DID "SUPER SIZE ME" take away your appetite for McDonald's? Does the usual fare at KFC-Taco Bell-Subway leave you wanting more? (Or, more likely, less?) Then you're a prime candidate for the Slow Food movement, started in Europe as a response to the fast food franchises that have popped up there, and rapidly gaining popularity in this country. In conjunction with the local chapter of Slow Food USA, the AFI Silver will present the Slow Food on Film Festival this week, in celebration of food at its most culturally specific, meaningful and expressive. The festival, which was first presented in Bra, Italy, in 2002, will feature 17 short narrative, documentary and animated films about the joys of cultivating, cooking and eating glorious food. The festival kicks off Thursday with a program featuring the classic "Yum Yum Yum," by food docu-meister Les Blank, and concludes next Sunday with films about Christmas puddings and the lives of Italian shepherds, and a documentary about the scarcity of food in Italy during World War II.
-- Ann Hornaday
The opening night program begins at 9:15 p.m. The festival continues on Saturday and Sunday with programs at 5 p.m. Admission is $8.50 ($7.50 for AFI members, students and seniors). AFI Silver is at 8633 Colesville Rd. in Silver Spring. For more information call 301-495-6720, or visit www.afi.com/silver or www.slowfood.com.
QUICK -- WHAT'S THE OLDEST professional musical organization in the country?
If you guessed the New York Philharmonic, our most venerable orchestra, you're off by a full 44 years. The U.S. Marine Band was established by an act of Congress signed by President John Adams on July 11, 1798, and made its White House debut on New Year's Day, 1801, at a reception for President and Mrs. Adams. Since then it has played for the inauguration of every president; Thomas Jefferson gave the group the title "The President's Own," setting it aside from other military ensembles.
Over the past eight years, "The President's Own" has been led by the capable Timothy W. Foley, a member of the group since 1968. Saturday night at the Schlesinger Center, he will retire and turn over the ceremonial baton to Maj. Michael J. Colburn. It promises to be an evening rich in sentiment -- and, as always, in good music as well.
-- Tim Page
The Schlesinger Center is on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. Admission is free. The concert takes place at 7:30 Saturday night. Information: 202-433-4011.
IN THE SUMMER group show at Conner Contemporary Art, curator Karyn Miller gives a view of the United States that isn't quite the official, cheery one. Sarah Beddington provides a candid video of a toy-store display in Las Vegas. A heavily armed GI Joe stands proudly in the middle of the playpen as a mechanical pig and horse run circles around him ad nauseam; in one corner of the pen, a chubby blond doll, bikini-clad, suns herself on a patio lounger, throwing in an occasional sit-up or leg lift to combat her spreading middle; in another corner, a little mechanical dog yaps desperately, hoping to break free. Joe Ovelman gives us 17 photos, each of which shows a back view of the artist kneeling to perform a sex act on a stranger. And photographer P. Elaine Sharpe gives us soft-focus, candy-colored images of famous American sites -- where witches were once punished in Salem, or where innocent nurses were murdered in Chicago. Norman Rockwell must be turning in his grave.
-- Blake Gopnik
"Seven More (Things We Like)" is at Conner Contemporary Art, 1730 Connecticut Ave. NW, through July 31. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 202-588-8750 or visit www.connercontemporary.com.
THE GOOFIEST OF the neo-garage bands, the Mooney Suzuki, windmilled its way into the national consciousness with a rendering of "Don't Fence Me In" for a Nike TV commercial. Its albums -- two full-lengths and an EP -- are about as subtle as a bully in a bar fight, but live, the group's shamelessness pays off. Lead singer Sammy James Jr. has one of the best struts in the business, and the band has made a hilarious fetish out of pointing an index finger to the ceiling in the classic "we are your overlords" tradition of rock. Bring a digit and some earplugs.
-- David Segal
At the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Saturday at 8. $9. Call 202-667-7960 or visit