George Clooney heads to Hawaii, finds humor and heartbreak in delicate family dramedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s been seven years since writer-director Alexander Payne ran roughshod over awards season with his Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award winning film Sideways. Now, he’s returned with another praiseworthy effort, the winningly emotional dramedy The Descendants.
A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
If you’ve ever attended a wine event in Albuquerque, you’ve noticed Dr. Byron Wall. He’s the one working the room like an experienced politician. Tall and handsome, Wall looks like he just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad, or off Harvard’s campus—not exactly the type you’d expect to champion wines from the banks of the Rio Grande.
Here’s the game plan, people: Wake up early on Thanksgiving Day. That way, you can catch all of the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.).Something about seeing Al Roker in a parka really fires up one’s appetite. Follow that with a little football. The first game is “Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions” (KASA-2 10:30 p.m.) Given that Green Bay is undefeated, the game will probably suck, so head on over to “The National Dog Show” (KOB-4 12 p.m.) around halftime and start rooting for your favorite Pomeranian instead. After the announcement of Best in Show, you can catch more football with “Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys” (KRQE-13 2 p.m.).
Indie Q, the monthly gathering of independent filmmakers sponsored by Film!ABQ, will take place at Downtown’s KiMo Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 30. In addition to discussing the local film climate with independent actors, producers, animators, screenwriters, directors and fans, attendees at this month’s get-together will be treated to several short film premieres. “Under the Stairs,” a creepy kid-meets-monster movie from writer Kieran McGowan and director Joshua Sallach, will be the main event. Also being screened that night is Ryan Denmark’s fuzzy animal horror story “Plush.” The filmmakers will be present, of course, to talk about their work. The event is from 7 to 9 p.m. As always, Indie Q is free and open to the public.
Bryce Hample's collection of six 50-by-50-inch paintings at Winning Coffee is a study in abstract minimalism. He employs vast plateaus of muted tones shifting across large canvas and plywood backdrops. Of the six pieces, the majority are large fields of black, gray, white and ochre rust, some with subtle tone gradations. The paint might have been slathered on with a palette knife in a freeform fury. Three of the pieces are marked with splintery holes. One looks like it was riddled with bullets, another like it was beat and stomped upon by an angry dwarf.
Heather Brewer’s First Kill adds to the pool of hormonal vampirism
By John Bear
This whole vampires-with-problems craze has gotten out of hand. The Twilight series is like the British Invasion of pretty-boy bloodsuckers and sexy werewolves. Think of the merchandise alone: key chains, socks, cardboard cutouts. Bookstores should sell books, not Team Edward T-shirts. It's as omnipresent and irritating as Harry Potter was 10 years ago. For casual readers who sharpen their bedposts any time they see a pale man lurking outside their bedroom window, there is The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer.
Downtown has a lot of live entertainment going on Saturday nights. A vibrant music scene, strip clubs, drunk people throwing cheap hot dogs at each other ... . But what if you want something a little more eclectic? What if you want to laugh? What if you're just doggone lonely and you want to be a part of something? ... While drinking.
The Council postponed most of its business until after Thanksgiving. But councilors did manage to confirm the appointment of a city attorney, David Tourek. His résumé sports about 20 years as a government lawyer.
Winter squash—along with turkey, eggnog and perhaps your crazy aunt Bertha—reserves a place at most holiday tables. But unlike the others, there’s a seasonal reason for squash being there. And by seasonal, I don't mean the holiday season.
When Patio Screendoor (not the name his mama gave him) forgot to bring his reusable grocery bags to the market, he figured he’d simply pick one up along with his groceries. The store’s options—either too expensive or cheaply made—weren’t thrilling. “I had already replaced a few flimsy bags at this point and was determined not to own another crappy bag,” says Screendoor.
More options for yarn, fabric, notions and know-how
By Elizabeth W. Hughes
Fiber Chicks is hidden in a courtyard in Old Town between a coffee shop and an art gallery. It’s easy to miss. But once you’re inside, miles of yarn become a blank slate for knitting, crocheting and felting. Fibers from all over the world and a mix of crafters and tourists exploring Old Town are brought together by the common thread of fiber arts, with owner Lesley Miller serving as hostess and tour guide.
As a child, my favorite thing about Christmas was cozying up to the fire with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate after I’d unwrapped my presents. (And no, I wasn’t born in a Charles Dickens novel.) But really, some of the best parts of the frenzied holiday season are those moments of tranquility where nothing but a warm blanket and a good read envelop you. To aid in helping your givees achieve literary bliss, the Alibi reached out to some experts. Staff from Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139) and Alamosa Books (8810 Holly NE, 797-7101) gave us their picks on the year’s top works. So whether you’re looking for apocalyptic vampire fiction (The Passage) or a kid’s book about kingdom-saving scullery maids (The Silver Bowl), these local booksellers are bound to bring some verve to your gifts.
Indie film production continues to impress, with more and more features being made throughout the Land of Enchantment. We’re not talking multimillion-dollar Hollywood outings like Thor. We’re not even talking low-budget studio features (which can dip down into the low seven figures, pricewise). We’re talking microbudget, made-in-New-Mexico-by-New-Mexicans movies. Here’s a sampling of some of the home-grown features that have been released to DVD in the past year.
I’ve already started the spiced nuts [“Go Nuts,” Nov. 10-16]. Next come dozens of jars of green-chile-cranberry chutney [“In a Pickle,” Oct. 13-19]. But if you’ve got a little extra cash to spend, I can think of a few gifts that’ll make someone’s holiday happier.
Commissioner contends a key APD report never made it to the mayor
By Carolyn Carlson
When the latest rash of officer-involved shootings had just begun in 2009, a transition team created a report for the incoming mayor about the Albuquerque Police Department. It pointed to corruption, fear of retaliation on the force, criticisms from the public and problems with APD's leadership. But Mayor Richard Berry may have never seen that version of the report.
Cold weather and hot springs go together like old-English font and rear-window decals here in the Land of Enchantment. From resorts and spas to natural rock formations in the national forest, New Mexico has a soaking experience for bathers on any budget.
Wine and cherubs combine to create occasionally lovely but inconsistent love story
By Devin D. O’Leary
New Zealand writer-director Niki Caro and actress / fellow Kiwi Keisha Castle-Hughes last teamed on the magnificent 2002 drama Whale Rider. At the time, Castle-Hughes was a mere 11 years old. In the intervening years, she’s grown into a lovely young woman. As expected, seeing the two artists reunite is one of the small joys contained in the new historical drama The Vintner’s Luck.
Donald Glover isn’t exactly a household name, but he damn well should be. Glover is best known as the character Troy on NBC’s Thursday-night sitcom “Community.” He first achieved cult notoriety, though, as a member of the Internet-famous sketch comedy troupe Derrick Comedy. (If you haven’t seen their 2009 feature Mystery Team, you’re missing out.) He’s written for “The Daily Show” and “30 Rock,” and he just released another rootsy rap album under the stage name Childish Gambino. (It’s witty, wonderful stuff, check it out.) Now, Comedy Central is gifting this underrated entertainer with a much-deserved stand-up comedy special.
Friends of Film, Video and Arts is back with another information-crammed monthly meeting. This Sunday, Nov. 20, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Albuquerque filmmaker Nina Knapp and Angie Beauchamp from Lightning Web Marketing will present tips on running a successful crowdfunding campaign. Whether you’re a filmmaker, animator, game developer or other creative type, Internet-based crowdfunding is the future of production. Knapp and Beauchamp will cover tips for running a successful marketing campaign that will attract donors. Building email lists, establishing social media contacts and setting up a dynamic website in advance of launching your project are just a few of the areas that will be covered in this month’s interactive lecture. The event takes place at the Harwood Art Center’s basement theater (1114 Seventh Street NW). It’s free to FoFVA members and $10 for nonmembers.
Master craftsman and ex-luchador’s stitchwork is seamless
By Sam Adams
The first thing that struck me about Francisco "Pancho" León were his hands. Callused and scarred, his palms look like they belong to a cattle roper or someone who escaped a fire. Perhaps a knife fighter. Or maybe ... a man who's worked a sewing machine for the past 40 years.
One-man show at The Filling Station personifies mid-life crisis
By Christie Chisholm
It was on a plane back from Paris that David Garver felt his life shift. His wife had taken him to the city as a surprise gift for his 50th birthday. “My first and only time to Europe was Paris,” he says, “and it just blew my head wide open.”
Pedro Almodóvar trades campy for creepy in fleshed-out horror flick
By Devin D. O’Leary
Pay attention to the background details of the psychosexual Spanish drama The Skin I Live In, and you might recognize it as the work of camp provocateur Pedro Almodóvar (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Kika, The Flower of My Secret, High Heels, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Volver). There are the occasional shocks of color amid the formally composed shots. There are the pop-art-bordering-on-op-art backdrops. There’s the obsession with bold fashion (delivered, this time, with the assistance of Jean Paul Gaultier). And there is, of course, the kinky, pansexual atmosphere.
J. Edgar Hoover vs. Margaret Thatcher, The Muppets vs. The Chipmunks, Santa’s son vs. Bella’s baby
By Devin D. O’Leary
Summer blockbuster time is long over. The fall movie doldrums are coming to an end. That can only mean one thing: The holiday movie season is about to start. For the next couple of months, Hollywood studios like 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks will begin jamming as many computer-animated, 3D cartoons into the cineplexes as possible. At the same time, the Weinstein Company will begin its annual carpet-bombing campaign of Oscar contenders. So what will it be, moviegoers? Singing cartoon chipmunks or staid biopics about old British people?
American Movie Classics, already rocking three of the best shows on TV right now—“Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead”—pushes its luck by jumping on yet another genre with the neo-spaghetti-Western “Hell on Wheels.” If the show seems somehow less than the sum of its parts at this early stage, perhaps it’s just that it’s got so much to live up to when compared to AMC’s other offerings.
A silent, experimental Japanese horror film with a live jazz accompaniment? How often do you get a chance to witness that particular messed-up mashup? Well, you will this weekend. On Nov. 12 and 13, the silent Japanese vampire film Sanguivorous (Kyuketsu) will sink its fangs into Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Written and directed by Japanese experimental filmmaker Naoki Yoshimoto and featuring a performance by avant-garde butoh dancer Ko Murobushi, the film focuses on a sickly young woman who is horrified to learn she is descended from generations of vampires. The film’s world premiere screenings will feature live musical accompaniment by renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and Chicago saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr. Presented by Tidepoint Pictures and the Albuquerque Film Office, the screenings will take place at 8 p.m. at Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre on Saturday and at 3 p.m. at Santa Fe’s Warehouse 21 on Sunday. Tickets will run $12 general admission or $10 students and seniors.
The South Valley’s 13th annual Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade was on Sunday, Nov. 6. Revelers danced and cruised down Isleta while hundreds of costumed and face-painted onlookers snapped pictures, cheered, and snacked on duritos and cotton candy. Among the procession were flower tossing skeletons, vibrant lowriders bumping up and down on hydraulics, protesters speaking out against officer-involved shootings and Wall Street greed, and a ghastly rainbow of musicians and performers. Here are a few.
Yjastros showcases veteran dancer and symphony orchestra in nostalgic El Museo
By Christie Chisholm
A janitor spends his life working in an art museum. Over decades of quietly mopping the halls, he’s developed relationships with the people and places that adorn the canvases of his wide, rambling office. Through them, he sees the characters and memories that shaped his life. As he visits with the images, he watches them jump out of their frames and begin to dance.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says its Drinking Water Project was launched to relieve an overtaxed aquifer. But the utility is falling behind in its objectives—and it's only now admitting why.
JJ Otero—lead singer and rhythm guitar player for Burque-based rock band Saving Damsels—will be playing at the first ever Futures for Children Native Jam Night on Thursday. In preview, we peek into his music collection.
Eclectic breakfast and lunch on a quiet Downtown corner
By Ari LeVaux
Café Lush is like a daydream of the way things might be in some future hybrid of Europe and Albuquerque. It’s an urban café on a quiet street corner, with a small menu of simple yet well-crafted dishes and a pledge to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. But unlike in Europe, the red and green chile won’t disappoint—unless you’re a member of the New Mexico anticumin coalition.
I make spicy sugared nuts at the holidays in volumes—six to eight pounds at a time—to share with friends during the holidays. Here’s my recipe. It’s very easy, and (if you don’t eat them all first) the leftover pieces are great on salads.