If there had been some ancient Japanese rule banning those with physical or mental disabilities from brandishing swords, then contemporary Japanese film would be totally different. Think of any iconic Japanese film, and it's likely the plot involved someone who shouldn't be trusted with a pointy, life-taking implement wreaking havoc on the countryside. But don't trust us: The Asian Film Festival of Dallas closes its 2004 celebration with Zatoichi, directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano as Zatoichi, a blind swordsman avenging evil in feudal Japan. This 2004 film is considered more mainstream and accessible than Kitano's previous works, but still faithful to the Zatoichi legacy in Japanese film. It screens at 7:20 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave. in the West Village, and will be followed by a cocktail party in Tom Tom Bar Bar, also in the West Village. Admission is $8 for adults and $5.50 for seniors and kids. Call 214-769-0856 or visit www.affd.org for the festival's complete schedule of screenings, which continue through Friday.
Friday, June 11
Though we're sure in his prime Salvador Dali was an artist to be feared, admonished and revered, to us he's always been a lovable old coot. Comically skinny with a turned-up mustache, bushy brows and messy hair, he was a sweet old eccentric obsessed with melting clocks and post-nuclear war landscapes--and a genius of the Surrealism movement. To celebrate all sides of Dali, from the wacky to the controversial, is Dali 100 Years, an exhibition marking the centennial of the Spanish painter's birth. More than 600 paintings, sculptures, drawings and tapestries are on display for viewing and sale, along with another 2,400 pieces of Dali collectibles such as autographed books and photos. It opens Friday and runs through June 27 at the Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth. It's open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, and admission is $8 to $10. Call 1-800-367-3254 or visit www.dali100.com.
Saturday, June 12
We'd stick out like a striped Bill Cosby sweater among the skimpy and shiny in Blue's VIP lounge, a corn dog at a tapas shindig, a muddy Escort in a sea of pristine Beemers, if we tried to dress the part for The Lollipop Shoppe's bimonthly modern arts soiree at Avenue Arts Venue. Plus, we can never get those bobbed baby-pink wigs over our giant head and poofy hair. Always a Dudley Moore and never a Peter Cook. The theme for this film/fashion/art/music night is Spaceout, and it will be demonstrated through Day-Glo go-go dancers, DJs spinning mod and other kinds of rock, visual projections and the debut of The Klogz, featuring former members of Lithium Xmas, including Mark Ridlen, aka DJ Mr. Rid. It'll be swinging, baby. See, we can't even get the lingo down. Admission is $5 at Avenue Arts Venue, 825 Exposition Ave., and the party is BYOB. Call 214-827-0351 or visit www.artspace.com.
Sunday, June 13
We were really rooting for Gran Siesta Dallas. A citywide naptime has been a dream of ours for years. But here's a worthy substitution (and one much safer): Gran Fiesta Dallas, two days of music, dance, fashion shows, children's activities and food designed to show the Latin influences on Texas history and culture. Produced by Main Events International, which does Gran Fiesta Fort Worth and the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Gran Fiesta Dallas is 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla St. Admission is free for music by Ninel Conde and Gary Hobbs, plus drumming, salsa, mariachi and merengue. Coolers are not allowed; low chairs and blankets are, making the fiesta a good time for a siesta, especially with a tummy full of tacos and tamales. Call 214-855-1881 or visit www.granfiestadallas.com.
Monday, June 14
One more day without electricity, and we were certain all the bugs that'd flown or crawled in through the open windows would have staged a coup, taken control of the house and started charging us a toll of bread crumbs and sugar water to use the bathroom. Little did we know that, if we had captured them, we could have dined on them instead of pining for the spoiled food in the fridge. But, thanks to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, we'll be ready next time. The museum introduces its Big Bugs: Giant Robotic Insects exhibit with Bug Week, six days of creepy, crawly events beginning with Bug Cooking With Bill Voss at 10 a.m. Monday. The resident entomologist will discuss creature cuisine in other cultures and prepare some himself. The rest of the week includes Radio Disney, bug identification with Terminix, a scavenger hunt, a film fest and a build-a-bug activity using recycled materials. Big Bugs, featuring a 20-foot praying mantis and rhinoceros beetles the size of Volkswagen Beetles, opens June 12 and runs through September 12. Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St. Call 817-255-9300.
Tuesday, June 15
"How much time would I save if I just let myself walk by a plate-glass window without sucking in my gut and throwing back my shoulders? How much time would I save? And it turns out I save about 92 minutes a week. I can take a pottery class." And that's why we love Margaret Cho. She takes a personal experience, makes it universal and then negates all hard feelings with a dismissive joke. Whether her topic was body image, racism, sexism or homophobia, Cho used her low self-esteem to lure the likewise self-deprecating into her fandom. Then, she got all happy. Now there are fewer fat jokes and more political rants. But, luckily for her fans, she's good at that, too. It helps that she was raised around drag queens, we bet. Her latest tour--the "got happy" one--is now a feature film with the same title: Revolution, which features Cho in Che Guevara garb. She's like a freedom fighter for the chubby, gay and non-white. The Dallas premiere is presented by OUT TAKES Dallas, the gay and lesbian film festival, with Sundance Channel and its Out Loud FilmFest. It's 7:30 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave. in the West Village. Tickets are $5. Call 972-988-6333.