The Merce Cunningham dance company performs at PlayhouseSquare this weekend as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's VIVA! & Gala Around Town series. To supplement that performance, CMA will show two related films. The first, Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance provides an overview of the dancer's life and work. It screens at CMA's Recital Hall (11150 East Blvd., 216.421.7340) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 1. The second, Elliot Caplan's Cage/Cunningham, is a 1991 documentary about the numerous collaborations between Cunningham and experimental composer John Cage. It shows in the Recital Hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 4. Tickets: $8.
The film tax-credit bill didn't make it past Gov. Ted Strickland's desk, but the Greater Cleveland Film Commission is still out there promoting moviemaking in Northeast Ohio. To further develop homegrown talent, it's hosting a "boot camp" for aspiring filmmakers February 6-8 at the Tri-C Metro Campus. Producer Larry Meistrich, whose credits include critical and commercial success stories like Sling Blade and You Can Count on Me, will lead a series of seminars on how you can make your own movie and get the green light from studios. The registration is a steep $395, but the first 20 people to sign up get 50 percent off. Registration deadline is February 4. Call Sara Dering at 216.623.3910 for details or visit filmboot.com, where you can even watch a short clip of Meistrich teaching a class.
Holy bongwater, Batman! Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have gotten back together and are touring. Their show comes to PlayhouseSquare on Friday, January 30. Tying in with their show, Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth, 216.961.0084) is showing the documentary A/k/a Tommy Chong, a film that chronicles Chong's 2003 run-in with the law (even though his glass pipes and bongs are veritable pieces of art, he was arrested for distributing paraphernalia and served a nine-month federal-prison sentence as a result). The film screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 29.
The Cedar Lee Theater (2163 Lee Rd., 440.564.2030) hosts another HD opera event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 4, when it shows Salute Petra: Celebrating the Life of Luciano Pavarotti,Êa tribute concert filmed last October. It features some of the world's biggest opera stars, including Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, paying tribute to the late great Italian singer. Tickets: $20.