Mini Marathon

Catch the best of the shorts at Independent Exposure X

SUN 10/2
We all dream of being a movie star: our name in lights, our dirt discussed on fan blogs and our breakups the dramatic stuff of tabloid fodder. But sit through the 11 minutes of Rick Kent's Starlet -- a doc that brutally depicts pretty young things enduring the ugliness of Hollywood -- and you'll vow to stick to your day job. Kent's eye-opening work is just one of the smart offerings in Independent Exposure X, a selection of 15 short films and videos from all over the world that Microcinema International has screened in the decade since its inception. Styles include documentary, animation, traditional drama and experimental, with the longest running 12 minutes and the shortest just barely over one. "The program provides a glimpse of the breadth and depth of talent that exists in the independent media community," says Houstonian and Microcinema co-founder Patrick Kwiatkowski. Speaking of talent, don't miss Kuntsbar, a quirky, animated short in which the hero "drinks" surreal works of art. 8 p.m. Sunday, October 2. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-412-5120 or visit www.microcinema.com. $5. -- Bob Ruggiero

Eva Not Included

Sarah Strohmeyer offers her take on desperate Wives

Kuntsbar
Courtesy of Microcinema International
Kuntsbar
18th Dynasty block statue
The Trustees of the British Museum
18th Dynasty block statue
Want Fries with That?
Joe Rocco
Want Fries with That?
Want Fries with That?
Joe Rocco
Want Fries with That?
Want Fries with That?
Joe Rocco
Want Fries with That?

Sarah Strohmeyer's The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives is a classic story of married women behaving badly, despite -- or perhaps because -- of their luxe lives. "Perfect wife" Marti Denton slithers her way into newcomer Claire Stark Harding's life, in preparation for her serpentine grab for suburbia's most eligible man: Claire's husband. True to the notion that behind every misbehaving woman there's a ne'er-do-well man, Strohmeyer delivers the cad -- and caboodle: a gun, a scandal and a wedding for all you romantics. Equal parts bitingly emotional and ironically misogynistic, Wives is a wicked, quick read. Somewhere, Jane Austen is turning in her grave. The author reads and signs her book at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 1. Rice Epicurean, 5016 San Felipe, 713-621-0422; and 5 p.m. Sunday, October 2. Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe, 713-528-2264. Free. -- Mary Templeton

Mummy Dearest

FRI 9/30
The ancient Egyptians stumped us with mind-bending architecture, wowed us with dazzling treasure and even inspired an insanely popular tune by the Bangles in the '80s. Now, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is unwrapping the mysteries of the ancient culture in the exhibit "Mummy: The Inside Story." Highlights include statues and objects from Egypt's 18th Dynasty and a view of Nesperennub, a mummy that was sealed on the West Bank of Thebes around 800 BC. Thanks to some snazzy, noninvasive technology, museumgoers will get to see digital images of what Nesperennub once looked like, even though he'll be kept under wraps. Opens Friday, September 30, and runs through February 12. One Hermann Circle Drive, 713-639-4629, www.hmns.org. $9 to $15. -- Steven Devadanam

Want Fries with That?

There's a certain type of person who orders six burger-combo meals at the drive-thru and then asks his friends, "What's everyone else having?" If that describes you, then you'll be right at home at the 2005 Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship. The diner who devours the most burgers heads to the semifinals at the Texas State Fair in Dallas on Sunday, October 2, and possibly the finals in Chattanooga on November 19, to take on famed sport eater Takeru Kobayashi, who once consumed 69 Krystal burgers in eight minutes. Beef up at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29. 1623 FM 1960. For information and registration, call 281-440-1807 or visit www.krystal.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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