[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome might suggest there is a curmudgeon growing in me, but that would be unfair. There is a legitimate need – not to criticize, but to be authentically critical. We cannot simply disparage; nor can we blindly praise.
Yet a recent event in Palmetto Bay had its own name spelled incorrectly on its official banner – Palmeto Bay. This is hard to figure out. Yet, I, too, make mistakes and, simply stated, did not initially give as much love and respect to Miami Dade’s Miami International Film Festival as I should have, and this makes two times that I have revisited it in this column. Now another film festival is about to drop and I intend to scrutinize it appropriately.
But first, let’s give proper praise to O, Miami, an event which has enriched local lives exponentially through a fiercely original, month-long series of events. By the time you read this, O, Miami will have completed more than half of its run dedicated to the humble wish that everyone in the 305 bump into a poem during April, emphatically conceived, wickedly delivered.
Presentations will have been delivered in the park, on the bay, from the corner, at night, by day, under pressure, while walking and through the month. Poetry will have been dropped by Campbell McGrath, Pablo Neruda, Michael Hettich, Cassius Clay, Kay Ryan, Sam Cooke, Jamaal May, Nathan Deuel, Elizabeth Jacobson and denizens of every nook and cranny in the region. If you have a poem in you people, April is the time.
This poetic ubiquity leads me to the Ode to Your Zip Code, a poetry challenge created by iconic WLRN and O, Miami, which aligns your specific five digits with a corresponding number of words. For example:
3 I am like,
3 you know like,
5 just trying to figure out
7 exactly what I’m doing in Palmetto Bay.
The second big April event is for the cinemanistas among us, the 17th annual Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. More than 65 films will be presented over 10 days at venues on Miami Beach. The opening night premiere on April 24, Boulevard, stars the late great Robin Williams as a middle-aged bank teller coming to grips with his changing existence. Other offerings include films from Canada, Brazil, Thailand, Berlin and, of course, Miami. Of particular note are a handful of documentaries, one on former Olympic Champion Greg Louganis, another on former ‘50s teenage heartthrob Tab Hunter and the last on LGBT groups on evangelical American college campuses.
A number of the films are either world or national premieres, which you might see, if you cannot attend the festivities, on corporate sponsor Showtime one day.
Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to firstname.lastname@example.org.