If we held a film festival, we wouldn't group movies in the ordinary way: indie, foreign, porno. We'd do things a little differently. How about films in which staircases figure prominently? Gone with the Wind features a memorable moment when Rhett Butler sweeps Scarlett O'Hara off her feet and up the stairs. Silent film star/insane murderer Norma Desmond elegantly descends a staircase at the end of Sunset Boulevard. And The Untouchables offers a slow-motion shootout between gangsters and G-men across a set of stairs while a baby carriage precariously bounces down them. The Untouchables scene was director Brian De Palma's tribute to the shocking stairway scene in Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 film, The Battleship Potemkin. Based on historical events, that black-and-white classic centers around a mutiny on a Russian ship and the uproar it causes in the town of Odessa. See it, with a live score provided by sound artist/composer Edward Bobb, tonight at 7:00 when it opens the Soviet Cinema series at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-531-1001. (NK)
The viewing of Cuban Rebel Girls, a 1959 flick written by and starring Errol Flynn, should be approached with a calm head. The film, which features the gallant Flynn playing an American journalist who helps Fidel Castro overthrow the Batista regime, was shot on location during the Cuban Revolution. What's this film doing playing in Miami? Before you break out your protest banners, know that the movie will be introduced by Miami Dade College film and history professor Dr. Mario Beguiristain, who will contextualize the epic with a good dose of humor and nostalgia. The film screens at 8:00 p.m. at Miami Beach Cinematheque, 518 Española Way. Tickets cost ten dollars. Call 305-673-4567. (JCR)
Sure, green tea tastes and smells like a wet lawn, but it's so good for you. Just sip slowly and think of all the beneficial antioxidants it contains. Then it won't seem nearly as odious. Okay, that very same thing is said about broccoli and you haven't gotten used to the taste of it either. But there's more than one type of green tea. Maybe you'll find one you like from 1:00 to 3:00 this afternoon when tea maven Kyra White of Theine Tea Salon (119 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables) conducts the class Tea Cupping: The World of Green Teas. Get set to learn about and brew a variety of leaves from China, Japan, and Taiwan. Just don't throw any cream in your cup: You'll subvert all the potentially great effects! Admission is $15. Space is limited, so call 305-774-0228 to reserve a spot. (NK)
The house that Johnny Pacheco, Cheo Feliciano, and Ismael Miranda built is still going strong after more than three decades. The Fania All Stars, the combo of Latin salseros, soneros, and boogaloo timbaleros that defined the sound of New York-based tropical music, has become an institution. Virtually everybody who is anybody in Latin music -- from Santa Celia Cruz to Mongo Santamaria -- has sat in on a recording session or concert. After all this time, none of the luster has worn off. Pacheco, Feliciano, and Miranda will be joined by a host of other Fania superstars, including Ricky Rey, Hector Casanova, and Yomo Toro. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center, 400 NE Second Ave. Tickets range from $50 to $82. Call 305-372-4634. (JCR)
The Miami Sierra Club, in the interest of keeping the community involved and informed in local environmental matters, is presenting a seminar that will explore the county Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, a voter-approved effort to help protect pinelands and other natural areas that are threatened by development. Emily Young of the county Department of Environmental Resource Management updates the community on the program. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Coral Gables Women's Club, 1001 E. Ponce De Leon Blvd. Admission is free. Call 305-801-6876. (JCR)
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As you toss that beer can and styrofoam cup and sandwich wrapper over the side of your boat, feel guilty for being a brazen polluter, but not too much. If Tom Bintz is anywhere around, he might just take what you toss and make it into a work of art. Bintz is an environmental sculptor who creates his pieces with debris he's collected from coastlines across the world. He goes by the name of Captain Honk and his work is one way he raises people's awareness about the environment. An installation by Captain Honk is currently on view in the library at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School (4600 Rickenbacker Cswy., Virginia Key). The show runs through the first week of September. Admission is free. Call 305-361-4021. (NK)
Shaquille O'Neal hasn't even stepped onto the court in the American Airlines Arena yet and already you've had enough of him. Shaq this, Shaq that. Shaq posters, Shaq hats, Shaq shirts, Shaq socks, Shaq jockstraps! When will it end? If Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy has his way, not anytime soon. Listen to him give a talk (possibly about his team's newest star) during breakfast at the Miami City Club (200 S. Biscayne Blvd., 55th floor) from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Remember to pepper him with plenty of Shaq questions! Tickets cost $15. Call 305-373-2600 to reserve. (NK)