Cinematic Conference--On Dec. 1 and 2 at the Hotel Santa Fe (1501 Paseo de Peralta), the New Mexico State Film Office will host its first annual NM Filmmakers Conference. This two-day event will feature networking opportunities plus practical seminars and workshops designed to help local filmmakers sharpen their craft. Seminars and workshops are free, but space is limited, so pre-registration is required. A full schedule of events is posted online at www.nmfilm.com. Registration began online on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Faux documentary tries to be offensive and funny, manages 50 percent of its goals
Is British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (creator of “Da Ali G Show” and the face behind phony journalist Borat) funny because he's an annoying jerk or is he funny because he's pretending to be an annoying jerk? Either way, the end result is the same--which leads me to this review’s preemptory confession. I don’t find Cohen funny. I’ve never found him funny. Madonna thinks he’s hilarious, but that’s just one of the many differences between us. So it should come as no surprise that I hated Cohen’s new movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film is crude, juvenile and rancidly offensive. I didn’t so much as crack a smile while watching it. Plus, I felt kinda queasy afterward.
Energetic British toon shows what happens when the cat’s away
Flush with the success of their last outing (sorry, had to get that out of my system early), the fine folks at England’s Aardman Animations have decided to follow up the international hit Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit with a rather surprising technological upgrade. Having mastered the art of clay animation, Aardman now tries its hand at tinkering with computer-generated toons. Although the 2006 box office has been inundated with CG animals, Flushed Away is easily one of the sharpest and deserves a rosier fate than the one that befell Ant Bully, Barnyard, Open Season and others.
No Soup for You!
NBC punishes bad viewers with bad TV
Early last week, NBC CEO Jeff Zucker took a cue from his network’s long-gone hit, “Seinfeld,” and turned into the Soup Nazi. Facing the unappealing prospect of having to cut 700 jobs and $750 million from his floundering network, Zucker came up with the brilliant idea of punishing runaway viewers by giving them nothing to watch. “No emotional medical dramas for you!”
The Week in Sloth
“My Name is Earl” (KOB-4 7 p.m.) Roseanne Barr is back! On tonight’s “Earl,” she plays the manager of a trailer park. You’ve got to admire the woman for playing against type.
“Ugly Betty” (KOAT-7 7 p.m.) Producer Salma Hayek finally gets around to guest starring on her imported hit, significantly reducing the “ugly” factor.
“Class of 3000” (Cartoon Network, 9 p.m.) Despite its producer/star (André Benjamin from OutKast) and its late time slot, this musical toon is fairly kiddie-oriented. Benjamin plays a pop star who quits showbiz to teach music at his old Atlanta-area school. The music is hot stuff, but the lessons are pure “Fat Albert.”