A couple million acres of soggy swampland with sweeping vistas, wildlife both monstrous and beautiful, and mystique to spare -- it would seem moviemakers would exploit the mighty Everglades much more often than they have. There was Crash, the 1978 recounting of the Eastern Airlines flight 401 disaster; and Wind Across the Everglades, a 1957 cracker-songfest with Burl Ives, but neither Hollywood nor the independents have exploited this verdant and vibrant location nearly enough. It's pretty difficult to go wrong with the River of Grass setting; even a weak plot and lousy acting could make for interesting viewing if enough footage of swamp life were included. Local indie Mark Clark realized all of this, setting his new work Guns of Salt -- about the survivors of a plague who are struggling to begin again -- in the Everglades. Catch the premiere of this quintessentially local film at 8:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 512 Española Way, Miami Beach, and meet the writer/director and stars of his movie. Tickets cost six to ten dollars. Call 305-673-4567, or visit www.mbcinema.com. --Greg Baker
Let's Talk About Space
Hello? Is there anybody out there? We can't possibly be the only life forms in this huge solar system, can we? If you're into stars, Mars, and aliens in flying cars, you'll want to check out the film Life in Outer Space, presented by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society. Tonight's free Summertime Flicks event will also feature video images of NASA's Deep Impact Mission encounter with comet Tempel 1. Enjoy popcorn, lemonade, prizes, and scintillating conversation with other space nuts, and if the clouds stay out of the way, you can gaze at the stars from the terrace. Prepare to blast off at 8:00 at the FIU Astronomy Center, Physics Bldg., CP-145, 11200 SW Eighth St., Miami. Call 305-661-1375, or visit www.scas.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
See what's hanging at Chelsea
A former bean counter at Price Waterhouse, Francisco Olazabal has a cultivated eye for exposing consumerism in decay. The MBA turned shutterbug is experiencing a spike in stock through nuanced imagery that mines tattered remnants of advertising with worth beyond commercialism. "He explores an aesthetic of the torn and broken, photographing fragments of posters and billboards to create abstract compositions that are almost archaeological in nature," remarks Dorothy Long, director of Chelsea Galleria (32 NE 39 St., Miami), where Olazabal's work is featured in "Up to the Minute: Eye on Photography" through October 15.
The group exhibit also includes works by Gory, Daniel Kedar, Eduardo del Valle and Mirta Gomez, and Adrian Lopez. "We wanted to showcase local contemporary photographers making exciting work," says Long. "Francisco is an exceptional talent." Call 305-576-2950, or visit www.chelseagalleria.com. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus