New Mexico’s most famous outlaw has inspired a new movie from the lofty realms of the Parisian French art community. “The New Kid,” by French artist Arnaud Dezoteux is an imaginative exploration of the notion of Billy the Kid alive today and interacting with local residents in Las Vegas, New Mexico. As the leading town in the New Mexico Territory in 1880, Las Vegas is a major source of history, legend, gossip and interest in the “The Kid.”
“The New Kid” will have its American premiere screenings in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Indigo Theater, a small boutique cinema at 146 Bridge Street. Showtimes for “The New Kid” are at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The screenings will be followed by a premiere after party at the Skillet bar and restaurant. “The New Kid” screenings are the centerpiece of a new Las Vegas community promotion called “Billy The Kid Shootout” scheduled from Thursday, Sept. 29 to Saturday, Oct. 1.
Arnaud Dezoteux graduated in 2011 from the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, where he learned innovative film techniques of utilizing the green screen studio for interactive visual effects with live actors. For “The New Kid,” this technique was utilized with local film students and Las Vegas personalities interpreting the iconic New Mexico outlaw Henry Antrim, aka Billy the Kid, as a teenager alive today. Dezoteux was sponsored on his filmmaking residency in Las Vegas in 2019 by Christian Mayeur and his wife Anne Poux, owners of the Mayeur Projects gallery on the northside of the historic Las Vegas Plaza. Mayeur himself, a patron and collector of contemporary art in France, has had a lifelong fascination with the American West and its popular culture. Mayeur and Poux found a distinctive landmark building on the old town plaza in need of rehabilitation in 2015 and decided to make an investment in Las Vegas. Since their impressive rehabilitation of the historic Miguel Romero house in 2016, Mayeur Projects has hosted several noted French artists who have completed artist in residency programs.
“The idea for ‘The New Kid’ actually was inspired over a coffee conversation we had with Arnaud in Paris one day, when we casually mentioned that Billy the Kid (may have) slept in our building on the Plaza,” Mayeur explained. “Within no time we had agreed that Arnaud would travel to Las Vegas and make his movie on Billy with a new twist, maybe a French twist!”
Over 40 major film productions related to Billy the Kid have been filmed since 1930, including a new television series “Billy the Kid” currently airing on the Epix Now streaming service. “The New Kid” will be the centerpiece of a Billy film fest at the shootout event, also screening Western genre classics including “The Outlaw,” “YoungGuns,” “Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid,” “The Kid” and others.
Indigo Theater will be hosting the American premiere of “The New Kid” on Sept. 28, which is a first for the small boutique theater on historic Bridge Street. Screenings of other Billy movies will also be offered on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University at its Student Union Building (SUB) and an author’s panel discussion with a screening of “The Left-Handed Gun” will be offered at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at NMHU’s Ilfeld Auditorium.
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