Calendar for the week

october 2
Maluala: Oh, what a paradise the Cuba of yore seemed. Except for one thing (no, not Castro): slavery. Yes, Cuba was not always so libre; plenty of Africans were oppressed there too. Regarded by some as the father of black Cuban cinema, Sergio Giral, now a resident of Miami, has made a trio of films about the slave experience in his native country. Maluala, the last of the trilogy, showing at 7:00 tonight at FIU's Roz and Cal Kovens Conference Center (151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, North Miami), tells the tale of African Maroons, slaves who escaped their captors, hid in the mountains and forests, and eventually formed thriving communities. Giral will be present to introduce his film, the first in a series titled "Films from the African Diaspora," presented by FIU's African-New World Studies program and Diaspora World Cinema, an organization devoted to the promotion of films from the Caribbean basin and throughout the African diaspora. Admission is free. Call 919-5521. (NK)

Edmund White: Much has been made of the fact that the protagonist of Edmund White's The Farewell Symphony, the third book in an informal trilogy, recounts having had more than 3000 lovers during the bacchanalian days of gay sexual liberation. But it isn't tales of free-for-all sex that have made White one of the most respected novelists (gay or straight) writing today. He first came to prominence fifteen years ago with the semi-autobiographical A Boy's Own Life. The Farewell Symphony has been rapturously received in critical circles for its candor and humor. It recounts the life of a gay man who has survived most of his friends and lovers through the rebellion of the Stonewall riot of the Sixties, the hedonism of the Seventies, and the horror of AIDS in the Eighties. White reads from The Farewell Symphony at 8:00 tonight at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Call 442-4408 for more information. (JO)

october 3
Baroque Festival: Attention all classical music aficionados: The New World Symphony gives you all the Handel you can handle with a three-day festival of baroque music at the Lincoln Theatre (555 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Put on your slicker and prepare to get soaked tonight at 8:00 when Henry Bicket conducts the orchestra and leads Kenneth Cooper on harpsichord in a program titled "Water Musics." Compositions by Bach, Telemann, and, yes, Handel will be performed. Tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Bicket conducts "Music of the Baroque Theatre," featuring works such as Locke's music for The Tempest and the suite from King Arthur by Purcell. A bonus: Choreographer/dancer Catherine Turocy will don period costume and prance on-stage. On Sunday at 5:00 p.m. the symphony gives you "A Baroque Treat." Kenneth Cooper chimes in again on harpsichord, performing concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, and Telemann. Tickets range from $15 to $20. Call 673-3331. (NK)

Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation: Ever wonder why two hours of Looney Tunes put you to sleep as a kid but you find them so amusing now? They were directed by adults for adults, silly. While Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, and Elmer Fudd are fun, they won't be anywhere in sight at the weeklong festival beginning tonight at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). For the past twenty years, Spike and Mike have compiled the best independent animation, introducing the world to weirdoes like Mike Judge, Will Vinton, and Tim Burton. You can see films from all over the world in a variety of media, such as pencil and ink, stop-motion, clay, and computer animation. Some highlights: Steven Fonti's Political Correction, a spoof of the beloved Schoolhouse Rock TV series; and Nick Park's A Close Shave, a mystery featuring those lovable clay characters Wallace and Gromit. Tickets range from four to six dollars. Call 531-8504 for show times. (NK)

Luis Vega: Recent Works: Those eager to see Cuba, but deterred by hot-headed relatives who threaten to disown them if they go can instead visit Elite Fine Art Gallery (3140 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables) to see the romantic yet surreal vision of Luis Vega, an exiled Cuban artist whose painstakingly detailed land- and seascapes represent more than just trees and water. The loss of a homeland, the instability of exile, and the adjustment to a new life are just some of the themes interwoven in the radiant skies and lush vegetation that inspire his paintings. A reception with the artist starts at 7:00 p.m. The exhibition runs through October 24. The gallery is open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free. Call 448-3800. (NK)

october 4
Whodunit?: Though it may not seem like it from the nightly news, it's pretty hard to get away with a crime. Technology is now so advanced that a tiny paint chip can determine the make, model, and year of a car; a single hair can yield enough DNA to identify one person out of millions; and skeletal remains can be used to determine not only sex, race, and other physical characteristics, but even a person's occupation. Demonstrations of these and other crime-fighting techniques can be found at the Miami Museum of Science's (3280 S. Miami Ave.) new exhibit, "Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime." You can even watch a videotape of a real autopsy -- if you can stomach it. The exhibit runs until January 4, daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $5.50 for kids under twelve. Call 854-4247 for more information. (JO)

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