Not a Blog

Three Years and Counting

July 27, 2016 at 12:52 pm
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Hard to believe, but we are coming up on the third anniversary of the re-opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema. Santa Fe’s hometown movie theatre, and first art house, had been dark for seven years when we turned on the lights again and opened the doors in August 2013.

Needless to say, that calls for a celebration… a week-long celebration, in fact!!!

To mark the occasion, we are bringing back three very special films, movies that have a special significance in the history of the JJC, New Mexico’s most eclectic movie theatre.

First up we will have PANDORA’S BOX, a classic of the silent cinema starring Louise Brooks, the first film to play the Jean Cocteau when the theatre first opened in 1984.

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We will also show FORBIDDEN PLANET, the first film shown at the reborn Cocteau three years ago… and also the greatest science fiction film ever made, in my not so humble opinion.

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And finally we will have DARK STAR, our first midnight movie from three years back, a hilarious SF comedy, and the movie that gave Dan O’Bannon and John Carpenter their starts.

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Best of all, admission to all three movies will be FREE! (We will also be holding over a couple other films this week, and offering discount $5 admissions on those).

And, yes, ROBBIE THE ROBOT will be returning to the cinema for the celebrations, along with his friends Altaira, Commander J.J. Adams, and the Iron Giant.

We’ll be celebrating all week… but the BIG party will be on Saturday at 7:00 pm, when we will be adding some cake to the mix. And our friends at Jambo are sending their foot truck around that night at well, for some delicious African treats.

ANNIVERSARY WEEK SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, JULY 29TH:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:30 PM: Showcase Karaoke (with Cyndi and Nanci) (FREE)

SATURDAY, JULY 30TH:
2:15 PM: The Fallen Idol ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Anniversary Party (Cake, Costumes, Games, Food Trucks, & More!) (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

SUNDAY, JULY 31ST:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
6:40 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)

MONDAY, AUGUST 1ST:
4:30 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
6:40 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 2ND:
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3RD:
2:30 PM: Presenting Princess Shaw (FREE)
4:30 PM: Pandora’s Box (FREE)
7:00 PM: Forbidden Planet (FREE)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4TH:
2:30 PM: Yarn ($5.00)
4:30 PM: The Fallen Idol ($5.00)
7:00 PM: Suicide Squad ($8.00)
9:20 PM: Dark Star (FREE)

So come and join us and help us hoot and holler! We’re three years old! And many more to come!

Cool Stuff at the JCC

May 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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We had a great author event last night at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, when Stephen Graham Jones dropped by to read to us from his new werewolf novel MONGRELS. Who knew the danger posed to werewolves by french fries and pantyhose? I certainly didn’t. We made Stephen sign a large stock of MONGRELS hardcovers before let him leave, so if you’d like to check it out, autographed copies will be available from the Cocteau bookstore. http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/ ((Signed copies of Ernie Cline’s ARMADA and lots of cool titles from Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Joe Lansdale, yours truly, and lots of other great authors are still available as well)).

Next up: JOE HILL. You will be here on Monday, May 23, to sign copies of his new novel THE FIREMAN. And we’ll have the usual interview and Q&A as well. Reserve your seats now from the JCC website; we’re expecting a sellout.

Meanwhile, we have some terrific movies showing. On Friday we opened THE MERMAID, a blockbuster out of China; highest-grossing film in the history of Chinese cinema.

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And next Friday, we’re very excited to be opening HIGH RISE, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard. Ballard, as every SF fans knows, was one of the giants of the British “New Wave” in science fiction, the author of such classics as THE DROWNED WORLD, THE CRYSTAL WORLD, “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan,” CRASH, VERMILLION SANDS, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, and “The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered As a Downhill Motor Race.” HIGH RISE is one of his major works, an important (and disturbing) novel, and we’re all excited to see the film.

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See you at the movies!

This Week at the JCC

April 16, 2016 at 6:29 pm
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We have a big week coming at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

ERNIE CLINE will be here tomorrow (Sunday) for an interview and booksigning. He’ll be talking about the film adaptation of READY PLAYER ONE, and signing copies of ARMADA, his new one… and READY PLAYER ONE as well, of course. For more details, see Jenni’s post below.

The next day, Monday night, we’ll show the last two hours in our season five marathon of GAME OF THRONES. That’s “Hardhome” and “Mother’s Mercy,” two huge episodes. If you haven’t seen “Hardhome” on the big (well, medium sized) screen, you haven’t seen it at all. And best of all, admission is FREE. First come, first seated. Don’t be late.

And we another special event scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. For TWO DAYS ONLY, we will be screening the new Project Itoh anime blockbuster out of Japan, EMPIRE OF CORPSES.

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Only a few selected theatres in the US will be showing EMPIRE OF CORPSES. We’re very pleased that the JCC will be one of them. Come join us — and remember, this special screening is for two nights only.

Then, come Saturday, we’re thrilled to announced that our midnight movies are returning. First up will be FLASH GORDON. No, not the old Buster Crabbe serial (and not FLESH GORDON either), but the Sam Jones version from 1980. Brian Blessed and Ming the Merciless, what more could you want?

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Come in costume, you pathetic earthlings.

See you at the movies.

The Hateful 8 Are Coming

December 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm
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I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino (and not just because he owns a movie theatre too), so I’m thrilled and delight that we’ve been able to book his long-awaited 8th film at the Cocteau.

Looks great, too. Here’s the trailer.

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THE HATEFUL EIGHT opens at the Jean Cocteau on December 30.

Advance tickets are available via the Cocteau website.

See you at the movies!

The Iron Giant Is Coming

December 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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We’re going to have a special guest at the Jean Cocteau next week.

A big BIG guest: the Iron Giant himself.

Yes indeed. Starting on Friday, December 11, for one week only, we will be screening the newly restored and remastered “signature edition” of Brad Bird’s animated classic, THE IRON GIANT.

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If you haven’t seen THE IRON GIANT… or even if you have… you don’t want to miss this. If you’ve only seen it on the small screen at home, you don’t want to miss this. And even if you’ve seen the movie in a theatre, you don’t want to miss this, since the signature editions includes some new scenes never before shown.

In honor of the occasion, the Iron Giant his own self will be on hand to say hi. You don’t want to miss him either. Come see the movie, and have your picture taken with the Giant. Advance tickets can be reserved at the JCC website.

Coming to the Cocteau

September 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm
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For all you New Mexican out there… and for travellers passing through the Land of Enchantment… we have lots of cool stuff coming to the Jean Cocteau Cinema these next couple of months, starting this Friday when we open EVEREST.

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We also have some cool special events and booksignings coming up.

On October 6, WILLIAM GIBSON, the father of cyberpunk, will be here for an interview and Q&A, and to sign copies of new novel THE PERIPHERAL. Reserve your copies early; we expect a sellout, as with many of our author events.

From October 9 through October 14, we’ll be hosting a WES CRAVEN RETROSPECTIVE, to honor the late great director whose death on August 30 saddened millions of his fans. I had the honor of working with Wes once — he directed one of my TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, though sadly the episode was gutted by CBS before broadcast. A great guy, and an immense talent. We’ll be showing several of his best known films, and hope to bring in some special guests via Skype.

On November 8, another author event. This time we are bringing in bestselling author DEBORAH HARKNESS. Harkness was originally scheduled a few months ago, but flight delays forced a cancellation… but this time we hope the airlines will be more helpful, and get her to Santa Fe on time.

We had sold-out houses for our burlesque performances earlier this month, so we’re going to do it again… this time with the SUICIDE GIRLS!

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Alas, our small (very small) stage at the JCC isn’t big enough to accomodate all the Suicide Girls, so we’ll be offering a somewhat downscaled version of their usual show… but that should still be pretty kickass, and there is something to be said for an intimate setting. And as everyone who has seen them knows, the Suicide Girls never disappoint.

That one should be a sellout too. Tickets are $35 (18 and over, please) and can be bought on the JCC website at http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/event/suicide-girls-blackheart-burlesque/?instance_id=36360 . A portion of every ticket will be donated to our friends at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary down in Candy Kitchen.

See you at the show!

In the Wind

July 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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The sharks are coming.

Lots of them.

Tonight on SyFy… and next month at the Jean Cocteau.

Check it out. Next year’s Hugo favorite, for sure.

Me and Ant-Man

July 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm
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Speaking of movies…

… I saw ANT-MAN last night at the Violet Crown down the street from the Cocteau, and loved it.

(It’s not playing at the JCC, though I wish it was. Alas, we have only the one screen).

Now, I have to confess, as an old — VERY old — Marvel fanboy (I was once a member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society), I was a little disappointed going in when I heard that this would be the Scott Lang Ant-Man and not the original Hank Pym Ant-Man of my youth. Scott Lang came in just about the time when my regular comics reading was falling off, so I did not know the character very well, whereas I knew and loved Hank and Janet, Ant-Man and his winsome Wasp. I was there at the dawn of time when they first started adventuring through the pages of TALES TO ASTONISH, after all. They were never as popular as the other heroes that Stan Lee created back then — Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, and such — but Lee always seemed to have a soft spot for Ant-Man, and I did too. Ant-Man was the ultimate underdog, after all, the little guy in a very literal sense who somehow held his own with gods and monsters whose powers dwarfed his own. The ants were cool too, and gave him a definite edge in my mind over his rival itty-bitty hero over at DC, the Atom.

And I loved his partnership with the Wasp. At a time when every other comic was playing the endless “romantic tension” card, or the older and hoarier “I must hide my secret from my girlfriend” trope, here was a man and a woman who adventured together, who loved each other without question, who even helped found the Avengers together… that was revolutionary in the early 1960s, like much of what Stan Lee did… (and sad to say, it would even be sort of revolutionary today).

The original Ant-Man had a short run compared to the other first generation Marvel heroes like Thor and Iron Man. In an effort to make the character more popular, Lee and his successors began to fiddle with the concept, giving Hank Pym the power to grow as well as shrink. Ant-Man became Giant-Man became Goliath (same powers, different costumes) became Yellowjacket became “Hank Pym, Scientific Adventurer” (I did you not). Truth be told, I never liked any of those revamps half as well as I liked the original Ant-Man, and when the writers (not Lee, new people had come on board by then) decided to make Hank mentally unstable and then turned him into a wife-beater… well, I really hated that. (I did, however, like some of what happened subsequently, when the Wasp came into her own and became the leader of the Avengers). After that was the Scott Lang era, I guess… and then a couple more Ant-Men after him… none of which I followed, or gave a damn about.

Given all this history, I had a lot of trepidation when this movie was announced. Would they do it right, would they capture the original Ant-Man from TALES TO ASTONISH and AVENGERS #1, the character I’d loved… or would they fuck it up?? I was eager for the film, but apprehensive about it as well, especially when I heard it would be about Scott Lang, not Hank Pym.

I am relieved and delighted to report that they did it right.

Scott Lang is the featured Ant-Man, yes, and Paul Rudd makes him a sympathetic and engaging protagonist, but due honor is done to Hank and his own career as the first Ant-Man as well, with Michael Douglas turning in a fine performance as Pym. There’s a lot of humor in this film, but it is not a farce, as I feared it might be. There’s a lot of action too, but not so much that it overwhelms the plot and characters, which was my problem with the last AVENGERS film… and the one before it, to think of it. A superhero movie needs a fair share of smashing and bashing and stuff blowing up, of course, but IMNSHO that stuff works best when it is happening to people we actually know and care about, and if you jam in too many characters and don’t take time to develop any of them properly, well…

ANT-MAN has a proper balance of story, character, humor, and action, I think. A couple reviewers are calling it the best Marvel movie ever. I won’t go that far, but it’s right up there, maybe second only to the second Sam Raimi/ Tobey McGuire Spider-Man film, the one with Doc Ock. I’ve liked most of the Marvel movies, to be sure, I’m still a Marvel fanboy at heart (Excelsior!), but I liked this one more than the first AVENGERS and a lot more than the second, more than either THOR, more than the second and third IRON MAN and maybe just a smidge more than the first (though I liked that one a lot too).

Oh, and I loved the ants!

Quibbles? Yeah, a few. Where was the Wasp? We got a few glimpses, and a set up for the next film. But I wanted more Wasp, and I loved the old original Hank/ Janet dynamic (before they got to the wife-beating stuff). Also, while Yellowjacket makes a decent villain here (in the comics, of course, he was actually one of Hank’s later identities, after Giant-Man and Goliath), I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero. The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man. Yawn. I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting).

But those are quibbles, as I said.

Overall, I had a swell time. For a few hours I was thirteen years old again.

And did I mention that I loved the ants?

Coming…

July 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm
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… to the Jean Cocteau.<br/><br/>Opening this Friday, July 24, we have PIXELS, for all of you who remember the videogames of your youth.<br/><br/>&lt;lj-embed id=”577″/&gt;<br/><br/>Adam Sandler. Peter Dinklage. PacMan. Looks like a hoot and a half.<br/><br/>See you at the movies.

Fury Road

May 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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FURY ROAD is doing great business at the Cocteau… and, indeed, all over Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the country. I saw it myself last night. It has got to be one of the most relentless action movies ever made, if not THE most intense. Pretty much non-stop from beginning to end.

I’ve often said that the climatic chase sequence at the end of THE ROAD WARRIOR was the best car chase scene ever put on film (it’s what DAMNATION ALLEY should have been, as I once told Roger Zelazny — who agreed). Well, FURY ROAD is the ROAR WARRIOR chase sequence with the dial turned up… not just to 11, but to 47 or some such.

Truth be told, I sometimes get bored during car chases. Not this one. It has a human context that gives it a power lacking in FAST & FURIOUS and TRANSFORMERS movies.

So, yes, I liked this one. A lot.

One thing I did miss, however. THE ROAD WARRIOR (a great film) and BEYOND THUNDERDOME (a good film with flaws) both ended with wonderful, moving, elegiac voice overs. The one from THUNDERDOME always brings a tear to my eye.

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FURY ROAD has no similar elegy at the end. I missed that… the poetry of it, and the sense of triumph and tragedy that it left me with, a feeling that elevated the movie into myth.

Even so, it’s a helluva movie.

See it at the Cocteau, if you can. (We’ll be showing it for two more weeks, at least). But see it somewhere, regardless.

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