Cinema Paradise

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Now in its 11th year, FilmFest Kansas City continues to provide screen time to movies that might not otherwise see the light of a projection bulb in this part of the country. This year’s festival boasts offerings from 23 countries; however, a striking number of the films have a connection to Kansas City’s jazz and blues heritage. Friday night’s lineup includes a 25th anniversary screening of the documentary The Last of the Blue Devils, which tells the story of Kansas City’s early jazz scene through music and interviews. Director Bruce Ricker is scheduled to attend the showing. He’s bringing his copy of Clint Eastwood’s Charlie Parker biopic, Bird, and in case that’s not enough soul (or Eastwood), there’s also Clint Eastwood’s Piano Blues and Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall.

There aren’t many big headliners this year (past festivals have introduced area viewers to Bowling for Columbine and Mulholland Drive), but there’s still plenty to look forward to. Check out Ju-On: The Grudge, a horror film from Japan about a cursed house that kills anyone who sets foot inside. (The American remake, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is due out next week.) There’s also Monster Road, a documentary on underground clay animator and Frank Zappa collaborator Bruce Bickford.

FilmFest Kansas City runs from Friday, October 15, through Thursday, October 21, at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza (500 Nichols Road). Call 816-474-7100 for details. — Christopher Blunk

Living in the Past

SAT 10/16
No matter what anyone says about Union Station’s future, the old depot has an undeniably amazing past, replete with events of national significance (such as gangster massacres) and ordinary traditions cherished by locals. “The one thing everybody reminisces about is the clock, and they still say, ‘I’ll meet you under the clock at Union Station,'” says Charlie Frank, who manages the guided tours in which actors render impressions of people from the station’s past, including architect Jarvis Hunt and working-stiff commuters from the 1950s. Someday, we hope, they’ll do Sean O’Byrne. Tours continue every Saturday this fall at intervals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 816-460-2020. — Jason Harper

The Art of Hunger

FRI 10/15
For the record, we love First Fridays. But we’ve noticed that after working up an appetite walking the hundred or so miles it takes to make a complete circuit, the nearest restaurant is several long, empty blocks away. Those not in the mood to suffer for art should try the 39th Street Artwalk on the third Friday of every month — including this Friday (October 15). In this part of town, you can’t inhale without smelling something good on a nearby grill. Centered on Prospero’s Books (1800 West 39th Street), this three-year-old festival has recently added live, outdoor music to the program. Call Prospero’s at 816-531-9673 for more information. — Harper

Bowled Over

FRI 10/15
After a few fun parties marked by kegs and a disco ball (which, together, made us feel a bit nauseated — in a good way), the cavernous Boley Building officially opens as one of Kansas City’s newest and most impressive galleries. From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, the renovated bank on the northwest corner of 12th Street and Walnut houses the first installment of time:base, an ongoing curatorial effort by University of Missouri-Kansas City and Kansas City Art Institute professors Rebecca Dolan, Barry Anderson and Daven Gee. Film, video, installations and performances by eight local and international artists make up time:base:inside, to be followed by time:base:conflicted next spring. For more information, call 816-221-5115. — Annie Fischer

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