The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events

THURSDAY 6/10Photography: Drive and CryTransitioning from college to the professional world is never easy. Whenever Elisa Huerta-Enochian felt overwhelmed by the looming future, she hopped in her car, drove for several hours until she reached a remote area, then took a self-portrait there. Huerta-Enochian's "Interior Landscapes" series depicts her most vulnerable moments against various backdrops in the Pacific Northwest. In one frame, she lies curled in a fetal position by a scenic pond, her face crumpled in frustration. "It was an emotional release," she explains. "I expressed and captured the way I felt on camera, then it was time to move on." Huerta-Enochian's absorbing mini-breakdowns are part of the Photo Center Northwest's Thesis Show, along with work by Alexis Henry and Helen Vogel. (Through July 31.) Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave., 720-7222, pcnw.org. Free. Reception 6–9 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTFRIDAY 6/11Film: The Mighty GearheadsAn exploded grandfather clock of a movie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's intricately antic Micmacs hurls gears, gizmos, and other trash-heap objets d'art at the audience. It's aggressively, whimsically retro, like a heaping second helping of Delicatessen. Instead of the enchanted fairyland of his smash hit Amélie, Jeunet burrows into the Parisian scrap-yard lair of the Micmacs, a band of outcasts without superpowers but with ingenious uses for old junk. Movie-quoting video-store clerk Bazil (Dany Boon) joins them after a nasty encounter with a bullet; that, plus his father's prior land-mine mishap, has him vowing revenge on two rival arms manufacturers. Quicker than you can say Yojimbo, the Micmacs spring into action. Contortionist, mathematician, human cannonball (Dominique Pinon)—the team embodies Jeunet's love of the handmade and the improvised, which are pitted against the cold technology of the munitioners. Magnets, alarm clocks, lengths of string, and jars of wasps are the Micmacs' preferred weaponry. Allusions are made to recent European arms deals in the Balkans and Afghanistan, but the satire could just as equally apply to the '20s, when Chaplin's potatoes danced on fork-legs. Opening next Friday at the Egyptian, Micmacs is more fantasia than violent revenge tale. And its pleasing curlicues—like a bouquet of spoons—linger long after the predictable outcome. Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996, siff.net. $11. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERPinball: Follow the Silver BallTimes are tough for a pinball wizard. There's only one company left in the world, Illinois-based Stern Pinball, that manufactures new tables. The legendarily overpriced Big Buck Hunter is muscling its way into bars all over America. Pretty much every installation of Medieval Madness in Seattle is broken. But wait! This year's Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show is here for all your wrist-wrecking, hip-checking needs. All this weekend's featured machines are set to "free play," meaning one lucky attendee has the opportunity to play Toobin' for a grand total of 28 hours for only a $40 weekend pass. The local pinball curators/hot-dog vendors at Shorty's sponsor this epic congregation of vintage games, featuring thought-provoking seminars from legends in table design. Walter Day and Redmond's own Steve Wiebe, stars of the 2007 cult documentary hit The King of Kong, will also make an appearance (unfortunately, Billy Mitchell's fabulous hair could not attend). If that isn't enough, Clay "Shaggy" Harrell will provide the oft-overlooked perspective of an entirely different kind of pinball wiz: someone who can fix the damn things. (Through Sun.) Seattle Center (Northwest Rooms), 305 Harrison St., nwpinballshow.com. $10–$20. Noon–midnight. A.J. TIGNERSATURDAY 6/12Soccer/TV: A Toe in SicilySixty years ago, the U.S. pulled off its greatest sports upset (other than the Miracles on Ice), shocking England 1–0 in the 1950 World Cup. The teams haven't met in a match that really matters since then, so today's World Cup Group C opener in South Africa is must-see TV. But where to watch? Fremont institution The George & Dragon, Seattle's epicenter of English football, is the obvious choice, but hundreds of obsessed fans will have the same idea. If you'd rather eat a sardine than be packed in like one, look across the street to Azzurri, where calcio lives in Seattle. It's nothing fancy—three flat-screens, a scattering of Serie A jerseys and scarves on plain white walls—but it's got heart and soul, thanks to the passionate, insistent charm of owner Michele Zacco. He's also the host, bartender, cook, and even the ref: too much profanity and he'll show you a yellow card. (He's got a red card, too, which he'd prefer not to use.) The food—paninis, salads, pizza, and lasagna if you're lucky—is authentic, hearty, and solid, as is the Sicily-centric wine list. But don't look for Northwest microbrews—this is a Peroni bar. All matches will be shown live; doors open at 4 a.m., with breakfast service, for early matches. (The World Cup runs June 11–July 11; see here for more viewing locales.) At Azzurri, you might even find yourself sitting next to a Sounder. Azzurri Vino Bar, 223 N. 36th St., 547-1050, azzurrivinobar.com. Free. USA–England kickoff at 11:30 a.m. MICHAEL MAHONEYBooks: The Thrill of VarietyIn The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead, $15), Zach Dundas makes a simple, straightforward point that's tough to argue after the theft of our Sonics and utter Mariner/Seahawk mediocrity: Much of the joy of sports has been corporatized out of TV's big three revenue sources (NFL, MLB, NBA). And as a corollary, the real thrills now lie in the alternative, DIY realm of "underground sports," far removed from the media glare. As befits its subtitle—"Drunken Runners, Bike Polo Superstars, Roller Derby Rebels, Killer Birds, and Other Uncommon Thrills on the Wild Frontier of Sports"—his book is a sprawling, ambitious, beer-soaked tour of the alterna-sports landscape. A former Willamette Week writer, Dundas also explores single-speed cyclocross, the Hash House Harriers, high-level fencing, bicycle messengers' "alley cat" races, and the sheer insanity of the Trans Iowa endurance bike race. (For a break, he also founds the short-lived Portland Croquet League.) After all that, Dundas should be tired, but it's never apparent in this sharp, funny debut. Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. MICHAEL MAHONEYSUNDAY 6/13Family Events: Pre-Tween RockParents, is your child too refined for the Disney Channel? Do your grade-schoolers want to rock harder than the Wiggles? Local music collective Kindiependent has heard those pleas, and its inaugural outdoor Share the Music Festival features the biggest names in the Seattle pop-rock scene (well, if you're 12). Recess Monkey, a trio of former elementary-school teachers, was recently named one of Time magazine's "Stars of Kindie Rock." Their sixth record, The Final Funktier, is a space-themed collection with tunes like "Ukulalien" (about a UFO that crashes into Hawaii) and "Moon Boots" ("Mama got me moon boots and I'm taking flight"). Indie rock will be represented, too: Caspar Babypants is the alter ego of Chris Ballew, founder of the Presidents of the United States of America. As Babypants, he performs sweet acoustic sing-alongs ("Baby baby baby/Make a little coo coo/Baby baby baby/Kiss your little boo boo"). And the Not-Its! are a quintet of moms and dads fronted by Sarah Shannon, who in the '90s fronted Sub Pop's Velocity Girl. Eat your heart out, Hannah Montana. Freeway Park, 700 Seneca St., kindiependent.com. Free. Noon–2 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSONTUESDAY 6/15Books: El KhawaqayyaThe short synopsis of The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam (Grove Atlantic, $24) goes something like this: Privileged white girl from Boulder and B.U., Arabic-script "Al Haq" tramp stamp on her back, a rebel against her secular parents, secretly decides during a college health scare to convert to Islam because Christianity isn't sufficiently monotheistic. (You know: the Father, the Son, the whole confusing Trinity...) So she flies to Cairo to teach English after college, falls in love with the first Egyptian man she meets, then converts, marries, and dons a headscarf before telling her mother and father. (Parents, are you ready to cancel that foreign-study check now?) But while the 28-year-old G. Willow Wilson may not be a foreign-policy expert, the part-time Seattle resident makes a virtue of her sincerity. And she's honest about her spiritual yearnings' collision with the hot, dusty reality of often-hostile Cairo. She learns when it's acceptable to haggle in the souk, the codes of making eye contact in the street, and how to deflect local outrage over uncouth Western tourists (no air-kisses, please). Her book is generous toward all parties, though godless Seattle readers may still be troubled by Islamic attitudes toward women. As Wilson herself notes, with ambivalence, "The more cherished a woman is, the more inaccessible she is made." Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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