The public is invited to attend a public screening for the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Summer Television and Film Workshop. The six-week workshop was held in collaboration with Disney/ABC Television and featured work by 12 Native American students from across the country. Six short films were produced, including “Love’s Story,” “The Confession,” “Doc O’Mine,” “Kokopelli,” “First Impressions” and “Torn Emotions.” The free screening of these films will take place Friday, July 24, at the Library and Technology Center at IAIA’s College of Contemporary Native Arts (83 Avan Nu Po in Santa Fe).
New Kid in Town
An interview with underground filmmaker Jon Moritsugu
Do-it-all, DIY filmmaker Jon Moritsugu has a body of work that floats somewhere in the artistic ether between the pop art obsessions of Andy Warhol and the trashy aesthetics of John Waters. Shooting often on grungy 16mm film stock to a punk rock soundtrack, Moritsugu has built a résumé that runs the gamut from early experimental shorts (“Der Elvis,” “Sleazy Rider”) to feature-length cult curiosities like 1990’s My Degeneration, 1993’s Terminal USA, 1994’s Mod Fuck Explosion, 1997’s Fame Whore and 2002’s Scumrock. As he bounced between Hawaii (where he was born), San Francisco (where he had his most productive years) and the Seattle area (where he most recently resided), Moritsugu became a key figure in something some journalist dubbed the “West Coast Independent” movement.
The Big Alligator River (1979)
I’ve been a fan of man-vs.-nature flicks ever since I saw Henry Silva get his ass eaten by a giant gator in John Sayles’ magnificent and appropriately named exploitation flick Alligator. As a kid, I ate a steady diet of these films—movies featuring fearsome creatures just itching to take a bite out of our hides. My interest would be especially piqued if these creatures dwelled underwater. The idea that something ferocious is living just beyond our view is a fear that resonates with all of us. My fave, of course, is Jaws. But a multitude of Jaws knockoffs such as Orca: The Killer Whale, Piranha (another John Sayles classic!) and Tentacles still hold a warm place in my darkened heart. And then there is the gloriously goofy, blatantly racist piece of cinematic trash known as The Big Alligator River. Now, don’t get me wrong; I mean “trash” in the best way possible.
TV Goes Comic
San Diego Comic-Con on G4
There was a time when the legendary San Diego Comic-Con was all about comic books. That was, of course, before films like X-Men, Spider-Man and Batman Begins took comic books mainstream. In the last eight years, Hollywood has co-opted the annual event, turning the four-day geek fest into a movie industry publicity machine par excellence. This year, though, television seems to be taking over the convention (scheduled Thursday, July 23, through Sunday, July 26). If you aren’t already planning on going (all 140,000 tickets sold out months ago), here’s a peek at what you’re missing.
The Week in Sloth
“Wild Russia” (Animal Planet 6 p.m.) AnPlan’s new series touches down in Kamchatka. ... Ah, Kamchatka, the key to winning Risk.
“Samantha Who?” (KOAT-7 7:30 p.m.) This above-average Christina Applegate sitcom probably deserved another season or two. But it fell before the ax of network cost-cutting. At least fans get some sort of season finale tonight.
The Terror of Tiny Town (TCM Midnight) Yup. The all-midget Western. This originally hit theaters in 1939—the same year Hollywood produced Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Think about that as you’re watching.