The White Sands International Film Festival has worked hard to build itself up over the years. The festival—which moved from Alamogordo to Las Cruces in 2009—takes place Wednesday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 26. This year’s Opening Night Showcase kicks it off with Bringing Up Bobby, a drama about a European con artist and her son who find themselves stuck in rural Oklahoma. The film is directed by actress Famke Janssen, who will be in attendance. Other invited guests include the film’s main stars, Milla Jovovich and Bill Pullman. Emmy-nominated actor Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) will present his one-man show / seminar on “Performing Your Life.” Other workshops and panel discussions include one on independent filmmaking and a look back at “100 Years of Movie Making in New Mexico.” Noted screenwriter and award-winning playwright Mark Medoff will present “Screenwriting: The Hero’s Journey.” More than 100 features, shorts and documentaries will be screened over the course of the five-day event. Things culminate on Sunday night with the re-screening of the award winners for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Audience Award and Best Director. Events will take place at the Black Box Theater, the Rio Grande Theater and the Cineport 10.
If I hear one more damned story about the zombie apocalypse, I swear I’ll ... read it like all the others that came before. Sure, the blogosphere may be sensationalizing a series of horrific events that have ended in people being shot, eaten and internally microwaved by bad acid. But whether these events are happening on the streets of Florida or prime time TV on AMC, there are those of us who can’t help but gnaw on tales that depict a doomed world full of undead cannibals. If you need insight into why we like this kind of sick shit, just ask your friend the horror-buff film major if you can see her thesis paper on sociopolitical metaphor in the work of George Romero. (Trust me, she’s written one.)
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Do you know what a controlled burn is? Firefighters start small, manageable fires on purpose so as to eradicate brush that has accumulated too close to wooded areas. With less fuel around, bigger fires are not as likely to ignite accidentally and turn into conflagrations. I encourage you to use this as a metaphor for your own life, Aries. How? First, identify a big potential problem that may be looming on the horizon. Then, in the coming weeks, get rid of all the small messes that might tend to feed that big problem. Make sure it'll never happen.