Starting Saturday, Jan. 8, the Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Library System and Guild Cinema will join forces for the first annual Books to the Big Screen film series. The idea is to spotlight acclaimed novels that have been made into popular films. The series starts with The Shawshank Redemption on Jan. 8. Stand By Me follows a week later on the Jan. 15. Slaughterhouse-Five closes it out on Jan. 22. All shows begin at 1 p.m. at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The screenings are free, but seating is limited. You can pick up your free tickets at the Guild box office or at the Main Library (Copper and Fifth Street NW).
Over the past 20 years, French filmmaker Claire Denis (Chocolate, Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, 35 Shots of Rum) has created a résumé filled with naturalistic, character-driven dramas that play compare/contrast games between lovely, static-shot landscapes and harsh human conditions. Time and again, she finds herself returning to colonial Africa—not too surprising, as she grew up there, the daughter of French civil servant. Her latest film, White Material, is among her most involved examinations of war-torn modern Africa and the death rattle of European colonialism.
While TV is still struggling to tell superhero tales in a live-action format, animated comic-book-inspired stories continue to soar on the small screen. Perhaps it’s because the entertainment industry is faintly embarrassed by the idea of people in costumes. Hence, just about every superhero series these days features heroes who refuse to wear costumes (“Smallville,” “Heroes,” “No Ordinary Family”). Why? It’s like making a musical in which the actors refuse to sing.