When I was living on a tiny island, I became a fan of old-style Westerns. I would often ignore the plot and gaze at the huge expanses of land—buttes, mesas, mountains, Monument Valley—and think of home. DVDs weren't easy to come by, so I also found myself watching films that I hadn't seen in years, like Red Dawn.
Watching Red Dawn . . . wait! Is that the Carnegie Library in Las Vegas, New Mexico??? Indeed it is! Imagine that, Patrick Swayze and the Wolverines playing 80's war games in good old Las Vegas (even though they call it Calumet, Colorado in the film).
While the movie industry in New Mexico has gotten a lot of business, press, and awards over the last few years, this state has long been a backdrop for both Hollywood and independent filmmakers. Salt of the Earth is a semi-fictional account of a zinc miners strike from 1954, and many supporting cast members were native New Mexicans. Counter-culture 60's classic Easy Rider also takes its swing through New Mexico, including the Las Vegas jail. Rock icon David Bowie played an alien who first fell on the slopes of Madrid in The Man who Fell to Earth, released in 1976. And don't forget 1971's Two-Lane Blacktop, which features the Santa Fe Plaza and other local landmarks.
And there are more. Many more. You can find many of them on our shelves and in our catalog. Main Library's neighbor, Video Library, has a section of movies filmed in New Mexico, so you can just browse, rent, watch, and try to identify different places. (Just don't try to use your public library card at Video Library.) Best of all, you can see a bit of the state's history, land, and people dancing across the silver screen.