July 19--One of the most awe-inspiring experiences I had at the Santa Fe Film Festival in the early 1980s, when Francis Ford Coppola and his Zoetrope Studios were honored, was watching "Koyaanisqatsi."
It is a non-narrative documentary about what man is doing to the planet. Its title is taken from a Hopi word meaning "life out of balance."
I've seen the film several times since, including two times in Ann Arbor, Mich., with live accompaniment by the Philip Glass Ensemble, who created its mesmerizing, minimalist soundtrack, and a couple of years ago at a local Pax Christi screening.
It fascinates me that this movie (the first in a series of three) still resonates 31 years later.
It will be shown at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Plaza Theatre, part of the El Paso Community Foundation's sixth annual Plaza Classic Film Festival. That's the weekend time slot they reserve for cult classics.
Even better, filmmaker Godfrey Reggio will be on hand to talk about his unique and enduring creation.
It should be worth the $8 admission price. Tickets are on sale at the box office and through Ticketmaster, and should be available at the door that night.
Speaking of filmmakers, the festival, which runs Aug. 1-11, also will show the documentary "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies," a nearly four-hour film in which he discusses more than 100 movies and filmmakers who have influenced his work. It will be shown for free at 1 p.m. Aug.
3 in the Philanthropy Theatre, with two five-minute intermissions.
If you liked Quentin Tarantino's recent "Django Unchained" (I certainly did), you might be interested in seeing the 1966 spaghetti Western that inspired it. Plaza Classic will show "Django," directed by Sergio Corbucci, at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 3 in the Philanthropy. Tickets cost $4.
The Local Flavor series will showcase feature-length and short films by aspiring Scorseses, Kurosawas and Hitchcocks from this neck of the desert. Most of the this year's entries will be shown at the El Paso Museum of Art, which has a 200-seat theater, and the Philanthropy.
They include "Vicissitude," a 2011 documentary that tries to present a more personal side of the narco violence that has scarred Juarez. It and three short films will be shown at 1 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Philanthropy (free).
There are a couple of Westerns on the docket, including Robert Towne's second film, "Oro del Diablo," about a former Confederate caught between rival gangs (2 p.m. Aug. 4, Museum of Art, free), and "Among the Dust of Thieves," Sean Pilcher and Matt Wilson's take on the disappearance of Albert Fountain -- the onetime El Pasoan and Texas state senator, Mesilla lawyer (he
once repped Billy the Kid) and radical Republican -- in the late 1800s (1 p.m. Aug. 10, Museum of Art, free).
Also, amateur film and video from local collectors will be featured in "El Paso Discoveries, Vol. II: Texas Film Round Up" at 4 p.m. Aug. 9 in the Philanthropy ($4). It's compiled by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, an Austin nonprofit that will return to the festival to digitize home movies and videos -- for free.
A team will be at the festival to pick up copies, take them back to Austin, digitize them and return them, with a free digital copy. The team will be at the Plaza Theatre from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 11-12.
Festival organizers have confirmed this year's speakers, who'll discuss various films and topics while they are here. All have been here before.
They include Laura Emerick, the Chicago Sun-Times arts editor and Plaza Classic Film Festival fan who also worked with the late Roger Ebert. Ebert will be honored with a series of his favorite films this year, called "Everlasting Ebert."
Also returning: Boston Phoenix critic Gerald Peary, Criticwire editor Sam Adams, and Dallas VideoFest co-founder and UT-Arlington associate professor Barry Weiss.
Go to plazaclassic.com for more info.
Bart Reed is packing the El Paso Comic Strip summer schedule with some big draws, including return appearances by Ralphie May, Sandman and red-hot Felipe Esparza.
May, who sold out two shows during his first visit to the club in January, will return for two more at 8 p.m. Aug. 14-15. Those tickets will cost $27.50 per show and should go on sale this weekend via TicketWeb.com, Reed said.
Ditto for the Sandman, the hypnotist who packs 'em in there. He'll be there for shows Aug. 7-11 (the 8 p.m. Aug. 11 show will be X-rated). Those tickets will cost $6 for the Wednesday and Thursday shows, $12 for others.
Esparza, one of Gabriel Iglesias' buddies and the 2010 winner of "Last Comic Standing," will be back by popular demand Wednesday through July 28. "They beg for him all the time," Reed said of Esparza's growing local flock.
Keith Manning and Martin Rizo open.
Esparza performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday ($10 general admission, $20 VIP); 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. July 26-27 ($15/$25); and 7:30 p.m. July 28 ($10). Tickets are available at the club and on TicketWeb.
Cisco, who hosts the morning show on SiriusXM's Playboy Radio en Espanol, and Pinchi Peter will play the Comic Strip at 8 p.m. July 31-Aug. 1 ($6/$16), 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. Aug. 2-3 ($12/$22) and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 ($6/$16).
Another local favorite, Elliott Threatt, is there tonight through Sunday. Brad Ellis opens. Their shows are at 8:30 and 10:45 p.m. today and Saturday ($12/$22) and 7:30 p.m. Sunday ($8/$18).
Just as I suspected. That P.O.D./Flyleaf show I told you about a few weeks ago will be this year's Rock the Fort concert at Fort Bliss. It will be at Aug. 3 at Biggs Park. Gates open at 4 p.m.
Stars in Stereo will open.
It's a free show, open to the public.
It will include a car and bike show and a beer garden, where admission will be $10.
The show had been posted on various sites earlier, and when I couldn't find anything about tickets, I wondered if this would be this year's Rock the Fort concert, but couldn't confirm it at the time.
It's being put on by the post's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation office. Go to blissmwr.com for more info.
Zuill Bailey is all over the radio all of a sudden.
The cellist and El Paso Pro-Musica artistic director, who recently performed atop a volcano in Alaska, is featured on a segment called "A Day in the Life" on SiriusXM's Symphony Hall (channel 76), the last airing of which will be at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"Cellist Zuill Bailey takes us through his morning cello rituals, from the very first sounds he makes in the morning to the last thing he plays when he puts his cello back in the case," reads an announcement.
Also, Bailey offered up a surprising list of music he'd want to have with him if he's ever stranded on a deserted island, including Kiss' "Detroit Rock City," the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," the first movement of Dvorak's cello concerto, and Brahms' "Lullaby for Cello and Piano."
The list was compiled for Alaska public radio station KCAW. Bailey recently wrapped up the Sitka Summer Music Festival there.
I didn't know the guy was such a Kiss fan.
-- The End of Summer Freestyle Jam at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Don Haskins Center will feature a mix of old-school Latino R&B, pop and hip-hop acts from the late '80s and early '90s. Acts include the Cover Girls ("Show Me"), George Lamond ("Bad of the Heart") and TKA ("One Way Love"). Tickets: $25, $35 and $50; $22.50, $31.50 and $45 for students, military and seniors. They're on sale at the UTEP Ticket Center and through Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
-- Howard Roarke, the nom de band of El Paso writer/guitarist/singer Jaycee Salinas, will headline a free release party for his long-gestating album "You Can't Destroy the World Without a Soundtrack: Part One -- Orchestrate" at 8 p.m. July 26 at Tricky Falls. Never Too Late, The Human Condition and Lightning at the Opera open.
-- An Inn of the Mountain Gods rep confirms that the casino's Sept. 1 show by Randy Travis has been canceled. The country singer, as you probably know, is recovering from a heart condition and stroke near Dallas.
-- The Inn has added Elvis impersonator Justin Shandor and his "The Ultimate Elvis Concert" to its schedule at 7 p.m. Aug. 10. Tickets are $57.50, plus service charges, at the box office and through Ticketmaster.
-- Tricky Falls has added a 20th anniversary tour stop by death metal's Morbid Angel at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 ($21); rapper Dizzy Wright at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 (no tickets yet); King Khan & the Shrines at 9 p.m. Nov. 12 ($12); and Austin's Riverboat Gamblers at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 ($10). Tix for Tricky shows are available at All That Music & Video, Bowie Feathers, Eloise, Maria's Closet and holdmyticket.com.
This is a roundup of concert and other event information from Doug Pullen's blog, Pullen My Blog, at elpasotimes.com/blogs. Follow him on Twitter @dougpullen and on Facebook at facebook.com/dougpulleneptimes.
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