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Thursday, July 07, 2005 | FILM

Sign of the times. Sept. 11 conjures its own set of painful memories for Chile. On this date in 1973, a military coup overthrew socialist President Salvador Allende and installed in its place the long and violent dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The civil unrest leading up to and immediately following the coup provides the backdrop for three Santiago youth in the poignant Chilean drama, “Machuca.”

Pedro Machuca (Ariel Mateluna) is a poor boy of indigenous roots. Through socialist auspices, he attends a private English school where he meets the wealthy Gonzalo Infante (Matias Quer). Surrounded by political and familial turmoil, the two boys find solace in each other’s friendship. Director Andres Wood based the film on his own experiences as a young schoolboy in his native Santiago during the early 1970s.

“Machuca” will be screened five times daily, Friday through July 14. For more information, call (619) 230-1938 or visit http://www.sdlatinofilm.com.

VISUAL ARTS

Get your knit on. Drinking, conversation, and yes, knitting needles are allowed at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego tonight during its monthly “Thursday Night Thing” event.

This month’s TNT celebrates the opening of Los Angeles-based artist Yunhee Min, who describes her work as “a hybrid of painting, installation and architectural intervention.”

Patrons with knitting needles can participate in a “knit-in” in the lobby (the museum will provide the yarn) and mingle with the artist, who will be in the galleries for a Q&A session with knitting needles. Don’t know a knit stitch from a purl? Stroll outside to the plaza to hear live music by Author and Punisher, a consortium of UCSD visual art students, or Los Angeles-based bands Loma Lynda and Ponce de Lyon.

TNT occurs every first Thursday of the month at the museum’s downtown location at 1001 Kettner Blvd. For more information, call (619) 234-1001 or visit www.mcasd.org.

Support the struggle. Just don’t bash the paintings. You can protest with your pocketbook at the second annual “Raza Art Exhibit and Auction.” Proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Union del Barrio, an activist group working to eradicate racism and enhance the dignity, solidarity and power of the Chicano community in San Diego.

A diverse body of artwork has been donated by Chicano artists from San Diego and will be on display at Chicano Perk July 9-23. Pick out your piece over an organic Mexican mocha and return for the fight – er, auction – from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 23.

Chicano Perk is located at 129 25th St. in Barrio Logan. For more information, call Judy Abundis at (619) 434-2255 or visit www.chicanoperk.com.

THEATER

Chew on this. There will be songs. Dramatic vision. Glee and horror. Subversion. Provocation. Sexual awakening. A “fiercely restrictive, abusive and potentially violent culture.” Otherwise, we don’t really have a clue what “GUM” is about, but the press release has us deeply, passionately and irrevocably intrigued.

Artistic Director Al Germani is also a psychotherapist, if that helps.

The play premieres at the Lynx Performance Theatre this Sunday, but in the spirit of ambiguity we recommend catching Friday’s preview on “pay what you can” night. The show runs through August 7, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m. The theatre is located at 2653-R Ariane Drive. For not very much more information, visit

MUSIC AND MORE

Hop off the sand. Those who went cross-eyed from too many American flag bikinis last weekend can hit the Hillcrest streets this Sunday for an inland reprieve from crowded beaches.

But this is no snooze in the sun or stroll on the knoll. The third annual “Hop in the Hood” promises to shake some asphalt with Sue Palmer Band playing boogie woogie, D.A. & the Hitmen promising “kick ass rock and blues” and the lovely Laura Jane residing as mistress of ceremonies.

The event takes place on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Robinson Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. If the entertainment wanes, stroll to the DMV parking lot at the corner of Normal Street and Cleveland Street to squeeze some fruit at the Sunday Hillcrest Farmers Market, until 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.hillquest.com.

– CLAIRE CARASKA, Voice Staff Writer and JESSICA L. HORTON, Voice Contributing Writer

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