Dear Jon

Filmmaker Jon Moritsugu kicks off the hype train for his newest flick

Santa Fe transplant and celebrated underground filmmaker Jon Moritsugu has been busy. Since last year, he and his wife/muse/regular movie star Amy Davis have been tearing through the production of Moritsugu's new opus, Numbskull America, which also stars James Duval—perhaps you know him as Frank the bunny from Donnie Darko? Regardless, Moritsugu and Davis are full-fledged Santa Feans by this point, and the film also contains roles or cameos from local bands like Sex Headaches, local personalities like Jessie Deluxe and any number of blink-and-miss-it moments from the townsfolk.

"At any point you'll look up at the screen and recognize two-thirds of the talent," Moritsugu says.

But what's the movie all about?

"It's about conceptual artists; it's a movie that's making fun of the art world," Moritsugu tells SFR. "But I'm an artist, too, so I'm making fun of myself as well as the metaphysical, poetic art stuff—as much as I'm making fun of artists, I'm paying homage to them."

In the film, the successful but uptight conceptual artist Cucumber (played by Davis) runs afoul of her twin sister (also played by Davis), a big-time partier and polar opposite, as well as another artist (played by Duval), a former friend and collaborator who hasn't been nearly as successful. Madness ensues. For Moritsugu, it's a bit about the duality found within us all.

"Amy is acting with herself, and it becomes like the classic super ego versus the id," he explains. "Our personalities are composed of these elements that are almost at war with each other; I've found that if I'm too uptight with myself, it's fucked up; if I'm partying too much, it's fucked up—it can't just be one or the other."

Moritsugu says that despite delays caused by a book deal he picked up to write his memoir, he's roughly 75 percent done with the editing process and plans to showcase 10 to 15 minutes of Numbskull Revolution at the Center for Contemporary Arts on Wednesday July 25. He'll also screen a previous film, 1993's Terminal USA, at the same event. The idea is to drum up some hype for the new flick and give movie-goers a look into his process.

"I thought there was going to be one path to so-called success," Moritsugu muses, "but there are many roads that lead to different places. It's all mutable, which is beautiful, but a hard thing to hold onto." (Alex De Vore)

Numbskull Revolution and Terminal USA: 
8:30 pm Wednesday July 25. $10.
Center for Contemporary Arts,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
982-1338

Market Value

Courtesy Spanish colonial Arts Society / Frank Zamora
Expect an especially colorful scene on the Plaza as it fills up with a veritable smorgasbord of woodcarving, tinwork, colcha, hide painting, retablos, straw appliqué, furniture, weaving, jewelry, filigree, pottery and ironwork. This annual array of works from New Mexico and Southern Colorado artists and craftspeople—now in its 67th year—is known to be rigorous in its traditional accuracy and excellent in its craftsmanship. Many of the artists depend on their craft as their only source of income, and styles vary widely but all contain signifiers of a four-century history. Plenty of traditional music and dance on the Bandstand accompanies the market, as well as a special Market Mass at 8 am Sunday at the Cathedral. (Eva Rosenfeld)

Spanish Market
8 am-5 pm Saturday and Sunday July 28 and 29. Free.
Santa Fe Plaza,
100 Old Santa Fe Trail,
982-2226.

The Best Around

SFR File Photo

Thousands nominated. Thousands voted. And now we've finally revealed the winners of this year's Best of Santa Fe within the paper you hold in your hot little hands this very moment (or that you're reading online). But how to mark such a prestigious and glorious occasion? A big fat party in the Railyard, that's how. Join your pals from SFR alongside winners, losers, notable locals, the best band and DJ plus the Santa Fe Salutes tribute to Tom Petty (see more about that on page 84). Find beer, food, a dunk tank, tattoos and so much more—and there's no cover charge. See you there, Santa Fe? Yeah, we will. (ADV)

Best of Santa Fe Party: 
5-9 pm Friday July 27. Free.
Santa Fe Railyard,
Market and Alcaldesa Streets,
988-5541.

Neo-Picasso

Courtesy Pop Gallery
Artist Brandon Maldonado adheres to Pablo Picasso’s alleged axiom that an eye in the socket will be taken for granted, but an eye on the forehead will be seen anew. In his paintings, he tries to create such a disjoint between the subject and the method; for Maldonado, the image is only a gesture toward a more profound metaphysical experience. In this exhibition, his striking subject matter is the people and cultures of Mexico, including imagery of flowering cacti, pre-quinceañera grooming and a re-imagining of La Calavera Catrina. Stylistically, he works mainly in cubism, but not without some psychedelia and 18th-century Baroque style thrown into the mix. (ER)

Brandon Maldonado: Neo-Picassoism: 
6 pm Saturday July 28. Free.
Pop Gallery,
125 E Lincoln Ave., Ste. 111,
820-0788.