‘Film’ Category

Get high with Doug Benson at Beauty Bar on 4/20

April 10th, 2008

Super High Me
When you get high, all fonts display like it’s still the 1970s.

It’s no big surprise that there will be marijuana-themed events held on Sunday, April 20. It’s no surprise that one of the places holding such an event is Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.), where we’re pretty sure its patrons are typically high on plenty of things other than, and including, pot. But we’re mildly surprised that the CineVegas Film Festival is showing it’s true color — green — by bringing a free screening of Super High Me to Beauty Bar’s backyard at 10 p.m. that night.

Yes, on 4/20, so long as you are 21 and over, you too can enjoy free popcorn and not free cocktails while you watch stand-up comedian Doug Benson getting super high for 30 days while on the road. Oh, and it has something to do with exploring marijuana legislation or something, man.

Check this out: If you want to “roll” your own screening of Super High Me, you can totally do it for free by visiting the movie’s website and following some simply instructions. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ — it’s not a prison sentence

April 1st, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days still
Blue is the official color of bathrooms in communist Romania.

Things you should care about: Nevada Public Radio. The CineVegas Film Festival. The last days of communism in Romania. Support all three of these concepts this Thursday night, April 3, at the Galaxy Neonopolis Theatres on Fremont Street when CineVegas hosts a screening of Golden Palm Award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days at 7 p.m.

The film, which dazzled judges and audiences at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, takes place during the final days of communism in Romania as two college roommates make arrangements for an illegal abortion.

All proceeds from the $10 ticket price benefit Nevada Public Radio, so not only will you get to see a poignant foreign film, but you also get to feel good about it as you wash your bucket of popcorn down with a gallon of Coke. Pre-order tickets by clicking here.

Back to the Art House with ‘The Witnesses,’ ‘A Walk Into The Sea’

March 18th, 2008

A Walk Into the Sea
Stills from “A Walk Into The Sea,” courtesy of The Danny Williams Estate and The Andy Warhol Museum.

Need another excuse to hang out in downtown Las Vegas? Of course you don’t. But in between your drinking and gambling, how about you swing by Galaxy Neonopolis to check out some exclusive screenings of acclaimed films in CineVegas’ Art House Screening Series?

April brings two new showings to the only other business aside from Jillian’s still breathing in that monumental failure that is Neonopolis, starting with The Witnesses, running from April 4 to 10. This official selection from the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival focuses on four friends confronting the end of the sexual revolution in 1984 Paris. Sounds sexy. Sort of.

The other Art House feature is A Walk Into The Sea, screening from April 11 to 17. Director Esther Robinson uses the medium of film to uncover the true story behind the mysterious 1966 disappearance of Danny Williams, Andy Warhol’s lover and Robinson’s uncle. A Walk Into The Sea combines unreleased footage shot by Williams during the heyday of Warhol’s Factory with intimate interviews of surviving Factory regulars. (more…)

U2 should see this movie in 3D

February 25th, 2008

U2 3DConcert films can often be a letdown. The entire concept of capturing the experience of a live performance on film or record seems counterintuitive: We go to concerts to engage in a sort-of primal, communal connection with both the music and other concert-goers. It’s not just about seeing your favorite band or artist perform your favorite songs — there is a shared experience, and energy that cannot be replicated, even watching a great concert displayed on your 48-inch plasma, booming through your surround sound speakers.

But U2 3D comes damn close.

This too-short film captures U2’s mammoth Vertigo concert tour, with footage shot in Latin America, including two nights in Buenos Aires and two nights in Mexico City, among others. The arena concerts were shot in real time with state-of-the-art, digital, 3D cameras (developed by 3ality Digital), and the resulting film is the first of its kind (but based on trailers preceding the film, not the last). Though the 3D experience (aided by special glasses almost as funky as those Bono wears through most of the concert) is simply an enhancement to what amounts to a beautifully shot, brilliantly edited concert film, it does make for a convincing “live” feeling.

To be honest, there were a number of times I had to refrain from singing along or applauding between songs during my screening of the film — something that felt so right but might have been socially awkward in the sparsely attended 9 p.m. Sunday showing. Galaxy Theaters have some of the most cutting-edge digital projection and audio systems in the business, and that came through perhaps most effectively with U2 3D. I don’t think I’ve ever heard and seen such crisp, intimate sounds or visuals from a concert film, period. When the Edge and Bono sing dual vocal parts during a quiet refrain, you can hear the nuances in their voices so clearly, and so distinctively hear the Edge to the left of Bono, it’s eerie. When Bono sets off a flare to the far right of the screen, it sounds like someone in the far right of the theater did so (causing me to jump a bit).

U2 3D was directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, the latter of which has helmed such music videos as Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” U2’s “One” and The Fray’s “How to Save a Life.” The attention to musical details (overhead shots of the Edge on keyboards, multiple angles of Larry Mullen, Jr.’s drum kit) is a delight, but so are the digital effects that in hands less talented than Owens and Pellington would just be distracting. Words displayed on the giant video screens behind the band literally leap off the screen toward viewers, at one point becoming psychedelic-colored swirls floating in front of the stage. And though it’s a gimmick that has become overused in commercials, when Bono “draws” in the air glowing figures, it’s a true “ooh” moment.

Of course, the band’s performance is truly the glue that holds all this digital wizardry together. Even knowing U2 3D is edited together from about a dozen different concerts, it smoothly and effortlessly looks, sounds and feels like a singular experience. And running through almost 30 years of the band’s catalog — from early-’80s material such as “New Year’s Day” to Achtung Baby!‘s “One” to newer hits like “Beautiful Day” — there is something for every U2 fan.

U2 3D is only showing for a limited engagement at the Galazy Cannery (2121 E. Craig Rd. in North Las Vegas) through Thursday, Feb. 28. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the box office or online at www.galaxytheatres.com. Don’t miss this one — it’s an experience that only the full digital delivery and size of the movie theater can truly deliver.

CineVegas wants you for its 2008 Film Festival

January 13th, 2008

Wanna be in the movies? Heck, who doesn’t?

Well, it might not get you a role starring opposite Brad Pitt in a Hollywood film, but it could get you a job driving Dennis Hopper from his hotel to a party. That’s right, the CineVegas Film Festival is looking for a few (dozen) good men, women and whatever to volunteer or work during its 10th annual festival, to be held June 12 through 21 at the Palms Casino Resort.

They need all kinds of part- and full-time help, both paid and unpaid, including box office manager, press coordinator, theatre manager, drivers, assistants, coordinators, what have you. There’s plenty to be done, and take it from us, there are few situations more fun than the CineVegas Film Festival that don’t include cocaine and hookers.

Interested? Of course you are. Get more full job listings and descriptions at www.cinevegas.com/takepart/jobs or sign up to volunteer at www.cinevegas.com/takepart/volunteer.

‘Redacted,’ ‘The Future is Unwritten’ just a few offerings in CineVegas Art House series

January 3rd, 2008

Scene from Redacted
A scene from Brian De Palma’s Redacted, showing Jan. 10 – 17 at Galaxy Neonopolis.

Who says Las Vegas has no culture? Um, OK, so a lot of people do. Thousands. But they’re all wrong. And as usual, CineVegas is out to prove that. The annual film festival is kicking off its Art House Screening Series on Jan. 10 with a screening of Brian De Palma’s controversial Iraq War film, Redacted, at the Galaxy Neonopolis (450 Fremont St.).

The Jan. 10 screening, a fundraiser for KNPR, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by KNPR’s “State of Nevada” host Dave Berns, featuring discussion by Las Vegas Weekly writer Joshua Longobardy and UNLV history professor Joseph Fry. Redacted will continue to screen through Jan. 17.

Other films in the series showing at Neonopolis include Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (Jan. 18 – 24), Pierrot le Fou (Jan. 25 – 31), Weirdsville (Feb. 1 – 7), Kurt Cobain: About a Son (Feb. 8 – 14) and The Walker (Feb. 29 – Mar. 6). From Feb. 15 – 28, a mini-David Lynch festival of sorts will offer the new documentary Lynch, Eraserhead, Inland Empire and a number of Lynch’s shorts.

CineVegas is also holding another benefit screening on Jan. 17, this time for Power 88.1-FM, at Galaxy Cannery (2121 E. Craig Road), featuring Mr. Untouchable, which will screen at that location through Jan. 24.

Tickets to all screenings are $8.75 for adults Sunday through Thursday, $9 for adults Friday and Saturday, $6 for bargain matinee and $6 for children, students, senior and military. Tickets may be purchased at Galaxy Neonopolis, and more information can be found at www.cinevegas.com/screenings.

Film for Less: CineVegas offers free screenings of previously featured films to Las Vegas audiences

December 10th, 2007

Happy Here and Now

The CineVegas Film Festival turns 10 this year, and to help kick off the celebration, CineVegas is teaming up with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (that’s LVCCLD to you!) to present its “CineVegas from the Vault” series. These free film screenings will be held art the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road) at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.

“We want to give locals the rare opportunity to see past CineVegas films that may be difficult to find now,” said Mike Plante, associate director of programming for CineVegas. “We look forward to bringing independent film to the Las Vegas valley, not just during the Festival in June but also throughout the year.”

The series kicks off with Happy Here and Now on Jan. 3, which premiered at the 2002 festival. According to a press release, the film — directed by Michael Almereyda (who most famously directed 2000’s modern-day take on Hamlet) — is “set in the very near future,” and “explores the inner reaches of isolated souls searching for connection in a contemporary wilderness.”

Other films to follow in the series include 2005’s Apart from That (Feb. 7), Windy City Heat (Mar. 6) and Mitchellville (Apr. 3), both from the 2004 festival. Windy City Heat—directed by Bobcat Goldthwait—has become a comedy cult classic, earning a Comedia Award in 2004.

For more information on the screenings and the festival, visit www.cinevegas.com.

Dennis Hopper says get your film on!

November 28th, 2007

This week, the CineVegas Film Festival announced confirmed dates for both submissions to the annual event and for the festival itself, as well as launched a new online film contest.

The 10th version of CineVegas, held again at Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Casino Resort, runs from June 12 – 21, 2008. Submissions are being accepted at www.withoutabox.com from Dec. 1, 2007 – March 15, 2008. That means you have about three months to finish your epic masterpiece, aspiring filmmakers.

If you think your vacation videos merit film festival screenings, then you might want to submit your original travel film–up to five minutes long–to the “Trip Takes” online film contest, co-presented by CineVegas and Conde Nast Traveler. The submissions will be judged both by an online audience and a jury of experts, including CV Creative Advisory Board chair Dennis Hopper. Top prize is $5,000 cash and the top five finalists will have their films shown at the festival. For rules or to submit a film, visit www.cinevegas.com/cnttriptakes.

For that matter, get all the info on CineVegas at www.cinevegas.com.

Could something like the Writers Guild strike happen in Las Vegas?

November 8th, 2007

The Writers Guild of America strike is gaining steam and support, especially after this morning’s showing of solidarity by so-called "show runners"–the writer-producers behind such addictive hit TV shows as "Lost" and "The Office." The Los Angeles Times reports that "100 or so writer-producers of some of TV’s highest-rated programs ratcheted up the pressure on the studios and producers."

This is a sharp change from the last major WGA strike in 1988, when show runners continued to work, causing a rift with the striking writers and appearing as nothing more than studio lackeys. However, with the writer-producers joining the WGA picket line, Hollywood’s production machine is grinding to a halt even faster than initially predicted, effects of which will become painfully obvious to regular TV viewers by as early as next week (daily shows such as "The Tonight Show" and Bill Maher’s program already have gone into reruns).

Unlike Las Vegas, Los Angeles–despite current appearances–is not a one-industry town. However, what happens in L.A. affects an industry nationwide, and viewers globally. Were such a strike to happen in Sin City, where effectively all casinos were forced to shut down, the exact inverse effect would be felt. Sure, a number of American’s vacation plans might change, but the result would ape that overused Vegas slogan, "What happens here, stays here."

And what would "happen" here would be the total shut-down of life as we know it in Las Vegas. Think about it: How many tangential industries seemingly unrelated to gaming and hospitality would be negatively affected by such a city-wide strike? For one, the media and nightlife production company for which I work would be immediately impacted: If the casinos shut down, their nightclub revenue evaporates, our advertisers pull ads, our magazines can’t pay for themselves. Our nightlife photography website will have no new photos to add since the clubs in the casinos are closed; and all the club advertisers on that site likewise disappear. Our nightclub VIP service stops business, immediately.

It would go beyond that–without the hundreds of thousands of casino employees working, local retail takes a dive. Without the tourists, even the high-end retail on the Strip suffers. The impact would be immeasurable.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the last time the Las Vegas Culinary Union–which represents about 60,000 casino, hospitality, hospital and airport employees in Vegas–organized a citywide strike was in 1984, which lasted for 67 days. There currently exists no union for casino workers such as dealers (though that could change, according to this Las Vegas Sun article), one day there could be, and one day the joining of forces could cause tremendous havoc in Sin City.

For now, we’re safe–the last potential Culinary strike, prompted a few months ago, mainly because of Downtown casinos, was averted by successful talks at the negotiating table. But as Hollywood has proven, things can change at the drop of a hat.