So when, exactly, is local filmmaker Zachary Yoshioka going to get the fuck out of the Valley? Don't get us wrong: The local film scene needs plenty of young talent if it hopes to amount to anything. But with 15 films and a few music videos under his belt -- not to mention his ASU diploma in hand -- you'd expect the 23-year-old would have an agent and a three-picture deal with Miramax by now. "Nah, we love doing movies here," says Yoshioka, describing the peeps in his production company, Ballistic Entertainment, which screens its newest flick, Capture the Flag, on Friday, January 28, at Tempe Cinemas, 1825 East Elliot. "We've got a great crew, and every première is always packed."
The auteur's expecting a similar turnout for the première of Flag, an "action-packed thrill ride" about two opposing skateboarding teams that engage in a series of intense competitions that become more brutal. "It's like a big, live-action cartoon with a lot of campy humor," says Yoshioka, who'll also show off a few music videos he's shot for bands like Authority Zero, and the Kottonmouth Kings.
The Flag waves at 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is $5. See www.ballisticentertainment.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Dream rides go on the block
Dear Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles: Let's forget this silly auction -- the fifth annual European Sports and American Muscle Collector Car Auction, on Friday, January 28, and Saturday, January 29. We'll offer our 1994 Geo Prism (and its understated sentimental value) straight up for the '63 Shelby Cobra, which might get you $1 million. We'll meet under the "big white tents" at Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard in Scottsdale, or at www.russoandsteele.com. Deal? -- Joe Watson
Prints of the City
Local artists debut their visions of "Urban Life"
If the pressures of our burgeoning megalopolis have got you feeling vexed in the city, the work of six local printmakers might help you deal. Utilizing such methods as intaglio and drypoint, artists like Barbara Burton and Joan C. Thompson have created colorful, almost surreal prints summarizing their sentiments on subsisting in the suburbs for the showcase "Urban Life: An Exhibition of Hand Pulled Prints" at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Thompson will probably be happy to explain the moody mindset behind her fiery piece Leaving the Bright Lights (pictured) at a free artists' reception at 7 p.m. Friday, January 28. Work by artists Melinda Wing, Carol M. Jenna, Darlene Swaim, and Christine Sandifur is also included in the show, which runs through March 12. See www.chandlercenter.org. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Paper Heart hosts "From Script to Screen"
If you regularly debate the merits of obscure indie films with the clerk at the video rental store, you'll definitely enjoy the "From Script to Screen" event at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, on Thursday, January 27. Schmooze with movie buffs and budding scriptwriters, and satiate your curiosity about how words on a page get transformed into the celluloid experience. Put together by the Arizona Screenwriters Association, the event consists of live script readings by actors, followed by viewings of the scripted scenes on film. Featured artists include award-winning filmmaker Susan Brigham, whose movie Greasewood Flat recently debuted to acclaim at the Valley Art Theatre. Tickets cost $10, and the show runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Show up at 6 p.m. to hobnob with those in the biz or get some feedback on your "can't-miss" blockbuster movie idea. Call 623-341-3442. -- Douglas Towne
'Cuz ya got 'em
For decades, Cuban cigars have been an illicit elixir to Americans. Their cachet is such that otherwise law-abiding citizens troll the black market for these contraband stogies -- or scoot down to Nogales to light one up. An easier way to enjoy cigars made from 100 percent Cuban tobacco is at this month's tasting at Ye Old Pipe & Tobacco Shoppe, 2017 East Camelback, on Friday, January 28, which features complimentary Pinar Cuban cigars. No need to fret about the feds raiding the joint. It's okay with the State Department because the tobacco is from a pre-embargo, early-1960s harvest. Owner Rick Hopkins explains, "The tobacco was stored in a climate-controlled Florida warehouse whose owner died without a will. After years of legal wrangling, cigars from this lot are available in limited quantities." The tasting runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Call 602-955-7740. -- Douglas Towne
Crunchy goodness at Earth Mother Mind Jam 15
How do you fit 42 acts on one stage for a 12-hour entertainment extravaganza? Well, you could have them form human pyramids and play simultaneously, or do a relay type of thing as bands race across the stage with their instruments, play for 30 seconds, and pass the mic. Or you could just build a second stage. The producers of the Earth Mother Mind Jam 15, which beams down on Saturday, January 29, opted for the latter. Both stages might be worn to the floorboards as The Overtones, Vic Masters, Hans Olson, ralö and the kali orchestra, World Class Thugs, Mary Lemanski, Big Bang Jazz Band, Kindread, Jennifer Spector, and Traveler, among others, kick out the jams. There will also be belly dancers, poets, performance artists, comedians, raffles, art auctions, vendors, and reflexology. So don't blink or you might miss something. The whole shebang starts at 2 p.m. at the Sail Inn, 26 South Farmer in Tempe. Tickets cost $10, and proceeds benefit Fiestas for Children. Call 480-921-1775. -- Niki D'Andrea
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