The Devil Went Down to China
The thing about silent film is that it was never actually silent. The earliest, black-and-white examples of the filmmaker’s art were accompanied by live music, which heightened the emotional experience and lured audiences into the pictures just as surely as today’s most high-tech special effects.
Nights in Rodanthe
Sparks’ romance serves up the schmaltz, North Carolina-style
I’ve always liked Diane Lane (A Little Romance; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains; Rumble Fish; Streets of Fire: all good stuff in my book). After a long, largely indifferent period (King David, Pretty Woman, Intersection, First Knight, Autumn in New York), I’ve grown somewhat more appreciative of Richard Gere (Chicago, The Hoax, The Hunting Party, I’m Not There). He’s one of those people (like Sean Connery) upon whom age looks better than youth. At 59, he also nearly outgrown his romantic leading man phase, taking on more interesting roles and sparing us the theoretical horror of Runaway Bride 2. Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook), I’ve never had the slightest interest in. What Thomas Kinkade is to painters, what Anne Geddes is to photographers, Nicholas Sparks is to writers--a pandering populist peddler of easy sentiment.
We’re Here, We’re Queer, We Want Jordan Almonds
The sixth annual Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Every year like clockwork—like big, gay clockwork—the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival returns to New Mexico. This year marks the sixth annual outing for the increasingly popular festival. For a week in early fall, the arts organization known as Closet Cinema takes over theaters in two New Mexico cities, unspooling a collection of entertaining features, essential shorts, must-see documentaries and must-attend parties (always with the parties).
“Fringe” on FOX
Science used to be a good thing. Or at least a neutral thing. Now, thanks perhaps to eight years of demonization by the Bush administration, science is our newest go-to villain. High-falutin’ science is taking over the place formerly occupied by inscrutable Asians, creepy Russians and strangely dressed Middle Easterners. Thanks to a fall TV season marked by shows like “Primeval,” “Fringe” and the soon-to-debut “Eleventh Hour,” topics such as evolution, global warming, stem cell research and the like are downright eeee-vil.
The Week in Sloth
“Survivor: Gabon” (KRQE-13 7 p.m.) “Survivor” fires up its 17th season, this one set in the nation of Gabon. Step one: Explaining to viewers where the hell Gabon is.
“The Office” (KOB-4 8 p.m.) While it’s great to see a new season of “The Office” underway, I thought we all agreed last season that sitcoms should be half an hour long, not a whole hour.
“Grey’s Anatomy” (KOAT-7 8 p.m.) Speaking of too much of a good thing (sorta): Two-hour episodes of this show are also way too long to stomach. Find some more shows to fill up your schedule, networks!