Thank Salvador Dali for Blade Runner. That goes for Fight Club, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Truman Show, and even Total Recall, too. His name doesn't pop up in the credits, but the most famous name in Surrealist art is credited with making the genre a profitable commodity in Hollywood, where Dali ended up in 1939 to make the now-cliché dream sequence an essential part of moviemaking. On Sunday, July 31, the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central, puts the Spanish artist's cinematic achievements on display as part of the museum's "Surrealism USA" exhibition, exploring Dali's journey to Tinseltown on the coattails of his World's Fair project in New York, and his mutual adoration with the Marx Brothers, Cecil B. De Mille and Walt Disney, who Dali once referred to collectively as the "three great American Surrealists."
After Dali worked with Disney on a short animated film, Destino -- which has just been released after more than 50 years in the Disney vault, and shown at film festivals from Sundance to Australia -- he hooked up with Alfred Hitchcock on Spellbound, which begins at 2 p.m. at PAM after a short documentary on Dali's World's Fair project and an introduction by "Valley film guru" Fred Linch. But while Dali's dream sequence in Spellbound is revered by viewers and critics alike, Dali allegedly wanted more.
"Dali was the prototypical bad-boy artist; he was always in the press' eye. If Dali had his way, [Spellbound] would have been a Hitchcock-Dali production," says PAM film curator Brady Roberts. "But Hitchcock had a pretty good sense of self, too."
The film showing is free -- first come, first seated. Call 602-257-1222 or see www.phxart.org. -- Joe Watson
Evening of music turns the tables
You'd expect an event called "Escape From Sun City" to involve some mad dash over the walls of the local retirement enclave, fleeing wheelchair-bound octogenarian zombies eager for a taste of young tender flesh. Fact is, the only getaway going down during this weekly DJ happening at 9 p.m. Friday, July 29, will be scorched Valley urbanites seeking shelter inside the shadowy confines of the Hidden House Cocktail Lounge, 607 West Osborn. Spinsters D-Jentrification, Smite, Mantis Claw, and Johnny D. will bust out plenty of old-school funk, reggae, psychedelic rock, soul, dub, hip-hop, and maybe even some polka during the no-cover affair. Call 602-266-1763. -- Benjamin Leatherman
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Author enables armchair space travel
The vast appeal of the final frontier was never lost on Tucson-based scientist, painter and writer William Hartmann. His book The Grand Tour: A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System, co-written with Ron Miller and first published in the 1970s, continues to undergo revisions to include up-to-date, painted renditions of actual space missions. Presented by Changing Hands Bookstore, Hartmann -- also the winner of the first Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society -- will be hosting an outdoor discussion and book signing, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington. Admission is free. Call 602-716-2000 or visit www.changinghands.com. -- Amy Young
They started out with a dozen Mason jars, and by the time they finished, artists Jimi Girdner and Scott Sanders had 24 jars, filled with various objects to represent aspects of culture and history. Girdner and Sanders dubbed the project "Cultural Preservation," and included components like an emaciated doll drowning in meat fat to represent the 48-hour diet, and a cotton blossom symbolizing slavery's abolition. The exhibition, which originally ran in September 2002 at the Paper Heart, reopened on July 1, but Sanders says the popular show will come down on Saturday, July 30. Visit the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, or call 602-262-2020. -- Niki D'Andrea