Film festival fetish
San Diego's obsession with film festivals hits a fever pitch this week, as the San Diego Asian Film Festival kicks off Thursday, Oct. 11, at UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Drive. Sporting a terrific lineup that includes the latest Park Chan-Wook film, I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay, and up-and-coming director Justin Lin's Finishing the Game on opening night, this year shouldn't be missed. The festival runs through next Thursday, Oct. 18, and includes plenty of extras-film panels and parties. www.sdaff.org or 858-565-1264. $100 for an all-festival pass, $25 for a festival four-pack and $9 for single tickets.
And another one: Not to be outdone, the San Diego Italian Film Festival celebrates its inaugural season starting Friday, Oct. 12, at Balboa Park's Museum of Photographic Arts. Films to watch for: Io Non Ho Paura at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, followed by a panel discussion, and Il Ladro di Bambini, on Thursday, Oct. 18. The festival runs through Oct. 25, but the main event happens before closing night: Oct. 20 is the big Gala Reception, an informal dinner party and a private screening of I Centro Passi. Tickets for the gala are $65, but the rest of the fest is free. www.cinemasud.com.
Tit for tat
'Consistency,' Oscar Wilde said, 'is the last refuge of the unimaginative.' He could have been talking about Lady Chiltern, from his play An Ideal Husband, because she's consistently fooled into thinking her hubby Robert is the perfect mate. But one Mrs. Cheveley makes short work of that whole mess, exposing the Bobmeister for what he is, the mastermind behind the exploitation of government secrets early in his political career. By now, Cheveley's full of herself, holding the threat of blackmail and scandal over Robert's beleaguered head-and she'd better enjoy it while she can. An Ideal Husband, one of Wilde's ideal takes on social hypocrisy and political corruption, is in previews and opens Friday, Oct. 12, at Lamb's Players Theatre, 1142 Orange St. in Coronado. 619-437-0600 or www.lambsplayers.org. $31-$49.
Kevin Peterson's paintings are so many things-funky, funny, vibrant, brilliantly colored, intricately detailed and beautifully surreal. But his newest exhibition adds one more element to the lineup: At 3 inches by 4 inches, his paintings are all teensy-weensy. See how much oil-painted expression can be packed into a space smaller than an index card when Maniature opens at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Rubber Rose Gallery, 3812 Ray St. in North Park. Call and ask about their VIP Friday receptions if the Ray at Night event isn't your thing. 619-296-7673 or www.my space.com/kevinpetersonart.
Technology and tradition
Bettie-Sue Hertz has done it again. After the Andy Warhol and Matta-Clarke exhibitions, we had a feeling we could expect something phenomenal from the witty and eccentric contemporary-art curator at the San Diego Museum of Art. Our expectations have been met, perhaps even exceeded, with Hertz's newest curatorial creation, Animated Paintings, opening at SDMA Sunday, Oct. 13. The show melds artistic tradition with the latest in animated artistry and breathes life into the old museum with soundscaped videos, installations and more. Featured artists include William Kentridge, Julian Opie and Kota Ezawa. www.sdmart.org. $10.
BOOKSRead with us
Parties and books-two great things one might think are mutually exclusive, but if you know better and have been waiting on the edge of your lit-loving seat for your favorite alt-weekly to throw a raging book party, CityBeat's CityRead Live event won't disappoint. Our favorite local gonzo journalist, Mike Sager, will read from his latest collection of magazine stories, Revenge of the Donut Boys: True Stories of Lust, Fame, Survival and Multiple Personality, and multitalented hometown scribe Greg Gerding will read from his new book of short stories, Venue Voyeurism. Between the telling of tales there will be hearty drinking, merrymaking and an acoustic set by The Stereotypes. Starting at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, bring your bookwormiest friends to the Whistle Stop Bar, 2236 Fern St. in South Park. 619-284-6784 or www.whistlestopbar.com. Free.
Fewer words, more fun: Local artist Eric Baskauskas' new book, Just Deserts, lies somewhere in the creative mist between a graphic novel, an über-dark children's book and a storyboard for a Spike and Mike animation. The nearly wordless tale about life in suburbia at the end of the world is depicted on more than 200 full-color pages through photographs, sketches and illustrations. Score yourself a copy at the launch party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at residential gallery space Lui Velazquez, Calle José Maria Larroque #273 in Colonia Federal, about 50 feet from the walking entrance to Tijuana. www.acecollaborations.org/eric or www.luivelazquez.org.
Sounds for life
Latin Jazz trumpeter Bill Caballero is something of a legend in this town. He's spread auditory luz del sol with such bands as Latin Jazz Jam, Orquestra Binacional de Mambo, Quinteto Caballero, Trece de la Suerte and Agua Dulce. Caballero was recently diagnosed with cancer, is undergoing treatment and is going to have to lay very low for the next few months. If you're interested in shining a little love-light his way, starting at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, fellow trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is hosting a Benefit Concert for Bill Caballero, featuring Gary LeFebvre, the Gilbert Castellanos Quintet, Jaime Valle, Brett Sanders, Mike Wofford, Holly Hoffman and many others at the Onyx Room, 852 Fifth Ave., Downtown. 619-235-ONYX or www.myspace.com/gilbertcastellanos. $25.