GO WEST, YOUNG PEOPLE. Imagine the allure of going west in 1950s East Germany. Still 30 years from the wall tumbling down, it was not only enticing, it was politically, if not personally, dangerous.
A Berlin Romance is a film that, in 1956, was ahead of its time. Inspired by the neo-realist filmmakers of Italy, director Gerhard Klein and screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlaase created an honest portrait of life among young adults living in the divided Berlin.
It's the story of an East German salesgirl and a West German auto mechanic. They fall in love and agree to settle in the more prosperous West. As cracks in the façade of the West German economic miracle become apparent to them, they decide to relocate back to the East.
The filmmakers had to fight interference from the Ministry of Film who feared the movie would encourage East German youth to search for adventure in the West. Makes you wonder if there was a different ending in the original cut.
The free screening is the last of the Fall Film Series hosted by the Department of German Studies. It starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Modern Languages Auditorium, just off Second Street and Mountain Avenue.
ECHOES OF THE CANYON. Close your eyes. Listen to the mellifluous voice of the flute, its echoes bouncing off ancient pueblo adobe walls.
Gary Stroutsos is a composer, educator, producer and performer on world flutes. His newest album, Echoes of Canyon De Chelly, is based on the music that may have been played by early pueblo people. Since 1994, Stroutsos has produced and recorded more than 10 albums and he's been featured on the internationally syndicated radio program, Echoes. His music even found its way to Ken Burns' documentary about the Lewis and Clark journey.
Stroutsos shares his knowledge of the Native American flute and its place in ritual and life in two free performances today at 3 and 6:30 p.m. at the Western National Parks Association Store in Oro Valley. Take Oracle Road north to Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and turn left, then left again at Innovation Park Drive to North Vistoso Village Drive. Call with questions at 622-6014.
GREEDY, GREEDY. Development is destroying the Southwest's increasingly precious and embattled open spaces. Much of this development is replete with spiritual emptiness.
Flagstaff writer Mary Sojourner has penned a new book of essays, Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest. Sojourner, a 60-something author, NPR commentator and Arizona transplant, has become an acclaimed environmental writer and respected grassroots activist. Lately she's written about Southwestern deserts, forests and canyons, but also of family, friends and lovers and a woman's wary passage into middle age. And then there's that greed and spiritual dearth that bugs her.
Hear what she has to say at 7 p.m. in a free reading at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. Call for details at 792-3715.
ARTSPEAK. Sometimes the narrative around the process of making art is more compelling than the art itself. Or at least it makes things clearer when viewing the work.
Three artists have something to say about their work in a closing reception of their show at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery at 7 p.m. Anne Rafaela Franklin is a sculptor who works in clay, glass, concrete and steel and explores the manifestation of the sacred in the duties and pleasures of everyday life. Lorin Labardee's large-scale, inkjet photographs of dolls created from skulls and found objects epitomize the burden of spirituality, profanity and absurdity we place upon children today. He came to photography after the birth of his son by way of journalism and furniture making. And Daniela Pulido works in mixed media sculpture and installation. Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, she explores her own identity, mapping her route through places and experiences.
View the work. Listen to the stories behind the art. Meet the artists. The gallery is located at 135 E. Congress St. The show stays up for another week until November 30 as does the Day of the Dead group show and shrine dedicated to Frida Kahlo in the members' back gallery. Hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Who else but Arizona's official State Balladeer could enshrine the bedrock of comfort in a pre-Thanksgiving concert, Home for the Holidays.
Dolan Ellis takes traditional Autumn Leaves and turns it into a medley with California Dreamin'. He revisits the home of childhood in The Old Homestead and pays homage to homes lost in the Rodeo-Chediski fire in his recently penned Wildfire. Ellis has been the state's balladeer since 1966 and he was an original member of the New Christy Minstrels. He's written more than 300 songs about Arizona and its people. Along with his 12-string guitar, Ellis is often accompanied by large-screen photography to illustrate many of his songs.
Home for the Holidays starts at 2 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Arizona Folklore Preserve, 44 Ramsey Canyon Road in Hereford. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. Leave the RVs and pets at home. Call 378-6165 for more information or to reserve tickets, which sell out quickly.
NEED SOME LAUGHS? Who wouldn't with the depressing, militaristic bellicosity of late. Robert Post is sure to get a chuckle out of the most serious sad face. Combining elements of physical comedy, dialects, mime, circus skills and spontaneous dialogue with the audience, Post is a one-man gag-fest.
The Postman Delivers bursts on stage with rapid-fire character changes. The show grabs from his vast repertoire, including SPIKED!, an impossibly fast-paced work set entirely to a sound effects tape; POST Child, a duet with a puppet that looks like a third-grade version of Post himself; Pasquale's Kitchen, where a wacky television chef whips up a feast of juggling, visual gags, dialects, jokes, magic and rhythm; and Tango, that features a passionate dance with red long johns.
If you need a lot of laughs right now, this is the guy to provide them. His show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Pima Community College's West Campus Center for the Arts at 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $12 for students. Bring a whole bunch of serious faces and you get a discount (10 or more in your group). Call 206-6986 for tickets or details.
SIMPLY ORNAMENTAL. Freaking out about the holiday season? Relax. To usher it in, a bevy of galleries are hosting a bunch of holiday shows.
St. Philip's Plaza is bursting with galleries including the new space where Obsidian Gallery just moved in. The holiday exhibition inaugurates the new digs with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring Laura Pesce, Mary Ryan and Sarah Graham. These artists work in glass, sculpture, paintings with glass, drawings and jewelry. New artists in other craft media are introduced as well and there's the regular Obsidian artists presenting innovative wares to tempt the gift giver and collector. The concurrent show, Ornametal, features handmade ornaments by 40 metal artists.
Galleries hosting receptions at the Plaza tonight include Philabaum Glass Gallery and Bahti Indian Arts. Obsidian's regular gallery hours for the show that continues through December 28 are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. St. Philip's Plaza is located at Campbell Avenue just south of River Road. Call for more information at 577-3598.
BIG-BONED GAL. One of my favorite songs is k.d. lang's tribute to big women from Southern Alberta--probably due to my 98-pound-weakling status.
Buffalo Plus, the Buffalo Exchange branch that specializes in contemporary and junior fashions for plus sizes, invites all of us to their EveryBODY is a DIVA fundraiser fashion show.
There's the show from noon to 2 p.m. followed by a how-to seminar on how to look like a Buffalo Plus model. There's live acoustic music by Chrystal and local DJs spin tunes. It's all free and takes place next door to Buffalo Plus at Bookman's, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd. in Monterey Village.
The fashion show benefits The Diabetes Foundation through raffle ticket sales from Tucson businesses including Xoom Juice, Epic Café, Magpies Pizza, Ona de Luz Photography and others. Call with questions at 584-0477 and get those raffle tickets.
ART ALL WEEKEND. They've been doing it for 20 years. The Tucson Museum of Art's Holiday Craft Market is back for another year.
More than 130 booths squeeze into the museum's courtyard offering one-of-a-kind gift items including glass art, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, photography, furniture, textiles and much more. Food abounds. Musical entertainment flows with KXCI's Kidd Squidd.
The museum opens its doors Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission to accompany the three-day Craft Market. Peek inside at the work by Mayme Kratz, Carol Flax and a slew of contemporary Native American artists. For the 25th year running, the Market celebrates Maria Luisa Ten'a's El Nacimiento, Tucson's unique Mexican Nativity, displayed in La Casa Cordova, one of the city's oldest homes. Opening ceremonies for this tradition take place on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.
The museum and historic block are located at 140 N. Main Ave. Call with questions at 624-2333.
DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL. No, do ask and do blather on. Our lives may depend on it.
The American Friends Service Committee hosts What They Won't Tell You About Iraq, a video and speaker series starting today and continuing for the next three Mondays.
The videos (tonight and next week) and speaker (on December 9) go beyond the headlines to explore reality--the history of war propaganda in the U.S. and how to end the threat of terrorism to Americans. Today's video is The Case Against the U.S. War on Iraq, a brand new work featuring Scott Ritter, a former UNSCOM inspector and U.S. Marine debunking the idea of glory in war. (Funny how the guys on the front lines who actually have seen military action are a lot more peace-oriented.) He gives an in-depth look at his role in weapons inspections as well as the current situation in Iraq.
It's free and screening starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Quaker Meeting House, 931 N. Fifth Ave. Refreshments and discussion follow. Call for details at 623-9141.
MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. Have you been wondering what they discovered on the Mars Odyssey?
Dr. William Boynton, from the Lunar and Planetary Lab, offers some insight into recent research on the fiery planet. He speaks at the Steward Observatory's regular Monday lectures in astronomy beginning at 7:30 p.m. Following the lecture is an opportunity to view the night sky--weather-permitting of course. Look through the 21-inch telescope and see if anyone waves back from those twinkling stars.
The Observatory is located at 933 N. Cherry St. in Room N210 on the UA campus. Lectures and viewing are both free. Call 621-5049 for information.
FAUX DOUGH. A lot of those new $5 bills are floating around--the ones where Lincoln's image is so off-center it must have been printed in someone's basement.
When it comes to counterfeit coins, however, the expert is Darryl Smith. He'll bring a handful of real counterfeit jingle to the monthly meeting of the Tucson Coin Club--a regular gathering on the fourth Tuesday of the month. The meetings are free and open to the public and include an auction, show and tell, a bourse, door prizes and a raffle.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall Annex, 5841 E. 22nd St. For details, call 498-4615.
CINEMATIC GRAB BAG. It's always fun to go to a soiree and be offered a mysterious bag full of party favors. You get home, peer into the sack and realize you've been invited into someone's weird taste in trinkets.
Writers on Film: Don't Judge a Documentary by Its Cover offers cinematic work that you might not see anywhere else. The cinephiles from the Arizona International Film Festival screen a grab bag of independent film for an hour beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments and discussion follow. Note that these films are not rated, so you may want to leave those impressionable ones at home. Screening takes place at Bookman's in Monterey Village at 6230 E. Speedway Blvd. Call with questions at 514-6025.