10 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

Oh look, it's the most stressful scene in the history of modern cinema.EXPAND
Oh look, it's the most stressful scene in the history of modern cinema.
EMI Films/Universal Pictures

A screening of the best Vietnam movie ever made, a comedic take on ballot initiatives, Renee Zellweger's magnum opus and more to do and see in L.A. this week for 11 bucks or less.

The Deer Hunter, still the best and most wrenching Vietnam movie, nears the end of its four-day residency at the New Beverly. Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken (who won a richly deserved Oscar for his performance) and John Cazale's characters hail from a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania, and it isn't until they return home — or, in some cases, don't — that the war's full effects take hold. The film was directed by Michael Cimino, whose Academy Awards for Best Picture and Director earned him the freedom to do whatever he wanted. What he wanted to do was Heaven's Gate, of course, which was such a critical and financial disappointment that it all but ruined his career. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 4-5, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Torrance's Mitsuwa Marketplace has great Japanese food year-round, but this weekend at Rising Tohoku Food Fair it will be focusing on the delights of Tohoku, a northeastern region of Japan. That was the area hit hardest by the 2011 earthquake — think of this as its coming-out party, as it reminds folks that it's ready for visitors again. There will be toy-making workshops, dance performances and photo ops with the life-sized region mascots (Musubi-maru, Haneton and Momorin), but the focus is on the food. Purchase tuna sashimi, eel bento boxes and Tohoku-grown meat and vegetables, as well as a number of desserts. Mitsuwa Marketplace, 21515 S. Western Ave., Torrance; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 5-6, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. mitsuwa.com/event/rising-tohoku-food-fair-torrance-san-jose-stores. —Katherine Spiers

There are two main kinds of Renée Zellweger movies: the early- to mid-2000s prestige pictures (Chicago, Cold Mountain) and the romantic dramedies that first made her a star (Jerry Maguire). Bridget Jones's Diary typifies the latter, and though Zellweger's return to her trademark franchise hasn't been a pop-culture phenomenon on the level of its predecessors, at least the original isn't going anywhere. It screens at Electric Dusk Drive-In, complete with the neurotic voice-over narration and bizarre love triangle rounded out by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Electric Dusk Drive-In, 2930 Fletcher Drive, Glassell Park; Sat., Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m. (doors at 5); $10 lawn, $14 car, $60 VIP. (818) 653-8591, electricduskdrivein.com. —Michael Nordine

Tomorrow is Election Day, and you know which presidential candidate you're voting for. But what about all the California propositions? Have you studied the state's 200-page-long voter guide? Should we ban the death penalty (Propositions 62 and 66)? Ban plastic bags (Proposition 65 and 67)? Legalize pot (Proposition 64)? Require condoms in adult films (Proposition 60)? If you're undecided or confused, UCB's Late Night Proposition Cram Sesh! is here to help. Hosted by Karen Baughn, 40 UCB teams and solo comedians present their pro, con or neutral takes on each of the 17 initiatives while performing sketches, improv and even songs that will make you laugh and leave you feeling informed. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Nov. 7, 10:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

The China Onscreen Biennial continues with Xu Haofeng's The Final Master at REDCAT. Xu is well known as a novelist; he co-wrote Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster, and he brings his ear for dialogue to this martial-arts picture set in the early 1930s. The Final Master will be preceded by Nightfall on Shanghai, a previously lost short film by Chantal Akerman that sets the cityscape to a cover of "Nights in White Satin." REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Nov. 7, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine

In recent months, Doug Benson and friends have talked over a movie about a demonic possession (The Conjuring 2), a movie about a bunch of a-hole magicians who can rob banks or something (Now You See Me 2) and a movie about an alcoholic superhero (Hancock). On Tuesday, the pot enthusiast and comedian takes on something even crazier: this GD presidential election. At Doug Interrupts 2016, Benson and special guests will sit themselves down on a sofa in the front row and comment as the results roll in. Depending on how things go, you just may need a laugh. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; Tue., Nov. 8, 7 p.m. (a potluck dinner begins at 6 p.m.); free with registration (which doesn't guarantee admission). (323) 330-4412, cinefamily.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Civic Engagement: Democracy in Action is an Election Day symposium that examines how responsibly citizens interact with important issues of the day. An initiative of artworxLA and TaskForce, Civic Engagement brings in students to see what they think about this election cycle, if they still have faith in democracy and what kind of artistic inspiration they draw from the current noxious political atmosphere. Children, as they say, are our future — make them into artists and we might actually have a future worth experiencing. Los Angeles Public Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Tue., Nov. 8, 11 a.m.; free. (323) 465-1404, artworxla.org/event/civic-engagement-democracy-in-action-public-presentation. —David Cotner

Upcoming Events

Escape the uncertainty and malaise of Election Day with an early-afternoon reminder of the Greatest Generation. Long before Clint Eastwood came along with Letters From Iwo Jima, Allan Dwan dramatized the World War II battle with Sands of Iwo Jima; John Wayne earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film, which is regarded as less straightforwardly rah-rah than you'd expect of a WWII drama starring the Duke. Bonus fact: Sands of Iwo Jima is credited with introducing the term "lock and load" into the popular lexicon. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Nov. 8, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

To commemorate Veterans Day, Bryan Doerries' Theater of War presents a reading of Sophocles' Ajax by Doerries, Michael Imperioli and Heather Goldenhersh. Doerries, who wrote last year's memoir The Theater of War: What Ancient Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, runs the Brooklyn-based public health project, which translates Greek dramas and other classic text into everyday language and stages them as a form of therapy to servicemen, veterans, drug addicts, victims of natural disasters and at-risk people. Actors including Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Jesse Eisenberg, Martin Sheen, David Strathairn, Frances McDormand, Alfred Molina and Eric Bogosian have appeared in past performances, which have taken place in prisons and military bases all over the world, including Guantanamo Bay. The reading is followed by a panel discussion. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2016/11/theater-of-war. —Siran Babayan

Dostoevsky's short story "White Nights" has been adapted for film more than a dozen times, with Robert Bresson's Four Nights of a Dreamer standing out as one of the most memorable. (See also: James Gray's Two Lovers starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw.) A more romantic outing from the usually austere filmmaker, Four Nights tells of the relationship that forms between a man and woman who meet in Paris as one of them is about to commit suicide. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Nov. 10, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine


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