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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Stop the Pounding Heart, Saturday Pop-Up Burlesque and More

Meet Houston-based filmmaker Roberto Minervini on Friday at a preview screening of his latest project, Stop the Pounding Heart. Three members of the film's nonprofessional cast -- Sara, LeeAnne and Tim Carlson -- will also be in attendance. Minervini, who has spent the past ten years filming in Texas, teaching in the Philippines and working toward his doctorate in Spain (yes, all at the same time), has crafted an offbeat coming-of-age story. At the center of the film is teenage Sara (played by Sara Carlson), the eldest of 12 children in a devout Christian family of goat farmers. Taught that she should be chaste and submissive, Sara has met Colby (played by Colby Trichell), a rodeo rider who lives nearby. Her growing attraction to him throws into doubt everything she's been taught.

Minervini is careful not to comment on the validity of the conservative Christian doctrine Sara's family lives by. Stop the Pounding Heart is not an examination of theology or feminism, but rather a quiet look inside the heart of one young woman who is becoming aware of a world that's larger than the confines of her family farm. Stop the Pounding Heart is the third in a trilogy of movies Minervini has filmed set in Texas with the Carlson family and their neighbors playing barely altered versions of themselves.

Minervini and the Carlsons will be in attendance only at the Friday screening. See Stop the Pounding Heart before it hits the art-house circuit. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7515 or visit mfah.org. $9.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez