Anatole Litvak's 1939 film Confessions of a Nazi Spy, a thriller starring Edward G. Robinson as a G-man investigating Nazi cells in the homeland, got so many people nervous that Warner Bros. execs had to testify before a U.S. Senate hearing investigating "warmongering." Regarded as the first anti-Nazi release by a major movie studio, the film is based on a series of articles written by a former FBI agent. The authentic tone led to death threats against its stars and producers. Tonight the film is screened in conjunction with the Wolfsonian-FIU's "Weapons of Mass Dissemination: The Propaganda of War" exhibit. The screening begins at 7:00 at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free with five-dollar museum entry. Call 305-535-2622. (JCR)
Why are DJs the only ones who get to play at remixing things? Why not writers? Ben Greenman, former Miami New Times scribe and now an editor at The New Yorker, has done just that. He's taken the more than two dozen short works of fiction in his 2001 collection Superbad: Stories and Pieces and reconfigured the whole shebang into Superworse -- The Novel: A Remix of Superbad: Stories and Pieces. Cool! Call us impressed for pulling off that stunt and getting someone to pay for it. But what really wows us about Greenman? He has ghostwritten books for long-tongued KISS bassist Gene Simmons and American Idol dean of mean Simon Cowell. Now that's superbad! Greenman reads (from his own work) at 8:00 tonight at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. (NK)
Don't shoot the mime. Leave the clown alone. Refrain from punching Garbonzo the Great as he performs his "incredible feats" along Miracle Mile this weekend. The eccentric street performers are supposed to be there. They are the buskers, and they are part of the charm of the Merrick Festival, the annual street soiree in the heart of Coral Gables. Be forewarned: Tap dancers, magicians, and jugglers will be assaulting your latte time, so keep your fingers off the trigger, Pepe. Just smile and make your way to Merrick Park (Miracle Mile and Le Jeune Road), where music will play, food will be served, and artwork will be displayed in a fun and relaxing festival celebrating the City Beautiful. The party lasts from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today and tomorrow. Admission is free. Call 305-491-4180. (JCR)
The Frankenstein bike you had made of spare parts didn't quite meet your high standards (the handlebars falling off was one bad sign), so you've decided to cut your losses and donate the heap to a worthy charity. Nevertheless you can't get the idea of owning a motorcycle out of your head. You have all the leather duds, the helmet, the boots, and the cool sunglasses. You're only lacking the bike. If you can get yourself over to the final day of the Miami Motorcycle Show, going on from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Expo Center (2700 S. Bayshore Dr.), you might just be in luck. Vendors will peddle new and used motorcycles, the latest accessories, and those clunky bike trailers. Stunt teams will perform death-defying two-wheeled routines. Reputable custom bike makers such as Indian Larry and Paul Yaffe will also show their stuff. Maybe if you visit toward the end of the day, you can get a deal! Admission is ten dollars per day.
Call 305-441-2865. (NK)
So you think you're another Spike Jonze, huh? The Entertainment Industry Incubator, sponsors of the six-year-old Collaboration ... A Short Film Contest, intends to either disabuse you of that notion or nurture your budding genius with its latest project. MVC '04 stands for the first annual guerrilla music video challenge. You're invited to participate in a 30-day-long competition where teams of eight creative folks write, record, shoot, and edit a five-minute-or-less music video based on a specific theme. Any of seven styles of music including rock, pop, urban, country, blues, and experimental can be utilized. Industry folks will judge the final products; studio time, instruments, and recording equipment are among the prizes. Where can you sign up? Well, before you do that, you must attend a free orientation session from 7:00 to 9:00 tonight at the Alexander Hotel, 5225 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. If you decide to enter the contest, the entry fee is $50. Call 305-672-9297. (NK)
The Princess Turandot just can't help herself. She's got this crazy itch to see her suitors suffer. Well, it's more like a fetish for chopping off their heads. Puccini's heroine has devised a game where would-be lover-boys have to answer three riddles (and we don't think they have to do with the air-speed of an unladen swallow). Watch what happens when one lucky bachelor aces her little quiz and even goes so far as to give her another chance to kill him. It's a timeless story of love, or better yet, mind games. Either way, we've all been on the hot seat at one time or another, and we're all alive to sing about it, right? The curtain rises on Florida Grand Opera's production at 8:00 p.m. at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St. Tickets range from $21 to $135. Call 305-854-7890. (JCR)
Husband-and-wife artists and teachers of Chinese painting, Chow Chian-Chiu and Chow Leung Chen-Ying have been residents of Miami for the past 30 years. For twice that amount of time, six decades, they've been creating delicately beautiful canvases that highlight natural wonders such as flowers and birds; the works have been exhibited throughout the world. During their time in South Florida, 94-year-old Mr. and 84-year-old Mrs. Chow have taught their artistic techniques to an array of students. This past Saturday Coconut Grove Gallery (2790 Bird Ave.) opened a retrospective of their calligraphy and paintings plus some works by their pupils. The show runs through Tuesday, April 27. Admission is free. Call 305-445-7401. (NK)