Our line of sight falls somewhere just below five feet. We're short and tend to look down when we walk, plowing through crowds of people like a fox running through heavy underbrush. So when it comes to buildings, it takes a lot to catch our attention. Yet we do have this ongoing love affair with the Kimbell Art Museum. It's stone, and it's curvy, much like some of the sculptures it houses. But the important part is what's inside. There's light everywhere, and not the harsh kind from a bulb. Crevices and glass running through the stone like veins and arteries bring daylight inside. It feels more like a spa than a gallery. And the man behind it is as much a mystery as the museum's light sources. But Nathaniel Kahn hopes to shed some light on the architect, his father, Louis I. Kahn. Nathaniel will show his film, My Architect: A Son's Journey, which features interviews with his father's fellow designers such as I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry as well as cabbies and former lovers, during the Dallas Architecture Forum's February meeting at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Admission is $5 to $15 but free to DAF members. Call 214-740-0644.
Friday, February 6
Yeah, yeah, everything is bigger in Texas, they claim. We'll give you the trucks, blond hair and novelty flyswatters. But some things are much bigger in anime: big guns, big fights, big spaceships, big eyes, big boobs (and we mean beyond anything saline could do). Those who like their women and their action exaggerated, animated and in Japanese can slip on their metallic flight suits and some moon boots for The Anime Pop Film Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday. Screenings of features, shorts and episodes of Dragonball Z are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Sunday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood, for free. In addition, Returner will be premiered at the Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., at midnight Friday and Saturday. Admission is $8 for those two screenings. Anime Pop and the Asian Film Festival of Dallas sponsor the event, so call 214-769-0856.
Saturday, February 7
We have a soft spot for the stereotype-breakers: the sweet-faced, kind-hearted lawyer aspiring to help the persecuted; the sexy, cheesecake, heels-wearing librarian in the miniskirt; the talkative, social-butterfly visual artist. And, on a more concrete format, the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection, which has become sort of a traveling Black History Month staple this year thanks to Southern Methodist University, which houses it in the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection of the Hamon Arts Library. But for each Saturday in February, the public may view this collection of short and feature-length films at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St. These restored films are a rarity, having been written, directed and acted by African-Americans between 1918 and 1950. This Saturday's marathon includes Broken Earth, in which a farmer's son becomes ill; Vanities, a revue at a nightclub starring a Bette Davis impersonator; and Murder in Harlem, which is based on the true story of Leo Frank, a murderer in Georgia who accused an African-American janitor of the crime. The screenings start at 2 p.m. and are free. Call 214-670-1643.
Sunday, February 8
Always George Dawson will be our epitome of Dallas Community College's annual Black History Month celebration, African American Read-In. Dawson passed away a few years ago, but he was a huge inspiration in the event's formative years. He didn't learn to read until age 98 and, by age 102, had co-written his biography, Life Is So Good, a look into one man's life in the 1900s, beginning with a lynching and ending with the championing of literacy. This year's event may lack the joy and triumph he brought--sorry, Greg Fields, Sunday's master of ceremonies--but it keeps its goal to bring stories "from the page to the stage." Celebrities will perform the original play AncesTREE: African Roots, African Branches, plus there will be more live literature and other performances. The African American Read-In is 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Call 214-860-2005 or visit www.readin.dcccd.edu.
Monday, February 9
We can't blame Parker Posey's character in The House of Yes for wanting to be Jackie O. The pink tailored suits, the pillbox hats, the chunky pearls and the shampoo-commercial hair. The wanting to screw her brother part, though...Posey's Jackie O is on her own with that one. But the role of the real Jackie O--the young beautiful wife left alone with two small children, grieving gracefully in the public's eye--is one to savor. And that's just a third of the famous sidekicks who get a wacky and witty profiling in The First Lady Suite. Lady Bird Johnson and Mamie Eisenhower fill out the characters in this final production in Theatre Three's 2004 Appetizer Series, which takes place in the Theatre Too! space and includes heavy appetizers served before the curtain call. The first performance of these staged readings is Sunday, but the official opening is Monday. It runs 7:15 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays through February 18. Tickets are $25. Theatre Three is located at 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. Call the box office at 214-871-3300.
Tuesday, February 10
Here's our good deed for the week: It's not the thought that counts. It's the thought, how well it's executed, how much it costs and what the wrapping and final presentation looks like. And did you remember the greeting card? Now here's a thought and some execution with little cost. We can't help with the wrapping, though. The Dallas Arboretum's adult education program presents Handmade Gifts From the Heart in time for the dreaded V-Day. From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Tuesday, instructor Linda Disosway teaches how to make your own fancy one-of-a-kind paper using household items combined with herbs and flowers. Entry is $20 ($18 for members), and supplies cost $15. Your sweetie will thank you; Hallmark will hate you. It's a win-win situation. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. Call 214-515-6540 to register.
Wednesday, February 11
Walking into the MADI Museum is like stepping into a cartoon, but one in which the only characters are geometric shapes in primary colors and the only plot is that squares and circles stick to walls. OK, it would be a boring cartoon. But in a city of gray boxes with streaked windows, it seems unreal, this wacky Seussian, Tetris game-like structure among the offices near Turtle Creek. While the columns, walls and ceilings are attraction enough, the museum has begun offering exhibits showing the influences and artists of the MADI movement. The latest is 9 Venezuelan Modern Masters, which demonstrates the Venezuelan abstract art movement and the Argentinean and Uruguayan MADI movements. It closes February 14, so catch it during the gallery hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free to the museum, which is located at 3109 Carlisle St. at the Kilgore Law Center. Call 214-855-7802.