All Together Now: Awwwwwwwwwww! The antidote to Morbid Curiosity (see above) is the 15th annual Teddy Bears and Friends Parade and Film Festival, which begins with a procession of tots clutching stuffed bears and marching around the auditorium to the tinkly strains of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic." Jesus H. Christ, it's cute. Six animated films about bears and other animal friends will screen once everyone has settled into his or her seat: The movies include Panama, about a curious bear and a mysterious box; the European claymation penguin Pingu; and Goodnight, Gorilla, a tale of zoo animals' after-dark exploits, narrated by Anthony Edwards and Joan Cusack. Helium balloons will be dispensed at the end of the event, which begins at 1 and 3 p.m. (also Sunday) at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant (at College), Berkeley. Admission is $3.50; call (510) 642-1412.
Sprinting through the park dressed like a man-eating bug or a fat kid with a beanie is not only encouraged at the 14th annual Run to the Far Side, it's rewarded -- a costume contest follows the 5K and 10K run. Proceeds from the race benefit the educational and research programs of the California Academy of Sciences, the only museum with a permanent Gary Larson exhibit, the Far Side of Science Gallery. That's where people can go to get costume ideas and a cartoon crash course on what really goes on behind the Academy's closed doors. Following the race, which threads through the Panhandle, runners are invited to a party where refreshments will be served, Midnight Hour will play live, museum exhibits will be open free of charge, and contests will be judged -- winners are eligible for cash, Far Side memorabilia, and airline tickets. The run begins at 8:30 a.m. at JFK & Concourse in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Registration is $15-25; call 564-0532.
Let's Get It On
"Everyone knows how to slow dance," as Cafe Du Nord doorman Korri Sabatini puts it. "Everyone was in eighth grade once." Too true. Sick of the swing dance phenomenon, Sabatini dreamt up "Slow Dancing Night," a monthly event that debuts tonight and resumes in January (scheduling conflicts precluded a Christmas dance). L.A. DJ Matt Murphy will be spinning '50s and '60s soul nuggets by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Dramatics, and so on from his extensive record collection -- for those of us who sweaty-palmed our way through "Every Breath You Take," this is a chance to relive eighth grade with sexier music and no chaperones. The shuffling begins at 9 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is free; call 861-5016.
Punch and Gina
When Red Rain premiered last month at the Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema, it sold out so quickly that over 100 viewers were turned away at the door. Those people should queue up early for tonight's benefit screening of the film, Laura Plotkin's one-hour documentary about San Leandro boxer Gina "Boom Boom" Guidi, who trains at Oakland's renowned King Gym and works at an ad agency to support herself. The film traces Guidi's entry into the sport during a troubled adolescence up through her national and world championship titles, her professional record (10-1-1 with five KOs), and her attempts to broaden boxing's professional potential, by petitioning the '96 Olympics to include women's boxing (they haven't yet). Guidi will raffle off a pair of her gloves at the event, and all proceeds will help cover the costs of entering Red Rain in international film festivals. The screening begins at 7 p.m. at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 647-2888.
It Depends on How You Define "Truth" Nonfiction writers are expected to stick to the facts, but unfortunately, unadulterated real life doesn't always lend itself to a compelling read, which is where "creative nonfiction" comes in. At "Pack of Lies," writers Brian Bouldrey and Louise Rafkin will read and discuss their work and the genre itself. Rafkin, whose writing has appeared everywhere from the New York Times magazine to Cosmo and Out, dug up more than just household detritus in her most recent book, Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Adventures From Cape Cod to Kyoto -- she conducted a covert sociologic survey of her employers, using the kind of messes they left as clues to their identity and activities. Bouldrey, meanwhile, took time off from editing Best Gay Erotica to write the travelogue Pilgrim's Regress. The evening begins at 8 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $3-5; call 626-3311.
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