Does our fascination with presidential daughters stem from their pampered existence or what they tell us about their famous dads? Artist Julia Page has a preoccupation with these coddled children, and in the video installation Heir Apparent (part of the exhibit "We All Must Play Our Parts"), she deconstructs the function they serve in establishing the commander in chief's image. When we saw a brace-faced Chelsea cheering lustily at her father's inauguration, were we seduced into considering President Clinton our new daddy? Was it more difficult to hate Tricky Dick when he stood beside a candy box-cute Tricia Nixon? With a series of six two-minute video segments, Page silently asks these questions.
Other new works in "We All Must Play" include another video, which analyzes television's effect on our view of legal justice with clips from the show Law & Order, as well as the multimedia piece First Kills, a creepy look at hunting as a coming-of-age ritual for children of gun lovers. See them at the show's opening reception at 6 tonight (the exhibit runs through April 2) at Mission 17, 2111 Mission (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 336-2349 or visit www.mission17.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
A casual Oscar fete
On Academy Awards day, celebrities get styled within an inch of their lives for their red-carpet promenades, while fans get tarted up for fancy champagne-and-caviar viewing parties. But if you have neither a designer gown nor the cash for pricey admission fees, here's a dressed-down do for you. The annual Up the Oscars! Benefit Bash! features a big-screen presentation of the ceremony to go with the companionship of fellow cinéastes. There's just one thing lacking: reverence for the awards show's narcissistic bullshit. Is a production number falling on its face? Is a presenter baldly shilling for her upcoming flick? Is Natalie Portman wearing the ugliest fucking dress on the planet? This is a group that doesn't fear rampant jeers. Join in at 5 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $15; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Warming Up to It
Mingle with Hot Hot Heat
Maybe the group is hoping to escape the frigid winter of the Great White North. Canadian post-punk act Hot Hot Heat migrates south this season for national dates and festivals in support of its spring release, Elevator, and though you can't get tickets for the band's sold-out San Francisco show tonight, the temperature-raising outfit that brought us 2002's Make Up the Breakdown follows its concert with a soiree at the venerable Britpop club "popscene." The only question is who gets the first dance when the boys take the floor. Hit the "Special Hot Hot Heat Afterparty," with guest DJ Louis XIV, at 10 p.m. at 330 Ritch, 330 Ritch (at Townsend), S.F. Admission is $5-8; call 541-9574 or visit www.popscene-sf.com.
-- Josh Rotter
The full moon is a perfect time to contemplate poetry, and the ongoing monthly spoken-word and open mike series "Lunada: Latino Lit Lounge" is the perfect place to do so. This month, catch all-female group Las 'Manas and UC Davis professor and poet Francisco X. Alarcón at 7:30 p.m. at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is free; call 826-8009 or visit www.galeriadelaraza.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser