Sultry, Latin-flavored cartoon is a treat for eyes and ears
One of the more obscure films to pop into this year’s Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards was the Cuban-born cartoon Chico & Rita. (It lost out to the American-made Rango.) The roots of the film’s existence can be traced back to director Fernando Trueba (one of three directors credited on Chico & Rita). Trueba produced and directed the Latin jazz documentary Calle 54. It was on that watershed 2000 film that Trueba met legendary Cuban pianist/bandleader Bebo Valdés. Valdés provides the music as well as the loose biographical inspiration for Chico & Rita.
“Awake” on NBC
For whatever inexplicable reasons, Americans are becoming pop culturally obsessed with alternate worlds / parallel universes. It’s cropping up in films (Mike Cahill’s navel-gazing astronomy lesson Another Earth) and in television (FOX’s mind-bending mystery series “Fringe”). Heck, even venerable kids’ comic book “Life With Archie” has dedicated the last year or so to exploring two increasingly dark parallel existences—one in which Archie married Betty and one in which he married Veronica. (I’m not even kidding.) Now, NBC goes whole hog with the concept with the speculative cop drama “Awake.”
The fifth annual Taos Shortz Film Festival cuts loose March 1 through 4 in Northern New Mexico. This year’s four-day fest features more than 70 short films from around the globe. There will be panel discussions, networking parties and more than 120 visiting filmmakers. The filmmakers come courtesy of the 48 Hour Film Project International Filmapalooza, which is running concurrently with this year’s Taos Shortz. Screenings take place at the Taos Center for the Arts. Panel discussions (which are free and open to the public) are at the TurnStyle Gallery. It all kicks off on Thursday afternoon with a collection of local shorts straight out of Taos County. Things wrap up on Sunday with the 48 Hour awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. and the Taos Shortz awards at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for each block or $80 for the full festival “Taos Hmmmm” pass.
The Week in Sloth
Metropolitan food truck parks in Placitas
Like many culinary school graduates (Seattle Culinary Institute, class of ’99), Chef Kimberley Calvo wanted her own restaurant. But Calvo realized it was a bad idea. “The more I looked into what it entails in terms of money and financial backing, it wasn’t feasible in this economy,” she says.
Késhjéé’ Returns to Albuquerque
Joyful Altruistic Metaphysical Ageless Lover Seeks Knowledge Internally
Jamalski is an internationally known MC who helped pioneer the reggae/hip-hop crossover genre both as a member of the Boogie Down Productions crew and as a prolific solo artist with hits such as “Jump, Spread Out.” His accomplished beats cover the gamut of hip-hop and dance styles. As long as it’s an underground scene, Jamalski’s into it. After spending most of the past decade living and playing in Europe, last year Jamalski moved his headquarters back to his hometown, New York City, and has adopted Albuquerque as his secondary base of U.S. operations. The Alibi spoke with him over the phone.
Michael Anthony, Bobby Shew and friends celebrate guitarist’s innovations
Using a newfangled contraption, the electric guitar, and a mesmerizing facility for improvisation, Charlie Christian, born in 1916, helped transform the role of the guitar in jazz. The Oklahoma City native first made his mark in the swing era, joining Benny Goodman’s sextet and orchestra in 1939. (As the third black man hired by Goodman, he helped bury bandstand segregation.) He then helped transform jazz itself, collaborating with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk as they worked out the rules of a brand-new musical language: bebop. He managed to accomplish all of this in just 25 years, passing away in 1942, a victim of tuberculosis.
Sult (Norwegian electro acoustic improv), Brachiator (experimental sounds by New Mexico’s Mark Weaver, Ben Wright and Christian Pincock), Alchemical Burn vs. AGL (drone competition) and DJ Caterwaul (vinyl records) constitute a far-out show at Moldspores (923 11th Street NW) on Sunday, March 4, at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Canadian classic is youthful and charming at ALT
Even if you weren’t a redheaded orphan girl brought up on a farm near the turn of the 20th century, Anne of Green Gables will likely remind you of your childhood—of best friends, the realm of make believe and accidental drunkenness.
Irish theater fest showcases contemporary offerings
Oscar snubs and surprises of 2012
The following is a complete listing of this year’s Academy Awards nominees. For the top eight categories, we’ve included each nominee’s name along with a list of the accolades that have already been won from awards shows, film critics associations and the like. As a bonus, we’ve posted betting odds as calculated by historic London bookmaker Ladbrokes.
Rio Rancho plans to pour effluent into the aquifer
Rio Rancho’s waste is being wasted. The same is true for most cities, which treat their sewage well enough to be used for gray water purposes but then send it downriver. Due to the plight of the desert and a rapidly growing population, Rio Rancho no longer wants to send off its sewage.
We’re using more than ever
New Mexico is the longtime world heavyweight and still national champion in deaths by drug overdose. But lawmakers passed a landmark memorial that could put a dent in the yearly death toll.
Activists prompt New Mexico to take a stand
A megaphone made of cash. That’s what Stephen Colbert sought when he created his super PAC in a satirical dismantling of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
An Open Letter to State Rep. David Chavez
The voice behind Blackalicious blazes on
Patti Littlefield pays tribute to Etta James and Dinah Washington
Vocalist Patti Littlefield can’t recall the song, but she knows who was singing on her mother’s radio. “The first song I remember hearing was Dinah Washington,” she says. “I remember thinking—as a 3-year-old or whatever, I was very, very young—that I wanted to be a singer, because of her vibrato, the way her voice was.”
A Culkin in a wizard costume is the mascot of the all-ages, $1 Bass Fiesta, happening at Synchro Studio (512 Yale SE) on Friday, Feb. 24. Silhouetta, D. Swift and Archaea provide deep house and Southwestern bass from 7 p.m. to midnight. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
KiMo Theatre’s Oscar Night America fundraiser
Not a lot of New Mexicans get the opportunity to attend the Red Carpet Soiree to End All Red Carpet Soirees—otherwise known as the Academy Awards. Most of us simply watch from the decidedly unglamorous comfort of our living room couch. But this year, the city of Albuquerque is teaming up with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to bring us the closest thing to being there. Oscar Night America is a series of officially sanctioned Academy Awards parties held in 49 cities across the United States. The events are done in conjunction with the Academy’s philanthropic arm, allowing proceeds to go to various charities around the U.S. Albuquerque is one of the elite few hosting one of these Oscar Night parties. The event will take place this Sunday evening as a benefit for Friends for the Public Library and the historic KiMo Theatre.
“Smash” on NBC
Given the continuing success of vocal talent competitions like “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The X Factor,” “The Voice,” et al, Americans are obviously obsessed with people who can carry a tune. So far, though, Hollywood hasn’t been able to translate that into anything other than “let’s all vote on America’s next pop star.” FOX’s “Glee” briefly captured the drama of stardom-seeking in fictionalized form, but the show’s writing continues on a tragic downward trajectory. The movie industry, meanwhile, has yet to fully convince audiences they actually want to see a full-fledged musical. (Nine? Burlesque?) Hell, even Broadway has a hard time holding onto shows that aren’t “jukebox” musicals filled with pre-popular songs by well-known groups like ABBA or Green Day. So what’s next?
Instead of scribbling notes and taking tests, the students at Albuquerque’s Public Academy for Performing Arts’ media program decided to make their own feature film. The end result, a 60-minute movie called PAPArazzi, will make its public debut on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Guild Cinema. The film tells the story of two ambitious performing arts school students doing battle with one another to get their hands on a coveted scholarship. The film will screen at 5:15, 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Of course, the cast and crew will be in attendance. To help out, Guild next-door neighbor Il Vicino pizzeria has offered to donate 20 percent of its sales that night to the school’s media program (if you mention PAPArazzi). So come out, have dinner, watch a movie and support Albuquerque’s next generation of filmmakers.
German writer’s biblical take on adultery and communism lacks bite
Whether it’s with a pearl-handled .357 Magnum revolver or a Canon EOS 7D, folks in the 505 are quite fond of shooting things. And while images of Hunter S. Thompson blasting a typewriter to pieces is alluring to my inner vigilante journalist, the truth is I’m more prone to shutterbuggery than gunplay. Take that as a good thing, as I’ll be conducting the Alibi’s ninth annual photo contest. So go ahead. Give us your best shot(s). Here are the rules.
Make dead celebs’ dishes the life of your Oscar party
Technically dazzling 3D dance doc likely to leave viewers dizzy
Mad filmmaker Werner Herzog may have conjured up a whole new genre when he directed his 3D art-house documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. That film—combining ancient cave art with eye-popping 3D technology—became an award-winning hit. Now, fellow German auteur Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Until the End of the World) has followed suit, creating a 3D documentary about avant garde dance choreographer Pina Bausch.
Prescription rules pit addiction activists against medical groups
After more than a year of death-defying escapes, an environmental rule was repealed on Monday, Feb. 6, with a unanimous vote by a Gov. Susana Martinez-appointed board.
Christianity, Homosexuality and Politics
“The River” on ABC
Apparently we are not, as a nation, over that whole “found footage” thing. Obviously, after the chart-topping release of the theatrical superhero flick Chronicle and the successful debut of the jungle-clad horror series “The River,” America is still perfectly happy to watch handheld shaky-cam footage of stuff they can’t quite see happening. From The Blair Witch Project to Cloverfield to Apollo 18 to The Devil Inside, Hollywood has worked long and hard to turn “shot-on-video faux documentary” into a genre—mostly because it costs next to nothing to make.
Spells, a low-budget romantic comedy shooting in Santa Fe starting mid-March, is looking for two featured roles. Producers need an “intelligent” female, aged 20 to 30, and a “handsome” male, 20 to 35. Both must be good at comedy. This film is being made under a low-budget SAG contract. Both SAG and non-SAG actors will be considered. The shoot is expected to last two weeks. To sign up for an audition, please submit photos and résumés electronically to email@example.com.
The Week in Sloth
The Glass Menageries reflects all of us
Good literature is a conversation between the author and the characters, or the author and the subject—but the best draws readers into a conversation with themselves. Comprised of literary and thoughtful folk, The Glass Menageries invites you to converse while you sway to inspired dream pop that paints divine mind pictures.
Frank and Pilar Leto host a music and dance spectacular
Ace barber and woodworker is handy with a blade
Duke City Rep’s noble undertaking riddled with monotony
chile- infused tour of Latin America
Being a generalist might be a good thing if you’re, say, a Renaissance man or a contestant on “Jeopardy!” With food, though, I prefer my chefs to focus on one area of expertise. But that doesn’t apply to Pasión Latin Fusion.