Too many opportunities to sit through The Nutcracker? Sick of all that Secret Santa jazz? Well, this here little get-together, a launch event for the NYC-based AC Institute's Patacritical Interrogations Techniques Anthology Volume 3, offers one hell of a stiff antidote. It's a fascinating crash course in bizarro-think, conspiracy theory and apocalypse anticipation, all governed by a crazed defiance of logic and established standards and a desperate lust for sweeping redefinition of philosophy, art, perhaps even history itself. The AC Institute is dedicated to work that "challenges conventional expectations of meaning and objectivity as well as the boundaries between the rational and subjective," and that pursuit manifests itself here tonight with a screening of offbeat, cult brainbuster Craig Baldwin's legendary Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America, a faux documentary of arbitrary found montage and stock footage that relates a weird tale of space invaders responsible for or involved with just about every wacko conspiracy theory contemplated by man. Anchored by former L.A. Weeklycontributor Doug Harvey and aimed at "exploring the nexus between faulty translation, conspiracy theory and the avant garde," there will be additional short films, a performance by John "Let's Paint TV" Kilduff and a selection of "détourned music videos" from the Legion of Rock Stars. Weird? Yes. Boring? Hell, no. Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Sun. Dec. 16, 8 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org.
Sun., Dec. 16, 8 p.m., 2012