BEST MONKEY BUSINESS

The Chinese horoscope decrees this year is the year of the monkey. To celebrate, the Auckland Chinese Community Centre is holding its Chinese New Year festival today at the Auckland Showgrounds. Expect a lineup of Chinese cultural song, dance and martial arts demonstrations, as well as more than 100 stalls peddling traditional Chinese food, arts, crafts, toys, videos, fashion and herbal medicine. And those lucky enough to be born in the year of the monkey are fun-loving, clever, party animals. They're also accident-prone and just a little bit self-indulgent.

Chinese New Year Festival, Auckland Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, today, 10am-3pm

BEST THROUGH THE ROOF

Seeing a movie while star-gazing has always been nigh on impossible in Auckland, because of the small matter of roofs.

Thanks to the all-new, open-air cinema at Viaduct Harbour, you get the chance to take in both, giving new meaning to film noir.

The cinema, which opened last night and runs until February 15, will seat up to 2000 people. Tonight's screening is Calendar Girls and tomorrow's is Auckland's first chance to see The Zookeeper. Starring Sam Neill as a poetry-writing zookeeper in Eastern Europe who is part of a skeleton crew who must keep the animals alive during a war until help arrives from an international mission. No easy task. Weather warning: if the wind is 32 knots or more the screen will be deflated, the show is off and refunds will be issued.

Open Air Cinema, Calendar Girls, tonight, 8.45pm; The Zookeeper, Sunday, 8.45pm; Te Wero Island, Viaduct Harbour, adults $12, grandstand $16, children $7

BEST WATERWORKS

Caught on film, the Waitemata Harbour is the subject of the Waitemata: Sparkling Waters exhibition put together by the New Zealand Film Archive. It features film extracts from 1908 to 2002. There is American Fleet at Auckland 1908, when the US Navy's Great White Fleet was greeted by Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward. Luna Park (1928) is a promotional flick of the Luna Park fair in Parnell before it moved to fame and fortune in Sydney. There is also the 1959 excerpt from Construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the 1963 film The Visit of Her

Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showing Her Majesty disembarking the HMS Britannia, and Pacific Warriors from the 1980s, complete with footage of the
sinking Rainbow Warrior at Freyberg Wharf.

Waitemata: Sparkling Waters, Film Archive Exhibition, first floor, 300 K Rd, today, 11am-4pm. Exhibition continues to March 12

BEST PLAYWRIGHT

You know it's midsummer when Shakespeare happens al fresco. The Shoreside Theatre starts its Shakespeare in the Park 2004 season with Othello at the PumpHouse tonight. The company will be alternating with Love's Labours Lost until mid-February. But tonight and tomorrow night is all about the Moor of Venice, who gets rather more than a touch of the green-eyed monster.

Shakespeare in the Park 2004, Othello, PumpHouse, Killarney Park, Takapuna, 8pm, tonight and Sunday, adults $20, concessions $17. Ph (09) 489-8360

BEST PEACE PRACTICE

The Auckland Museum is holding one of the first events of the Festival of Tibetan Arts and Culture that takes in Auckland, Waiheke Island and Whangarei. As part of the Living Treasures Day, it showcases the artistic and cultural heritage of Tibet. Visiting Tibetan artist Karma Phuntsok will demonstrate Thangka painting, musician Tenzin Choegyal will perform traditional Tibetan folk songs and facilitate a music workshop, and there will be screenings of The Saltmen of Tibet, a film looking at the ancient traditions and daily rituals of a Tibetan nomadic community throughout the day. Kids get a chance to make their own prayer flags and western Buddhist nun Venerable Sarah will tell her story.

Living Treasures Day: Festival of Tibet, Auckland Museum, Auckland Domain, Sunday, 10am-5pm