11 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

Celebrate the legacy of Bad Brains at a free art show on Saturday.
Celebrate the legacy of Bad Brains at a free art show on Saturday.
Courtesy Lucian Perkins

Comedians go head to head with cats, astronomers hang out for beers and more things to do and see in L.A. this week for 10 bucks or less.

Maurice Pialat's films don't evince an especially uplifting worldview, but UCLA has chosen an optimistic title for its tribute to the late filmmaker nevertheless: Love Exists. (His first short film was called L'amour existe; it was a long road from that to We Won't Grow Old Together and Under the Sun of Satan.) The series begins with Pialat's first two features, the François Truffaut–supported Naked Childhood and his portrait of France's "blank generation" that followed 10 years later in 1978, Graduate First. Both are coming-of-age narratives for the filmmaker as much as for his characters — Pialat came to filmmaking late but quickly excelled. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., July 22, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Bad Brains' lightning bolt striking the White House on their 1982 debut record isn't the band's logo per se, but it's one of hardcore and punk rock's most recognizable images, as great as Black Flag's four black bars and The Misfits' skull face. Subliminal Projects' latest exhibit, "Banned in Babylon: The Art and Culture of Bad Brains" (which runs through August 20), celebrates not only the group's music but unofficial symbol. The group show features paintings and works on paper by bassist Darryl Jenifer; photographs by Lucian Perkins, John Mousheghian and Jeannie "Aunt Jean" Pawlowski; and prints and additional paintings by gallery founder and lifelong fan Shepard Fairey — who created the cover art for Bad Brains' 2012 album, Into the Future, and incorporates his own OBEY logo into his pieces — as well as vintage fliers, posters and records. (This month, Fairey also launches online the OBEY Clothing x Bad Brains line.) Tonight's reception includes a performance by Trash Talk, in addition to Jenifer, Chuck Treece of McRad, Peter Stahl of Scream and none other than Moby playing Bad Brains covers. Subliminal Projects, 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., July 23, 8-11 p.m.; exhibit runs thru Aug. 20; free. subliminalprojects.com. —Siran Babayan

There's no movie like The Wizard of Oz. The crown jewel of 1939, a year often remembered as Hollywood's best — see also Gone With the Wind (likewise directed by Victor Fleming) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington — is movie magic personified. The New Bev presents Oz Saturday and Sunday as a kiddie matinee, so bring the young ones — but wait until they're older to tell them how the studio treated poor Judy Garland. Free popcorn for kids under 12. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat.-Sun., July 23-24, 2:30 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com—Michael Nordine

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Printed Matter Inc. is a leading nonprofit dedicated to artists' books, offering services and activities in support of their publication. To celebrate its 40th year, the organization is teaming with the Ace Hotel for its Artists in Residence program — 40 nights of artist discussions at the Ace's various properties. This month, Ace AIR presents Eve Fowler, the L.A.-based artist who's perhaps best known for her portraits of male hustlers in the '90s and various works rooted in sex-positive, feminist and queer spaces. Fowler also organizes Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles. Meet the artist and check out her books at this laid-back social hour. Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., July 24, 3 p.m.; free. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/ace-air-eve-fowler. —Neha Talreja

This year marks the 145th anniversary of the modern carousel in America. The Pasadena Museum of History's current exhibit, "Flying Horses & Mythical Beasts: The Magical World of Carousel Animals" (on display through Aug. 28), spans the history of the merry-go-round from the mid–19th century — considered the "Golden Age of Carousels" — to present day. Featured items from the collection of curator/conservator Lourinda Bray are menagerie carvings of horses, lions, elephants, giraffes and sea serpents from the United States, Mexico and Europe, as well as related art, miniatures, posters and postcards. In conjunction with the display, the museum hosts National Carousel Day, which celebrates the first American patent for the carousel, issued in 1871. Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena; Mon., July 25, noon-5 p.m.; free. (626) 577-1660, pasadenahistory.org. —Siran Babayan

As wine and science nerds know, vintage wine mysteriously tastes better in years during which comets pass by Earth. At Astronomy on Tap, get turned on to the otherworldly origins of beer itself with Dr. Rachael Beaton's lecture "The First Beer Came From Space." You'll also catch up with the latest developments in the Juno spaceship orbiting Jupiter with Dr. Rahul Patel's talk, "Jupiter: Exposed," and there'll be an astronomy-themed quiz with space-related prizes for the champion space-cases in attendance. Scientific experts tackle intergalactic imponderables, such as "How does wave-particle duality affect the speed of light?" and "What's underneath Earth in space?" Der Wolfskopf Pub, 72 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Mon., July 25, 7 p.m.; free. (626) 219-6054, astronomyontap.org/2016/07/astronomy-on-tap-los-angeles-2-july-25-2016. —David Cotner

"I find it's important to have a plan, to keep some sense of control, some belief that even if there's no order to the universe ... you can navigate your way through it with some existential dignity," Kim Addonizio muses in her new collection of essays, Bukowski in a Sundress, while surveying her drunken romantic prospects in a tacky hotel bar. The Oakland poet-novelist occasionally punctuates her insightfully witty observations with bursts of raw, bluesy harmonica. In a 2010 poem, Addonizio confesses that she contorts herself so passionately because of love: "I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves. ... I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on the chair. I dissolve like a remedy in water ... and leave without stirring the air." She's joined at a Red Hen Press reading by poets Amy Uyematsu and Jacqueline Derner Tchakalian. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica; Tue., July 26, 6:30 p.m.; free. (310) 458-2257, eventbrite.com/o/beachculture-at-the-annenberg-community-beach-house-199463539. —Falling James

LACMA continues to offer alternatives to The BFG for Roald Dahl enthusiasts. This week it's Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson's adaptation of the children's book about a ne'er-do-well fox (voiced by George Clooney) looking to make One More Score before truly moving on from his thieving ways. The RushmoreThe Royal Tenenbaums and Grand Budapest Hotel director's take on the material is fittingly off-kilter, not to mention excellent — this is one of the best animated films in years, so what the cuss are you waiting for? LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., July 26, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Other than porn, cats are probably your favorite viral viewing pastime. But what's funnier? Watching videos of cats or of comedians? Comedian and Comedy Central Stage manager Aaron Rozenfeld hosts the first Are You Funnier Than Cat Videos? comedy-game night in which improvisers, sketch players and comics compete against videos of their furry, four-legged rivals for big laughs. Tonight, Second City house team Search Engine performs improv while a compilation of YouTube clips is played, and you decide who's the top dog. The (human) winners receive T-shirts that say "I'm Funnier Than Cat Videos!" The show also includes NaNa the Cat Lady. Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., July 27, 8 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 960-5519, facebook.com/events/833440570089424. —Siran Babayan

They say knowledge is power, and for 125 years, the L.A. Law Library has ensured that members of the public, lawyers and litigants have power at their fingertips by maintaining a resource where legal research can be conducted six days a week in the country's second largest law library. They'll celebrate the milestone year at the Roaring 125th Anniversary Bash, featuring a 1920s-themed costume contest, a tour of the building (including the "haunted" sixth floor) and info about celebrity cases. RSVP spots are filled up, but they'll be admitting walk-ins if space allows. L.A. Law Library, 301 W. First St., downtown; Wed., July 27, 5:30-8 p.m.; free. lalawlibrary.org/125. —Gwynedd Stuart

Tap into your crafty side — assuming you have one — at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show. Besides the exhibition floor with loads of vendors selling all sorts of small, sparkly things, instructors are on hand to host more than 100 jewelry-making workshops in everything from making paper beads to knotting pearls and making chainmail earrings. Hilton Pasadena, 168 Los Robles Ave., Pasadena; Thu.-Sun., July 28-31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $8. beadanddesign.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

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