Big congratulations are in order for Albuquerque-based filmmaker Billy Garberina, his cast and his crew on Necroville. The low-budget horror comedy captured the Tamalewood Award for Best New Mexico-Made Film at last weekend’s mega-successful Santa Fe Film Festival. The film had some stiff competition as this year’s SFFF featured more than 60 shorts, features and documentaries in the New Mexico Film Expo program. Also taking home top honors were Persepolis for Best of the Fest, Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez for Best Documentary, Miss Navajo for Best Indigenous and Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa for Best of the Southwest. Kudos are also reserved for the festival itself, which sold more than 20,000 tickets during its five-day run, making 2007’s eighth annual fest the most successful to date. See you next year!
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’ll know by now that I have a full-on love affair with Japanese-American co-productions. Flicks like The Green Slime, The Manster and Terror Beneath The Sea all hold a special place in my cold, callous heart. So it is with great pleasure and schoolgirl giddiness that I present to you the long sought-after Latitude Zero, which is set to hit our shores in a pimped-out two-disc edition courtesy of the fine people at Tokyo Shock. What’s that, you say? You’ve never heard of Latitude Zero? Well then, have I got a treat for you.
Experimental Canadian fantasist Guy Maddin (The Saddest Music in the World, Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary, Tales From the Gimli Hospital) continues his somewhat prolific career of weirdness with Brand Upon the Brain!, a curiously anachronistic horror-mystery the filmmaker describes as “semi-autobiographical” (with, we’ll assume, a heavy emphasis on the “semi”).
The news last week that NBC would be picking up the episodic Web-only series “Quarterlife” as a midseason replacement show for early 2008 told us one of two things: Either the month-old Writers’ Guild strike is having a much more devastating effect on the industry as a whole, or we’ve been looking in the wrong place for our entertainment. After all, “Quarterlife” is produced by TV vets Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (“thirtysomething,” “My So-Called Life”). The show, about six twentysomething artists coming of age in the digital generation, airs on MySpace, where the first episode has been viewed more than 190,000 times. Maybe it’s time to start ignoring television altogether and dig into this digital realm of Internet-only webisodes.
“Top Chef Holiday Special” (BRAVO 7 p.m.) Fan favorites from the first three seasons return to cook a complete holiday meal for a chance to win a $20,000 prize.
“Barbara Walters: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007” (KOB-4 9 p.m.) Not on the list: Rosie O’Donnell.
“Movies Rock!” (KRQE-13 8 p.m.) A fairly impressive who’s who of music (Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Elton John, Fergie, John Legend, Marc Anthony, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, Usher) join forces in this rather weak excuse for a time-filling concert special. The tenuous theme: Movies are pretty much OK with us!