The artists taking part in Standing Rock Cultural Arts' third annual Day of the Dead show surely relish this time of year. It's the one time they can offer up their spooky drawings, paintings, puppets, and sculptures, and not look like a bunch of mopey Morrissey fans. Dig deep, and you'll even discover fragments of joy amid the generally gloomy works, all of them in honor of the Latin American holiday. They're on view through November 26 at the North Water Street Gallery, 257 North Water Street in Kent. It's open from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free; call 330-673-4970 for more info.
Friday, November 4
Louis Malle's 1957 feature debut, Elevator to the Gallows, twists U.S. film-noir tradition until something decidedly French and unquestionably ingenious pops out. A pair of lovers, Julien and Florence, plot the murder of Florence's husband. All goes well till Julien realizes he's left a critical piece of evidence behind. Returning to retrieve it, he gets stuck in an elevator. Meanwhile, two teenagers steal Julien's car and gun. Gripping, brooding, and brilliantly cut, the film showcases the French new wave in its primal, pioneering stage. Bonus: Miles Davis' cool, moody score, which blows through Malle's Paris like an invigorating breeze. Elevator kicks off the Cinematheque's two-month Malle fest, which includes such classics you've never heard of as Zazie dans le Métro, Lacombe Lucien, and Au Revoir les Enfants. Screenings cost $8 and happen at 8:30 tonight, 7 p.m. tomorrow, and 4:15 p.m. Sunday. The Cinematheque is at 11140 East Boulevard; call 216-421-7450.
Saturday, November 5
More than 100 artists contribute paintings, sculptures, and ceramic pieces to the silent auction that anchors tonight's Pinkadelic event at Spaces. There'll be food, booze, and dancing to music spun by DJ Ayfast. The entire shindig comes soaked in the color pink, and 40 bucks' worth of green gets you in the door. The party starts at 9 p.m. (High rollers can check out a fashion show at 7 p.m. for $125.) Spaces is at 2220 Superior Viaduct; call 216-621-2314.
Sunday, November 6
Four of the eight songs on Opeth's new album, Ghost Reveries, clock in at more than 10 minutes. If it were any other band, we'd call this criminally indulgent. But with these particular Swedish metalheads -- who are capable of swinging from brain-massaging reserve to fist-pumping aggression in, oh, about a second -- it's a necessity. (In fact, the CD's last cut, "Isolation Years," feels underdeveloped at less than four minutes.) The songs don't build so much as they wind their way along various paths lined with searing guitar riffs and larynx-shredding vocals. Opeth rocks the House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17; call 216-241-5555.
Monday, November 7
Now in its 19th year, the 2005 Ohio Independent Film Festival opens a week of screenings today with, appropriately, My Big Fat Independent Movie, a spoof of some of the most popular indie flicks. Over the next six days, many shorts, features, and documentaries -- about everything from the war on terrorism to a Serbian reggae band -- make their world premieres. Most will be shown at Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Avenue), with a $10 admission for each. Find a complete schedule of films, dates, and times at www.ohiofilms.com.
Tuesday, November 8
When Bruce Feiler set out to chronicle the roots of religion, in his new book Where God Was Born, he intended merely a 10,000-mile journey to the land where the Garden of Eden was and where David fought Goliath. But it turned out to be so much more. "It began as a personal quest to reread these stories I hadn't read since I was a kid," he says. "During that time, religion went from something that could be a personal luxury to something that suddenly seems like a matter of life and death, particularly in the wake of 9-11." A few years ago, the best-selling author and frequent NPR contributor hosted the TV miniseries Walking the Bible, based on his book of the same title; Where God Was Born, he says, can be seen as the flip side of that project. "The [first] quest was really about is the Bible real? Are these stories relevant to me? The biggest difference now is that [the new book visits] places you can't go." Feiler's research led him to question his own "ambivalence toward religion" and draw conclusions about contemporary beliefs. "I found that -- going into Iraq in the middle of the war -- the roots of religion were much more respectful of diversity and tolerance than I ever would have expected," he says. Feiler discusses Where God Was Born at 7 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst. Admission is free. For more information, call 216-691-7000.
Chicago power-poppers OK Go have one thing on all those other bands that combine three-chord guitar attacks with fat-bottom beats: They actually seem to be enjoying themselves. On their second album, Oh No, the goofy, nattily dressed foursome crank out the hooks and break out the dictionaries, causing your butt and brain to move simultaneously. And unlike their sneering, primping peers, the OK Go guys are neither coolly detached from nor conspiratorially winking at their music. That makes it all so much more enjoyable. Catch 'em at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $10, available by calling 216-241-5555.
Wednesday, November 9
Christopher Duffy's Do I Know You? uses glasswork as his springboard. He takes the physics of pressure as it relates to glass-blowing and applies it to pieces that look like something out of a mad scientist's laboratory -- complete with mechanical parts, snaking tubes, and billowing smoke. Do I Know You? is at the Sculpture Center (1834 East 123rd Street) through December 2. It's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Call 216-229-6527 for more information.