Chile Night

SAT, 8/13

Videographer Juan Downey, who died in 1993, is remembered as one of Chile's most innovative talents. It's appropriate, then, that Film Under the Stars: Celebrating Chilean Video Artist Juan Downey, happening tonight at the Museo de las Américas, promises to be as creative as its subject. Rewe, Downey's 1991 video installation, is a featured attraction within the Museo, while, weather permitting, the great outdoors will serve as a screening room for several of his acclaimed short subjects. "Rewe" is a term used by the Mapuche, an indigenous group scattered across Chile, to describe stairs in an important spiritual ceremony. Downey's piece echoes this ancient design via eight video monitors and a rear-view projector that juxtapose footage from 1949's Christopher Columbus, a vintage Frederic March vehicle, with Downey-photographed imagery. This material is tied together by narration that explores the phrase "Latin American Indian," which "defines my people by a series of negations," Downey has said. "The "Old World' attempted to know the cultures it had conquered in the "New World.' But when naming them, they were defined by what they were not."

The videos, to be shown in the Museo's parking lot, find Downey expanding his palette. The Laughing Alligator, from 1979, documents a period when Downey and his family lived with a Venezuelan tribe thought to be viciously cannibalistic. In contrast, 1986's J.S. Bach looks at identity issues through the prism of the classical composer's life and work.

Things get under way around 8:30 p.m. at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive. Admission is $5 for members, $8 for non-members. More details can be had by phoning 303-571-4401. -- Michael Roberts

This Auto Be Amusing
The Grand Prix of Denver peels out.
THURS, 8/11

Nothing gets the testosterone pumping quite like watching racing machines go really, really fast. But the CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver has more to offer than just high-velocity vehicles. The big event revs up at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, August 14, around the Pepsi Center, but the Grand Prix action is already rolling.

In the next few days, you can catch boxing, a vintage car show and parade, freestyle motocross and ski jumping, and still have time to sample concerts by Steven Page and Donavon Frankenreiter. These activities and others will be spread across Larimer Square, the Pepsi Center and Universal Lending Pavilion.

And it's not just a guy thing: Grand Prix organizers are giving the females a little something, too. Jason Priestley (yes, Brandon Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210so dreamy!) is the Denver race's first celebrity grand marshal. "The thing that will make this a world-class event," he says, "is people coming and having a good time. That's what it's all about." So heed Brandon -- er, Jason -- and come downtown, have a drink, and catch a glimpse of the '90s heartthrob in action. He'll preside over many of the events, so the more you attend, the more you'll see him.

For tickets to the race, $20 to $84, or to fuel up on information, go to Tickets are also available at -- Amelia Langer

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Amelia Langer
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts