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Friday 1/22 - Thursday 1/28

JANUARY

By Cara Jepsen

22 FRIDAY Jenny Perlin's short film The Whole History of That documents her journey to the Czech town of Pribor, where her great-grandmother was born. "I finally found someone who recognized my great-grandmother's maiden name," she wrote in her notes. "Elated, I took the next tram back to Prague and called my mother, who told me I had been asking about the wrong name the whole time." The film will be shown at tonight's free screening of short works by local female film- and video makers. The event, sponsored by Chicago Filmmakers, is from 7 to 9 in the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).

23 SATURDAY M.W. Burns's audio installations Qualifier and Sinker involved the sound of splashing water coming from above, while an insistent male voice in the midst of a diatribe emanated from two speakers on the floor. The sounds ebbed and flowed, so that incidental noise--like the murmuring of gallery patrons--could also be heard. Tonight Burns's aural canvas will be installed in the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a ravelike multimedia event called Trans23. Part one of the 21-and-over event will be staged from 7 to 10, with a set by Lilith and videos by David Foss, Ben Stokes, Brien E. Rullman, Jim Fetterly, and Jon Schnepp. Part two, from 10 to 2, includes sets by Casey Rice with Rob Mazurek, the Florida-based Luna Sol, and Detroit's Carl Craig and the Innerzone Orchestra. The lobby will be the scene of a site-specific installation by Burns; John Herndon and Atmospheric Audiochair will spin records in yet another room. The shindig is at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago (312-397-4010). Tickets to each session are $12; $18 gets you the whole shebang. Or you can save your money and check out the simultaneous Web-cast at www.mcachicago.org.

24 SUNDAY Every few years a group of wonks assembles here to analyze the impact of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. This time around the title is Radicalism in Chicago, the subject is the media, and the strange brew of panelists includes In These Times senior editor Salim Muwakkil, WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert, UIC history professor Barbara Ransby, and poet Luis J. Rodriguez. The discussion will be moderated by sometime WBEZ film critic Jonathan Miller. The event starts at 3 at the Chicago Historical Society, North at Clark (312-642-4600), and is free with museum admission ($5, $3 for students and seniors).

When most people think of flamenco music they envision a sultry couple stomping their feet. But according to local flamenco guitarist Tomas de Utrera, the foundation of the Andalusian art form is first and foremost the vocals, and then the guitar: the dancing is more or less incidental. "The dancers are there so people can get up and order another bottle of wine or go to the bathroom," he says. Tonight de Utrera will perform with flamenco singers at a dancer-free event called Panorama of the Spanish Guitar. It also features Carlos Bono playing classical Spanish guitar music and Paulinho Garcia demonstrating the Brazilian version. The show starts at 7:30 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Admission is $10.

25 MONDAY The pieces in You Are Not Here, the first offering in the Neo-Futurists' new "Mondo Solo '99" performance series, are all loosely based on "going someplace either physically or in the mind," says Diana Slickman. She'll perform a series of pieces called Falling, which will be interwoven with new works by fellow Neo-Futurists Rachel Claff, Anita Loomis, and Stephanie Shaw. Slickman says that Shaw, who is five months pregnant with twins and must stay off her feet, will do her entire piece from a bed, but guarantees that Loomis's piece will contain plenty of "obligatory sex parts." The show opens tonight (and runs through February 27) at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (773-275-5255). Admission for tonight's performance is $10, $8 for students, or pay what you can.

26 TUESDAY With the right screenwriter, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's new novel, Sister of My Heart, could become next year's top chick flick. Cousins Anju and Sudha are born on the day both their fathers die in a mysterious accident. Close friends during childhood, each submits to an arranged marriage and leaves the household. But Sudha is drop-dead gorgeous, and plainer Anju must face the fact that her husband lusts after her more attractive relative. Naturally, sisterhood conquers all. Divakaruni, who also penned the critically acclaimed The Mistress of Spices, will read from Sister of My Heart tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It's free.

27 WEDNESDAY "I did not wait for desegregation, for college, for creative-writing classes, for grownups to show me the way. I found my vocation. It called to me and I was determined to answer the call," writes Bell Hooks in the preface to her new book, Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work. The collection of memoir-based essays includes ruminations about her childhood and how race, class, and gender affect the writer. Hooks will present a free reading tonight at 6 in the lower-level auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4050).

28 THURSDAY Cult filmmaker John Waters's public image is that of a sharp-tongued iconoclast who makes gross films, writes tongue-in-cheek books, and pops out zingers like "If someone vomits watching one of my films, it's like getting a standing ovation." But in Steve Yeager's new documentary, In Bad Taste: The John Waters Story, the actors who've appeared in Waters's films say he's one hell of a loving, caring guy. The film, which will be shown tomorrow at 7 on the hard-to-find Independent Film Channel, includes interviews with Patty Hearst, Mink Stole, Steve Buscemi, and Frances Milstead, mother of the late, great Harris Glenn Milstead (better known as Divine). There's a sneak preview tonight at 7:30 at Subterranean Cafe, 2011 W. North. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis; doors open at 6:30. Call 773-278-6600.

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