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By Tom Terranova

FRIDAY 23

A superstar just about everywhere else on the planet, Hong Kong actor and director Jackie Chan has yet to make a splash in North America. He does, however, have a properly worshipful but proportionately small cult of followers who compare the intensity and artistry of his physical comedy to that of Bruce Lee and Buster Keaton. Chan's hoping his newest film, set in New York, will be the one that finally brings him wider recognition and respectability in the U.S. Rumble in the Bronx is chock-full of his signature life-threatening stunts (Chan does his own, with no special effects) and mind-bending action scenes that could make Mahatma Gandhi scream like a frat boy at a hockey game. It begins its run at local theaters tonight. Check Section Two for locations and show times.

The significance of this year's elections for the African-American community is the subject of a panel discussion tonight featuring U. of C. poli-sci professor Michael C. Dawson, author of Behind the Mule, an examination of race and class through the history of African-American politics, and local activist Abdul Alkalimat, founder of Twenty-First Century Books and Publications and coeditor of Job?Tech, a collection of essays on technology and politics. It happens at 7:30 at the New World Resource Center, 1476 W. Irving Park. There's no charge to get in, but a hat will be passed around for donations. Call 348-3370 for more information.

Alderman Bernard Stone of the 50th Ward has a cameo in tonight's performance of B.S., the Free Associates' "so real it'll make you sick!" spoof of TV hospital dramas a la ER and Chicago Hope. The alderman will play himself in this show, so it's the perfect opportunity for anyone still pissed off about Stone's Howard Street wall to heckle him. B.S. runs Fridays at 10:30 at the Ivanhoe Theater, 750 W. Wellington. Tickets are $10. Call 975-7171 for more.

SATURDAY 24

Illinois Institute of Technology hosts the second annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl today, which features student teams representing IIT, DePaul, Loyola, Western Michigan, and the United States Air Force Academy (no fair harping on Nagasaki and Dresden!). They'll be questioned by a panel of judges on issues like plagiarism, abortion, gun control, and corporate whistleblowing. It's free and starts at 1 in Hermann Hall, 3241 S. Federal. Call 567-3104 for more.

Filmed in the southwest at the height of the postwar anti-Communist witch hunts, Salt of the Earth used real workers and their families as actors to tell the story of a strike by Latino mine workers. It was produced by the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers and blacklisted Hollywood folks and was directed by Herbert Biberman. Howard Hughes, the FBI, and a few members of Congress were in cahoots to keep the film from being completed and distributed. It's showing at 6 tonight at the Film Center, Jackson and Columbus. Admission is $6, $3 for members. Call 443-3733 for info.

Organized as a fund-raiser for Chicago Filmmakers and Rouxbrick, which helps nonprofit groups with electronic publishing, Disorientation 3.0 is an evening packed with more performance than you can shake a stick at. Tonight's bill includes music by Grendel, Meet the Head, Mount Pilot, the C.oG.S., J.U.I.C.E., and Lisa Shrag as well as poetry by Lucy Anderton, Michael Watson, and Cindy Salach, monologues by Maria McCray, and comedy by Matt Besser. Drinks will be sold, an interactive kiosk will be set up, and the organizers will raffle off stuff donated by local stores. It's happening at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division. Doors open at 7:45, and tickets are $7. Call 862-5502 or log onto http://www.4wrd.com/urusai/.

SUNDAY 25

According to the Chinese calendar, we've just entered the Year of the Rat, which seems downright appropriate considering it's an election year. The first day of 4694 was actually last Monday, but the local Chinese-American community is celebrating today with a parade featuring fireworks and a traditional lion dance. It kicks off at 11 at 1121 W. Argyle. A larger parade in Chinatown, with floats and bands in addition to lion dances, starts at 12:30 at Wentworth and Cermak. There's no charge to check out either parade. For more information call the Asian American Small Business Association at 728-1030.

It didn't come as a surprise to many Chicagoans that state's attorney Jack O'Malley refused to press charges against three police officers after Jorge Guillen, a Honduran immigrant, died while they were restraining him. Police brutality--considered a crisis by many in the city's Latino and African-American communities--will be the focus of a couple of events today. There's a community speak-out from 2 to 4 at San Lucas United Church of Christ, 2914 W. North. It's free. Call the Latino Coalition for Better Public and Community Services at 489-2050 for more. From 3 to 5 the Community Television Network and the Task Force to Confront Police Violence sponsor a discussion and video presentation of The End of the Nightstick, a documentary about local activists who campaigned for justice in cases of police torture under former Area Two commander Jon Burge. Admission is $3. Child care is available upon request. It happens in room 254 of DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore. Call 278-6706 or 663-5392 for more.

MONDAY 26

The British government's cool response last fall to the European Court of Human Rights' ruling that England had used excessive force in killing three unarmed IRA volunteers in Gibraltar exemplifies one of the challenges the European Union faces. Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Boundaries: The Protection of Human Rights in the Legal Order of the European Union is a series of three lectures by Harvard Law School professor Joseph Weiler, founding editor of the European Journal of International Law and the European Law Journal. He will deliver the lectures today, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 4:30 at Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago. Admission is free. Call 503-5467 for more info.

Austin Allen's 1994 film Claiming Open Spaces documents the conflict that arose when officials in Columbus, Ohio, closed a park used mainly by African-Americans to make it the center of the city's Christopher Columbus quincentennial celebration. It also features interviews with activists, urban planners, historians, landscape architects, and park-going residents from four other cities in the U.S. Allen will screen and discuss his film tonight at 6 at the School of the Art Institute's auditorium, 280 S. Columbus. It's free, and part of Sculpture Chicago's "Re-inventing the Garden City" lecture series. For more information call 759-1690 or 443-3711.

TUESDAY 27

Accompanied by the music of Pong Unit, performance poet and slam originator Marc Smith reads tonight from 6:30 to 7:30 in Roosevelt University's Congress Lounge, 430 S. Michigan. It's free, and sponsored by the student publication Oyez Review. A reception follows the performance. Call 341-3818 for more.

Singers Teddy Pendergrass and Stephanie Mills headline a one-week run of Your Arms Too Short to Box With God beginning tonight. Tickets for this Broadway musical, in which 22 singers and dancers run through the book of Matthew gospel style, range from $15 to $29.50. It runs through Friday at 8, Saturday at 3 and 8, and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Call 902-1500 for tickets.

WEDNESDAY 28

Mark Spreyer studied Minnesota's great gray owls as a graduate student before taking charge of Chicago's Peregrine Release Program. He'll demonstrate his ornithological prowess tonight in a presentation sponsored by the North Park Village Nature Association. "Who's Who of Owls," a free talk illustrated with live specimens, begins at 7:15 in North Park Village's administration building, 5801 N. Pulaski. Call 509-0920 for more.

THURSDAY 29

HighSight, a program that offers tutoring, mentoring, and scholarships to high school students from Cabrini-Green, will get the proceeds from tonight's Leap Year party at Sedgwick's Bar and Grill, 1935 N. Sedgwick. Tickets for the party, which lasts from 6 to 9, are $15, $20 at the door, and include food, wine, beer, pop, entry in a raffle, and music by Kickin' Out Priscilla. Call 787-9824 for tickets and information.

The Brazilian group EnDanca makes its U.S. debut tonight when three of its members open the five-week Latino dance festival called Cruzando Fronteras: Artes de las Americas ("Crossing Borders: Arts of the Americas"), sponsored by the Dance Center of Columbia College. EnDanca's kick-off performance, Reta Do Fim Do Fim ("The Endless Edge"), features dancers moving while suspended by ropes over the stage. It happens tonight, Friday, and Saturday at 8 at the center, 4730 N. Sheridan. The show costs $14 tonight, $16 on Friday and Saturday. For tickets and info call 989-3310.

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