Waiting for the world to end in Lars von Trier’s latest
By Devin D. O’Leary
What with his extensive résumé and his multiple Cannes Film Festival awards, Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has more than proved his skill behind the camera. But even longtime fans are forgiven for being hesitant when entering a von Trier movie these days. The icy auteur has demonstrated an increasing taste for heaping traumatic levels of physical and psychological abuse on his leading actresses (Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves, Björk in Dancer in the Dark, Nicole Kidman in Dogville, Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist). If the guy is not an unrepentant misogynist, he sure is convincing at playing one on TV.
Program for expectant mothers fights for second chances, including its own
By Whitny Doyle
Casita de Milagros, New Mexico’s only residential treatment center for pregnant women battling addiction, closed this summer. Thanks to community outcry, the facility might soon be resuscitated. But Milagros’ advocates are discovering that the devil is in the details.
TNT is crazy for crime. The network has adapted four best-selling crime novels into made-for-TV movies in the last month alone. The latest page-to-screen adaptation is Hide, based on Lisa Gardner’s Det. D.D. Warren novels. Hide is actually the second of the six novels, but it gives viewers as good a jumping-in point as any.
The Experiments in Cinema film festival (I think the number they're up to in their oddball numbering system is v7.9) will be taking place at UNM in April 2012. This Thursday, Dec. 1, however, is the final deadline for submission. If you’re interested in being a part of Basement Films’ annual celebration of “international, cinematic experimentation,” then you need to log on to the website and submit your mind-bending film or video. Organizers have decided not to charge a late submission fee for submitting work after the original Oct. 15 deadline, so it'll still cost you just $15 to enter your work (or $10 each, if you're submitting more than one film). As always, the five-day event will include film screenings, lectures, workshops, musical performances and “thoughtful dialogue.”
Steve White’s folky spectacular gets a holiday twist
By Sam Adams
Steve White is a folk hero. Or at least he’s a hero of folk art. His Summer shows at his studio and home—aka the Folk Farm—have been a big hit with collectors of inexpensive and kooky pop-culturally inspired artwork for a decade. Now he’s hosting a holiday show, replete with live music, nifty gifts and photo ops with Santa for the kiddies.
Last time the Alibi caught up with Jake Foreman, he was leading a group of teens on a 200-mile bike trek along the Trail of the Ancients [News, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” Aug. 11-17]. He had just created Cycles of Life, a program that helps Native youth gain an appreciation for their bodies, environment and heritage.
If a democracy can’t do anything more when confronted by serious problems than kick them down the road for someone else to solve at some nebulous “more cooperative future time,” does that actually qualify it as a legitimate form of government? Or has Congress simply become a debating society on a grand stage?
I met “NiX” publisher and Columbus, Ohio, resident Ken Eppstein after getting an update from his page on garagepunk.com. Eppstein is a member of the GaragePunk Podcast Network, an assemblage of dozens of rock and roll shows spanning psychedelia, punk, soul, surf and lo-fi. He was soliciting support for the first issue of his comic by selling vinyl leftovers from his shuttered store, Evil Empire Records. When I hear about a guy selling records to fund—of all things—the publishing of a comic book, I pay attention.
Ahmed Obo, the owner/chef at Jambo Café in Santa Fe, was born on the island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya. There, he grew up among the culinary traditions of Africa, Arabia and India. The food at Jambo reflects the Lamu style of culinary fusion. It’s designed to be interesting and different but doesn’t attempt to force anyone too far from their comfort zone. The ingredients, including a host of local meats and veggies, is priced unusually low for a restaurant dealing in clean, local food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.