It takes a while to figure out why a movie about a blind boy who feels that God has spurned him would be titled Color of Paradise, since the movie's protagonist seemingly has been denied both color and paradise. In fact, the meaning of this title is only fully revealed in the final scene -- which, by the way, is so ambiguous that many people have watched the movie twice to settle bets about what actually happens. The intense tearjerker ultimately is not as much about the boy as about his father's struggle to love the people in his life instead of feeling burdened by responsibility. Perhaps the greatest endorsement of this Iranian film is that it sold out the weekend it opened in Kansas City theaters last spring -- a rare feat for a foreign film with subtitles. The colors are vibrant and the lighting is uniquely dramatic, giving viewers a view of the Iranian landscape rarely seen on U.S. screens. Color of Paradise shows tonight at 6:45 at the Westport Public Library, 118 Westport Road, as part of the Windows on the World film series. For more information, call 816-701-3635.
According to one rumor, The Get Up Kids' 3 p.m. in-store performance at Recycled Sounds, Westport Road and Main (816-531-4890), was actually scheduled to be an outdoor concert -- as in on the roof, Beatles-style. Any such plans apparently have been scrapped, but the Kids might want to keep those plans in mind, since tonight's performance at Davey's Uptown, 3402 Main (816-753-1909), is sure to be packed -- which makes the Kids a favorite to repeat in the Pitch's year-end "Best Concert, Small Venue" category. Tijuana Crime Scene opens tonight's show.
If you know of a Washington Square Park but think it's farther away than Crown Center -- as in New York -- you aren't alone. The existence of a Washington Square Park between Main and Grand directly north of Crown Center surprises some longtime residents while betraying their lack of knowledge about Kansas City's landmarks. The Kansas City Blues Society picked the neighborhood park for weekly outdoor performances of indigenous jazz and blues music throughout the summer. This week's Lonesome Hank and the Heartaches show, starting at 6 p.m., is as sincerely Midwestern as it gets. For more information, call 816-474-4774.
The opportunity to see classic movies on a big screen is presenting itself more and more regularly in Kansas City theaters and museums these days, but usually the prints have been converted to 35-millimeter reels or video, and the trailers shown beforehand advertise recent releases. It also happens that most of these movies are available for rental at local video stores anyway. None of this is true, however, of tonight's screening of the American film noir Born to Be Bad in the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library's RKO Festival, 625 Minnesota, starting at 6. This femme fatale movie is available not on video (sorry, no privacy) but on original sixteen-millimeter prints. Vintage trailers and cartoons precede the film. For more information, call 913-551-3280.
The Onion, a mock newspaper filled with tongue-in-cheek social critique, recently ran a piece about a man complaining about the gentrification of his neighborhood. The fictional man then cuts short his interview about the impending yuppiedom of the former ghetto to walk his golden retriever. Along those lines, Hyde Park was once a neighborhood that apartment seekers were instructed to avoid when looking for midtown digs. But the stigma attached to Hyde Park is slowly being peeled away, along with the wallpaper and paint inside many of the old buildings undergoing rehab. The streets are narrower here, and the porches are closer together, making it a pretty tight-knit neighborhood, especially on summer nights. Today the Historic Kansas City Foundation leads a Heritage Hike in the Hyde Park area, meeting at 3800 Locust at 9 a.m. Participants will walk part of the Santa Fe Trail, learn about the buildings' architecture and gain insight into the history of this changing neighborhood. For more information or to enroll, call 816-235-1448.
Zettie Jones is a painter whose work is varied and encompasses meticulous detail and impressionist renditions, all of waterfowl. Her work has been reproduced for numerous publications, including Ducks Unlimited, Waterfowl USA, National Grouse Society, Quail Unlimited and -- a Pitch favorite -- National Wild Turkey Federation. We respect her for staying away from the Old Crow. Her taste in both whiskey and birds is impeccable. Jones' canvases depicting the drama of wild game as well as the rustic settings they inhabit are on view at the Gallery of Rural Art at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 630 Hall of Fame Drive, Bonner Springs. For more information, call 913-721-1075.