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Friday 9/29 - Thursday 10/5

SEPTEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

29 FRIDAY In Steven J. Foley's new short film Wake Up Gone, a struggling comedian does one last show at a hospital, where she meets an artist with cancer. "The resulting interaction between the two women leads them both to see things within themselves and each other that they had forgotten or were too afraid to discover," says Foley, a recent graduate of Columbia College's MFA program in film. Chicago Filmmakers will screen six of his films tonight at 8 at his alma mater's Ferguson Theater, 600 S. Michigan. Foley will be in attendance and a Q&A session will follow. It's $6; call 773-293-1447 for more.

30 SATURDAY Poet, novelist, and diplomat Miguel Angel Asturias's first novel, El senor presidente, was a scathing condemnation of the regime of Guatemalan dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera. He went on to write several more novels marked by his signature fusion of Mayan mysticism and passionate social protest, including 1949's Hombres de maiz, a depiction of the plight of Mayan peasants that's widely considered to be his masterpiece. He later served as Guatemalan ambassador to France and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1967. He died in 1974, but his son, Rodrigo Asturias, has picked up where he left off, cofounding the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity--a leftist movement that aligned four separate guerrilla factions--and becoming a key figure in the Guatemalan peace process. Tonight at 6 he'll discuss his father's legacy and the ongoing democratization of his country since the signing of the 1996 peace accord that ended 36 years of civil war. It's at 5 at Dulce Vida Cafe, 1338 W. Madison, and it's free. Call 773-334-9101 for more.

In 1909, Italian futurism hit Russia like a sack of spuds, and in no time cutting-edge writers and artists in the major cities were painting their faces, giving confrontational performances in cafes, and creating outdoor spectacles while wearing flamboyant outfits. Their manifesto, "Why We Paint Ourselves," explained that "art is not only a monarch but also a newsman and a decorator. The synthesis of decoration and illustration is the basis of our self-painting. We decorate life and preach--that's why we paint ourselves." Tonight at 7 a group of actors, musicians, artists, and others will re-create Saint Petersburg's Stray Dog Cafe--a basement dive that was a nucleus of the movement--as part of the Chicago Cultural Center's "Moscow Is Burning" series. The free readings and performances (complete with costumes and clowns) start at 7 in the Cultural Center's Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).

The recent Bollywood blockbuster Josh has a lot in common with West Side Story--only its two warring gangs live in the state of Goa. "The dancing is somewhere between Michael Jackson, Busby Berkeley, and Alvin Ailey," says a fan. The film's star, Shahrukh Khan, will re-create one of the scenes at tonight's Wanted Live: Best of Bollywood Bash. He'll be joined by film stars Sanjay Dutt ("the Indian Sylvester Stallone"), former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, comedian Johnny Lever, and two former Miss Indias-turned-actresses--Juhi Chawla and Namrata Shirodkar. They'll perform scenes from Bollywood blockbusters with a live band at 8 at the UIC Pavilion, 1150 W. Harrison. Available tickets range from $35 to $55. Call 773-465-3344.

OCTOBER

1 SUNDAY It's not often that horror fiction writers get together with goths, fetishists, model toy collectors, illustrators, filmmakers, a former Playboy model, Channel 26's Svengoolie, and Mancow's makeup artist. But that's just a (bad) taste of who will be at this weekend's Experiment in Terror Convention, which combines two formerly separate events--the ReznHedz Model & Toy Expo and the Twilight Terrors horror writers convention--into one long weekend of horror. Today's the last day to catch all the panels, seminars, and vending; it's from 10 to 4 at the Ramada Plaza O'Hare, 6600 N. Mannheim in Rosemont. Admission is $15, or $50 for the entire event, which begins on Thursday, September 28. Call 800-878-9378.

2 MONDAY Eve Ensler's Obie-winning show The Vagina Monologues, which just opened at the Apollo Theater, is based on interviews she did with more than 200 women from all walks of life. The monologues address everything from rape to pelvic exams to childbirth to the reappropriation of the word "cunt." Now the stories have been compiled in a book of the same name, which Ensler will be reading from and signing tonight from 7:30 to 8:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark. It's free; call 773-769-9299 for more.

3 TUESDAY They've danced at the Hollywood Bowl with Placido Domingo and Gloria Estefan, performed with over 150 symphony orchestras, toured the U.S. five times, and been called "the finest Spanish dancers we have in the world today" by Dance Magazine. Pascual Olivera and Angela Del Moral are also life partners, and they use their own story as the basis for their new two-act "dansical," Te Amo. They'll perform a version of the work in progress, created with the New Tuners Theatre, tonight and tomorrow night (and October 10 and 11) at 7:30 at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont (773-327-5252); tickets are $15.

4 WEDNESDAY "The needle is not important. Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction," wrote William S. Burroughs in Naked Lunch. In her new book, Writing on Drugs, maverick British intellectual Sadie Plant references everything from Thomas De Quincey's 1821 Confessions of an English Opium-Eater to Mandelbrot's fractals to examine 200 years of drug use and its cultural impact. She'll discuss her work tonight at 6:30 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North. It's free. Call 773-342-0910.

5 THURSDAY At tonight's "Intuitive Music Series" event, outsider music expert Irwin Chusid hopes to screen an ultrarare video of the Shaggs performing at a New Hampshire town hall back in the late 60s. Assuming the tape turns up, Chusid, author of Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music, will discuss it and a variety of other videos at an event called Discovering the Lost Chord: Celebrating Outsider Music. It starts at 7 at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee (312-243-9088). Admission is $5 (free for Intuit members).

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