Four films will be shown tonight as part of the fourth Chicago Latino Film Festival: at 6, Women of El Planeta, which documents a slum in Peru’s capital where two women organize to fight poverty; at 6:30, Bitter Sea, a revisionist look at how Bolivia lost its coastline in 1879 to the British-supported Chileans; at 9, Quinoscopio, animation based on the sharp satire of Argentine political cartoonist Quino; and at 9:10, La Negrita: The Miracle of Our Lady of Los Angeles, about a religious apparition in a small Costa Rican village. All will be shown at the Three Penny Cinema, 2424 N. Lincoln; tickets are $6, $4 for students. The festival continues at the Three Penny through October 2; festival passes cost $50. For more, call 431-1330 or 751-3421.
Alderman Danny Davis was the first to fire a salvo in the mayoral wars–and the battle for the north-side vote–when he opened his campaign office on Belmont Avenue more than a month ago. But there aren’t a lot of issues that a west-side alderman can use to impress north-siders. Davis did support the Human Rights Ordinance, which impressed quite a few, but he failed to convince any of his council pals to vote with him when the ordinance was defeated again last week. Davis may take some heat for that when he hosts One Chicago Night, a benefit party for his campaign. It starts at 7 tonight at the Ber-Nello Weigelt Hall, 3910 N. Damen, and will feature Big Time Sarah’s Blues Show, a cash bar, and hot dogs. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 525-8683 for information.
Virginia-born Paul Hoover happened to come to Chicago in 1968 during the week of the Democratic convention. He’d begun protesting long before our streets were on fire, and when he bowed out of the Vietnam war as a conscientious objector, he was sent here to work in a lowly hospital post. Since then he has married writer Maxine Chernoff and had three kids, earned a degree from the writers program at the University of Illinois, published five poetry books, and joined the faculty of Columbia College. Now Hoover has penned Saigon, Illinois, a first novel that closely parallels his early Chicago experiences. He’ll be reading from the book tonight at 7 at Barbaras’s Bookstore, 1434 N. Wells, then partying with friends and fans. It’s all free. For more information, call 642-5044.
Pandau, which means “flower art,” is a form of fine needlework done only by Hmong women. Many of the designs, which were part of the traditional dress in Laos, are passed down from mother to daughter. Sixteen Hmong artists, including Yer Xiong, Nao Yang, and Nai Moua, will display their work in a Hmong Polk Arts Center exhibition. Pieces range in price from $40 to $500. A free open house begins at 2 at 4753 N. Broadway. The artists will attend, and there will be a demonstration of Hmong-style weaving. Call 907-2184 for more.
The music of Puerto Rico, with its hard-driving rhythms and hot horns, will make you build up a sweat. But Brazilian music is so cool and breezy, you’ll only perspire. Dance and compare; San Juan Music and Brazilian Parade are the two headliners at tonight’s Noche Tropical, an extravaganza of Latin dance that starts at 9 at the Latino Arts Gallery, 850 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $15 and benefit the gallery and the “We the People” mosaic project. For more, call 243-3777.
Do-si-do your partner at the city’s only gay and lesbian square dance club when the Chi-Town Squares sponsor Square Dance 101 today at Carol’s, 1355 N. Wells. There will be a live caller and impromptu lessons from 2 to 5 this afternoon. It’s open to everyone for $ 1. Call 472-1666 for more.
Midawo Gideon Foli Alorwoyie, who served as chief master drummer for the National Dance Company of Ghana for 20 years, now teaches at Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music. The internationally recognized Alorwoyie and the African-American Unity Ensemble rock the house tonight with a virtuoso percussion performance at Southend Musicworks, 224 N. Desplaines. Show time is 7, and admission is $5. For more information, call 283-0531.
Detectives used to be tough guys like Sam Spade, who called their female friends “doll” and “sweetheart.” But these days, more and more women are gumshoeing through the pages of murder mysteries. Mary McLaughlin, from Winnetka’s Scotland Yard Books, will talk about the rise of the woman detective in a lecture titled A Sisterhood of Sleuths at 7:30 at the Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette in Wilmette. It’s free. Call 256-5025 for more information.
When Governor James Thompson signed House Bill 4005, which gives doctors permission to test for HIV antibodies without a patient’s permission, he destroyed the state’s AIDS Confidentiality Act, which requires informed, written consent. The Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which met with Thompson last year and helped pass the confidentiality law, is mad as hell. IGLTF members will be leading a candlelight march in protest at 8:30 tonight, stepping off from the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington. Marchers will proceed to the governor’s home on Hutchinson Avenue. For more, call 975-0707.
Aurelia Pucinski may have a natural constituency among the young professionals of the 44th Ward, but Ed Vrdolyak did beat Harold Washington there in the 1987 mayoral contest. Fireworks are guaranteed when the two candidates for clerk of the circuit court face off in a debate at the Belmont Hotel, 3170 N. Sheridan–in the heart of the ward. Show time is 11:30 AM, and tickets are $10. Call 880-5200 for reservations and information.
The South Shore neighborhood is going through a renaissance these days, which makes Rebuilding Our Community an aptly titled presentation. This community housing forum will feature diverse points of view on the state of the area and its future, with appearances by Vince Lane of the CHA, Dorris Pickens from the Neighborhood Institute, and Tim Carpenter, executive director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, among others. It’s free and begins at 7 tonight at the South Shore Cultural Center Country Club, 7059 S. South Shore Drive. For more, call 493-5265.
If the Saturday morning cartoons seem too flat and jerky, come enjoy the fluid, full animation of earlier artists with the Chicago Cartoon Club of America. The group holds its monthly cartoon show for kids and adults starting tonight at 8 in the Jazz Record Mart, 4243 N. Lincoln. The nearly two-year-old club has a library of more than 750 cartoons, including faves such as Felix the Cat, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck. Bring your own popcorn and pretzels. It’s a freebie. Call 929-5788 for details.
Unlike theater and dance, performance art has warmly welcomed women artists at all levels. Six of the finest local women performance artists–Sheree Blakemore, Lynn Book, Nancy Forest Brown, Sharon Evans, Lin Hixson, and Susan Wexler–get together to discuss styles and strategies in a panel sponsored by N.A.M.E. Gallery: Six Women on Performance: A Panel Discussion. It starts at 7:30 at 700 N. Carpenter. It’s $2, free to members. Call 2260671 for more.
One of the most important bands of the 60s, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground may never have sold many albums, but they used the raw side of rock to create music that defined an entire rock aesthetic. Their sound was heavy, primitive, and poetic. Individual members such as Reed, John Cale, and the late great Nico later went on to important solo careers. To honor them, the Lizard Lounge presents Feed-Back: The Music of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, featuring music and two videos, including an original by local artist Greg Snider. The reminiscing begins at 9 at 1824 W. Augusta. It’s free. Call 252-9428.