Is the future of film debuting tonight? Maybe. The best entries in the recent 48 Hour Film Festival screen at 8 p.m. in Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487; tickets are $4 to $6), and one of these eight-minute shorts will be declared the best of the best. When you consider that all the participating films were conceived, filmed and edited down in 48 hours each, you may wonder if "best" is a subjective term. Never doubt the power of the human imagination, friend; what these teams of filmmakers came up with will surprise you. Incidentally, the top film will go on to compete against the best 48 Hour Films from other competing cities. Pick the right film so we can crush Chicago's entry, which is probably about fat pizza and a Belushi-style neck-warmer haircut.
Thursday, May 27
Viewing photographs of circus acts can be analogous to looking at pictures of cake; you get the visual impact of the subject but none of the other sensory elements that make the subject so fascinating (or delicious). Scott Raffe's photography exhibit at the Kodner Gallery's Clayton location (7501 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-863-9366; open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), The Art of the Circus, avoids this limitation entirely. His collection of 80 photographs, all of performers from St. Louis' own Circus Flora, captures something beyond just a visual moment. The photographs, taken over the course of six years, are packed with almost subliminal detail, hinting at smells and sounds just beyond the boundary of the photograph. The Art of the Circus is an excellent appetizer for the real Circus Flora, which debuts a new show early in June. For now, gaze at Raffe's photos, and dream of the performance to come.
Friday, May 28
Nowadays, when the television masses hear the word "cosmopolitan," they automatically think of the reddish drinks those ladies on HBO drank in copious amounts. Only a few consider the glammy, gossipy, glossy magazine now mostly referred to as Cosmo. That magazine's unfailing quizzes (hee hee) and a little bit of Bollywood play a part in the upcoming film Cosmopolitan, which screens for free at 9 p.m. at Rue 13 (1313 Washington Avenue; 314-588-9797). After dinner and a movie (don't forget, Rue has sushi), head over to Lo (500 North 15th Street; 314-621-8930) for the screening's official hip-hop and bhangra afterparty. Admission's only $5, and movie-partiers can taste another delish red drink: The strawberry sake is recommended and berry, berry good.
Saturday, May 29
Oh, summertime's here now -- as of the Memorial Day weekend -- and you know what that means: Midnight Movies at the Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar Boulevard; 314-995-6270) are back. The schedule currently sports two powerhouses of cinematic brutality, Reservoir Dogs and A Clockwork Orange. One of those films is a harrowing classic of alienation and violence, a testament to the genius of its source material; the other movie is Reservoir Dogs. Yeah, that's right, Tarantino is a rip-off artist, more mouth than might. Still, see 'em both, and then engage in a spirited discussion of the two films' differing approaches to the intellectual understanding of humanity's baser nature. Obviously, the films begin at midnight, and tickets are $7.
Sunday, May 30
Volksmarching is something else. It's leisurely walking with a little sightseeing along a planned route. But wait: That's not all! A volkswalk has the added bonus of record-keeping for the obsessive-compulsive CPA in all of us. No OCD? No worries! Volkssporters don't have to buy the event- and/or distance books to log participation: They can just walk with a purpose for fun and exercise! The next walk planned by the St. Louis-Stuttgart Volksmarch Club, Inc. (Stuttgart, Germany, is our sister city, and yes, they're volksing there too) incorporates the love and excitement St. Louisans have for viewing both still-existing and once-existing elements of the 1904 World's Fair. The starting point for the 10K walk (also taking place Saturday, May 29) is the Lindell Pavilion Visitors Center in Forest Park (near Lindell Boulevard and Cricket Drive; 314-781-5665), and registration is from 8 a.m. to noon. Be sure to walk at least two miles per hour to finish by 3 p.m. That's when the walk ends, whether you're finished or not.
Monday, May 31
You know how tired you are at the end of a long weekend? You're sluggish, usually sore in places you'd rather not be sore, you're sunburned, and you could benefit greatly from a little shower time. Additionally, you have the whole "going in to work tomorrow" storm cloud hanging over your head. Well, animals don't know a thing about any of that. At the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park, the animals come in to work every day, and every year from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, they put in extra hours. It's called North Star Frozen Treats Summer Zoo Evenings, and the zoo stays open till 7 p.m., so you have more time to enjoy the fine work these troupers do (yes, they qualify as troupers for working overtime). Admission is always free; call 314-781-0900 for more information.
Tuesday, June 1
Baking bread is not the first artisan skill that comes to mind when considering crafting. Maybe your childhood days at Silver Dollar City taught you the trade of taffy-pulling or candle-making, but bread was probably never mentioned. Poor bread, barely given a thought then, and now it's punished with all these crazy diets. You should show bread how much you appreciate it by learning to make it at a Breaducation 101 baking class at the Viking Culinary Arts Center (offered monthly at 1811 South Brentwood Boulevard; 314-961-1999 or www.vikingrange.com). Actual Saint Louis Bread Co. bakers will be teaching the $79 class from 6 to 9:30 p.m., and participants will walk away with Bread Co. gift certificates, bready recipes (to hell with the Atkins!) and the warm feeling of knowing they helped bread regain some self-esteem.