December 2017


Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns

Film Salon — The Film Salon meets at the first Saturday of the month at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 250 E. Montecillo. Showing at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 is “Hidden Fortress” as part of the Kurosawa and Beyond series. Tickets: $3; available at Information:

 ‘A Christmas Story’ — A screening of the holiday favorite is 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall.  In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. Admission: $8. Information: (575) 541-2290 or

Jay’s Pix Presents at the International Museum — Film historian Jay Duncan and the Sunset Film Society host film presentations at 2 p.m. Saturdays at International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana (door on Brown Street opens at 1:30 p.m. to enter directly into auditorium). Presentations include commentary, anecdotes and facts behind the films. Admission is free; donations and museum membership appreciated. Popcorn, beverages, candy and snacks available for purchase. No movie Oct. 21. Information: 543-6747 (museum),
  December features classic and popular holiday movies.
Dec. 2: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” written by John Hughes. On the third outing with the Griswold family, everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong during the hectic holiday season.
Dec. 9: “Home Alone.” When 8-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally forgotten at home when his family leaves for Christmas in Paris, he must become resourceful when would-be burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) target the “vacant” house.
Dec. 16: “Christmas with the Kranks.” When the empty-nest syndrome kicks in, a couple decide to skip Christmas … much to the chagrin of their neighbors.
Dec. 23: “Scrooge” (released as “A Christmas Carol” in the United States). Generally accepted as the definitive film version of the Dickens novella, this British production features   Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. 
Dec. 30: “The Holiday.” Two lovelorn women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean exchange homes to escape heartbreak during the holiday season.

‘The Wall VR’ — Implied Motion presents the premiere of the Virtual Reality Film 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Fab Lab, 601 N. Oregon, Suite 2. The 18-minute film will be screened several times. Admission is free; space is limited. Information: Contact: Claudio Lai, 270-6834 or 
   “The Wall VR” was produced entirely in El Paso, Texas. This film showcases the issues directly related to the plight of children affected by DACA (or dreamers) as well as refugees who attempt to cross the Border. There will be an exclusive regular non-VR screening as well as multiple immersive synchronous 360 Virtual Reality screenings with surround sound.

Holiday Movies at Plaza — El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival and El Paso Live are teaming up to show free Holiday Movies selected Sundays in December at the Plaza Theatre as part of the second annual WinterFest. Organists Ken Fedorick, Richard Garven and Laurie Koval will perform on the Plaza’s original, restored Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Organ before each movie. Information:
Dec. 3: “Elf” at 1 p.m. and “The Polar Express” at 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 6 p.m.
Dec. 31: “Frozen” at 2:30 p.m.
  WinterFest, which includes ice skating in Arts Festival Plaza, runs through Jan. 1. Information:

Pax Christi Film Series — The series presents a screening of the biopic
“Mother Teresa” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at St. Joseph School auditorium, 1315 Travis (enter through parking lot across from rectory). Discussion will follow. Admission is free, donations accepted. Information: 740-3962.
  Olivia Hussey, the actress who played the Virgin Mary in Franco Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth,” portrays Mother Teresa, who helped the poor in the slums of Calcutta.

Star Wars Weekend — In celebration of the premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 14, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 250 E. Montecillo, hosts a weekend of Star Wars themed activities Dec. 14-16. Information: or on Facebook.
  El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform the score for ”Star Wars” 6 to 6:30 p.m. in Glass Half Full, Thursday.
  Local artist Roman Martinez will have a pop-up shop 6 to 10 p.m. all three days featuring “Estar Guars” Loteria cards, and loteria games will be hold in the Glass Half Full Tap Room. Members of the 501st will be on site for pictures with guests.

Jay’s Pix Presents — Film historian Jay Duncan and the Sunset Film Society presents “A Retro Animation Holiday Celebration,” at noon Sunday, Dec. 17, at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing’s gallery, One Ardovino Drive in Sunland Park. Admission is free, but reservations strongly recommended; RVSP via
   The celebration of favorite holiday shorts from the ’60s and ’70s includes “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Fountain Theatre — 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, 1/2 block south of the plaza in Mesilla. The historic theater, operated by the Mesilla Valley Film Society, features films at 7:30 p.m. nightly, plus 1:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $7 ($6 seniors, military and students with ID; $5 children and society members); $5 on Wednesday. Information, schedule: (575) 524-8287 or 
Through Nov. 30: “New York Dog Film Festival.” A philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people, offering canine-themed films from around the world. 
  Thursday Nov. 30 screening at 1:30 p.m.; no evening screening.
Dec. 1-7: “Victoria and Abdul.”  The true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) remarkable rule. A young clerk travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. To his surprise, he finds favor with the Queen herself. 
Dec. 9-14: “Marshall.” Long before he successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education or sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP.
Dec. 15-21: “The Florida Project.” A precocious 6-year-old courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.  
Dec. 22-28: “Jane.” Using a trove of unseen footage, the film tells the story of Jane Goodall’s early explorations, focusing on her groundbreaking field work, her relationship with cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that she studied.
  Dec. 28: 1:30 p.m. only.
Dec. 29-Jan. 4: “The Teacher.”  Since the arrival of the new teacher to a Bratislava suburban school in the year of 1983, life has turned upside down for students and parents. In Slovak with subtitles.
 Dec. 31: 2:30 p.m. only.

New Mexico Museum of Space History — 3198 SR 2001, Alamogordo. Tombaugh IMAX Dome Theater tickets are $7 ($6 seniors and military; $5 ages 4-12). Planetarium show is $5 ($4 seniors, military and children). Ages 3 and under free. Museum/IMAX combo tickets available. Information: (877) 333-6589 or (575) 437-2840, or on Facebook. 
• “The Mystery of the Christmas Star” shows at 3:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 1. While seeking to discover a scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed, the film also explores the historical significance of the story.
  Also showing:
• “Aircraft Carrier.” The film features computer generated visualizations of the technology that makes a carrier the preeminent maritime vessel. Showing 11:05 a.m. and 1:10 and 4:05 p.m.
• ”National Parks Adventures” Three adventurers explore America’s wildest, most historic and most naturally beautiful places. Narrated by Robert Redford. Showing at 10:10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
• “Back to the Moon for Good,” presented by the XPrize Foundation, showing 45 years of space exploration. Narrated by Tim Allen. Showing at 12:30 p.m. 
• Live Digital Planetarium Star Show is at 11:55 a.m. and 2:55 p.m. 
  The theater features the world’s first Spitz Scidome 4k Laser full dome planetarium projection system.

Jay’s Film Forecast — Film historian Jay Duncan prepared this list of top monthly “Coming Attractions” for movie fans, listed by studio and release date (subject to change):
  Dec. 1:
• Another WolfCop (Vortex Words) — Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry. Directed by Lowell Dean.
• The Disaster Artist (A24) — Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Alison Brie. Directed by Franco.
•  Gangster Land Cinedigm) — Sean Faris, Milo Gibson, Jason Patric. Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.
• Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate) — Method Man, Hana Mae Lee, Common. Directed by RZA.
• Naples ‘44 (First Run) — Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine. Directed by Francisco Patierno.
• Padmavati (Paramount Classics) — Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
• The Tribes of Palos Verdes (IFC) — Maika Monroe, Cody Fern, Jennifer Garner. Directed by Brendan Malloy and Emmett Malloy.
• Wonder Wheel (Amazon) — Jim Belushi, Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake. Directed by Woody Allen.
 Dec. 8:
• All the Money in the World (TriStar) — Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer. Directed by Ridley Scott.
• I, Tonya (30West) — Bobby Cannavale, Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan. Directed by Craig Gillespie.
• Just Getting Started (Broad Green) — Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by Ron Shelton.
• The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) —  Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer. Directed by Guillermo del Toro.
 Dec. 15:
• Ferdinand (20th Century-Fox) — CG Animation. Voices of Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, John Cena. Directed by Carlos Saldanha.
• Permanent (Magnolia) — Patricia Arquette, Rainn Wilson, Kira McLean. Directed by Colette Burson.
• Star Wars:  The Last Jedi (Disney) — Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher. Directed by Rian Johnson. (8th film in the franchise)
 Dec. 22:  
• Downsizing (Paramount) — Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz. Directed by Alexander Payne.
• Father Figures (Warner Bros.) — Christopher Walken, Glenn Close, J.K. Simmons. Directed by Lawrence Sher.
• Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics) — Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz. Directed by Michael Haneke.
• Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Columbia) — Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black. Directed by Jake Kasdan. Continuation of 1995 film starring Robin Williams.
• Pitch Perfect 3 (Universal) — Ruby Rose, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick. Directed by Trish Sie.
• The Post (20th Century-Fox) — Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
 Dec. 29
• Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (Sony Classics) – Jamie Bell Annette Bening, Vanessa Redgrave. Directed by Paul McGuigan.
• The Greatest Showman (20th Century-Fox) — Zendaya, Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron. Directed by Michael Gracey.
• Molly's Game (STX) — Idris Elba, Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner. Directed by Aaron Sorkin.
• Phantom Thread (Focus) — Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Camilla Rutherford. Directed by Paul Thomas Andersen.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

 Dec. 5:
• Despicable Me 3. PG

 Dec. 12:
• Kingsman: The Golden Circle. R
• Detroit. R
• Home Again. PG-13

 Dec. 19:
• mother!. R
• Dunkirk. PG-13
• The LEGO Ninjago Movie. PG
• Victoria & Abdul. PG-13

 Dec. 26:
• Flatliners. PG-13

 Jan. 9:
• It. R
• The Foreigner. R
• My Little Pony: The Movie. PG

El Paso Scene MONTHLY
This month's listings,
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Feature story
Here's the Ticket
Program Notes
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History Lessons
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