Last Call For Art: Circus Stars, Greek Cinema And Zombies

Today's your last chance to see Cirque Mechanics' Birdhouse Factory. An international cast of circus stars formerly with Cirque de Soleil, the Moscow Circus and Pickle Family Circus, Cirque Mechanics include contortionists, acrobats, clowns, and dancers.

The Birdhouse Factory story is a simple one. A group of workers trudge away in a factory, victims of the mind-numbing repetition of constructing widgets. Then a bird accidentally flies into the factory and everything changes. Inspired by the bird, workers slowly start to come alive again, approaching their meaningless tasks with a sense of humor, even joy.

The piece takes its cues from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals and the illustrations of Rube Goldberg. Birdhouse, with its timeless story of rejuvenation, seems as if it could be set early in the Industrial Revolution or somewhere in the near future. 7:30 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive, Hermann Park. For information, call 281-FREE-FUN or visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free.

The Spotlight on Contemporary Greek Cinema Showcase is winding down, with its last screening on Sunday. Friday Alexis Kardaras's Guinness is showing at 7 p.m., which follows a greedy gambler whose search for a case of gold leads him to a tavern in the middle of nowhere. Instead of his hoped-for treasure, he finds the bar owner's unhappy -- and lonely -- wife.

On Saturday, it's Mikro Egklima (Small Crime) by Christos Georgiou at 7 p.m. A romantic comedy, Crime focuses on a young police officer frustrated at being stationed on a remote island. He brightens up when a man is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Seizing his chance to launch an investigation, the police officer goes about interviewing locals, each of which has a different version of them man's death. Along the way, the officer encounters a former island resident who is now a famous talk-show host. Part of the film's charm is its spectacular setting and the integration of island customs and traditions.

Finally, on Sunday, it's Istoria 52 (Tale 52) by Alexis Alexiou at 5 p.m. A raw psychological thriller, Tale shows us a young man who meets a woman (who's soon to be his girlfriend) at a dinner party. Later, he wakes up to find that she's missing, but he can't recall what's happened. Falling into a state of confusion and depression, he struggles to regain control of his life and find out what happened to the woman.

The Spotlight on Contemporary Greek Cinema Showcase is showing at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7531 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.

Young filmmakers will enjoy watching the documentary Zombie Girl: The Movie on Saturday, part of a two-day event. The doc is about a young girl who works for two years to make a horror film featuring, can't you guess, zombies. Austin filmmakers chronicle her experience. 7 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org.

On Sunday,  Zombie Girl is followed up Lessons in Teenage Zombie Filmmaking: a Video Salon with Emily Hagins at Aurora Picture Show on Sunday. Hagins is reportedly the first teenaged girl to make a feature-length film. Barely into her teens when she started, Hagins directed, filmed, and edited the horror film Pathogen with a little help from her mom. The Salon is at 1 p.m. Aurora Video Library, 1524 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org.  Free.

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