Overconsumption and trend-a-holism have left no stones unturned. Even Middle America can be found sporting butt-hugging 7 jeans and the ubiquitous yet homely Burberry scarves. But in spite of the consumer frenzy, people have different ideas about glamour. Two local events have somewhat opposing takes on the concept, and at least one artist appears in both exhibits. "GlamMore," a coy rejoinder to the recent SFMOMA exhibit "Glamour," examines impressions of luxury and elegance. The huge show includes work by Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., a Filipina-American ensemble of high-camp thespians, and Galya Rosenfeld, a fashion designer with a techno-mod sensibility. By turns comical and critical, "GlamMore" is appropriate for the haute bourgeoisie and the snickering pragmatist alike.
Chillin' Productions' "7th Anniversary Party" is more straightforward: It's all about beautiful people and trend-conscious looky-loos. Launched by Irene Hernandez-Feiks in 1998, Chillin' is a collective of local fashion designers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians that grew out of happy hour gatherings at 111 Minna. The group's triannual parties provided tchotchkes for S.F. hipsters and raked in dough for the artists. Now the events have attendees lining sidewalks for blocks. This week's celebration boasts hundreds of cultural producers, including music by local DJs and bands. Oh, and the crossover designer? She's New Yorker Alisha Trimble of Eat Designs. Ask her why she refers to her customers as "urban unicorns" at "GlamMore"'s opening reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday (the exhibition continues through May 5) at the California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is free; call 551-9213 or visit www.cca.edu. The Chillin' "7th Anniversary Party" starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Mezzanine, 444 Jessie (at Mint), S.F. Admission is $5; visit www.chillinproductions.com.
-- Nirmala Nataraj
"Big imaginations are more important than fat wallets," say the organizers of the Hi/Lo Film Festival, which celebrates its eighth year with four nights of independent cinema. Given that the fest's roots are in the comedy troupe Killing My Lobster, it's no surprise that the wacky side is well represented with Mobius, a 16mm music video akin to The Nutcracker, but with lawn mowers and weed whackers, and The Legend of Santa Susanna, an urban fable replete with break dancing and lowriders. Hi/Lo begins at 7:15 p.m. Thursday (and runs through Sunday, with one screening at Oakland's Parkway Theater) at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $5-8; call 558-7721 or visit www.hilofilmfestival.com.
-- Jane Tunks
Optimism and Politics?
The League of Pissed Off Voters is, in the parlance of our times, hella perky. The youthful political group e-mailed us recently: "November 2nd didn't set us back -- it SET US OFF!" The result is "The Let Down Get Down," a soul and hip hop party to raise funds. It's the antidote to the droning depress-o-rama that older progressives keep producing -- Michael Moore, we're looking at you; in fact, the party, like the League itself, sounds like energetic, intelligent fun. Felonious One Love Hip Hop and DJs Marty and Sake 1 play at 8:30 p.m. at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
We like open mikes because we never know if the untested talents onstage will make our jaws drop or make us run away. Tonight the intimidating rite of passage is extended to the art of film, with the second installment of the monthly series "Three Dollar Bill Cinema." The on-screen free-for-all showcases the latest minimasterpieces from DIY filmmakers on a supersize plasma TV. Beer and snacks are also on hand to encourage underfunded auteurs to network and commiserate with like-minded artistes. Get a glimpse of budding Scorseses at 7:30 at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe, 1800 Market (at McCoppin), S.F. Admission is free; call 503-1532 or go to www.threedollarbill.com.
-- Jane Tunks