Go West: Fall in love with Yul Brynner’s big ol’ head

All anyone could talk about this time last year was the HBO series Westworld (which we loved, by the way), but many an annoying nerd just had to point out that it was actually the second time the Michael Crichton story had been transformed into a filmed property.

All hail 1973's Westworld, a brilliantly cheesy Yul Brynner/James Brolin-led film about the dangers of technology, especially when played out against humankind's darkest urges. In the film, Brynner is this totally bonkers android that unshackles itself from its programming to start killing fools in a (sorta-kinda) futuristic theme park. And though it may not share the complexities of the HBO version (nor does it feature local icon Tait Fletcher's scene as a suicidal robot), it does check all the boxes one wants in such a film: Goofy? Check. Brynner's bald head glinting in the sun? Check. Laughably dated ideas of future tech that make most modern-day people wince gleefully? Check.

Still, as a precursor to Jurassic Park and one of Brynner's final films, it's a culturally significant entry in American cinematic sci-fi history. "This was the very first Hollywood picture to use what we now call CGI," producer Paul Lazarus tells SFR. "With a mind like Crichton had, you trusted him."

Lazarus, who has produced, directed or written more television and film than even seems possible, calls Santa Fe home these days—but back then, he and Crichton were idealistic Hollywood newbies who placed vision above all else. “This was his first feature film, and he said he wasn’t going to let [MGM executive] James Aubrey recut the picture.” Now, keep in mind that everyone gets cut in Hollywood (except for maybe Stanley Kubrick at that time), Lazarus continues; but Crichton insisted, saying, “No, I have a way to do it.” So the young filmmakers, precious about authority over the work, gave Aubrey just enough footage to cut him off at the pass. Lazarus says, “We were told we’d never work in Hollywood again.”

Of course, they did. And Lazarus, who appears for a Q&A following this week's Westworld screening, will surely tell you more about it. (Alex De Vore)

Westworld (1973)
7 pm Tuesday Nov. 21. $9.50-$10.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
466-5528

Give a Little Bit

SFR File Photo

It's that time of the year when you start thinking only of your damn selves, but we're begging—begging—everyone to think about how it's tough for so many New Mexicans in need. At the Boxcar Gives Back food drive, simply bring nonperishable foods to donate (and no, we don't mean pumpkin pie mix or condensed milk—this isn't an excuse to declutter your pantry), and not only will you pick up that smug satisfaction of having done something good for your fellow humans, you'll get those sweet, sweet hip-hop, electronica and house tunes from DJ Saggaliffik. Win-win, suckers. (ADV)

Boxcar Gives Back:
10 pm Wednesday Nov. 15. Free.
Boxcar,
530 S Guadalupe St.,
988-7222.

Animal-Free

Courtesy Cirque Italia

We've finally hit a time when circuses that enslave animals are seen in a negative light, or even outlawed—but Cirque Italia has never really been about that anyway. The traveling troupe is more about comfortable seating, mermaids, dinosaurs, some sort of laser man and the incredible abilities of its international acrobats, dancers and athletes. This particular event hails itself as a "water circus," which is a fancy way of saying there's a 35,000-gallon water stage—and that's just good clean fun that one can feel good about and a great gathering for your family. (ADV)

Cirque Italia:
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday Nov. 16-18; also 1:30 and 4:30 pm Saturday and Sunday Nov. 18 and 19. $10-$50.
Rodeo de Santa Fe,
3237 Rodeo Road,
941-704-8572.

Vessels

Courtesy Santa Fe Clay

We've got one word for you: Cups. Yeah, that's right. Cups. We all need 'em, we all have our favorites (mine is this big fat ceramic one that holds so much coffee), and we can always use more. Enter Santa Fe Clay's Bottoms Up!, a show based on the wide world of cups. 150 artists from across the globe were invited to submit two cups each to the show, and things are bound to get weird (and beautiful). "The cup is one of the pivotal breakthroughs for civilized society and has remained an integral part of the lives of every human alive on this planet," curator Jonny Leather tells us. "Cups are the most useful works of art I've ever owned." (ADV)

Bottoms Up! A Celebration of Cups: 
5 pm Friday Nov. 17. Free.
Santa Fe Clay,
545 Camino de la Familia,
984-1122.