Creepsakes Lots of S.F. artists pay the rent by making cutesy, craftsy keepsakes, little kitsch curios that add that special something to any urban dweller's apartment. In this context, Angela Lim's pillow assemblages are especially interesting. Obsessive instead of precious, more scary than adorable, Lim's work uses blood, fingernails, fish scales, dirt, human hair, and teeth as material. Often scorched or mangled, the resulting creepsakes match Mike Kelley's stuffed animals as sick American mementos (though Lim's pieces also have feminist, cross-cultural elements). Lim, Kathy Spence, and team Ian Pollock and Janet Silk make up "The Second Annual Bay Area Award Show"; it's open for viewing noon to 5 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom, S.F. A reception for the artists takes place Thurs, Sept. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., and the exhibition continues through Nov. 18. Free; call 626-5416.
Friends of Dorothy The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library benefit series continues with an evening lecture by Bay Area author Dorothy Allison. With the recently published Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, Allison offers a bite-size snack for devotees craving the follow-up to her award-winning crossover hit Bastard Out of Carolina; the author will read from it at 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
Mission Motion Sponsored by Cine Acción, ACine Latino! showcases more than 50 recent Latino films and videos. Made in the U.S. and Latin America, this year's entries range from experimental video poems and award-winning student works to features by acclaimed directors. Topics include music, indigenous cultures, sexual and family ties, the urban experience, and immigration; highlights of the four-day fest include Andrew Durham's Mi Pollo Loco (a drag spoof of Allison Anders' Mi Vida Loca) and Luis R. Vera's Miss Amerigua (the story of a beauty pageant in a tiny Paraguayan town). Following a 6 p.m. champagne reception, Miss Amerigua screens at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre, 16th Street and Mission, S.F. Tickets are $13-15 for the opening gala, $6-7 for regular programs; call 553-8140 for more information.
Show Your Stuff The visual equivalent of an open-mike show, Open Screens provides digital artists, animators, filmmakers, and other interested folks a chance to show their stuff on a high quality video/sound system. Though the people behind the event promise "an appreciative audience" instead of "reviewers," the truth is, everyone's a critic. Participate or sit back and watch at 7 p.m. at Transmission Theater, 314 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $5 (includes post-show admission to the Paradise Lounge); call 289-4332.
Young Women's Tales Listen Up! Voices From the Next Generation offers first-person essays by a variety of young women with one thing in common: They're feminists. Listen Up!, one of two new books on teen feminism -- the other is Hillary Carlip's Girl Power -- features a handful of Bay Area contributors: Jee Yuen Lee, Jennifer Reid, Maxcy Myhre, Inga Muscio, and Nancy Lamm. They'll read and talk at 7:30 p.m. at Old Wives' Tales, 1009 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $3; call 821-4675.
Justin's Return Scary coincidences: Like Karen Black, Justin Bond has long, pretty, caramel-colored hair; like Black, Bond is performing at the Solo Mio Festival; lastly, like Black's upcoming show A View of the Heart, Bond's The Moon in the Gutter mixes literature (excerpts from Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending, Jack Kerouac's Tristessa, and Bond's own Freudian Slippers) with folk and rock music (Leonard Cohen, Foreigner). Built around a Southern pulp-noir heroine named Hazy Limbo, The Moon in the Gutter brings the New York-based Bond back to S.F., if only for a while. See him at 10 p.m. at the Climate Theatre, Fort Mason Center, S.F. The Moon in the Gutter continues Fri & Sat through Oct. 14. Tickets are $10; call 392-4400.
Op-Ad Want to pay money to watch commercials? "The Best of the Best: British TV Advertising Awards" hopes to sell you on the idea. Drawn from over 2,000 entries in the British Television Advertising Award competitions, the program features 89 award-winning ads. Viewers can expect several appearances by Monty Python's John Cleese, and a Grand Prize clip that has something to do with condoms. "The Best of the Best" screens at 7 and 9 p.m. (and continues through Monday) at the Castro Theatre, Castro and Market, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 621-6120.
Multiculti Refugee is a collaboration between Pearl Ubungen (the founder and artistic director of the Tenderloin Dance Project), composer/percussionist Randy Odell, writer Ben Clarke, and "sculptural fabricator" Kevin Leeper. Inspired by local crises involving homelessness and anti-immigrant hate, the piece mixes dance with a taped score featuring stories gathered from children and adults within the Tenderloin. See it at noon at United Nations Plaza, Market & Leavenworth, S.F. Free; call 285-1171.
Pop Treats Little black-and-white cubes covered with pop images, Building Blocks of the Information Age by Timothy B. Buckwalter are sometimes funny, sometimes perverse, and frequently both. "Calm, Cool, and Collected" features new works by Buckwalter and Vinnie Angel, whose brightly colored paintings depict heroes in wrestling attire kicking racist, sexist ass. Attend an opening reception for the artists, 7 to 10 p.m., at Four Walls, 3160-A 16th St, S.F.; "Calm, Cool, and Collected" continues through Oct. 28. Free; call 626-8515.
Just When You Thought It Was Safe The Phantom Surfers made their vinyl debut in 1987 with a 7-inch single titled "Sings Songs for Underage Kooks." Eight years later, the surf music revival is as big as a tsunami, with bands from Seattle (the Boss Martians), Japan (Jackie and the Cedrics), and England (Sir Bald Diddley and His Right Honourable Big Wigs) serving up sinister garage riffs. Devotees of the sound can join the Surfers, Orbit and the Purple Knifs, and more at this year's Shark Fest; the indoor beach party starts at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, S.F. Tickets are $10-13; call 474-0365.
Myth and Dance In Diwata, the five-member company Kulintang Arts merges Filipino dance, talk story, Chinese opera, and nursery rhymes to explore the ancient Filipino myth of "a river spirit trapped on land." The resulting work comments -- directly and indirectly -- on immigrants' feelings of loneliness, displacement, and discovery. Choreographed by Alleluia Panis, Diwata begins at 8 p.m. (and continues Saturday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12.50-14.50; call 621-7797.
Nutty Entrees Dinner theater of the absurd, Bistro Shmistro! aims to turn food time into fun time, through the juggling, clowning, and acrobatics of Drew Letchworth and John Gilkey. Both know plenty about food-related theater: Gilkey's been in Pickle Family Circus, while Letchworth's contributed to Fratelli Bologna. The pair perform staged/improv scenes and present toys to diners at 7:30 p.m. at Icon Byte Bar & Grill, 299 Ninth St, S.F. Bistro Shmistro continues through Oct. 14 (performances also take place Wed and Thurs). Tickets are $18-34; call 861-2983.
Street Scene Art on the Avenue is an outdoor festival, and like most outdoor festivals, it offers arts, crafts, food, music, and dancing. More than 100 exhibitors will display nonedible goods, while three outdoor cafes serve up their wares. The live tunes lean toward jazz and swing, with Hip Bones, Madeline Eastman, and Larry Dunlap's Little Big Band hitting the stage. The merriment lasts 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and continues Sunday on Burlingame Avenue between California and El Camino Real, Burlingame. Free; call 346-4561.
Through the Looking Glass Since the turn of the century, popular media in the U.S. have promoted stereotypical images of Latin America. DeeDee Halleck's The Gringo in Maanaland documents this cultural distortion, weaving together travelogues, dramatic films, newsreels, military footage, and textbook illustrations. Thanks to a collage approach to editing, the film is more tragicomic than didactic, forcing viewers to see culture from a variety of angles. Watch and think at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.
Kinky Boots If you like the look and feel of skin -- human or animal -- the Folsom Street Fair is for you. Hungry eyes can feast on people wearing nuns' habits (the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence), people wearing leather, and people wearing next to nothing at all. Food and fetish booths will satisfy numerous desires, and groups like the acid-fried Enrique will provide musical mayhem. Later on, the beat continues with After ... Birth, a rock AIDS fund-raiser with live performances by Flower S.F., Robbie D., Gregory O'Neil, and more. The fair lasts from noon to 6 p.m. on Folsom Street between Sixth and 12th streets, S.F.; After ... Birth starts at 6 p.m. at DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, S.F. The Folsom Street Fair is free; call 861-3247. After ... Birth is $5-15; call 626-1409.
Yummy Yummy Yummy The Golden Gate Food Spectacular features a melon-carving demonstration by Mark Davis, a dessert-making demonstration by Bo Friberg, a chocolate demonstration by John Hui, and general cooking instructions by Martin Yan. Participants more interested in eating than cooking can pig out at hospitality vendor displays and tasting booths. The culinary festivities last from noon to 5 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel, 55 Fourth St, S.F. Admission is $8; call 864-5627 for more information.
The General Whether or not he runs for president, Colin L. Powell is a controversial contemporary figure, thanks to his stint as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the gays-in-the-military brouhaha. Powell's new memoir, My American Journey, spans from his childhood in the Bronx to current events. He'll sign copies of it at 2 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Free; call 441-6670.
Hollyweird Though commonly associated with commercial filmmaking, Los Angeles is also home to some of America's pioneering experimental directors, including Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger. Both Deren and Anger forsake linear narrative: The former does so with high-art hybrids incorporating dance and surrealism; the latter with camp visions of pop iconography and gay sexuality. Deren's classic Meshes of the Afternoon and Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome are part of a two-hour, four-film program screening at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. Tickets are $5.50; call (510) 642-1124.