Like Ansel Adams

Clyde Butcher makes dead logs look good.
Mike Gorman

FRI 1/7

If you ever pause in line at Barnes & Noble to flip through an Ansel Adams calendar, then you will appreciate the work of Florida photographer Clyde Butcher. Butcher's "Retrospective" exhibit will be on display Friday at a reception the artist will attend. You can't miss him -- he bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus and looks just as jolly.

Butcher's collection of black-and-white landscape photos capture Florida's mix of scenery in an eerily beautiful way. Although black-and-white film alone can make a Hustler cover look like a work of art, Butcher has the talent to make even Florida's scrubby bushes look good. There is more going on here than just swampy trees and still waters -- a sense of movement and quiet emotion pervades all his photos. Butcher and his wife, Niki, travel all over Florida in search of unique photo opportunities, which is how the man captured an amazing series that depicts the incredibly rare and gorgeous Ghost Orchid. While botanists dream of seeing this almost-extinct flower just once, Butcher's tenacity and luck have allowed him to photograph it three times. Ask Butcher about the tricks of his awesome trade when he comes to ArtServe (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale). The reception lasts from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday; the exhibit runs through February 15. Admission is free. Call 954-462-8190, or visit -- Saadia Van Winkle

Great Danes

Foreign film in Boca

THU 1/6

All right, so Boca is not exactly the epicenter of hip cinema, but that may change soon, thanks to the Boca Raton Museum of Art's International Film Series, which begins Thursday with a screening of Italian for Beginners. The Danish film is middle-of-the-road in terms of the foreign artsy factor -- not quite as cute as Amélie and not quite as depressing as Blue. The life-is-tough-drama-meets-romantic-comedy centers on a group of sad Danes who convene each week for an Italian class and end up discovering things about themselves that lead to happiness in the end. Hang out for the post-screening lecture by film historian Shelly Issacs. Italian for Beginners starts at 7 p.m. at Sunrise Cinemas in Mizner Park (301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). The $25 admission price includes the movie, the lecture, and dessert. To RSVP, call 561-392-2500, ext. 211. -- Saadia Van Winkle

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