A Personal Journey With Martin Scorcese Through American Movies: The USA Film Festival and the Video Association of Dallas join forces to haul a massive, centennially candled birthday cake across the ocean to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of cinema with the British Film Institute's 13-part Century of Cinema. The top filmmakers from 13 different countries offer their own fiercely individual visions of the highlights and low lights of cinema. The Dallas festival opens with A Personal Journey with Martin Scorcese Through American Movies, directed by Scorcese and Michael Henry Wilson. Scorcese has claimed he'd rather watch a movie than make one any day of the week; he'll take you on a park stroll through the flicks that influenced him. Screenings happen at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $5. Other Century of Cinema documentaries happen November 10-13 and November 19-21 at the AMC Glen Lakes. Call 821-NEWS.
Multiculturalism Lectures: As part of its Andrew Cecil Lecture Series, the University of Texas at Dallas presents a series of three lectures that attempt to tackle the subjects of multiculturalism and internationalism as neither utopian liberal concepts or vilified conservative targets. "Tolerance, Equal Freedom, and Peace" is a talk by Dr. David Little of the United States Institute of Peace about the continued struggle for justice among various ethnicities inside and outside of America; it happens November 11 at 8 p.m. Former chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities Lynne Cheney's discussion (from a right-of-center perspective, no doubt) is entitled "Can Multiculturalism Be Done Right?" and happens November 12 at 8 p.m. "Isolationism vs. Global Reality" is the last talk of the series, given by Washington University professor Murray Weidenbaum on November 13 at 2 p.m. All lectures take place in the University of Texas at Dallas Conference Center, Campbell and Floyd in Richardson. They are free. Call (972) 883-2293.
Blithe Spirit: Margaret Rutherford and Geraldine Page both laid their legendary hands on the crystal ball of Madame Arcati, the dithery psychic of Noel Coward's oft-revived 1941 comic gem, Blithe Spirit. For the third production of its '96-'97 season, Theatre Three taps one of its most resourceful comic actresses to don the shawl of Coward's spiritual usurper of the upper middle class. Sharon Bunn was frightening and funny as Christopher Durang's Sister Mary, and her fearsome comic chops will be put to the test in this scenery chewer of a role. Performances of Blithe Spirit happen Tuesday-Friday at 8:15 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. through December 8 at Theatre Three in The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. Tickets are $17-$24. Call 871-3300.
The Break: The Potlatch Staged Script Reading series continues its fall 1996 season with a screenplay by a Dallas filmmaker who has already filmed part of the script. David Slack hightailed it to New York last fall to screen the completed segments of his filmmaking debut, The Break, for the ever-competitive Independent Feature Film Market. He now directs a staged reading of a script he describes as a No Exit for the twentysomething generation. Organizations that have pitched in their support for the Potlatch series include the Dallas Screenwriters Association, The Playwright's Project, and Women in Film. The reading happens at 7 p.m. at Theatre Three, downstairs in The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. It's free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Call 920-2464.
An Evening of Dazzling Animated Shorts: We'd take the title of this program at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth--"An Evening of Dazzling Animated Shorts"--as pure braggadocio...if the host were anyone other than the imperial wizard of Arlington video, Bart Weiss. You might know Weiss as an independent filmmaker, a video production teacher, or as the director of the city's annual Dallas Video Festival. You might also recognize him as the guy who knows everybody even remotely connected with film and video production in town. He screens a barrelful of his favorite animated shorts by both local and national artists. The event happens at 7 p.m. at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 1309 Montgomery in Fort Worth. It's free. Call (817) 738-9215.
David Sedaris: Those who caught David Sedaris' previous standing-room-only appearance in Dallas at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's black box theater were privy to the amazing comic poignancy and malevolence this pint-sized satirist whipped up with only a sheaf of notes and a bottle of mineral water. David Sedaris is the Obie-winning playwright, National Public Radio commentator, author, soap-opera fanatic, Billie Holiday buff, and veteran house cleaner who channels Mark Twain's humanism and Dorothy Parker's venom (a tad more of the latter, actually) in his stories and essays. Barrel Fever is the incomparable 1994 collection that will transform you into a glassy-eyed Sedaris minion, joining the unholy army of the night that awaits his diabolical bidding. Sedaris reads at 8 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater of Southern Methodist University. It's free, but seating is limited. Call 768-4400.