The Dolls Times Two!—Closet Cinema, organizers of the Southwest's premiere gay and lesbian film festival, will be having a one-shot, must-not-miss fundraiser this weekend. On Sunday, July 31, at 1 p.m., there will be a screening of the late, great Russ Meyer's camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Taking the mainstream trash appeal of Jacqueline Suzann's Valley of the Dolls to its ne plus ultra extreme, director Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and writer Roger Ebert (yes, that Roger Ebert) created a psychedelic stew of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll--a classic, minus the class. To make this screening extra unforgettable and supremely outrageous, Closet Cinema has recruited Albuquerque's very own drag troupe The Dolls as hosts. This special engagement is being sponsored by the City of Albuquerque's Film Office to help promote the upcoming Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Sept. 16-22). Miss it, and you'll hate yourself in the morning. In the immortal words of Z-Man (paraphrased years later by Austin Powers), “This is my happening, and it's freaking me out!”
Most documentaries seem to fall into one of two general camps: depressing and inspiring. Depressing ones focus on things like the Holocaust, people on death row or President Bush. Inspiring ones aim their camera lens on children or animals--and if their subjects are dancing, singing, performing a sport or overcoming some disability, all the better. The best documentaries, though, are the ones that strike out on their own, tracking down new and unseen territory, or at least casting the old, well-trodden territory in a brand new light.
Have we learned nothing from The Matrix, The Terminator, WarGames, Demon Seed, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Colossus: The Forbin Project? Artificially intelligent computers always turn evil and try to destroy the world. Did nerd extraordinaire Lenny von Dohlen fight his malevolent PC for the love of Virginia Madsen in Electric Dreams for nothing? Apparently so, because here it is 2005 and--according to the new action film Stealth--the U.S. military has constructed a stealth fighter plane armed with nuclear missiles and an artificially intelligent computer “brain” capable of learning and evolving. Can anybody see the flaw in this plan?
Mere weeks after TNT managed to inject a couple fresh ideas into the shopworn cop genre with “The Closer,” the network returns to the well for yet another police drama. This one tosses every cop cliché against the wall in the desperate hope that at least one of them will stick. Unfortunately, the most they do is leave a vague stain behind.
“The Law Firm” (NBC 8 p.m.) Highfalutin' TV producer David Kelley (“L.A. Law,” “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Legal”) gets bitten by the reality show bug. In this new series, two teams of wannabe lawyers square off against each other in real-life cases.
“Arrested Development” (KASA-2 7 p.m.) If you didn't watch this past season (and shame on you if you didn't), here's your chance to atone for it with a four-episode mini-marathon. It's even on a different night, in case Sundays were a problem for you. Seriously: No excuses this time. Watch.