10 Cheap and Free Things To Do in L.A. This Week

Shop indie at Jackalope on Sat. and Sun.
Shop indie at Jackalope on Sat. and Sun.
Gil Riego Photography

A Cassavetes double feature, a Native American comedy night, a documentary about people who podcast and more to do and see this week for 11 bucks or less.

The New Beverly pays tribute to the inimitable John Cassavetes over the next week, beginning its seven-film series, appropriately enough, with Opening Night and A Woman Under the Influence. Both essential films star the writer-director's wife and collaborator, Gena Rowlands, who delivers what might be the most devastating performance ever captured on celluloid in the latter half of this double feature. Rowlands and Cassavetes are something like the First Couple of independent film, and their joint body of work is an heirloom that we're all lucky to be able to share. Rowlands is scheduled to be present for a Q&A between films. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Depending on how the election goes, something more slapstick might make for a less heavy start to the weekend. If that's the case, the Nuart's midnight screening of Blazing Saddles ought to do the trick — though it's also a reminder that we lost Gene Wilder this summer, because 2016. Maybe instead of watching Mel Brooks' satirical Western, which also stars Cleavon Little and Harvey Korman, you might want to just huddle under the covers for the next month and a half and hope that 2017 is less cruel to our heroes. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Nov. 11, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

Jackalope: An Indie Artisan Market is the brainchild of three women who decided to launch a community-driven craft fair in each of their hometowns: Pasadena, Denver and Phoenix. Melissa Shipley, Laura Fischer and Sara Diederich all wanted to create a semiannual tradition in the form of a curated bazaar where both local and national makers offer handmade wares to the public. With more than 200 artisans on hand, shoppers can browse everything from high-quality clothing and accessories to superior examples of art and design. It's an ideal opportunity to take care of some early holiday shopping while supporting independent artists. Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 12-13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (323) 989-2278, jackalopeartfair.com/pasadena. —Tanja M. Laden

Based on the Marvel Comics character, 2007's Ghost Rider starred Nicolas Cage as a stunt motorcycle rider who sells his soul to Mephistopheles and then becomes a flaming-skulled vigilante trying to take down a group of bad guys, led by the devil's son, Blackheart. The picture garnered bad reviews plus a Razzie Award nomination for worst actor for Cage. Marc Calderaro, however, has seen it more than 150 times, and he's determined to make you a fan, too. Calderaro began hosting his unironic live commentary, Ghost Rider: My Favorite Film, in his native Austin, Texas, in 2010. He screens the movie while providing in-depth knowledge of the original story, development, casting and special effects, in the hopes of getting you to give it a second chance. For his first L.A. show, Calderaro will be joined by Ghost Rider actor Jonathan Oldham. The event is BYOB, and it'll help if you're nicely liquored up. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Nov. 12, 3-5 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

If binge-watching all eight episodes of Stranger Things has left you feeling empty inside, consider revisiting one of the Netflix series' main reference points: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Steven Spielberg's childhood classic plays at the drive-in for maximum nostalgic effectiveness, so bring your Reese's Pieces and don't forget to phone home. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m. (doors at 5:30); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

Not that you need a special reason to watch The Birds, but here are two: Tippi Hedren will appear in person for the Aero's screening of Alfred Hitchcock's avian thriller, and it's being shown on 35mm. The actress will be signing copies of her memoir, which is said to confirm our worst fears about Hitchcock's treatment of her and make the production of The Birds sound more horrifying than the film itself. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine

At 178 minutes, The Longest Day might be deemed The Longest Movie by impatient viewers. But Ken Annakin, Darryl F. Zanuck, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki and Gerd Oswald's film, which follows the D-Day landing from both the Allied and Axis perspectives, has long been heralded as a classic befitting its momentous subject matter. Many of the actors were veterans of the war, as were a number of consultants hired to ensure the utmost accuracy. The Longest Day received a Best Picture nod for its efforts but ultimately lost to an epic based on the first Great War: Lawrence of Arabia. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 15, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

If, as the old saying goes, comedy is tragedy plus time, then Native Americans should sadly have no shortage of material. Despite this, they are still woefully underrepresented in comedy roles on stage and screen. Presented in conjunction with the L.A. Skins Fest — a Native American film festival now in its 10th year — the Native Sketch Comedy Showcase was established in 2013 to provide greater exposure for Native American comedians and actors. Just as important as the increased attention, however, the showcase offers the seven featured actors the opportunity to finally reclaim narratives that have been written by others for too long — and do so with a heavy dose of humor. Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Nov. 16, 1 & 8 p.m.; free with RSVP (rsvp@laskinsfest.com). (323) 856-4249, laskinsfest.com/event/sketch-comedy-showcase. —Matt Stromberg

San Francisco–based writer Kevin Smokler discusses the real and fictional towns of his favorite childhood films in his new book, Brat Pack America: Visiting Cult Movies of the '80s. Organized according to themes — movies set in the 1950s, sports movies, early hip-hop movies, John Hughes' entire canon — the chapters map out the locations of some of the decade's biggest flicks, from the San Fernando Valley of Valley Girls to the Universal Studios backlot that stood in for Hill Valley in Back to the Future to the Hughes-created Shermer, Illinois, used in Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Weird Science. Smokler also includes interviews with actors and filmmakers such as Sixteen Candles' Gedde Watanabe, directors Amy Heckerling, Martha Coolidge and Savage Steve Holland and writer Daniel Waters. Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Wed., Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 413-3733, storiesla.com. —Siran Babayan

Comedians/filmmakers Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood co-host the Comedy Film Nerds podcast and produce the annual L.A. Podcast Festival. Tonight, they screen the premiere of Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary, which chronicles the medium's origins, rise in popularity and role in promoting live comedy. Mancini and Elwood interview star hosts such as Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Jimmy Pardo, Joe Rogan, Aisha Tyler, Scott Aukerman, Doug Benson, Todd Glass, the Welcome to Night Vale guys and many others — some who've been podcasting for more than a decade — as well as look at the impact of such significant episodes as Glass' coming out and President Obama's interview, both on Maron's WTF. The movie also delves into the tight-knit, far-reaching group of fans from L.A. to Sydney to Tokyo, who listen to their podcasts not only as a diversion but as a form of therapy while coping with cancer, mental illness, deployment and even natural disasters. The Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.); free. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Siran Babayan


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