Events for the week

september 21
Andrew Sullivan: Although The New Republic's 29-year-old editor has been called a conservative gay activist, in his publication - and the essays he's written for The New York Times and other publications - Andrew Sullivan has carved out a fiercely moderate position on social issues (with a slight tilt toward the right where the economy is concerned). His position in the middle of the road predated President Clinton's. Although respected, Sullivan is regarded as something of an oddity in the world of politics - an openly gay man, a practicing Roman Catholic who is eager to criticize the excesses of the homosexual rights movement as those of Christian fundamentalist Republicans. Sullivan isn't likely to lead a revolution anytime soon, but his new book, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, is an attempt to refocus gay rights as a broad social issue and not a plea for tolerance of individual behavior. Some of his opinions may surprise you. Sullivan appears to discuss and sign his book at 7 pm at Crossroads Market, 3930 Cedar Springs. 521-8919.

september 22
Visionaries and Rebels: American Literature After the Atom Bomb: The great American writers of the post-War era were a rowdy crowd of regionalists who represented every American experience you can imagine. And they seem to have talked about the woes of their lives with a lot less self-indulgence than their '90s counterparts. Avid readers won't want to miss Visionaries and Rebels: American Literature After the Atom Bomb, an exhibit of ober 60 first editions of works by giants including Edward Albee, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Joyce Carol Oates, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Visionaries and Rebels was launched to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Friends of the SMU Libraries, who drew from their Colophon Moderns Collection to mount the show. It's free and runs through November 17 at the DeGolyer Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. For info call 768-3225.

The UFVA Student Film & Video Festival: Now in its third year and proudly trumpeting itself as "the only aggressively international and independent student film festival in the U.S.," The UFVA Student Film & Video Festival (that stands for University Film and Video Association) is a traveling carnival of movies by film students from all over the world. This year, Festival organizers received 482 entries from 17 countries, 34 states and five Canadian provinces. All told, 150 film schools worldwide are represented. What audiences see at the festival is the cream of the crop - three award-winners in each of four different categories. The judges' panel features among others, one-woman New York City film revolution Christine Vachon, whose credit as producer has graced the most high-profile indie flicks of the last few years - Poison, Go Fish, Swoon and many others. The UFVA Student Film & Video Festival makes a one-day stop at The University of North Texas in Denton. Since you may never see these films again, this is a must-go for any film buff. For time and campus location call (817) 565-2537.

september 23
Peruvian Paso Horse Championships: If you, like most of us, have trouble telling your mules from your donkeys, then chances are you wouldn't be able to identify a Peruvian horse if it trampled you. In the international equine scene, however, a Peruvian Paso is a real gem, one of the last remaining naturally gaited breeds in the world. These horses aren't trained to achieve their graceful stride - they're bred for it. Since it was introduced in America, the Peruvian Paso has become the star of show and endurance competitions. The John Justin Arena in Fort Worth's Will Rogers Auditorium hosts the 22nd annual U.S. National Championship, a three-day program of events that includes a musical exercise class, in which horse and rider become dance partners; the champagne class, in which riders compete to see who can carry a champagne glass on horseback without spilling a drop; and self-explanatory competition classes like the Costume Class, Western Class, and Ladies' Sidesaddle Class. Admission to the events on Friday and Sunday is free, but Saturday evening costs $5. For more info call (508) 358-1088.

New York Underground Films: Now in its second week, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's "New York Underground Film Series" is an attempt to bring noncommercial cinema to a city that seemed to say, with its neglect of the Major Theatre and its spotty support of the now-defunct Southwest Film and Video Archives, that it didn't care. With this in mind, the MAC's last offering, a film by Joe Gibbons and Emily Breer called The Genius (1993), is something of a cheeky jibe at artists who whine about not being noticed. The Genius is a no-holds-barred satire of the incestuous, ruthless, unethical world of New York visual art in which performance artist Karen Finley gleefully parodies herself as an "art terrorist." The film plays September 22-24 at 8 pm at 3120 McKinney. Admission is $5. For more info call 953-IMAC.

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Jimmy Fowler