AWAKENING IN TAOS: THE MABEL DODGE LUHAN STORY
Using rare photographs, archival footage, and voiceovers based on Mabel Dodge Luhan’s own correspondences, Awakening in
Taos tells the story of the art patron’s early years as a socialite in Buffalo through to her establishment of a haven for modernist artists and writers in New Mexico including D.H. Lawrence, Frank Waters, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keeffe. The film is narrated by Ali MacGraw with Leslie Harrell Dillen as Mabel Dodge Luhan and chronicles her several marriages, the deep spiritual connection she felt with her last husband Tony Luhan, and her struggle to find a place to express her independent nature. The world premiere is on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25; call 505-988-1234 or visit www.ticketssantafe.org. Not rated. 63 minutes. Lensic Performing Arts Center. (Not reviewed)
A BALLERINA’S TALE
Misty Copeland quickly rose to stardom despite the fact that she didn’t study ballet until she was a teenager. By age fifteen, she was named the best ballet dancer in Southern California by the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards. By eighteen she had joined the American Ballet Theatre, where she eventually became the first African-American to be named principal dancer. This documentary is narrated by Copeland. Not rated. 85 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
There isn’t much for young Sarah (Dianna Agron) to do in rural Nevada, until a drifter named Pepper (Paz de la Huerta) blows into town and introduces her to stripping and drug use. The two women soon find themselves in a romantic relationship.
Not rated. 88 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Not reviewed)
THE FORBIDDEN ROOM
Not rated. 130 minutes. The Screen. See review, Page 46.
Producer/director Phil Grabsky continues his overview of great artists in The
Impressionists, part of the Exhibition on Screen documentary series. Grabsky’s interviews with museum professionals and behind-the-scenes peeks into museum life enliven this new entry in the series. The film is based on the exhibit Discovering the Impressionists: Paul
Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The comprehensive film explores the challenges faced by Durand-Ruel, an early champion of the Impressionists, the artists’ poor reception in France and popularity in America, and Impressionism’s historical significance. Grabsky lets the art take center stage in revealing detail shots of works by Monet, van Gogh, and (love him or hate him) Renoir. 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 15, only. Not rated. 91 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. See story, Page 44. (Michael Abatemarco)
LABYRINTH OF LIES
The year is 1958. Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling) is an ambitious young prosecutor in the Frankfurt DA’s office, and he’s never heard of Auschwitz. Neither has anyone else in the brave new world of postwar Germany. The slate and the national memory bank have been wiped clean; there are no ex-Nazis, only former freedom fighters. The Holocaust is American propaganda. Then a camp survivor recognizes a former Auschwitz guard teaching at a public school, a journalist brings the story to Radmann’s office, and the prosecutor digs into the story. What he finds is shattering, a nation in denial with a heavy reckoning to make. The result is the German Auschwitz trials of the mid-‘60s, where, though only a handful of Nazis were convicted, Germany was finally brought to confront and deal with the horrors of its recent past. Based on real events, Giulio Ricciarelli’s political procedural has echoes of Costa-Gavras’s Z (1969), if not quite the pulse-pounding excitement of that classic. Rated R. 124 minutes. In German with subtitles. Regal DeVargas. (Jonathan Richards)
LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS
Albuquerque romance novelists Celeste Bradley and Susan
Donovan give a talk after the film. Screens 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, only. Not rated. 95 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. See review, Page 47.
LOVE THE COOPERS The first Christmas movie of 2015 is this ensemble dramedy about a family that gets together for a holiday reunion that nearly goes off the rails — despite the mother and father (Diane Keaton and John Goodman) wanting everything to go perfectly. These kinds of movies are typically only as good as the cast, and this one includes Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde, and some cute kids. Rated PG-13. 118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
MY ALL AMERICAN
The number of inspirational football movies seemingly grows with each passing week, and the latest one is by Angelo Pizzo, a guy who knows something about inspirational sports movies, having written Hoosiers and Rudy. This time, he also gets in the director’s chair, to tell the true story of Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock), a scrappy underdog who earned an unlikely place on the University of Texas team and was diagnosed with cancer shortly after. Aaron Eckhart plays his coach. Rated PG.
118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN
The series of high-definition screenings continues with Jewels ,a triptych of dances performed by members of the Bolshoi Ballet. George Balanchine choreographed these pieces, inspired by a trip to Manhattan jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels. The work features music by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Fauré. 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, only. Not rated. The Screen. (Not reviewed)
THE SEEDS: PUSHIN’ TOO HARD
Richard Marsh, better known as Sky Saxon, was the singer of the Seeds, one of most important ’60s-garage, proto-punk (and don’t forget flower-power) bands in rock ’n’ roll history. This documentary, directed by Neil Norman, traces the history of Saxon from his early days in Hollywood making quasi-doo-wop singles as “Little Richie Marsh” to the Seeds’ glory days as young gods of Sunset Strip, and through Saxon’s sudden decline, which former bandmates attribute to a harsh combination of ego and massive ingestion of LSD. But this film is more of a celebration than a behindthe-scene cautionary tale. Former Seeds as well as major fans like Iggy Pop give context to this ultimately heartbreaking, if somewhat predictable rock ‘n’ roll portrait. Norman appears at both screenings. 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 18, and Thursday, Nov. 19, only. Not rated. 110 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Steve Terrell) See Terrell’s Tune Up, Page 24.
In 2010, the attention of the world’s media turned to a group of 33 miners, who were trapped inside Chile’s San José Mine for more than two months. This film dramatizes their plight, with Antonio Banderas starring as Mario Sepúlveda, the man who became the face of the miners through the videos he sent to the rescue operation. Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Gabriel Byrne also star. Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas; Dream-Catcher. (Not reviewed)
Four college buddies. A dozen barely trained wild horses. Gorgeous scenery across America’s Western public lands from Mexico to Canada. Combine these with excellent cinematography and one gets Unbranded ,a documentary that is part coming of age, part celebration of public land, and part even-handed commentary on a difficult dilemma for people managing the country’s ever-growing wild-horse herds. The opening scene sets the tone for this alternately hilarious and heartbreaking film. It suffices to say that wild horses and prickly cholla didn’t mix well on the ride’s first day in 2013, and the cowboys paid the price. Still, “there’s not enough quit in any of us not to make it,” says Ben Thamer in the film, one of the four Texas A& M University buddies on the ride along with Ben Masters, Jonny Fitzsimons, and Thomas Glover. By the end, the friends and two filmmakers have ridden
the wild horses across Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, through the Grand Canyon and across Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Screens 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, only. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Staci Matlock)
A Ballerina’s Tale, at the Center for Contemporary Arts