This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 27

Cecil B. DeMille had a pretty good racket going. The old-time Hollywood creator of spectacles could get away with nudity, moral depravity, unpunished murder, and all manner of visual excess in such blood and sand epics as The Ten Commandments and Cleopatra (the 1934 version), but all that was acceptable because there was usually a Biblical angle. This was especially true in the films he made before the Production Code, such as The Sign of the Cross. The 1932 ancient-Rome melodrama featured Charles Laughton fruiting it up as the emperor Nero, Claudette Colbert as his decadent wife Poppaea (dig her milk-bath scene), and Fredric March as a sensitive centurion whose love for a doomed Christian lass sets the machinery in motion. Not surprisingly, it's one of director Guy (The Saddest Music in the World) Maddin's favorite movies, and so it's being screened tonight (7:30) at UC Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive as part of its Maddin series. -- Kelly Vance

THU 28

More than a decade ago, writer and filmmaker Wendy Campbell dated a man who first told her he was Jordanian, but later 'fessed up to being of Palestinian extraction. When Campbell, who knew nothing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asked why he'd lied to her, she writes, "he replied rather ruefully that most people think of Palestinians as terrorists." Ten years later, a KPFA discussion between Israeli and Palestinian speakers turned her into a pro-Palestinian activist. Her new film, Rosa Remembers Palestine, which sees its world premiere screening tonight at La Peña Cultural Center, is an interview with a non-Jewish Palestinian woman who left her homeland in 1948 when the Jewish state of Israel was created. The screening is a benefit for MarWen Media, the production company Campbell has started to "expand the dialogue on important issues of our time." Start time 8 p.m., $10-$20 sliding scale. La Peña is located at 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Info: 510-849-2568 or -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 29

In March 2004, Wave Vidmar of the Lemon Lime Lights took a solo journey to the geographic North Pole, where he planted a flag representing Eastbania. Where is Eastbania, you ask? Silly rabbit, it's in your heart if you're reading this paper, in your soul as you travel eastward on the last Friday night BART train, and in your pants if you head to the Starry Plough tonight for a carny-core good time. The raunchy, theatrical LLL will be joined by the equally Halloween-appropriate Demented Big Band and Militant Children's Hour. The circus atmosphere kicks in at 9 p.m., and cover is $6. The Starry Plough can be found at 3101 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, and this is a 21-and- up party. 510-841-2082. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 30

Blues harp guru Mark Hummel has been splintering reeds and busting out microphones for years, but his latest CD, Blowin' My Horn (Electro-Fi) is the first to capture him live in the type of raucous club setting in which his trademark jump blues was meant to be heard. (It was recorded at clubs in Toronto and Burlington, Ontario.) Check his covers of Eddie Bo's "I'm Wise" and Buddy Rich's "Rotten Kid," and his moaning vocals and weeping harp on "Everything." The veteran East Bay-based bluesman hangs his hat tonight at Oakland's Cafe Van Kleef for a gig with his band the Blues Survivors -- slinky-toned Charles Wheal on guitar, Steve Wolf on bass, Marty Dodson on drums. You'd be a damn fool to miss it. 1621 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. For more info: 510-763-7711 or -- Kelly Vance

SUN 31

The organizers of today's Fruitvale District Día de los Muertos trumpet it as the largest one-day event of its kind in the United States, and it's big, all right. Some 100,000 people, possibly including you, are expected to throng on Oakland's International Boulevard between Fruitvale and 39th avenues to catch the festive music: banda, Tejano, mariachi, salsa, Latin funk, Latin rock, Latin soul, etc., on four stages, featuring such acts as Los Mocosos, Safari, Sapo, Alma y Isabel, Banda Limon, Lava, Danza Cuauhtonal, Los Kriss, and many more. Plus traditional Mexican dancers (like Carlos Moreno's Ballet Folklorico), kids' games and activities, montañas of arts and crafts, and of course the best antojitos mejicanos in town. The mammoth event -- free, alcohol-free, and open to all -- begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Be cool. Take BART to Fruitvale station and disfrutense sin carros. Want to know more? Visit -- Kelly Vance


Kiss Alive. Frampton Comes Alive. Live at Budokan. Live at Red Rocks. They just don't make live albums like they used to, but if they did, you'd likely hear them at Monday Night Live Recordings, the Shattuck Down Low's close-your-eyes-and-pretend-you're-there night. DJ Fray D. Cat (maybe he got tossed in the pit too many times?) spins "live shows of everything from Allmans to Zappa" says the Down Low, there's no cover, and if you get there before 11 p.m., you can enjoy two-for-$5 drink specials. By the time the needle drops into the groove with the encore, you'll be sloppily fumbling for your lighter (or your lit-up cell phone) just like it was the realio dealio. The Shattuck Down Low: 2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Call 510-548-1159 for the rest of the story. -- Stefanie Kalem


Call ten friends in swing states and ask them to vote. Then go do it yourself. -- Stephen Buel


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