Calendar for the week

thursday
january 29
Public Works Film Series: See for yourself how bad times really were during the Depression by checking out the adjuncts to the exhibition "Public Works" at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). In addition to a series of lectures and performances commencing next week, the museum is launching six cinematic programs -- comedies, dramas, documentaries -- that will give you a taste of the Thirties. Tonight at 7:00 p.m. watch the 1933 Disney cartoon "The Three Little Pigs" and two arresting documentaries by Pare Lorentz, known as FDR's filmmaker. Featuring cinematography by Paul Strand, Ralph Steiner, and Leo Hurwitz and an original score by Virgil Thomson, The Plow That Broke the Plains, made in 1936, promoted conservation as a way to rejuvenate poorly managed land in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. The River (1937), another collaboration by Lorentz and Thomson, deals with the Mississippi River Basin and Roosevelt's troubled Tennessee Valley Authority projects. Both films provoked howls from the film industry, which objected to "government-sponsored competition." Admission costs three dollars. Call 535-2622. (NK)

friday
january 30
Miami Film Festival: Celebrating its quince, or fifteenth birthday, the Miami Film Festival opens tonight at 7:30 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.) with the U.S. premiere of The Chambermaid and the Titanic, the dramatic second installment in festival fave Bigas Luna's "Trilogy of Women." Twenty-six films from thirteen countries will be screened over the next ten days, and for the first time ever an "Audience Choice Award" will be given to the most popular film. (Votes will be collected from audience members after each screening.) Two important filmmakers -- Italy's Michelangelo Antonioni and Japan's Takeshi Kitano -- will be saluted. In addition to the movies, Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave.) hosts a series of lectures and workshops beginning on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. that examine filmmaking in South Florida as well as innovative technology and production in movies and television. Admission to the lectures and workshops is free; admission to the films ranges from $8 to $25. See "Calendar Listings" on page 35 for a complete schedule of events or call 372-0925. (NK)

Uhambo, the Journey: Through traditional African song and dance, tribal drumming, and black township pop, Johannesburg's Sibikwa Players tell the story of one man's coming of age in the time of apartheid. The five-member, all-male South African theater troupe was formed in the late Eighties to provide alternative education for kids kept out of school because of riots and teachers' strikes. Their shows continue to deal with issues of racism and violence in an attempt to ensure that the lessons of apartheid are well learned. Sponsored by the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, the Sibikwa Players perform Uhambo, the Journey tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 at Miami-Dade Community College's Wolfson Auditorium (300 NE Second Ave.). Tickets cost ten dollars. Call 237-3010. (JC)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: In 1958 Alvin Ailey and a group of young black modern dancers performed at the 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association in New York City, and American dance was never the same. Originally from Texas, Ailey created more than 70 ballets that poignantly drew from black cultural life. (Two of his most acclaimed works, Blues Suite and Revelations, were inspired by his childhood experiences in Sunday school.) The modest Ailey never intended that his company be a showcase for his work alone. Over the past 40 years the dancers have performed more than 150 works by 50 choreographers, including classic works and newly commissioned pieces. Ailey died in 1989, but his 31-member company survives and continues to dazzle audiences under the direction of dancer/choreographer Judith Jamison, who was often Ailey's muse. At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) tonight at 8:00, tomorrow at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m., behold the grace of the dancers as they passionately interpret a variety of works. Each performance features the company's signature piece Revelations, a powerful 30-minute work delineating black heritage and set to spirituals, gospel, song-sermons, and blues. Tickets range from $15 to $45. Call 532-3491. (NK)

saturday
january 31
Star Trek: Federation Science, and Phffft: Sound in Space: Calling all Trekkies, sci-fi, and sound fans. The Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.) has two exhibitions just for you. Wannabe Captain Kirks can explore the final frontier with "Star Trek: Federation Science," an interactive exhibition including 40 modular displays that examine physics, practical astronomy, and physiology. Gawk at props and costumes used in the Star Trek movies and the hit TV show, then take command of the Enterprise, beam yourself up to an alien planet, or turn into a Klingon. In conjunction with the museum show, the planetarium is presenting "Star Trek: The Planetarium Experience," a special under-the-dome multimedia show. Noise junkies will be thrilled with "Phffft: Sound in Space," a sound installation created by the Seattle-based composer, sculptor, and inventor Trimpin. "Phffft" consists of an array of wind instruments (brass horns, whistles, and more), some made by hand from found objects. These musical gadgets contain more than 200 computer-programmed acoustic sound-making components; spectators activate the sounds. Both "Star Trek" events run through May 3, "Phffft" through March 29. Admission ranges from six to ten dollars. Call 854-4247. (NK)

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