Back to Boyhood

Artist rides the wild surf

THUR 10/16

Speeding your bike Evel Knievel-style over ramps crudely constructed of plywood planks and concrete blocks. Suffering an assload of road rash after wiping out on the pavement. Jumping off the roof of your house into the swimming pool. Breaking your arms on the concrete patio. Sure, you're a little banged up, but you're alive! Ahh, if only you could recapture that indomitable sense of immortality fueled by the raging hormones of adolescence and sheer stupidity of immaturity. "Thrill-Seeker," artist Ryan Humphrey's multimedia installation on display at Rocket Projects (3440 N. Miami Ave.) through Saturday, November 29, cops a good deal of the iconography of the crazy days of kidhood (and even adulthood for some). This time the focus is surfing, with giant drawings of waves lapping from the gallery walls and the dazzling detritus of junk culture filling the room. The underlying comments touch on commerce and the ephemeral. Admission is free. Call 305-576-6082. -- By Nina Korman

Iconic Image Maker

THUR 10/16We've all seen the photograph: A young Afghani woman in a red headscarf, whose mysterious, penetrating eyes capture timeless human struggle in the face of adversity. The image first appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985 and has since been heralded as one of the magazine's all-time greats. Besides creating icons, photographer Steve McCurry has won a slew of awards for his provocative work, which probes into the human condition. See the shots of Sharbat Gula (the Afghan woman) then and now as well as other images, and get some insight into the photographer's process from McCurry himself when he speaks during an American Society of Media Photographers' presentation at 7:00 p.m. at the Miami Museum of Science, 3280 S. Miami Ave. Admission is $28; $20 ASMP members; $15 students. Call 305-646-4234. -- John Anderson Celluloid Brain Freeze

SUN 10/19Judging from filmmaker Michele Smith's Regarding Penelope's Wake, one could deduct things about her. When watching educational movies about VD in science class she was probably the weird kid in the back row being entertained at the antiseptic see-Spot-run mentality portrayed onscreen. Smith's film is a collection of celluloid artifacts, ranging from high school health movies to 8 mm stag films that form a rich visual tapestry not unlike an acid trip. What it all means, we can't say, but it sure is freaky. Check it out for yourself at 2:00 p.m. at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is $5. Call 305-986-2773. -- Juan Carlos Rodriguez Spirits of the Caribbean

Africa and Cuba meet on filmFRI 10/17

When the congueros start banging out a beat Cubano-style, everybody dances, even the spirits. African influences on Cuban culture run deep, from the Yoruba rituals in Santería to the percussion-dominated music that the island is famous for. Filmmakers Robert "Bobby" Shepard and Marta Moreno Vega have put together a documentary, Dos Orillas: When the Spirits Dance Mambo, that delves into the role African religious ideas and ceremonies have played in shaping Cuban society and its culture. Follow the film as it travels from past to present, from West Africa to Cuba and New York. A panel discussion in Spanish will immediately follow tonight's screening, with an English discussion following the film tomorrow. Or see an actual ceremonial drumming performance by Adrian Castro and Orlando "Puntilla" Rios y la Nueva Generacion after Sunday's presentation. The film shows at 7:00 tonight through Sunday, October 19, at the Tower Theater, 1508 SW 8th St. Tickets cost $8. Call 305-237-6363. -- By John Anderson

Smart Set

SAT 10/18Listen up, local nerds. Hard to believe but Miami is home to more than 300 Mensans. Although we can probably claim more than another state -- California -- judging by the genius they recently elected as governor, Mensa, the international society of folks with immensely high IQs (in the top 2 percent of the population), wants to increase that South Florida tally. Instead of kidnapping people off the street and indoctrinating them into being brainy, they prefer to use a more orthodox route to augment their ranks: testing. If you think you could score high in the IQ rankings, get over to Mensa National Testing Day, taking place at 10:00 a.m. at the Office of Rehabilitation Services (10765 SW 104th St.). Admission is $30. Whoa, paying 30 bucks to take a test? Now that's not very smart. Seating is limited; call 305-271-0012 to reserve a spot. -- By Nina Korman

Maestrocity

Tilson Thomas uncorks season

SAT 10/18

The cork is popping on yet another season in South Florida. Clubs are blooming, new bistros vie for attention, and at the New World Symphony, the maestro appears with open arms, as if to say "bring it on." The maestro, of course, is Michael Tilson Thomas, who officially sets the tempo for the new season with Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Bizet, and Berlioz. Tonight his wand will pierce the night in a program as rich, bold, and colorful as a grand Cabernet. The concert begins at 7:30 at the Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd. Tickets range from $49.50 to $120 for the concert alone. Dinner seats range from $250 to $350. Call 305-673-3331. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

 
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