Hindsight and Blind Sight The formal end of apartheid in South Africa frees not only people, but also images the country's racist regime censored and obliterated. A three-night program, "Unshackling the Vision" presents some examples: Nice to Meet You, Please Don't Rape Me, a satirical musical about a country where rape occurs every 83 seconds; Make Believe, a documentary about the Afrikaner Resistance Movement; and The Line and Voices of Change, which look at the current state of racism in South Africa. The series begins with In Darkest Hollywood, a study of 45 years of feature, documentary, and propaganda films that casts a harsh light on elitist gestures like Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom. Co-director Peter Davis will attend the screening, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 558-8129.
Sex and Gore Gore Vidal has penned numerous historical novels, but he's also known for his public pundit persona (he traded barbs with Capote and punches with Mailer in the '70s). Vidal's recent memoir, Palimpsest, reveals that both he and Tennessee Williams were prolific and promiscuous. One juicy morsel: Vidal says he topped Jack Kerouac, a claim sure to shame macho Beat wannabes everywhere. Presented by City Arts & Lectures and hosted by Wendy Lesser, a lit chat with the man behind Myra Breckinridge begins at 8 p.m. at Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
Music to My Eyes A computer graphics pioneer, John Whitney invented the Slit-Scan and Motion Control techniques used in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and George Lucas' Star Wars; he also worked with Saul Bass on Vertigo's credit sequence. In "A Personal Search: For the Complementarity of Music and Visual Art," two of Whitney's sons -- Michael and John Jr. -- pay tribute to their recently deceased father, screening both old and new works. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, S.F. Tickets are $5-9; call 563-7337.
Distortion = Emotion Berkeley's Slumberland label keeps churning out classic pop/rock noisebursts. The latest gems are Rocketship's A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness -- a melancholy teen-crush soundtrack with Stereolab-style keyboard tones and early-My Bloody Valentine boy/girl harmonies -- and bust 'em green by S.F.'s own (by way of New Mexico) Henry's Dress. bust 'em green is faster than the trio's first long release, its affectless vocals mixed more to the fore. Garage rock recorded in a garage, the LP's 12 songs have way more flair (and originality) than any of the countless bands currently working the '60s mod sound in the Bay Area (or England). Hear Henry's Dress and buy their music at a 10 p.m. record-release show at "Popscene," Cat's Grill & Alley Club, 1190 Folsom, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 431-3332.
Room With Many Views One of the founders of Britain's pop art movement, Richard Hamilton continually experiments with new media and technologies. In "New Work: Richard Hamilton, Site Referential Paintings," he uses a Quantel Paintbox to superimpose images of houses and other sites onto gallery walls. The resulting layered interiors play with reality and memory -- one work utilizes vintage film stills to create ghost effects. Hamilton's first U.S. show since 1973 is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F. Admission is $7; call 357-4000. "New Work" continues through May 5.
Zounds! What Sounds! The "Edge Festival 1996" continues with a three-night showcase of unconventional local musicians. Curated by Peter Whitehead, "Spirit of Invention: Bay Area Instrument Makers" features Whitehead (who utilizes found sound); Miguel Frasconi (who has worked with John Zorn, John Cage, and Jon Hassell); Mobius Operandi (who compose/perform on "instrument sculptures"); Mark Growden (who teaches music and movement locally); and the Dactyls of Phrygia (a quartet who aim to provide "ponderfodder for the most tensely corrugated of noggins"). Evening 1 -- featuring Frasconi, Whitehead, and the Dactyls -- begins at 8 p.m. at Dancers' Group/Footwork, 3221 22nd St., S.F. Tickets are $8-10; call 824-5044.
Surfer Girl The Source is the title of a new docudrama about women surfers of the Bay Area who relentlessly pursue that perfect curl. A benefit for the film -- featuring a raffle, music (by DJ Kat), mermaids, and rad footage of girls on waves -- lasts from 7 to 10 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.
Dance Against Death Written, directed, and choreographed by David Rousseve, The Whispers of Angels renders the dreams and desires of a young African-American man dying of AIDS. A follow-up to Rousseve's Pop Dreams, Whispers includes original music by Me'Shell NdegeOcello, film images by Ayoka Chenzira, and a 25-member gospel chorus headed by Lynette Dupree. Performed by Rousseve and his dance company, REALITY, the show starts at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $12-22; call (510) 642-9988.
Call the Doctor People with firsthand knowledge of surgery or mortality probably won't be entertained, but pseudo-physicians and ambulance-chasers can gawk without shame at "Scalpel Fetish: Bizarre Medical Films, 1950-75." Curated by David Naylor, the program includes lovely images of colon treatments, pelvic exams, and more. Scope it out at 8 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.