It's a Victorian girl thing
Fingersmith? Tipping the Velvet? Affinity? Can any postpubescent individual not guess where this thought is going? Those constrained by Victorian sensibilities need not read on. As for the rest of you, dear readers: Fingersmith is coming. One of Sarah Waters's "lightly lesbian" novels, Fingersmith is set in "swinging" 1860s London. There are Dickensian characters galore and equally colorful situations, but the treachery and deceit are only a backdrop for the increasingly intimate relationship between the lead female characters. Sarah Waters herself is the J.K. Rowling-like darling of lavender-colored Victorian drama. Her earlier, euphemistically titled novel Tipping the Velvet alerted the world to its hidden but desperate need for this unique genre and was the first one adapted into a hit miniseries for the BBC.
Tonight the Byron Carlyle Theater (500 71st St., Miami Beach) screens the second one for its highly anticipated North American premiere. Fingersmith stars Imelda Staunton (2005 Oscar-nominee for best actress), Rupert Evans, Charles Dance, Sally Hawkins, and Elaine Cassidy. It was adapted for the screen by Peter Ransley. The film was originally televised in three parts but will play in its entirety tonight at 6:00 p.m. as a fundraiser for the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Following the film is Waters on the Water, a specially arranged VIP dinner held at nearby Roger's Waterfront Bar and Grill (1601 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village). Tickets are $20 for the film and $50 for the dinner/film combo. However, since this is also a membership drive, consider joining the MGLFF to receive a discount and other benefits. Call 305-534-9924, or visit www.mglff.com. --Margaret Griffis
Jonathan Brooks's exhibit "32 Bites" seems a mouthful to chew on. One prays his show -- flashing a snapshot for each tooth in a healthy smile -- delivers some tongue-in-cheek crunch rather than a syrupy plunge off the art hoopla chuck wagon. Tonight at 10:00 at Bites Bistro and Lounge (5837 Sunset Dr., South Miami) Brooks bares his chops with "32 biting photographs" hoping to stick to the craw. Generous with flavorful tidbits, Bites reports that this rare visionary lives "in a condo featured in Venus magazine." Expect to see everything from "dentures in martinis to vampires and drag queens to ventriloquist dummies." We can't think of a better excuse for sticking a fork into some ham-and-egg kitsch. Call 305-668-9119. -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Fresh Indie Talent
Get it while it's cheap
The MTV Video Music Awards are here, and South Beach is in the throes of celebrity fever. It's a magical time for sycophants and paparazzi. Not so much for independent artists, who typically find themselves overshadowed by the influx of glossy industry types. According to Chris Imperial, a successful spoken-word poet, that won't happen this year. He's organizing the One World Indie Arts Festival Art and Fashion Expo, a two-day event that will include dance competitions, MC battles, live music, and runway shows in hopes some visiting power players will check out the unsigned hype. "If it helps one artist further their agenda, then I'm happy," says Imperial. The expo begins tonight at 7:00. On Saturday, August 27, events begin at 8:00 p.m. at the Wallflower Gallery, 10 NE Third St., Miami. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Call 754-214-6024, or visit www.wallflowergallery.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Cuban rap on the big screen
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Lisandro Perez-Rey's documentaries are more than refreshingly honest windows into Cuban life. His films are considered worthy of screening in the Museum of Art (1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). As part of the current exhibition, "New Art 2005: South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists," the museum will screen La Fabri_K/The Cuban Hip Hop Factory, a film that follows a group of rappers who live in Havana. Perez-Rey warns that this film isn't for those whose memories of Cuba are tinged with nostalgia. "These rappers visited the USA and didn't defect. They identify with the dream that is the revolution, and they feel that they have a responsibility to Cuba," the documentarian explains. See his compelling film this afternoon at 3:00. Today's screening is free, as is admission to the museum through September 30. Call 954-525-5500, or visit www.moafl.org. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Since first impressions count, a bumper crop of artists are hoping to get a leg up on their careers during the "2005 Incoming Master of Fine Arts Exhibition" at the University of Miami. Opening tonight at 7:00 at the C.A.S. Gallery (1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables), the show features the work of the school's newest graduate students striving to make fresh marks in contemporary ceramics, graphic design, painting, photography, and sculpture. Scope out sculptor Mitchell Blessing's sprawling piece Veins, or examine Grant Bloodgood's mixed-media Headache, and if painting is what gives you goose bumps, pounce on Petrina Folsom's luscious Skin 2. Yep, 'tis the season to nurture budding talent and blooming creativity. Call 305-284-2972. -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus