Shine On They've taken their name from the men's hairstyling tonic, and their musical cues from the jangled-up likes of R.E.M. and latter-day Replacements. East Bay-based foursome the Brilliantines (whose collective resume includes playing time with Naked Barbies) specialize in harmonic balladry, and have kept onstage company with popsters including the Plimsouls and Cake, as well as singer/guitarist Chris Whitley, with whom they share a slide-guitar bond. The Brilliantines take a headlining slot, prefaced by Warm Wire and Telto, at 9:30 p.m. at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Admission is $6; call 621-4455.
Fine Lines By now, Western readers are familiar with haiku, the spare, unrhymed Japanese poetry that distills the essence of a moment through aspects of nature and human nature. Haiga, the illustrations that traditionally accompany haiku, are done either by the poet or an admiring reader. Modernist painter Stanton Macdonald-Wright was one such reader, and an exhibit of his haiga, "Prints of the Haiku," features 20 woodblock prints created for six poets. From 1966 to 1967, Macdonald-Wright produced preliminary oil paintings for each haiku, which he then reproduced in woodblocks with collaborator Clifton W. Karhu, who suggested the use of Japanese textile dyes to produce more vivid colors. The haiga accompany works such as Basho's "Bright red sun cruelly hot but the wind is of autumn," and range stylistically from abstract to figurative. The exhibit opens at noon (and continues through Feb. 13) at the Joseph Chowning Gallery, 1717 17th St., S.F. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free; call 626-7496.
Cinema for Small Fry As long as lesbian and gay, animated, short, multicultural, and international film festivals are flourishing around these parts, it would seem that a film fest for the kids is also in order. The Sixth International Children's Film & Video Festival features selections from Sweden, Thailand, Ireland, and the Czech Republic, as well as from English-speaking countries. Thoughtful programmers have arranged to have subtitles recounted aloud for younger viewers who haven't yet learned to read. The two-month festival begins today with an animated version of The Wind in the Willows narrated by Vanessa Redgrave and featuring the voice of Monty Python's Michael Palin. Program highlights also include the story of two boys rafting through Thailand to Bangkok in The River Chao Phraya (Jan. 12); Wanted: Grandfather, on a boy's search for a whistling instructor (Jan. 19); Chess Kids, a documentary featuring interviews with young competitors (Feb. 9); and The Boy From Mercury, in which a lonely youth imagines that he and his dog possess super powers (Feb. 2). Also, kids can meet with filmmakers, some of whom will appear in person. The festival begins at 3:30 p.m. (and continues Sundays through Feb. 23) at the Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Admission is $3.50 for both kids and adults; call (510) 642-1412.
Mod Mondays A poll of visitors to the S.F. Museum of Modern Art has revealed that Monday, the traditional "closed day" in the museum world, is a much more convenient gallerygoing day than Wednesday. Among those surveyed were people who visited the city for business conventions or long weekends and people who get time off on public holidays, which often fall on Monday. So the museum's management and trustees decided that beginning this month, the MOMA will be closed on Wednesdays and open on Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., making it the area's only museum to be open on that day. The SFMOMA celebrates with a party in honor of the new hours, its second year in the new building, and its 62nd year in existence, with slices of tiramisu sculpted by Hyatt Regency Executive Chef Tony Breeze to resemble the museum. It begins at 11 a.m. at SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F. Admission is free-$7; call 357-4000.
But of Course Francophiles and cinema buffs are invited to the French Film Club series, which will be screening French movies (with English subtitles). The first of these, Yves Robert's La Gloire de Mon Pere, is based on writer Marcel Pagnol's charmed childhood in rural, turn-of-the-century Provence, and is told from an 11-year-old boy's point of view; the sequel, La Chateau de Ma Mere, plays the following week. Daniel Auteuil stars in the series' last two films, Jean de Florette and its sequel, Manon des Sources (known in English as Manon of the Spring), in which a farm family becomes entangled in passion and tragedy. The films screen Tuesdays at 7 p.m. (through Jan. 28) at the Alliance Francaise, 1345 Bush, S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 775-7755.
Cuckoo for "Kat" Creator Maus cartoonist and illustrator Art Spiegelman, painters Willem de Kooning and Jay DeFeo, and Zippy creator Bill Griffith all have one thing in common besides an artistic bent. They are admirers of the late cartoonist George Herriman, creator of Krazy Kat, which debuted in the Oct. 28, 1913, edition of the New York Journal. These artists and several others acknowledge Herriman's influence in the group show "Homage to George Herriman," which opens with a reception at 5 p.m. (and is up through Feb. 8) at the Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, 645 Chestnut, S.F. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free; call 441-8680.