In the martial arts world, Johnny Wu is considered a kung fu master. Off the mat, he's the brains behind the Cleveland IndieClub. The group of independent-movie buffs meets once a month to get feedback and swap war stories about being in front of and behind the camera. As a bonus, Wu invites screenwriters, directors, and videographers from L.A. and New York to speak.
"We have had people drive from Columbus and Pittsburgh to attend our meetings, because it's a gathering to learn from each other," Wu says. This month's meeting includes a lecture from comedian and indie actress Mary Faktor. "She is covering the ins and outs of acting for film." Attendees will get to check out a clip of Faktor's tiny role in American Splendor. Plus, they'll see the premiere of Twenty-First Century by Port Clinton filmmaker Christine Chapman. And to keep an aspiring movie mogul's budget from going bust, membership in the club doesn't cost a dime, says Wu. "We do not believe in charging [dues] to network." The Cleveland IndieClub meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Talkies Film and Coffee Bar, 2521 Market Avenue. Admission is free. Call 216-696-3456 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Queens and DJs spark monster party.
Michael Higgins has clubbed enough around town to know the difference between a regular ol' drag queen and the more extreme "circuit" drags. No surprise then that he would ask Power Infiniti to perform her famous pole dances at Summer Sizzle 2004 (which features DJs Lydia Prim and Rick Corder on Saturday and female impersonators on Sunday). "Even her costumes are not typical drag-queen costumes," says Higgins about the Grace Jones look-alike. "Her hair is real spiked out, her makeup is real wild, and her attire is quite different from a drag performer." At circuit parties, she's known for her sultry Hot Spots, which are danced solo in the middle of a nightclub. Says Higgins, "It's so much more outrageous." Things Sizzle from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday and 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Modä, 1871 West 25th Street. Admission is $10 and $15 Saturday and $5 Sunday; call 216-781-3805. -- Cris Glaser
Party on Pearl
Old Brooklyn unites with classic cars and clowns.
Saturday's Music on Main Street Festival is all about bringing together Old Brooklyn's businesses and artists. The free event features exhibitions, a classic-car show, Fingerprint the Clown, and, of course, live music. "It's always nice to play outdoors," says Rick Sockel, guitarist for headliners Strangers on the Street. And like the neighborhood it's supporting, the oldies band has had its share of ups and downs over the years. "We don't have a stage show," Sockel admits. "We're just a group of friends who want to play music with a groove and to make sure everyone else is having fun too." Music on Main actually happens at 4200 Pearl Road from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; call 216-459-1000. -- Melody Caraballo
Dead Man Writing
In the moving Since Otar Left . . . , an elderly woman is kept in the dark about her son's death by her daughter and granddaughter, who scheme to keep the departed man alive through a series of forged letters. It is, at turns, funny, frank, and totally human. It screens at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8, $5 for members. For more information, call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci