Out of the Basement
ABQ arts org Basement Films will sponsor a two-night screening of “under-represented motion media” this weekend. On Friday, Feb. 15, highlights from Experiments in Cinema v1.0 and v2.0 will be shown. This 81-minute program will feature representative selections from the first two years of UNM lecturer Bryan Konefsky’s experimental film festival (about to enter its third year this April). The second night, Saturday, will be “The Personality of the Personnel,” which will spotlight short works by various members and volunteers of Basement Films from the past 16 years. This highly eclectic selection will include works by Maximillian Godino, Charla Barker, Bryan Konefsky, Saul Rodgar, Tyrrell Cummings, Sarah Wentzel-Fisher and more. Saturday night will conlude with “Fellah, Can You Amass?” featuring a variety of film and video projectors tangling their images in a go-for-broke montage. Both nights will take place at VSA North Fourth Art Center (4904 Fourth Street NW) beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $7 at the door. Log on to www.basementfilm.org for more info.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Dark, emotional fantasy isn’t just for kids
In an era when kids’ films seem almost as creatively bankrupt as romantic comedies, it’s refreshing (dare I say exciting) to find one that swims against the tide. The Spiderwick Chronicles, based on the popular young adult book series by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, would seem at first glance to exist among the idea-starved crowd. A kids’ fantasy series in a day and age when all youth-seeking lit seems to cower in the shadow of Harry Potter? Though it features a trio of plucky, prepubescent heroes and a whole host of magical creatures, Spiderwick weaves its own unique spell.
Fast-paced sci-fi thriller may have a franchise in mind
Neatly vacuformed to a colorful cardboard backdrop, the sci-fi freneticism of Jumper is as slickly packaged as this year’s must-have action figure. And that isn’t meant as an insult. Honestly. The film may be geared toward providing easily accessible entertainment for the masses, but it does so in such an appealing way that plenty of people will be rushing to get their hands on it.
Disorder in the Court
“Eli Stone” on ABC
Given the length of Hollywood’s Writers Guild strike, its rare enough to see new episodes of any (non-reality) TV series these days, let alone a brand-new offering. With carefully hoarded TiVo shows long ago watched and erased, viewers are desperate for something--anything--fresh in prime time. ABC recently responded by ripping the wrapping off its quirky legal comedy/drama “Eli Stone.”
The Week in Sloth
“The 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards” (KASA-2 7 p.m.) Comedian D.L. Hughley hosts. Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder get handed statues. Everybody goes home happy.
“Escape to Chimp Eden” (Animal Planet 7 p.m.) Man, this show sounds like the greatest ’70s drive-in-era movie ever--sort of a spin-off of Planet of the Apes and Emmanuelle. ... Or is that just my crazy imagination working overtime?