Licensed To Kill: OK, we can understand the extreme discomfort that some straight men feel toward gay men; it's a socially instilled distaste that gay men themselves have to overcome on the journey to self-acceptance. But what, precisely, drives men--from the non-violent but demented homophobe the Rev. Donald Wildmon to convicted Texas killers Corey Burley and Donald Aldrich--to make a career out of persecuting homosexuals? Oscar- and Emmy-nominated indie filmmaker Arthur Dong was the talk of this year's Sundance Festival with his searing documentary, Licensed to Kill, a bold exploration into the psychology of gay bashers and the murderers of gay men. Twenty years ago, Dong himself was beaten on the streets of San Francisco by men yelling "Faggot!" He entered several maximum-security penitentiaries to interview the convicted murderers of gay men (whose homosexuality was an explicit motivation for the crime) to ask why. Licensed to Kill makes its Dallas premiere October 27 at 8 p.m., with filmmaker Arthur Dong in attendance. Subsequent screenings happen October 28-30 at 8 p.m. at the Lakewood Theatre, 1825 Abrams Rd. Tickets are $6. Call (214) 827-LAKE.
El Dia De Los Muertos: Just like certain crusading fundamentalist Christian activists, a few of us are indeed all for a larger role of the religious--let's say mystical--in public life. Unlike said fundamentalists, we just think that it doesn't involve forcing all kids to pray to one God in school. Those atheists who complain about public displays of the manger scene are just as annoying as those Christians who complain that Halloween is a "pagan" holiday. That's the point, gunga! The Latin American El Dia De Los Muertos has firm traces of traditional Catholicism running all the way through it, but everyone in that (mostly Catholic) culture can enjoy it because it focuses on the one thing that unites practicing and non-practicing Christians alike--We're all gonna die, so we might as well throw a party. After skipping a year because of renovations, the Bath House Cultural Center hosts its 11th Annual El Dia De Los Muertos Exhibition featuring altars, paintings, and sculpture honoring the dearly (and soon to be) departed. The show runs through November 1, with a closing reception on that day from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Call (214) 670-8749.
Forum With Wynton Marsalis: Pick up a few back issues of a jazz or classical magazine, and chances are you'll tap into the quiet controversy that's flared over jazz musicians performing/conducting classical music. Most of the whining seems to come from classical purists, who see the world divided into "Classical" and "All Other Kinds of Music." A leader in the opposition is Wynton Marsalis, a recent Pulitzer Prize winner and lauded jazz musician. Marsalis comes to Dallas to receive the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts on November 1, but beforehand he appears at public events: a question-and-answer forum October 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and a lecture and demonstration with fellow musicians October 30 at 7:30 p.m. Both events occur in Caruth Auditorium at Southern Methodist University. Both are free, but tickets must be obtained for admission. Call (214) 768-2787.