Bernie Is Free
Many in Texas residents were somewhat bewildered by the news in early May that Bernie Tiede, the undertaker turned murderer whose story was fictionalized in the 2011 film Bernie, would be released from prison and, as part of a parole agreement, required to live in the garage apartment of the movie’s director, Richard Linklater. This renewed attention sparked interest in a reappraisal of the movie, which will be screened on Friday at Discovery Green, accompanied by a live score by Graham Reynolds, the Austin composer, and a talk by Skip Hollandsworth, the Texas Monthly writer whose article inspired the movie. The film, a dark comedy, follows Tiede, 38, who is played by Jack Black, as he befriends and ultimately kills Marjorie Nugent, 81, who is played by Shirley MacLaine. Hollandsworth plans to offer an inside look into how Bernie became a film, with anecdotes such as when Black, who is Jewish, learned to sing old-fashioned gospel hymns, and when MacLaine began to believe she had channeled Nugent from the dead. Audience members will be able to ask Hollandsworth questions about Tiede’s new arrangement and how Tiede was able to secure an early release.
Discovery Green, June 6, 8 p.m., discoverygreen.com
The People’s Verse
In 2007 San Antonio bought the Mission Drive-In Theatre on the south side of the city, where Hispanic families had convened for movies since the forties, and set about converting it into a community gathering space. On Saturday, Gemini Ink, a literary organization, will commemorate the completion of that transformation with a free, family-friendly event, Paletas y Poesia, or Popsicles and Poetry. In addition to writing activities and open-mike poetry, Bombasta, commonly referred to as the “barrio big band,” will play, and Laurie Ann Guerrero, San Antonio’s poet laureate, will read from her forthcoming collection, “A Crown for Gumecindo.” “Events like this are a true testament to the hearts of the people of our beloved city and offer an opportunity to excavate and cultivate our stories,” Guerrero said in an email.
Mission Marquee Plaza, June 7, 4 p.m., geminiink.org
A Pivotal Year
“The 1968 Exhibit” examines the year between the Summer of Love in 1967, the height of sixties enlightenment, and the Altamont Free Concert in 1969, during which a concertgoer was stabbed to death by a member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, symbolically ending the peace movement. This traveling interactive show, opening Saturday at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, will display photographs, artifacts and ephemera from some of this country’s brightest and darkest hours. The cultural touchstones range from a purple velvet jacket worn by Jimi Hendrix to a red sweater worn by Mister Rogers as he welcomed children to his neighborhood. Among the sociopolitical artifacts is a program from the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as a draft notice from the Vietnam War. Items from the Apollo 8 mission, including a full-scale replica of the spaceship’s command module, highlight the era’s technological achievements.
Bullock Texas State History Museum, June 7-Sept. 1, thestoryoftexas.com
The Highest Dive
While part of Possum Kingdom Lake, about eighty miles west of Fort Worth, has dried up because of the drought, other areas are still deep enough to host fourteen divers in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. The divers will plunge into the water near Hell’s Gate Cove from two separate cliffs, each about 100 feet high. Compare that to the tallest platform dive in the Olympics, which is about 33 feet, and the competition becomes—at least to onlookers—less about diving and more about a death-defying act. Those wishing to witness the event should arrive equipped with some sort of waterborne transportation, like a boat, paddleboard, or kayak, as there will not be a viewing area on land.
Possum Kingdom Lake, June 7, 2:30 p.m., redbullcliffdiving.com
Texas will continue on its trajectory of urbanization but the ways of the cowboy will always be integral to the culture. That culture will be on display at the Texas High School Rodeo Association State Finals, where participants will compete in events like barrel racing, calf roping, and bull riding for the chance to advance to the national finals.
Taylor County Expo Center, June 6-14, thsra.org
The fingernails of spectators at the Gator Rescue Tournament will likely be chewed to nubs as they watch two-person teams wrestle six-foot alligators, whose gaping jaws will be untethered and, no doubt, ready to snap.
Gator Country, June 7-8, gatorrescue.com