December-January Events Calendar

November 30, 2009

ANNOUNCMENTS. (To get your announcement in our print events calendar, e-mail information by the 15th of the month before publication to grassrootspress@gmail.com   Priority will be given to events with a progressive or social justice theme or arts, music and cultural happenings that resonate with a sustainable lifestyle.)

Mountain View Market Co-op

Numerous events or classes are held at Mountain View Market Co-op, 1300 El Paseo, in the Idaho Crossings Center. Please call 523-0436 for information on classes, including price and pre-registration requirements.
Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano, Roundtable Schedule for December 2009. Roundtables are held from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the library.
Dec. 6, Dr. Rebecca Creamer-Richins: Farming in the Mesilla Valley

This is another in our series on Ethical Eating (understanding the economic, cultural, environmental and ethical issues in food production and distribution). Farming is a risky business. There are many variables over which farmers have limited control, but each can spell disaster if they guess wrong. What and how much should the farmer plant? What problems are they likely to encounter with weather, water availability, weeds, insects, disease, soil conditions and crop prices? Rebecca is an associate professor in Plant Virology. She teaches and does research in the department of  Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science at NMSU. She will discuss how NMSU works with local farmers to try and overcome these problems, and how farming has changed in the Mesilla Valley over the years.

Dec .13, Dale Robison: Nature Religion, the Forgotten Religious Tradition in America

There are two broad strains in American Religion. The first is the Jewish and Christian traditions mediated through scriptures. The second is the enlightened religion of the founders and framers of the Constitution and free institutions. The first is often called organized religion; the second is usually named “civil religion.” Another American religious strain, often overlooked and ignored, is Nature Religion, a protean, enduring, sometimes foggy mix of popular culture – in the best sense of that term – and religion.  New Age, anyone?

Dec. 20, Paul Lawrence:  Stuck in the Gender Binary

A number of people at the church have commented on the issues of gay and lesbian and trans people who have been in and out of the congregation. I think there is some confusion about how these roles fit into the community, and a look at this would result in an informative and lively discussion.

Dec. 27, Barbara Myers: “The Bright Side?”

Barbara will lead a discussion based on Barbara Ehrenreich’s book “The Bright Side.” The subtitle is  “The Relentless Emphasis on Positive Thinking is Undermining the American Way of Life.”

  • EVERY WEDNESDAY from 4-6 p.m. Weekly Peace Vigil near the Federal Building, Church and Griggs, in downtown Las Cruces. Bring signs, water and sunscreen. Exact location may vary due to construction.
  • EVERY MONDAY from 5-6 p.m., Peace Vigil at Veteran’s Park, under the rotunda. For information visit http://clearmindzen.org
  • EVERY TUESDAY (ALBUQUERQUE) BE PEACE!  Join our Yang-style tai chi group each Tuesday evening 7-8 pm at the Harwood Art Center at 7th and Mountain Streets downtown Albuquerque.  For more info visit harwoodartcenter.org and click on the “classes” tab, or call 505 792.4519.
  • EVERY 1st and 3rd FRIDAY, 7 p.m. Howling Coyote Coffeehouse, New location: First Christian Church, 1809 El Paseo, directly East and across the street from Las Cruces High. open mic music and poetry, refreshments. Doors open at 6:30. More information, Bob Burns, 525-9333.
  • EVERY 2nd and 4th FRIDAY NIGHT from 7 pm to 9:30 p.m., Open Mic at Starbuck’s on University. More information, contact Larry Stocker, 496-3638.
  • EVERY SUNDAY (ALMOST), 7 p.m. Open Mic at Starbuck’s on Valley. More information, contact Larry Stocker, 496-3638.
  • FOURTH THURSDAY: Progressive Voter Alliance monthly meetings, Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite. Next meeting Thursday, Jan. 28. More information, www.pva-nm.org
  • EVERY SATURDAY, CineMatinee. Each and every Saturday afternoon, a quality-talking picture (with an occasional silent one) will be screened at the Fountain Theatre in Mesilla, 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, one block south of the plaza. All screenings begin at 1.30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.  Admission is $4, or $1 for Mesilla Valley Film Society members. For more information, please call 524-8287 or 522-0286 or visit our web site: http://mesillavalleyfilm.org

December Cinematinee

Dec. 5, The Mesilla Valley Film Society’s final 20th anniversary celebration, a program called Shorts and Sweets. Please note that regular evening admission prices will apply to this CineMatinee screening ONLY: $7 for non-members, $6 for seniors and students with ID, $5 for MVFS members. Join us one last time as we celebrate 20 years of wonderful movies at the Fountain Theatre, by presenting this special selection of short films, followed by special desserts from Stephanie of Let Them Eat Cake. The following short films will be shown and the program will run about 2 hours:

Red Mesa by Ilana Lapid (17 minutes, made in NM). Unable to share her beloved grandfather’s dreams for her future, Lynn charts her own path by seeking love beyond familiar borders. Caught in the crossfire of her affection for her grandfather and her secret love with an undocumented worker, Lynn must decide which borders she is willing to cross.

The Delian Mode (25 minutes), a short experimental documentary revolving around the life and work of electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, best known for her groundbreaking sound treatment of the Doctor Who theme music.

Gandhi at the Bat (11 minutes), a comical newsreel-style account of the little-known (and totally fictional) incident when Mohandas K. Gandhi pinch hit for the New York Yankees in 1933. Based on a short story by Chet Williamson that originally appeared in the New Yorker magazine in 1983.

Two additional films will be shown. Check www.mesillavalleyfilm.org for details.

Dec. 12, Christmas in the Clouds (2001, 94 minutes, rated PG—our annual screening!) Reminiscent of those great screwball comedies from the 1930s and 1940s, Christmas in the Clouds charms viewers with its delightful tale of romance, mistaken identities – and Bingo. Set primarily on a ski resort owned by a Native American tribe, this amusing film features appealing co-stars, quirky supporting characters, and a story that warms your heart. Written and directed with considerable style by Kate Montgomery, Christmas in the Clouds earned the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2001 Austin Film Festival and was named Best Native-American Themed Film at the Santa Fe Film Festival that same year.

Dec. 19, How About You? (2007, 90 minutes, not rated).  How About You?, based on a story by the esteemed Irish writer Maeve Binchy, has a remarkable cast for a small, non-mainstream effort: Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Fricker, Imelda Staunton and Joss Ackland as the cantankerous oldsters, playing against Hayley Atwell as a young caregiver.

Dec 26, About a Boy (2002, 100 minutes, rated PG-13). Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) is the quintessential bachelor; he knows that he’s shallow (Rachel Weisz’s character refers to him as “a bit blank”), an awareness that contributes to the low self-esteem that created it in the first place. The beauty of About a Boy is that Will’s story – delivered in tandem with that of Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a 12-year-old boy whose life will become entangled with Will’s by pure fluke – is presented refreshingly honestly and with an intelligence and wit that is often drained out of similarly intentioned films.

January Cinematinee (schedule is tentative)

Jan. 2, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, 112 minutes, rated PG, partially shot in NM) Having scored a critical triumph with Mean Streets, Martin Scorsese accepted Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore as his first big-studio directing assignment, proving his versatility and further advancing his promising career. Star Ellyn Burstyn after her performance in The Exorcist was given her choice of projects at Warner Brothers, and she sought fresh talent (Scorsese was recommended by Francis Coppola) to direct Robert Getchell’s fine, sensitive screenplay about Alice Wyatt, a newly-widowed 35-year-old lounge singer with a bratty 12-year-old son (Alfred Lutter) and a very uncertain future.

There have been several similar dramas made since 1974, but Alice (which inspired the popular TV sitcoms Alice and Flo) is still, by far, the best.

Jan. 9, In the Electric Mist (2009, 102 minutes, rated R). The last time one of James Lee Burke’s mystery novels saw the big screen treatment, the result, Heaven’s Prisoners (1996), was shrugged off, ignored and/or despised. Now the acclaimed French director Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de Torchon, ‘Round Midnight) has made a second attempt with In the Electric Mist, and the final product is much more interesting. Tommy Lee Jones is just right as Burke’s New Orleans police detective Dave Robicheaux, a recovering alcoholic who sees ghosts of Civil War generals, and he is supported by a patient but disarming wife (Mary Steenburgen). Although Burke’s original novel was written in 1993, the events of this film take place after Hurricane Katrina. The movie has a nice rundown feel, with residents having just scraped bottom and starting to climb back up again.

Jan.16, Whale Rider (2003, 101 minutes, rated PG-13). One of the most charming and critically acclaimed films of 2003, the New Zealand hit Whale Rider effectively combines Maori tribal tradition with the timely “girl power” of a vibrant new millennium. Despite the discouragement of her gruff and disapproving grandfather (Rawiri Paratene), who nearly disowns her because she is female and therefore traditionally disqualified from tribal leadership, 12-year-old Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is convinced that she is a tribal leader, and sets about to prove it.

Jan. 23, Fools Rush In (1997, 109 minutes, rated PG-13, small portion shot in NM. With rare exceptions, romantic comedies spotlight actors, not storylines, and, in Fools Rush In, director Andy Tennant has unearthed a pair of winners. Matthew Perry proves to have a style perfectly suited to this sort of low-key, light role. He’s the kind of actor you naturally want to like. Salma Hayek has the face of an angel and a body to kill for. She radiates both sensuality and sweetness and makes a delightful opposite for the more laid-back Perry. These two are believable as a divided couple who are hopelessly in love.

Jan. 30, Lust in the Dust (1985, 84 minutes, made in New Mexico). After forming a match made in trash-movie heaven in John Waters’ Polyester, Tab Hunter and Divine reunited for this deliciously silly Western comedy, which borrows its title from the nickname for Duel in the Sun, the turgid Western that inspired director Paul Bartel’s affectionate spoofery.

With Hunter wearing two hats as hero and co producer, the movie indulges its own outrageous excess while staying true to the dustiest traditions of the Western genre. It’s just good enough to watch without shame, and rude enough to hide from more easily offended members of the family.

  • Saturday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. Free Lecture on EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – a method of healing from trauma that is quick and easy, proven effective. With Adrienne Wilson, M.Ed., LPCC. Mountain View Market, 1300 El Paseo, in the Idaho Crossings Center, Las Cruces, 575-523-0436.
  • Monday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park Friends Meet. The Friends of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park will meet at the Park at 5000 Calle del Norte, Las Cruces. All MVBSP Friends and those who are interested in supporting the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park are invited to attend. The park fee will be waived for those attending the meeting. For more information, call 523-8009.
  • Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park 1st Anniversary Celebration. The first anniversary of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, which opened to the public on Dec. 13th, 2008, will be celebrated with an open house at the Park, 5000 Calle del Norte. The Friends group will serve birthday cake and coffee to all visitors. We’ll have a brief presentation at 11 a.m. recapping the milestones of the last year. The regular Park fee of $5 per vehicle will be waived during this event. The public is invited to join the festivities at the Park. Our new State Park is a true gem. A mix of high desert and wetlands, it is rich with wildlife and flora. More than 300 acres are there to explore. For more information on this event or other activities of the Friends of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, call 575 523-8009.
  • Saturday, Dec. 12 from 4- 4:30 p.m., with Q and A afterwards. Boosting Your Immune System for Cold and Flu Season. A FREE presentation. Herbalist Trish McCaul will cover herbs, supplements and practices for strengthening the immune system at Mountain View Market, 1300 El Paseo in the Idaho Crossings Center, Las Cruces, 575-523-0436.
  • Sunday, Dec. 13, 3 p.m., Pax Christi Film Series. Posada: A Night to Cross All Borders will be shown at the Mother Teresa Center, 2400 East Yandell Drive (between Piedras and Cotton streets), El Paso. Admission is free. The U.S. Border Patrol turns away 100,000 unaccompanied immigrant children every year. The Pax Christi film for December tells the story of three Central American teenagers whose dramatic pilgrimage helped lay the foundation for future immigrants needing assistance. This series of films on peace and justice themes is sponsored by Pax Christi El Paso and the Peace & Justice Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. Admission is free.  For more information, call 915 532-0527.
  • Saturday, January 30, ongoing: Begins New 12 Step Support Group for Women, Las Cruces. Weekly meetings with videos, based on Native American teachings, yet for any woman for any 12-Step issue. Location and details: 575 524-9830.

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