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 V.18 No.34 | August 20 - 26, 2009 

Reel World

Native Cinema Expands

The eighth annual Native Cinema Showcase launches this Thursday in Santa Fe. Produced by the National Museum of the American Indian and Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts, this year’s film fest includes two venues and tons more programming. New and classic films, panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As and media workshops are all part of the mix. The showcase runs through Sunday, Aug. 23, at the CCA and a new state-of-the-video venue in Cathedral Park. Classic features include Nils Gaup’s rarely seen 1987 historical drama Pathfinder, the first indigenous film nominated for an Academy Award. Brand-new features include Georgina Lightning’s Native American boarding school drama Older Than America, starring Wes Studi. There will also be a special premiere of Chris Eyre’s new docudrama Tecumseh. For a full program of films and events, log on to nativenetworks.si.edu or ccasantafe.org. Festival passes ($50) and individual tickets ($9) are available now through the CCA box office. Screenings at Cathedral Park are free and open to the public.

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“Whoa! Cool! It’s like a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy!”

Film Review

Shorts

Robert Rodriguez loads his shotgun full of slapstick and CGI and starts firing

I don’t get Robert Rodriguez much these days. He’s directed some undeniably kick-ass pieces of cinema (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, Planet Terror). Yet his career has been tragically distracted with silly kiddie fare (those increasingly frantic Spy Kids films, the execrable Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D). Here we sit, waiting patiently for Sin City 2 or that promised Barbarella remake with his hottie home wrecker girlfriend Rose McGowan or that adaptation of Mike Allred’s Madman comic book or the live-action John Carter, Warlord of Mars or Predator 3 or Desperado 4—all cool freaking ideas linked at one time or another to Rodriguez. But what do we get instead? Shorts, another juvenile fantasy seemingly designed as babysitting material for the filmmaker’s five kids (Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue and Rhiannon) and nothing else.

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“Dad couldn’t have planted an orange tree or two?”

Film Review

Lemon Tree

Simple drama about feuding neighbors makes for powerful Middle East parable

I’m no expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure it says somewhere in the Bible something about treating others as you would like to be treated. Funny, considering how many world religions use the Bible as the basis of their faith, the number of people who ignore that little nugget of wisdom. I don’t pretend to understand the Middle East much, either. But I’m convinced that, whatever the region’s problems are, they’re not suffering from a surfeit of “love they neighbor.”

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“Being Human” Mitchell (Aiden Turner), George (Russell Tovey) and Annie (Lenora Crichlow)
Touchpaper Television and BBC

Idiot Box

I See Dead People ... Drinking My Milk

“Being Human” on BBC America

What would “Friends” be like if all the characters were dead? ... Oh, wow. Now that I think about it, it would be a vastly improved show. But then, that wasn’t really my point. I was trying to figure out a way to describe “Being Human,” a BBC Three import airing stateside on BBC America. The premise asks: What would happen if a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf all shared a flat in Bristol? While it sounds like the setup for a joke, “Being Human” is a mostly canny mix of supernatural drama and buddy comedy.

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Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

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