By Cara Jepsen
9 FRIDAY The Psychotronic Film Society hasn't held screenings for a few months because director Mike Flores has been working on the film version of his bawdy play Bettie Page Uncensored (look for the direct-to-video-and-DVD release early next year). But the society's monthly B-movie showcase resumes tonight at a new venue with The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula. Originally released as Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, this 1974 kung fu-horror hybrid was produced by the British low-budget horror masters at Hammer Films after they noticed that martial arts films were stealing their audience. It'll be projected from DVD tonight at 7 at Bobbo and Doc's, 1952 N. Damen. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or over. Call 773-250-3004 or go to www.psychotronic.com for more information.
Eight actors play nearly 100 roles in Moises Kaufman's new play, The Laramie Project, which tells the story of the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard through the eyes of his friends and family as well as citizens of the Wyoming town where he lived. The character studies are taken from two years' worth of interviews conducted by Kaufman and members of his NYC-based Tectonic Theatre Project, who've used their subjects' real names and own words. Previews of the Next Theatre's production begin tonight at 8; the show opens November 12 and runs Fridays through Sundays through December 16 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes in Evanston. Preview tickets are $18, $14 for students. Regular tickets range from $22 to $28; call 847-475-1875.
10 SATURDAY "Why do they hate us?" Today an international group of journalists will try to provide some answers to that nagging question at a Chicago Humanities Festival roundtable called Ourselves as Others See Us. Included are correspondents from Egypt's Al Wafd, the Lithuania Daily, Spain's La Vanguardia, Russia's RTR TV, and Canada's Globe and Mail. Chicago Tribune international affairs writer Richard Longworth moderates. It's at 1 at the Northwestern University School of Law's Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago. Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 at the door. Call 312-494-9509. See Section Two for a complete Humanities Festival schedule.
"The sad fact is that international politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business," writes University of Chicago political science professor John Mearsheimer in his new book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. His theory of "offensive realism" holds that war is inevitable because each state, in order to survive, must gobble up a greater and greater share of world power. He uses historical models (Wilhelmine Germany, imperial Japan, the USSR) and looks to the future, suggesting that U.S. attempts to democratize China could backfire. He'll discuss his ideas at a free book signing today at 3 at Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster (773-871-3825).
11 SUNDAY Today's daylong conference Israel and Palestine: Toward a Just Peace, sponsored by several local organizations, aims to explore the U.S. role in the Middle East conflict. Discussions will cover such topics as the Oslo peace accord and grassroots peace efforts in Israel and Palestine. It starts at 8:30 AM at North Park University's Anderson Chapel, 3225 W. Foster, and the $20 admission ($10 for students and those with limited incomes) includes lunch. Registration is requested; call 312-427-2533, ext. 18, or log on to www.nimn.org/conference.
12 MONDAY Greek director Dimos Avdeliodis's 1999 feature The Four Seasons of the Law follows four rural guards sent in succession to a village to replace a guardsman who died chasing a woman who'd been stealing fruit from an orchard. Their stock personality traits--one guard sleeps most of the time, another is a stern disciplinarian, the third is a gambler, etc--are variations on Greek cultural stereotypes, and the plot ostensibly provides a commentary on the country's recent political history. The three-hour film will be shown tonight at 6:30 as part of the Gene Siskel Film Center's Greek Cinema Now festival, which started November 2 and wraps up on Wednesday. It's at 164 N. State, and tickets are $8 (312-846-2800).
13 TUESDAY Plans to put 65 condos, shops, and a Borders mega-store in the former Goldblatt's building at Broadway and Lawrence have some area residents worried about the impact such development will have on affordable housing, property taxes, and small businesses. They've scheduled a free town meeting, called Whose Neighborhood Is It Anyway?, for tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark (773-769-9299).
Gwar front woman Slymenstra Hymen holds the Guinness world record for fire breathing. She also eats glass, shoots 25-foot lightning bolts from her fingers, and illuminates neon bulbs in her mouth using electrical current passing through her body. She'll perform at tonight's appearance of the touring Girly Freak Show, along with show cofounder Ula the Pain-Proof Rubber Girl, "sword swallower and female oddity" Miss Behave (also a Guinness record holder), and "Mistress of Fire" Cammanda Galactica. Tub Ring opens. It starts at 8 at the Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee (773-489-0011). Admission is $8 and you must be 21 or over.
14 WEDNESDAY After the Justice Department began its antitrust investigation of Microsoft in 1998, the company's public relations firm launched a campaign to plant pro-Microsoft articles and letters in newspapers. In the early 1990s Big Tobacco paid 13 scientists a total of $150,000 to sign their names to letters written to medical journals, and Bristol-Myers Squibb paid the American Heart Association big bucks for the right to display the AHA logo in its ads. Such morally questionable instances of "perception management" are business as usual, say John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton in their recent book Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future. Stauber, who heads the Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy, will discuss the book tonight at a fund-raiser for Chicago Media Watch at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells. It starts with a wine reception at 7 (the talk begins at 7:30), and a $15 donation is requested; call 773-604-1910 for more.
15 THURSDAY The Experimental Sound Studio's second annual Outer Ear Festival of Sound, which started November 1, features three weeks of sound installations, screenings, workshops, live music, and discussions with 25 audio artists from Europe and the Americas. The performances start tonight with a premiere of local musician Bob Snyder's Gamaka, performed by the Revolution String Quartet. The program also includes Gustavo Matamoros's The William Tell of Rights and sound and video collaborations by Daniele Wilmouth and Adrian Freedman and by Ed Rankus and Bob Snyder. At 10 the artists will participate in a free discussion of their work. Admission is $8 ($4 for students); the show starts at 8:15 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. For more, call 773-784-0449 or log on to www.