An interview with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
By Devin D. O’Leary
Six years ago, music video superstars Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris took a break from making clips for Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins and R.E.M. to direct their first feature film. That indie dramedy, titled Little Miss Sunshine, went on to gross more than $100 million at the box office and locked down four Academy Award nominations.
Literary legend Max Evans on the landscape of Western writing
By Margaret Wright
Age is relative for Max Evans. Technically 88, he’s many hundreds of years older, he says, if you count his extensive traversals of metaphysical time and space. When the Western Writers of America held its annual convention in Albuquerque the week of June 12, Evans—one of the association’s most acclaimed and long-standing members—didn't have to travel much further than his own backyard to attend.
If we could put the suave, space-faring ladies’ man that is Lando Calrissian aside for a moment, we’d note that actor Billy Dee Williams has a long and distinguished career without the guy. Williams will be coming to town this weekend to sign autographs and to chat with fans as one of the guests at the 2012 Albuquerque Comic Expo. The Alibi talked with the actor before his arrival.
Transgender funnyman opens up about laughing at life
By Sam Adams
Ian Harvie is living proof that comedy and catharsis go hand in hand. Billed as the world's first female-to-male transgender comic, Harvie routinely uses his experiences with discovering gender identity as the basis of his stand-up act. The Alibi caught up with Harvie in advance of Laughter Links Us Together, the Albuquerque Pride comedy show, which he'll be starring in on Saturday, June 9, alongside his friend Jason Dudey and Southwest FunnyFest founder Dana Goldberg.
Although only around for a year and a half in its original 1964 permutation, The Skatalites is an institution. Its musicians formed the backbone of ska, as well as offshoots rocksteady and reggae, and developed many of the playing styles associated with the genres.
Documentarian Chris Metzler on Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
By Devin D. O’Leary
After completing his award-winning 2004 documentary Plagues and Pleasure on the Salton Sea, San Francisco-based director Chris Metzler went out on tour, roadshowing the film, meeting audiences and doing Q & As. He passed through Albuquerque, stopping briefly at the Guild Cinema. He’ll be back again this weekend with his new film, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. The film chronicles the tumultuous, multidecade life of funk/punk/ska pioneer Fishbone—starting at the roots of L.A.’s punk rock scene, traveling through the ups and downs of success, and heading straight into the weirder realms of cult brainwashing, attempted kidnapping and theremin worship. The Alibi took the opportunity to chat with Metzler about the madcap, music-based documentary before his arrival in New Mexico.
As we do every election cycle, the Alibi sat down with the candidates, usually for about an hour. Behold! Our Election Guide!
Given advancements in technology, the Alibi is also in possession of a tiny video camera that we used to record said interviews. We selected choice clips from each and put them up on the YouTubes for your viewing pleasure.
Kids’ novel is engaging and spooky for adults, too
By Summer Olsson
Young Henrietta doesn’t have much going for her. She’s squat, pimply and flushes easily. She ranks lowest in her class and is easily the least popular kid in the school. Yet this is the heroine of Steven Arntson’s The Wikkeling. In a brusque paragraph toward the beginning, Arntson tells the reader she will not become beautiful, find a cure for pimples or discover she’s actually a princess. He kindly suggests that if one wants a book of that nature, any school librarian can help.
New Mexico intrigues revealed by former CIA officer
By Christie Chisholm
E. B. Held wasn’t a spy, but he was a spy recruiter. He worked as a clandestine operations officer with the CIA for 27 years, stationed around the world in Asia, Latin America and Africa. His book, A Spy’s Guide to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, details a number of spy activities that took place in the two cities before and during the Cold War.
Bryan Cranston on seeing red, going black and being a chameleon
By Sam Adams
He's won three consecutive Emmys for his leading role on AMC's "Breaking Bad." Watching him alternate between the feeble, stomped-upon character of Walter White and a meth kingpin persona known as “Heisenberg,” the dramatic range that brought Bryan Cranston such acclaim is clear. “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan calls him the greatest talent he’s ever worked with—“an actor who comes along every hundred years or so.”
The Alibi spoke with Cranston about Albuquerque, getting inside the mind of Walter White and why Michael Jordan should step aside.
Superman and Batman have a lot to teach us about ourselves and our capacity for greatness. Also, inside each of us lurks our shadow―the potential to become a villain, which we can learn to manage. It seems ancient mythologies and the world of comics have much more in common than we might think. These are some of the ideas presented in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes, a new book by Deepak Chopra, along with Gotham Chopra, that brings together superheroes and guidance for personal growth.
There’s little doubt that 2011 will be known as the Summer of the Superhero. The epic Marvel Comics / Paramount Pictures adaptation of Thor started it off with a mighty THWAK-A-BOOM!, pulling in nearly $66 million on its opening weekend. Still to come on this summer’s comic book front are X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger. We took the opportunity to call up Thor’s famed director, Shakespeare-loving Brit Kenneth Branagh, and discuss our mutual love for men in tights.
Take a glance at any movie theater marquee and you’ll realize it’s the summer of superheroes. And who do we have to thank? We can think of no greater person to blame than that most titanic champion of men in capes and women in tights—writer, editor, producer, publisher and former president of Marvel Comics, Stan “The Man” Lee. The characters he created—from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to The Avengers—have been pop cultural icons for more than 40 marvelous years.
An interview with Mogwai frontman Stuart Braithwaite
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Glasgow's Mogwai has been hypnotizing its audiences with elaborate, spaced-out, guitar-driven dirges since the mid-'90s. This week, on tour in support of its wryly titled 2011 Sub Pop release Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the cosmic post rock band pays New Mexico a visit. Over the phone, the band's thickly accented frontman Stuart Braithwaite and I discussed recording techniques, favorite concert locales and distortion pedals.
James Gunn started out his career writing the trashtacular 1996 Troma film Tromeo and Juliet. By 2002, he was penning the family-friendly hit Scooby-Doo for Warner Bros. In between, he found time to script the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. He’s currently racing around the country promoting his latest writing/directing effort Super. In it, a pathetic fry cook adopts the mantle of a violent superhero after his wife dumps him for someone more interesting. Though shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts an impressive cast, including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler.