Bald ambition. There's the story about a kid who shaves his head and eyebrows to get a reaction from his parents.
Then there's the one about a boy who must deal with his alcoholic mother while struggling to ace the SAT.
Kerim Duran's El Shave-O and The Test by Edward Ornelas are just a couple of the intriguing offerings at this year's Cine Chicano.
"Arizona audiences have embraced Cine Chicano, which has become a staple of the Arizona International Film Festival," said programmer Ruben Reyes. "With an emergence of producers, writers, directors and actors, Mexican-American cinema is positioned to make cultural, political, and crossover statements worldwide."
Cine Chicano returns to the Film Festival, which starts today and runs through April 21, with a program of provocative documentaries and unique narrative works by Chicano filmmakers.
Like The Test, Eric Escobar's Night Life is a story of big academic hopes. This time, it's a 10-year-old inner-city kid who dreams of being an astronomer.
Such dreams can be derailed by the reality of socioeconomics, and the award-winning documentary, Cada Cabeza es Un Mundo by Margot Segura and Marine Dominguez, confronts the crisis of at-risk Latino-Chicano students who drop out of school.
A film adaptation of Luis Valdez' one-act play, La Balada del Soldado (The Ballad of a Soldier) by Keenan Valdez, will also premiere at the Festival. It is a comic and tragic tale of a young man from the barrio preparing to leave his family and love in an attempt to become "someone" by fighting in Vietnam.
Filmmakers Duram, Escobar, Segura and Dominguez will attend the festival and participate in the Festival-in-the-Schools program.
For more information about Cine Chicano, call 628-1737. For showtimes, ticket prices and more information about the Arizona International Film Festival, visit www.azfilmfest.com.
Not your mother's Cinderella. You won't find a fairy godmother in this version of the famous Perrault fairy tale.
Filled with rich Rossini humor and brilliant vocal writing, La Cenerentola has a few twists--there is no fairy godmother, nor is there a wicked stepmother.
Instead, there is a silly stepfather and two stepsisters who try to keep poor Cinderella from attending the ball. The opera will be sung in Italian with supertitles in English.
Featuring colorful costumes and sets, the presentation showcases outstanding voices from the School of Music and Dance's opera program and the Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
Performances begin at 7:30 tonight through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Crowder Hall, Music Building, UA Campus, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 UA employees and seniors and $8 students. Tickets are available through the UA Fine Arts Box Office, 621-1162. For more information, call 621-2998 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/music.
What's in a name? You may have heard of Flam Chen but you may not recognize the name of the group that will be joining those fiery daredevils in Tucson this weekend.
Wisefool New Mexico is geared up to perform something called Ha Ha Monkey Flower, a visual journey through a small island's surreal society. Using puppets, stilts, aerial arts, dance, fire and outrageous props, this multi-talented ensemble weaves an "hilariously sad tale of greed."
Flam Chen bookends the evening with award-winning pyrotechnic spectacle. Performers spin Balinese fire chains, spit, breathe and whirl an array of flaming implements and costuming to create stunning, visceral theater.
Performances are at 9 p.m. today and Saturday at 520B N. Stone Ave. Tickets are $10, with artists' discounts. Kids are free. For more information, call 792-3262 or visit www.flam-chen.com.
Departure from the ordinary. Mixed-media artist Peggy Hansen will create mural-sized installation work using paint and household objects.
That's the simple version. Here's more about Hansen's exhibition at The Shane House Gallery:
Scenes involving the topic of the sentimental as the driving force behind the painted image will counteract with the insistence of random furnishings as they become the painted surface.
This work looks at the sentimental and its pervasive tendencies to become our individual spaces. Immediate applications to the gallery wall as well as the objects become the thrust to transcend the memory.
Hansen is an art instructor at Cochise College and a professional mural painter in the Tucson area. She received her MFA from the University of Arizona and her BFA from the Cooper Union in New York.
An opening reception for the show is from 6 to 9 tonight at the Shane House Gallery, 218 S. Fourth Ave. For more information or to make an appointment to view the work, call 795-5751.
Bargains beckon. Get a good deal on some great art and help out a deserving program while you're at it.
That's the idea behind the University of Arizona Art History Club's silent art auction, which features multimedia artwork from local artists including Erin Hesser, Lucero Less, James Schaub and Katherine Monaghan.
All proceeds will benefit the Art History Club, a student organization with the aim of bringing together thoughtful people to exchange ideas and further academic scholarship within the fields of art and art history.
The auction will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in Art 245--in between the drama building and School of Art building on the UA campus. For more information, call 881-0752.
A taste of history. Blackened chicken Caesar salad is on the menu, but for design lovers, the main course just has to be the setting itself--Stone Ashley, a 45,000-square-foot villa built for Ashley Ponds.
Since the 1950s, Stone Ashley has been home to the El Dorado Guest Ranch and Charles Restaurant. It's been redecorated to evoke memories of an Italian villa. The decor is exciting and colorful.
Naturally, it's the perfect spot for Color Directions for 2002 and Beyond, a luncheon organized by the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.
The speaker for the event is Jackie Jordan, architectural account executive for the Sherwin-Williams Co. Jordan will be giving a presentation about a new color system and talk about future color directions and trends.
Members and guests will have an opportunity to tour the facility during the event that begins at noon today at Stone Ashley, 6400 E. El Dorado Circle, Suite 100. Cost is $20 for members, $15 for students and $25 for guests. For more information, call 290-8671, 886-9700 or visit www.stoneashley.com.
ART FOR AFGHANISTAN. A group of local artists is turning its creative attention to the Middle East.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Struggle of Afghanistan Women is an exhibition featuring the work of five artists, who will focus on awareness of and healing intent toward the suffering of the people of Afghanistan.
The group, featuring Julie Rackow, Lori Andersen, Natalie Willemsen, Tanya Gonzales-Ortega and Drew Robinson, will donate all monetary proceeds from the sale of art in the exhibition to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
The artists' goal is to educate the community and to clearly direct the healing power of intention toward a country whose women are recovering from a decade of suppression and misogyny. The art installations and traditional work will present both the horror and the healing in order to focus on recovery of a gender balance of power for this war-torn country.
Beth Kangus, from the University of Arizona's Middle Eastern Studies Department, will speak during the free opening reception, which is from 6 to 8 p.m. today. The gallery is located at 240 N. Stone, one block north of the Main Library. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 624-0595, ext. 26, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.tucsonpimaartscouncil.org.
A RIGHT SIDE OF WRIGHT? Frank Lloyd Wright was prolific in many ways.
Wright, who spent much of his later life at Taliesin West in Arizona, was not only a prolific designer of buildings but also fathered seven children with different women.
The life of the man who suffered personal tragedy and stirred intense social controversy is the focus of Arizona Theatre Company's Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, a thrilling new play by Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson.
Work Song is a provocative play that chronicles the famed architect's life and an attempt to capture the complexity and contradictions of his life and personality. To that end, Hatcher and Simonson created three one-act plays that each uses a different lens through which to view the legend, the architect and the man.
The play, described as "elegant," "vigorous" and "breathtaking" by the Chicago Tribune, previews at 7:30 tonight and runs through May 4 at the Temple of Music and Art. Tickets are $24 to $36 and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the ATC box office at 622-2823. ATC will offer a Pay What You Can performance on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets will go on sale at the Temple of Music and Art at 10 a.m. on the day of the performance and are limited to two tickets per order with a suggested donation of $5.
A floral fiesta. Stop digging around for something interesting to do this weekend and head down to El Con Mall.
Not to shop, of course--unless you're looking for Home Depot goodies, there's not much doing at the eyesore of a mall on Broadway.
Things will be a bit prettier there this weekend, though. The Fiesta de las Flores offers the public a view of Tucson's varied gardening results at its best. It also provides the novice with an opportunity to talk with members of the various societies for expert growing advice and to purchase plants and potting supplies from local nurseries and commercial growers. Lovely and striking floral arrangements by Tucson's talented florists will also be on exhibit.
A dozen groups, including the Orchid Society of Southern Arizona, Southern Arizona Bonsai Enthusiasts, Tucson Bonsai Society and Tucson Botanical Gardens, will have exhibits set up for the weekend.
The event, sponsored by the Orchid Society of Southern Arizona, is from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the mall at 3601 E. Broadway Blvd. (Just look for the empty stores and dirt piles.) For more information, call 299-6195.
Tuning in to Native music. Award-winning flute artist Robert "Tree" Cody performs today in an annual benefit that has made quite a name for itself.
For the past 15 years, St. Philip's in the Hills has sponsored a Native American music concert to benefit the programs in the Pascua Yaqui community. Each of those years R. Carlos Nakai performed to sold-out audiences.
This year's performer is Cody, a renowned native flute player, international recording artist and NAMMY Award winner, who will be here for his only Tucson concert this season.
This is a unique opportunity for Native American music lovers and supporters of education and program development for Native American students. The concert benefits Pascua Yaqui Children's Programs and Reservation Creation Women's Circle Charitable Trust.
The event starts at 2 p.m. today at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church, at the northeast corner of River and Campbell. Tickets are $20. For tickets, call 295-1350, 622-4900 or 326-5775. For more information, visit www.usaindianinfo.org or www.treecody.com.
Rock and rolls of film. If you missed a few shows at Club Congress, Jason Carlisle has you covered.
Thanks to Carlisle, you can check out bands like Great American Tragedy and The Blacks in an exhibition called Live! Music! Photos! at the Gallery in Hotel Congress. It's a collection of Carlisle's photographs of performances at Club Congress. The images document Tucson's nightlife, capturing the energy and spirit of live music.
The show, which runs through April 28, reveals the power photography has to illustrate an emotion or event in a single image.
Carlisle is a Tucson resident and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's of fine arts in photography.
The Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress. For more information, call 624-5019.
Drip, drip, drip. Talk about water seems to come and go with Arizona's dry spells.
But some people, like University of Arizona herpetologist Dr. Phil Rosen, just never stop talking about water when it comes to things like aquatic and riparian restoration.
Now more than ever it is important to conserve our precious streams, ponds and cienegas; that's why you're invited to join Rosen for an enlightening slide presentation. He'll be discussing efforts to restore both rural and urban streams and bodies of water in southeastern Arizona.
See how restoring these areas can benefit not only fish and reptiles but nearly every other type of animal in Arizona. The talk, part of the Sky Island lecture series, starts at 7 p.m. today at University Medical Center's DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Dig in, help out. Go out to dinner tonight and you'll be helping the fight against sexual assault.
You do have to eat in one of the right restaurants, though. Restaurants participating in the event called Dine Out For Safety include: Bistro Zin, Barrio, El Charro Downtown, El Charro East, Feast Tasteful Takeout, Flying V Bar and Grill, The Grill at Hacienda del Sol, J Bar, Kingfisher, Linen, Magpies Gourmet Pizza, Nonie, Oven's and Wildflower.
Enjoy a great meal and that's all you have to do--a portion of your dinner check will be donated to the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault.
For more information, call 327-1171.