Reel World: Are You Experienced?

Are You Experienced?

Devin D. O'Leary
3 min read
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Opening night for the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience happened Tuesday, Sept. 24. But the fest really gets underway this weekend, with film screenings, parties, workshops, events and concerts.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the shot-in-New-Mexico counterculture classic
Easy Rider. AFMX celebrates the occasion with a film screening (Sept. 27, 8pm at KiMo Theatre) and a “Ride to Remember,” a motorcycle caravan along the high road to Taos to visit places where the film was shot and ending at star/director Dennis Hopper’s burial site. (The Ride takes place Sept. 28 at 8am starting at Thunderbird Harley-Davidson in Albuquerque. Tickets are required.)

Legendary film composer Dave Grusin (
The Graduate, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Goonies) is receiving the festival’s Robert & Sibylle Redford Award for Creative Achievement. In addition to handing out the award, the festival screens the biographical documentary Dave Grusin: Not Enough Time (Sept. 28, 4:30pm at KiMo Theatre) and hosts a live concert with Grusin performing some of his most iconic compositions (Sept. 28, 7:30pm at KiMo Theatre). The festival is also giving its 2019 Music Award to musician and songwriter (and Pat Benatar’s husband) Neil Giraldo. The notable rocker is slated to participate in an “Intimate Conversation With Neil Giraldo” (Sept. 27, 4pm at UNM’s Keller Hall), discussing his life and career in the music biz.

Filmwise, there’s a mix of classic movies (
Almost Famous, Thelma & Louise, Cars), shorts and brand-new features. Among the films with strong New Mexico connections are local director Tom Uhl’s Creole music documentary Zydeco Breakfast (Sept. 27, 3pm at KiMo Theatre), the New Mexico actor showcase “The Dust Monologues” (Sept. 28, 11am at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science) and the 2007 shot-in-New-Mexico motorcycle comedy Wild Hogs (Sept. 29, 6pm at the NMMNH&S).

Some of the AFMX events are free and open to the public, but most require tickets. General admission tickets for the majority of film events are $10. (Ride to Remember tickets are $25 to $35.) For a complete list of films, events, times and venues, go to

Reel World: Cinema Across Cultures Cinema Across Cultures

As its contribution to this year’s AFMX, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque presents the film-based panel discussion “Moses on the Mesa: Filming Across Cultures in New Mexico” on Friday, Sept. 27 starting at 10am. The event is described as “a thought-provoking panel where combined cultures, in front of and behind the camera, are the centerpiece of films and television shows made in New Mexico.” Countless films combining Hispanic, Native American, Mexican, African, Asian and Jewish perspectives have been shot in our state over the years. Part of the JCC’s discussion focuses on the crossing of cultures in the Jewish/Native American short film “Moses on the Mesa,” which tells the true-life story of Solomon Bibo, a Jewish immigrant who became governor of a Native America tribe during the days of the Wild West. Among the guests speaking at this panel are Paul and Petra Ratner (director and producer of “Moses on the Mesa”), Robb Wilson King (production designer for “Breaking Bad”) and Phyllis Wolf (program director at the JCC). Admission is free and open to the public. The JCC is located at 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE.
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