American filmmaker Todd Haynes is an iconoclast. His 1991 film Poison was dismissed as pornography at first, but when it won prizes at Cannes it became regarded as a benchmark in nouveau queer cinema. Tonight Haynes's 1998 feature Velvet Goldmine will be screened, along with his groundbreaking and seldom-seen short Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. The 1987 film follows the sad life of 1970s songbird Karen Carpenter, who died of anorexia complications in 1983. In a cruel twist that accentuates Carpenter's obsession with body image, Haynes cast the entire film with Barbie dolls -- to hilarious effect. Lack of permission to use authentic Carpenters music (Karen and brother Richard made up the saccharine duo) has kept this brilliant short off the market. The films start at 8:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 512 Española Way. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-673-4567. -- By Margaret Griffis
A guest of FIU's Writers on the Bay series, Gregory Orr, champion of the personal lyric poem -- that musical assemblage of language bent on transcending the worst that life can throw at us -- reads tonight at 8:00. Orr, who has published 8 volumes of poetry, numerous essays, and a memoir, brings with him the contagious conviction that what is most beautiful about us finds its survival through words. The poet, whose work spans 3 decades, co-edits the Virginia Quarterly Review, one of those highbrow fiction rags you rarely spend your jack on but should. In keeping with the format, Orr promises to socialize with aspiring poets and students. The finger-snapping will go on at FIU Biscayne Bay Campus, Academic One bldg., rm. 155, NE 151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, North Miami. Admission is free. Call 305-919-5857 or see w3.fiu.edu/crwriting. -- By Victor Cruz
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Get Jiggy, Naturally
There's a serious condition afflicting urban youth; his name is Ronald McDonald. Well, not the reddish-haired spokesbozo directly, but the supersized diet he represents. Being down with the clown is not ice-cold, which explains the popularity of the Organic Hip-Hop event at FIU, Biscayne Bay campus. The evening features hip-hop and spoken-word artists Tha Union and Swamburger, treats from the Black Vegetarian Society of South Florida, and talks on holistic wellness by Queen Afua and her son Supanova Slom. Doors open 6:30 p.m., Wolfe University Center Ball Room. Admission is free. Call 305-472-2566. -- By John Anderson