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The Santa Fe New Mexican from Santa Fe, New Mexico • Page Z056

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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continued from Page 55 Plympton), bloody gun duels, and dark humor. For a low-budget oater, Shoot First is surprisingly well shot, well acted, and mostly well scripted (though it's a bit talky and repetitious in places). A discussion between two gunmen about bee stings is pretty funny, and the use of flashbacks and split-screen imagery, while not particularly original, effectively works to move the story forward. (3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec.

5, Regal DeVargas, DeVargas Center, 564 N. Guadalupe 988- 2775) R.N. STUPID TEENAGERS MUST DIE (76 minutes) OK, this one is probably best left to teenagers (smart or stupid) and fans of 1980s low-budget horror movies. Jeff C. Smith directs a no-name cast that, for the most part, delivers the goods in paying respectful homage to a not-very-respected genre.

Ten teens a pair of geeks, a switchblade sicko, a calm hero, some screaming sirens, and a pair of lesbians who never stop panting and moaning in a seductive fashion enter the infamous Murderer McGee House to hold a seance. But as we all know, children shouldn't play with dead things. This film looks like it was made on a budget of about $28; the cinematography is grainy; the sets have bare-bones decorations (and, in one case, skeleton bones); and the special effects are cheesy. That said, the cast is game; there are the expected flashes of nudity; and the spirit is willing to show up and kill people, that is. Jovan Meredith is particularly good as the hero.

(9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, 989- 4423) R.N. THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC (63 minutes) Eldon, Iowa (population 998), has been part of your life for quite some time, thanks to a little white house with a very special window portrayed in a painting by Iowa native Grant Wood (1891-1942). In the spirit of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris who gave us Gates of Heaven in 1978 comes This American Gothic from Sasha Waters Freyer.

Like Morris, Freyer has captured with humor, local dialogue, and credible references the persona of small-town America. Along the way, we also learn a thing or two about Wood's iconic painting American Gothic (1930). Part art history and part a portrait of the residents of Eldon, Freyer's film is essentially a sociological study of human pride and can-do attitude in bolstering a struggling local economy by capitalizing on the little house with the Carpenter Gothic-style window that is the town's only claim to fame. T-shirts, bake sales, a street parade, and a tattoo guy who lives down by the river all play into the story. The town aims to have an American Gothic visitors' center built to increase commerce in the town.

(10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, Tipton Hall, College of Santa Fe campus, 1600 St.

Michael's Drive, 473-6011) D.F TORN FROM THE FLAG (97 minutes) Klaudia Kovacs' riveting documentary on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution sketches the fragile, shifting lines between war and peace, liberty and tyranny, hope and despair, and life and death. The film examines Khrushchev's conflicted decision to crush the uprising, the United Nations' vacillation over the possibility of intervention, and Eisenhower's exploitation of the tragic events to score propaganda points against the Soviets while Hungary waited in vain for Western help. But it also reveals the serious fears that intervention might have led to nuclear war. Much of the story is told through interviews with surviving participants, including former student radicals, freedom fighters, Communist Party officials, From Torn from the Flag: Budapest's Corvin Circle, the site of a major battle of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, during a lull in the fighting A couple of rakes from This American Gothic 2008 SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL 56 December 5 11, 2008.

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