In our cinematically-challenged Valley, we look at the weekly smattering of new indie flicks at the Harkins Camelview and consider ourselves lucky. Well, why not send your fortunes into overdrive at the Scottsdale International Film Festival? Now in its 12th season, this annual goodie-bag of art-house-filmmaking looks to be Arizona’s top fall film festival, featuring more than 30 films including The Eye of the Storm, starring Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine) and other buzzed-about films such as Denmark’s Teddy Bear, starring bodybuilder Kim Kold, and the British-Irish IRA drama Shadow Dancer, starring Clive Owen. Sounds like a lucky star to us. Runs October 5 through October 9 at Harkins Shea 14. Visit scottsdalefilmfestival.com for more information.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
After losing his day job as a ski shop manager in 2009, F.Y.L. Scrudato decided to take a “shot” at an artistic career with custom-designed intergalactic prop ray guns. Armed only with his imagination, Scrudato salvages unusual objects from his home and local estate sales and assembles them into one-of-a-kind space-serial firearms seemingly borrowed from a Men in Black sequel.
We don’t always drink Arizona-based spirits, but when we do...
Prickly Pear Vodka:
Arguably the most Arizonan of all the Arizona-based spirits, this pink-bottled offering from Flagstaff’s High Spirits Distillery is boosted by tart desert fruit. High Spirits also makes Arizona’s only in-state-distilled whiskey, and gin with native aromatics. Suggested cocktail: Blend with grapefruit juice for a Desert Greyhound. Est. price: $30.
The best thing about her gourmet ice pop business, Pam Raphael says, is the flexibility and freedom it gives her to spend more time with her kids. Our vote goes to the fresh, sweet taste of her pops – not to mention the smooth, icy texture, equally delightful in a raspberry-melon or a fudgy chocolate-banana.
AZ Pops was born in August 2011 out of Raphael’s desire to give her kids a healthy snack after school. Since then, she’s carted her pop stand to local farmers’ markets, selling eight to 10 rotating flavors. A best seller is prickly pear with lime, made from cactuses Raphael harvests herself.