If you have yet to make your way up to the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe (418 Montezuma Ave.), I’ve got a really good excuse for you. This Saturday, Jan. 25, author Peter S. Beagle will be on hand to present several screenings of the much-beloved (long lost, really) 1982 animated adaptation of his fantasy novel The Last Unicorn. Since its publication in 1968, The Last Unicorn has sold more than 5 million copies. In the early ’80s the book was translated into cartoon form by Rankin/Bass (makers of the original animated version of The Hobbit and countless Christmas specials). Among the voice cast are Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges and Mia Farrow. The film will screen at 12pm, 6:30pm and 9pm. Tickets are $12 each. For $20 patrons can purchase a combo ticket covering the film and a special conversation between Beagle and fellow fantasy author George R.R. Martin starting at 5pm. For more info, go to jeancocteaucinema.com or lastunicorntour.com.
Speaking of literary adaptations, ABC Libraries is teaming up with the KiMo Theatre to round out its month-long Books to Big Screen film series. This Saturday, Jan. 25, KiMo will screen the classic 1946 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The film stars John Mills, Valerie Hobson and Tony Wager in Dickens’ rags-to-riches tale of a gullible young lad who helps an escaped convict, becomes the playmate of a lonely girl and falls prey to the cruel machinations of heartbroken old Miss Havisham. The film starts at 7pm, and admission is free. For more info, go to kimotickets.com or abclibrary.org.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, your New Mexico PBS stations join forces with the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) to present another Community Cinema event. Starting at 7pm, there will be a free sneak preview screening of the “Independent Lens” documentary Las Marthas. The film introduces viewers to an annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas—a tradition that dates back to the Spanish-American War. Las Marthas follows two Mexican-American girls “carrying this gilded tradition on their young shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration.” After the film there will be a discussion of issues raised by the film featuring local organizations and community members. For more info go to kimotickets.com or communitycinema.org.
The New Mexico-lensed drama Drunktown’s Finest had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month in Utah. It managed five screenings between Jan. 18 and 24. The film, written and directed by New Mexican Sydney Freeland, was developed as part of Sundance’s Native Lab Fellowship. Freeland, who grew up on a Native American reservation near Gallup, has been developing the film since 2009. The film follows three Gallup locals struggling to survive in their troubled community—an adopted Native American teen trying to find her biological parents, a soon-to-be-father whose enrollment in the military is endangered by alcoholism and a promiscuous transsexual dreaming of becoming a model. Freeland enlisted a local crew to shoot the film and hired a cast that included model Shauna Baker and actor Jeremiah Bitsui (“Breaking Bad”). Drunktown’s Finest screened as part of Sundance’s NEXT program, a category that celebrates “pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach.” No word yet on New Mexico screenings, but you can follow the film’s cast and crew on Facebook.