Movie Mecca—The Second Annual New Mexico Middle East Film Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 7, though Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Guild Cinema. Additional screenings will be held Oct. 8 and 9 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The timely festival will feature more than 30 films from countries across the Arab world. Film selections include narratives and documentaries that explore the themes of women, history, art, religion, war and occupation, human rights and the representation of Arabs and Arab-Americans in the media.
You Don't Know Jack (But You Will)
An interview with Tom Laughlin, the creator of Billy Jack
Tom Laughlin began his career as an actor, doing small parts in mainstream films (Gidget, South Pacific). As the turbulent '60s came to an end, however, Laughlin turned his head to writing, producing and directing. Beginning with the 1967 film Born Losers, Laughlin launched one of the most successful independent film series in movie history. It wasn't until the 1971 sequel Billy Jack that Laughlin's creation achieved its full pop cultural icon status, though.
In Her Shoes
Genial comedy/drama proves “chick lit” isn't just for chicks
The crazy, irresponsible sibling paired with the stable, reliable sibling is as predictable a Hollywood character duo as the immature, free-spirited parent paired with the precocious, overly serious child. Or the hotheaded, young rookie partnered with the gruff, about-to-retire cop. Or ... well, you get the idea. Despite the cliché at its heart, the new comedy/drama In Her Shoes does workmanlike duty, finding appealing actors to fill the roles and a witty, emotion-soaked hankie of a script from which they can work.
Show Me the Monster!
“Night Stalker” on ABC
Seedy supernatural journalist Carl Kolchak first came to life in a 1972 TV movie called The Night Stalker. The clever tale of a reporter (crusty Darrin McGavin) hunting vampires in modern-day Vegas became the highest-rated TV movie to date. A sequel (The Night Strangler) was conjured up a year later, while the inevitable “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” TV series followed in 1974. Though the series never quite lived up to the potential of the movies, it left a lasting impression on early-'70s TV watchers, including “X-Files” writer Frank Spotnitz who, along with “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, drew significant inspiration from the old show. Carter and Spotnitz even recruited McGavin for a major guest spot on “X-Files.”
The Week in Sloth
“The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes” (TLC 7 p.m.) Sadly, not a sequel to the 1963 Roger Corman film X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes; this is instead a documentary about a teenager who claims to see inside the human body. Quick, somebody call Professor X and warm up the Danger Room.
Alchemy (ABC Family 6 p.m.) Tom Cavanaugh (“Ed”), Sarah Chalke (“Scrubs”) and Michael Ian Black (“Stella”) star in this high-tech update of Cyrano. Cavanaugh plays a scientist who invents an intelligent computer (voiced by Black) capable of generating its own emotions. For whatever dubious scientific reasons, he decides to see if a woman could fall in love with a computer. Acting as the human face of his machine, our doc uses artificial intelligence to woo a commitment-phobic gal (Chalke).