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Monthly Archives: July 2012

The last block in the Dark Matters Film Festival was all about the weird.  I don’t have a favorite in this group because I liked nearly all of them. Judge for yourself.

We begin with Pablo Larcuen‘s My Invisible Friend, seen below in its entirety. Loved every element in this story of a painfully shy young man. Will the arrival of his invisible friend, Andy, be enough to bring Tomas out of his shell?

 

Mi amigo invisible from Xavier Dominguez on Vimeo.

Here’s the trailer for 8, a short film about a birthday party unlike one you’ve ever experienced. I enjoyed Raul Cerezo‘s work but felt the score overwhelmed the story.  The music doesn’t enhance the mood, as it could. It overtakes it, which spoils the effect.

Jorge Jaramillo and Carlo Guillot give us, Red, a vivid and entrancing take on a familiar story.

RED from RED on Vimeo.

 

Rehan Khokhar’s Chained was predictable but this doesn’t detract from the engaging acting, stark cinematography, and skilled editing. See for yourself:

 

Brilliant animator Stephen Irwin gives us Moxie, a pyromaniac bear who really really misses his mum.

Abiogenesis is Richard Mans’ sci-fi spectacle. Visually arresting and slickly filmed, his short has won numerous awards in festival around the globe.

Huhu Attack! had the Dark Matters audience squealing with laughter. Patrick Gillies’ nod to comedy-horror B-flicks, set in New Zealand, has music, romance, and alien monsters. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll love it!

In T is for Termite, Steve Daniels’ exterminator protagonist has an infestation to confront.

T IS FOR TERMITE {2011} from Steve Daniels on Vimeo.

With the vocal talents of Max von Sydow, Pjotr Sapegin‘s claymation short, The Last Norwegian Troll, stands out in this category. Watch below.

Lastly, in Park Bench’s The Secret of the Goat, the purchase of a goat has drastic consequences for a peasant couple’s life and love.

 

This pastoral scene changes with the purchase of a very special goat.

Do you like humor with your horror? We certainly do! The first short film in this block had the audience roaring with laughter.  I present to you, The Horribly Slow Murderer With the Extremely Inefficient Weapon by Richard Gale.

At the halfway mark, you may begin to feel it’s all too tedious but isn’t that the point?

Next, we viewed Andrew Bond’s The Legend of the Mighty Soap, a mix of kungfu, fairy tale, and a literal dark (dirty) vs. light (clean) epic struggle.  The audience didn’t react as positively to this one but I enjoyed it. The trailer below is in Estonian with no subtitles.

Dirty Silverware was interesting and creepy at first but just meandered until it lost all tension. Solid acting skills, an enticing concept, and good production value make it worth a view, however.

Dirty Silverware {short film} 2011 from Steve Daniels on Vimeo.

Thomas Nicol’s claymation short, Bedtime for Timmy, was met with loud applause. Remember being afraid of monsters in your closet or under your bed?

(Video found on FEARnet. Check them out!)

Spoon Wars is a sequel of sorts to Gale‘s The Horribly Slow Murderer With the Extremely Inefficient Weapon.

The Zombie Factor was my favorite of this bunch. Of course. Matt Cantu‘s blend of the reality show concept and zombies is brilliant. (If you want to see a different take on zombies and reality shows, watch the Brit show Dead Set, which recounts what happens when Big Brother meets a zombie outbreak.) You’ll be talking about Zombie Hat Day. I promise.

Buy the poster!

And lastly, we have Jonathan Martin’s An Evening with my Comatose Mother. Slick, off-beat, with the just the right sprinkling of humor, you’ll enjoy this nod to classic horror.

Yesterday, we were asked by Duke City Food Trucks, a coalition of local mobile cuisine trucks, to help judge the food truck fiesta at the A-City Summer Jam.  Jojo, of Jojo’s Salsa Machine, heads this coalition which in reality operates as more of a family.  Seriously, these are a good group of people.

 

The ever-cheerful and friendly Jojo

 

Organized by Zia Kings Entertainment, the Summer Jam featured bully cars, hip hop artists both local and international, and a carnival along with several food trucks in the Duke City Food Trucks group.

Film & Food were there along with Party NM to help judge the trucks in a friendly competition.  We enjoyed every single offering and it was quite difficult for us all to choose just one. But in the end, that honor went to Joanie and Art’s Famous Smoked Style Bar-B-Que.  In the upcoming posts, we’ll be reviewing each, showing you samples of each truck’s menu, and most importantly, telling you where you can find their trucks around ABQ.

From the second block of shorts in the Dark Matters Film Festival, we have seven films, starting with Lundborg and Storm’s Rosenhill.  In Rosenhill, an elderly woman in a nursing home suspects the caregivers of a horrible crime. You can watch Rosenhill in two parts here on YouTube.

 

 

Timo Pierre Rositzki‘s Profile serves as a warning to all of us who share personal information on the internet.

Do I know you?

 

Jimmy Weber‘s Incubator was one of my favorites from this block. Watch the trailer and I dare you not to be sucked into the story immediately.

 

The next film ended to a round of applause from the audience. It’s quirky, unexpected, and delightful (if “delightful” can be used to describe a bloody little thriller). I give you Ryan Denmark‘s Plush.

 

In The Window Into Time, a scientist recounts events surrounding the discovery of a manuscript describing a mysterious, ancient substance. Thomas Nicol directed this creepy short inspired by the work of HP Lovecraft.

is that a pensieve?

 

Rounding out this group is Daniel Zimbler‘s Exit, based on a nearly-forgotten Edwardian short story.  A small group gathers at Christmastime and engages in a dangerous parlor trick.

 

Exit trailer from Exit The Film on Vimeo.

At the recent Dark Matters horror film festival, the short film selections were divided into blocks of various themes. The second block, Thrill! Kill! Cult!, dealt with more action-oriented shorts.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite but since I’m partial to all things zombie, I’ll give you a taste (hehehe) of Omar Orn Hauksson‘s Undying Love.

Undying Love Trailer Final from Omar Hauksson on Vimeo.

 

More from the Ghost Protocol block of the Dark Matters Film Festival.

Joshua Sallach’s Under the Stairs features latch-key kid, Jack, and his encounter with a green-eyed creature who lives under the basement stairs.

High production value and strong acting skills make this watchable but we felt it went a bit too long.

Next on the program was The Suicide Tapes. Solid acting skills and camera use are notable in Billy Senese’s found footage short film, shown in its entirety below.

Karl Holt’s Negative Image was quite spooky, using the built-in atmosphere of an abandoned mental institution as a back-drop for a journalist’s quest to gain recognition for his work in investigating the paranormal. Watch the short in the window below.

Are You the Walkers?  rounded out the ghost-themed block of shorts at the Dark Matter’s Film Festival. Derek Kimball’s eerie offering makes the hairs on your neck stand up. Our only complaint is that it went too long and lost the spooky momentum.

Look out for these shorts in your local film festivals. Support the filmmakers and help keep the independent film industry alive.

Asian fusion is not on it’s way out. Not if Street Food Asia has any say in the matter.  With the most aggressive and absolute social media campaign I’ve ever seen for a restaurant, Street Food Asia is a business and won’t let you forget it.  Patricia Frohm, wife of chef Tai Tok, has extensive business management experience and it is quite apparent she knows what she’s doing. Every single social media outlet for this place is current and engaging. The location, that sweet spot in the middle of Nob Hill, must get tons of foot traffic. Well, as much foot traffic as you can get in Albuquerque.  But is the food any good?

The dishes we ordered, although fresh and appetizingly presented, were bland, as if Tai Tok was holding back. Give us your best shot, sir! We Burquenos can handle our spices.

Shrimp and fried calamari aren’t enough to liven up this dish

 

Two in our party settled on sharing a trio of Small Plates from the Asian Tapas Menu.  The best of the three was Kuala Lumpur Street Satay with grilled marinated portabella mushrooms, crunchy red onions, and a marvelous peanut sauce. What set this dish apart from the others we ordered was the flavor sans sauce or embellishments. If you need sauce to make your food taste good, you’re doing it wrong.  The satay sauce was delicious but these mushrooms didn’t need the added flavor. They were great all on their own.  Not so the other two Small Plates.

Kuala Lumpur Street Satay

 

The Seoul Street Grilled Beef Bulgogi Kimchi was the most disappointing. My companions didn’t even finish them.  The beef was sparse and mixed with diced kimchi as if the chef wanted to create a salsa with the two components rather than allow the kimchee to do it’s job in this dish.

disappointing Korean lettuce wraps

 

The final small dish, stuffed tofu with pineapple, mango, and vegetables, was quite close to making the mark.  The presentation was appealing and all the ingredients were fresh. Still, too bland. Just too bland. The sauce covering the plate upon which the tofu “sandwiches” lay was like a watered down version of the satay sauce we’d just enjoyed with the mushroom skewers.

Gorgeous but ultimately unsatisfying

 

If you are the type of person who likes to “see for yourself,” try Street Food Asia and let us know what you think. But bring your earplugs. That place is LOUD.

Street Food Asia

3422 Central Ave, SE

ABQ, NM 87106

505.260.0088

 

StreetFood Asia on Urbanspoon

 

She’s a jar.

The Guild Cinema in ABQ hosted Dark Matters Film Festival: Horror Bites yesterday. The festival was meant to be a teaser of sorts, to feel out the local audience in preparation for a larger festival spring of next year.

The festival’s offerings were divided into four themed blocks. The first, featuring ghostly or eerie stories, was Ghost Protocol.

My favorite out of this bunch was the very first shown, Jonah Ansell‘s Cadaver. A witty animated short, told in rhyme and 2D, with the voice talents of Christopher Lloyd, Kathy Bates, and Tavi Gevinson, Cadaver is a “battle of romantic vs. cynic.” In the director’s statement, Ansell describes how he first wrote the poem which inspired the short for his med-school sister before she cut open her first cadaver.

 

 

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