¡Cine Magnífico!, Albuquerque’s 5th annual Latino Film Festival, returns Sept. 15 through 17 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) and Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The festival opens on Thursday (7pm) with the New Mexico premiere of Al Ciudadano Ilustre/The Distinguished Citizen, a black comedy about a writer in Spain who travels back to his small Argentine hometown after winning a Nobel Prize in literature. This opening night feature is free and open to the public. On Friday evening a block of New Mexico-made short films will be screened, including Holly Adams’ “Shadows of Waste,” Phillip Torres’ “Neighborhood Therapist,” Kody Dayish’s “Spared,” Alejandro Montoya’s “Leslie” and Ariana Eve Spencer’s “I Know a Place.” That starts at 7pm, and there will be an after-party at Rio Bravo Brewing Company (1912 Second Street NW) at 9pm. Saturday starts off at 11am with Voices Beyond the Wall—Twelve Love Poems from the Murder Capital of the World, a documentary about orphaned girls on the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, who find their voices in poetry. Sunday’s closing night film (6:30pm) is the Brazilian comedy The Revenge. All tolled, there will be 11 features—many of them New Mexico premieres—and more than a dozen shorts screening throughout the weekend. General screening tickets cost $10 ($8 students and seniors). Full festival passes are available for $45. For a complete schedule of films and times, go to cinemagnifico.com.
Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza Presents offers up a fantastic free movie this Friday. Starting at 6pm, Olympia Cafe will be set up in the plaza selling delicious Greek food. Americana/swing/blues/Tex-Mex band Felix y Los Gatos will take the stage, offering up some high-energy tunes. Stick around until sunset (around 8:05pm) to complete the cultural mash-up with a free screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece Spirited Away. This imaginative 2002 fantasy tells the story of a plucky 10-year-old girl who is taken away to a dangerous, spirit-filled world after her parents are transformed into pigs by an evil witch. Parking is available underneath Civic Plaza. For more info go to albuquerquecc.com/civicplazapresents.
Albuquerque’s historic KiMo Theatre continues its 90th anniversary celebrations this weekend, starting with a special movie screening on Saturday, Sept. 16. At 7pm the theater will show Buster Keaton’s groundbreaking 1926 action comedy The General. In it Keaton plays a mild-mannered railroad engineer who swings into action during the Civil War when his train (and his girlfriend) are captured by Union spies. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based musical ensemble Alloy Orchestra will accompany the film with an original, live musical score. Alloy Orchestra has graced the KiMo stage several times over the years, performing live scores to silent film classics Metropolis, Nosferatu and The Phantom of the Opera. Tickets for this anniversary event are a mere 50 cents and can be purchased, in advance, at kimotickets.com.