The USA Film Festival blew us off when it came to covering this year's event, and never has a snub felt more like someone doing us a favor. But that doesn't mean we can't still play together. Especially when it comes to the First Monday Classics series, which we have always maintained was a better substitute for the series of screenings the festival presents every year. If you're going to present movies most people have already seen, you might as well show good ones. This month's offering is 1935's Top Hat, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The film celebrates the late Astaire's 100th birthday, and it's a fitting tribute, one of the finest films made by one of the finest screen couples. If only the real festival was more like this. Alonso Duralde, are you listening? Top Hat screens at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $7, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-FILM.
Nude portraiture has been one of the mainstays of photography ever since the first camera was invented. Yes, even before Hugh Hefner created Playboy and Larry Flynt took it a step further with Hustler. Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery takes a look at the history of the form with an exhibition simply titled Nude, featuring a wide range of 19th- and 20th-century photography with nude subjects, including works by such notables as William Mortenson (who shot women wrapped in plastic long before David Lynch imagined Laura Palmer), George Hoxie, Anne Brigman, and Eadweard Muybridge. And remember, looking is one thing, gawking is another. Nude opens on Friday at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, 3115 Routh, and continues though June 5. Call (214) 969-5464.
Frank X. Tolbert's latest exhibit at The MAC, Berlin/Paris/Texas is all about finding strange things in strange places. So 1988's Bagdad Cafe is the most complementary film The MAC could have chosen to screen as part of its Wednesday Night Film and Video Series in conjunction with Tolbert's exhibit. The German film is almost like a moving version of Tolbert's work, focusing on a stranded Bavarian tourist and the odd clientele she finds when she enters the lonely diner of the film's title. Come for one and stay for the other. Bagdad Cafe screens at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at The MAC, 3120 McKinney. Admission is $5, $3 for MAC or Video Association of Dallas members. Call (214) 953-1212.