must See TV” lineup looking like the night’s designated hemophiliac. FOX’s culty “Bones” and “Fringe,” ABC’s semi-strong “FlashForward” paired with ratings-winners “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” CBS’ still-strong “Survivor”/“CSI”/“The Mentalist” troika and The CW’s expectedly teen-skewing duo “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural” are wreaking well-tabulated havoc on NBC’s ratings. That’s a shame, because NBC has got one of its best lineups in years, including high-quality laughers “30 Rock” and “The Office,” vastly improved, Amy Poehler-led “Parks and Recreation” and underdog idol “Community.”
Albuquerque's Vietnamese population became established in the ’70s, thanks to Air Force marriages and a State Department resettlement program that brought approximately 3,000 South Vietnamese to New Mexico. Today, one in three Asians in Albuquerque is Vietnamese. And so we have an abundance of Vietnamese cuisine in the Duke City, a very fortunate thing for all of us.
It's Week Two of the Cold That Wouldn't Die. You haven't experienced flavor in just as long, thanks to your suicidal sinuses. You're achy all over. And as your former loved ones will attest, you've maxed out the credit on your Whining Card. It's time to take this thing down for the count. It's time to make Jewish chicken soup—bubbe's way, with the whole chicken and the dill. Even if your schmutz doesn't disappear completely, once you see how easy from-scratch chicken broth is, you'll never go back to canned.
Zoning official uses graffiti to alter the urban landscape—and perceptions
By Graeme Prentice-Mott
John Lorne stands admiring a graffiti mural on Second Street and Kinley, near Downtown. It’s a portrait of a Native American spiritual leader who has feathers for hair and a face that appears flooded with the blue sky. “Look at the shading in there. Look at these lines,” he says in a Bronx accent. “Look at this eye.” He points an imaginary spray can close in against the wall to simulate a fine point.
There are some journalistic institutions that are too big to change. And at their grand funerals, someone can eulogize that these newspaper giants stuck to their guns. But maybe the old guard is right. Maybe once the economy turns around, things will get better.
Dateline: Australia—A drunken 22-year-old man challenged a lamppost to a fight after he was ignored by passersby in the street, according to testimony heard in territorial court last Wednesday. Earlier this year, as police officers watched, David Robinson directed his inebriated anger at the lamppost and shouted at it to “come and have a go.” The bizarre incident was recounted at Perth Sheriff Court, where Robinson pleaded guilty and was ordered to perform 80 hours community service. The court was told that Perth police were on patrol in the early hours of the morning when they spotted Robinson shouting and swearing at pedestrians. He challenged a stranger to a fight and it was clear to the officers as they got closer that Robinson was heavily under the influence of alcohol. Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson testified before the court, saying, “He must have been very drunk; because when he ran out of passersby, he began to shout at the lampposts, similarly challenging them to ‘have a go’.” When officers approached, Robinson challenged them to fight. He was quickly arrested and detained. Robinson, of Corlundy Crescent, Crieff, admitted to conducting himself in a disorderly manner and breaching the peace.
A Hawk & A Hacksaw and Death Convention Singers score at Guild Cinema
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
A long time ago, in the nascent days of cinema, prerecorded sound was absent from the moving image, so silence was negotiated with live music. That arrangement, notably different from the scene-defining, track-driven pop films of contempo culture, returns to Guild Cinema this week. In an elegant and unusual meeting of movies and music, two distinguished acts will accompany exciting film selections with a live score.
Tenorist explores the “strange beauty” of living legend Wayne Shorter
By Mel Minter
Saxophonist Kanoa Kaluhiwa—whose rich, immediately identifiable sound has refreshed New Mexican ears for more than 20 years—never hurries his work. As he solos, you can see him listening to some inner wellspring of ideas and emotion, exploring for the right sound, the right note, the right phrase to express the moment.
Drink to pit bulls, pinups and the coming year at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 9:30 p.m., when the 2010 Babes and Bullies calendar release party commences. The Rum Fits, Car Thief, Animals In The Dark and Ends !n Tragedy share their ditties, plus attendees can meet the babes and engage in a $5 raffle. Free, 21+. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Now in its 10th year, the Words Afire Festival puts the spotlight on the work of student playwrights in UNM's MFA Dramatic Writing Program. The Directed Readings, held this Friday, Nov. 13, through Sunday, Nov. 15, allow the public to hear these pieces voiced for the first time. Here's the schedule of events, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW). All readings are free, and three of the plays will be fully staged in April. For a synopsis of each play, got to theatre.unm.edu/waf.
The feeling inside La Isla, on Bridge just west of the river, is laid-back and celebratory. Western fantasy, Dances With Wolves-style paintings of animals and the men who wrangle them hang on the walls, along with Old West photos and framed news clippings. There are plants (real and fake), suspended paper bells that look leftover from Chinese New Year, and some painted globe chandeliers that might have come from a midcentury diner. An exterior roof façade crowns the kitchen, making it seem like you’re outside while the kitchen is in a little cabana on the beach.
The leaves are turning, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are looming. The holiday season is upon us! Hollywood hopes you will take a break during your endless holiday shopping in the coming weeks to stop by the mall theater and buy a ticket for one of the following films.
Vivid Entertainment director in Albuquerque to talk pleasure positivity at the Pornotopia film festival
By Marisa Demarco
Tristan Taormino is trying to take a deep breath. When we speak, she's about to embark on a four-week tour and is using the day to read books. The titles are telling: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön, an ordained Buddhist nun, and Wide Open: On Living With Purpose and Passion by Dawna Markova, described on Amazon.com as teaching "how to live with heart and mind wide open to all life's possibilities."
Councilors wasted no time as they sped through their Monday, Nov. 2 meeting and put off many items for the incoming Council to deal with. They did, however, manage to spend several million dollars in less than two hours.
I remember my first byline in the Alibi. It was attached to an article on Albuquerque's brand-new rapid transit bus system, called the Rapid Ride. I sought out that precious byline at the paper's little blue box outside the Co-op in Nob Hill. White Christmas lights had already been draped around nearby trees. It was a Wednesday around 6 p.m., the time my editor had told me papers would start showing up in that part of town. The issue was the Holiday Film Guide. When I flipped through it, I found my story on page 14. I jumped a little.
Dateline: India—The corpse of a missing dead man was located more than two years after it disappeared—on the roof of a police station in Northern India. The body of Chukkan Nishad, a 22-year-old who died in 2007, was meant to be sent for DNA testing, but was instead put in a body bag and placed on the roof. “I admit it is a horrible case, possibly the first of its kind,” Ram Sabad Ram, the new station master in Azamgarh in northern Uttar Pradesh state, told the Mail Today newspaper. “I joined here only recently and didn’t know that the corpse was kept on the roof.” The Mail said the body was placed there after local authorities refused to release the funds for a DNA test on Nishad. His death remains a mystery. Mr. Ram said police were completing formalities to return Mishad’s remains—which are little more than bones at this point—to his family.
If you think the play's the thing, you're in luck; theater companies around the state are staging new works and well-loved classics throughout the holiday season (which, like it or not, we're already in). Debuting on Friday, Nov. 6, Auxiliary Dog Theater (3011 Monte Vista NE) presents The Pavilion. Penned by Craig Wright and directed by Andie Rigler, this award-winning play focuses on the two halves of a high school's cutest couple and what happens when they meet again 20 years later. That may sound a bit generic, but Wright has written for "Six Feet Under" and "Lost" and also holds a masters degree in divinity. If that résumé is any indication, prepare to be sad, confused, hopeful and a little turned on. The show runs through Nov. 29, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. All tickets are $12 and seats can be reserved by calling 254-7716. Go to auxdog.org for more.
A few years ago, Lori Ostlund was known to Albuquerqueans as an instructor at TVI and one of the Two Serious Ladies who ran that eponymous furniture store in Nob Hill. She and her partner decided in 2005 that they needed more time to write, and in order to simplify their lives, they moved to San Francisco. Since then, her first book, the short story collection The Bigness of the World, has earned her the Flannery O'Connor for Short Fiction and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Grant. Prior to her upcoming appearance in Albuquerque, Ostlund chatted with the Alibi on the phone about the weather in San Francisco (sunny), novel-writing (difficult) and the Internet (distracting).
We just purchased a half a pound—each—of fresh chanterelles (it is fall, people!). But in a bout of lunch-box paranoia, Evan feared that the mushrooms would shrivel in the fridge and miss their peak. So we minced the beauties and made a mushroom duxelles (say “duke-sell”)—a classic French dish of mushrooms roasted with shallots, fat and wine. Nearly a tapenade, the stuff is versatile enough to work on vegan bruschetta or dress up leftovers.
A feature film called The Loop has just begun shooting in Santa Fe. The film is described as a drama/romance and has something to do with a young highway department worker whose parents were killed, who meets a sexy librarian and gets involved in a mystery concerning an ancient parrot. Huh. It’s based on a book by Joe Coomer and stars the green-skinned chick from Star Trek and some hunky dude from “Drop Dead Diva.” The production is now seeking extras of all types. Pay is $10 an hour with an eight-hour guarantee, plus overtime. Food and beverages will be provided. Casting agents are particularly interested in folks from Santa Fe, as mileage and accommodations will not be provided (though all applicants are welcome). If you missed the open casting call, they will keep accepting applicants throughout the duration of the shoot. The film will be shot through December, so anytime between now and then is fine to send your info. Of course, the sooner, the better. If you’re interested, send a photo of yourself to: email@example.com. Be sure to include in the body of your e-mail your contact and personal information: name, phone number, e-mail address and age range. For more info, log on to myspace.com/loopextras.
Sporting drama scores by spotlighting its flawed hero
By Devin D. O’Leary
The year was 1974. Leeds United was the most dominant club in all of British football—thanks largely to the team’s willingness to punch opposing players in the testicles. Into this gang of hooligans came straight-laced, clean-playing Brian Clough, who had the unenviable task of taking over as manager from much-beloved Leeds leader Don Revie. To people of a certain age and of a certain geographical persuasion, this was a big deal. A very big deal. The equivalent of George W. Bush taking over as head of the DNC. To the other 99.9 percent of the world’s population, however, the preceding paragraph pretty much reads like Chinese stereo instructions.
Dickens gets digital upgrade in surprisingly grim fable
By Devin D. O’Leary
The main problem with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (besides the fact you actually have to read the damn thing) is that there just aren’t enough possibilities for video game spin-offs. Well, Walt Disney Pictures and director Robert Zemeckis have solved that little problem (and a few others as well) with their high-tech cinematic “upgrade.” Now it’s got chase scenes, explosions, elaborate stunts, a radical snowboarding scene—all prime fodder for a Nintendo DS game. (No, I’m not joking. It was released on Nov. 3.)
In the world of television, Oct. 30 through Nov. 25 is known as “Sweeps Month.” That’s when networks compile their ratings in order to set ad rates for the next year. The higher the ratings, the higher the rates. Tried-and-true methods for attracting more viewers include: guest stars, weddings, births, miniseries and specials. And of course, hiding ratings losers under the rug for four weeks. (Sorry, fans of FOX’s “Dollhouse.”) So what sort of insidious schemes have the networks cooked up to lure us away from cable, movie theaters, the Xbox 360 and actual interaction with friends and family?
What a world. I started interning at the Alibi six years ago as a culinary student and liberal arts college dropout. My entire work history before that consisted of catering and short-order cooking. The Alibi was my first desk job.
Film Guide special! Match the movies to the musicians that appeared in them
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
It's a known law of the universe that the actors-turned-rockers will nearly always be met with disrespect (Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves), whereas filmic forays made by musicians are generally accepted as interesting novelties (Iggy Pop, Tom Waits). Below lie 30 films that contain lead roles or small cameos by bands or musicians. Oi!
Since 1983, Stryper has shone the light of Jesus on a style of music typically associated with the dark, debauched side of life. The glam metal band relaxed its outrageous black-and-yellow striped look in the early ’90s, then disbanded in ’92 when the genre went the way of the flying dragon-beast-thing ridden by a big-breasted cartoon woman. The hair metal revival of the early part of this decade spurred the band to reunite in 2003, and Stryper’s been performing/preaching since. At times the band was accused of blasphemy and devil worshiping—not true, folks. Last week I spoke with lead guitarist Oz Fox, and, whoa, this band loves the Lord.
Obsessive indie comedy explores dark side of fandom
By Devin D. O’Leary
Listen to enough sports radio and you’ll get the idea that professional sports aren’t mere recreational distractions. There’re not just regional pissing contests, either. For many adults, professional sports are a full-blown obsession. After all, would a truly sane person smear his body with purple and yellow paint and then stand, half-naked, in a Minneapolis football stadium in 13 degree weather? Big Fan, a black comedy collusion between underappreciated comedian Patton Oswalt and up-and-coming screenwriter-turned-director Robert D. Siegel, takes this idea to its natural extreme: What if you crossed “The Jim Rome Show” with Taxi Driver?
Hurry up and get your shorts off ... to the Taos Shortz Film Festival, that is. (Heh, heh. Who doesn’t love a lame pun?) The third annual Taos Shortz Film Fest promises to showcase the hottest short films in the Southwest. This coming Sunday, Nov. 1, is the early bird deadline. Get your short film submission in by this weekend and you’ll only have to fork over a $17 entry fee. If you can’t get your work together by then, you have until Dec. 1. Programmers are looking for films between 3 and 28 minutes in the following categories: Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Animation and Experimental. For a complete list of rules, regulations and submission forms, log on to www.taosshortz.com. The festival is scheduled to take place Feb. 5 to 7, 2010.
Fashion icon biopic looks fabulous but hangs kinda funny
By Devin D. O’Leary
As the title clearly indicates, the Gallic import Coco Before Chanel explores the life of fashion maven Coco Chanel before she changed her name, became famous and started pasting her initials all over expensive handbags. While bolstered by the magnetic central performance of the always-charming Audrey Tautou (Amélie) and some damn fine period re-creation, Coco Before Chanel is also restrained by slow pacing and a general lack of drama. To put it in fashion terms, the details are stunning, but the overall shape is somewhat lacking.
On the surface, this Halloween’s TV schedule looks decidedly un-scary. There’s plenty of college football and major league baseball on the broadcast networks, but that hardly gets you in the holiday spirit. So if you wanna spend all day watching TV and still feel like you’re participating in the holiday, you’re going to have to dig deep.
Dust off your marigold headdresses, friends: It's Día de los Muertos time. Different than Halloween (haunty) and All Saints' Day (reverent), the Day of the Dead honors the memories of loved ones who have passed with ofrendas (altars), sugar skulls, parades, and a sense that, while sad, death is inevitable and not to be feared.
Albuquerque Now is to our art scene what a telescope is to the moon: By focusing in on an exceptional fragment, we are better able to understand the beauty of the whole. The show, up now at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, displays dozens of locally crafted works in a stunning representation of our creative community, its diversity and its talent.
Local military religious freedom activist nominated for 2010 Nobel
By Marisa Demarco
Mikey Weinstein won the Linda K. Estes Giraffe Award, given to honor those who stick their necks out for their beliefs. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Weinstein was thrilled to receive the local prize, named for the former UNM coach who fought for women's equality. On Sept. 17, he attended a gala reception to accept his Giraffe.
The mission of the International Gay Rodeo Association is to promote the LGBT country-Western lifestyle. “It is a huge surprise to many that the gay community is involved in rodeo, but this being America and the fact that all of us are intrigued with our Western heritage, it only adds to the reality ‘We are everywhere!’ ” the association writes on its website.
Dateline Hungary—The entire 15-man police force in the town of Budaörs resigned last Tuesday after they landed the sole winning jackpot ticket in the country’s national lottery. According to London’s Daily Telegraph, the $16.5 million jackpot is the sixth biggest win in Hungarian lottery history. Police chiefs have scrambled to send backup units to the region, located just outside the Budapest metropolitan area, until more full-time officers can be recruited.
The Fire Halloween Vampire Ball is just for female neck-nibblers over the age of 21. Come out of your coffins and dance to DJs Anita, Nicolatron and Ginger, and get glamoured by live performances from the ABQ Kings Club and Consuelo Wind. Doors at El Rey Theater (620 Central SW) creak open at 8 p.m. $10 limited advance tickets at firewomyn.com. (Laura Marrich)
An international trip, right down to the exchange rate
By Ari LeVaux
Tapas, Spanish for “snacks you eat before or after a night of partying” (or simply “appetizers” for short), have become wildly popular left of the Atlantic in recent years. While the chance to mix it up with several dishes sounds yummy enough, tapas eateries—and their customers—have had to struggle with an obvious flaw: You can end up getting less food per dollar than with full-sized portions.