6 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Michael Moore in Where To Invade Next
Michael Moore in Where To Invade Next

From a Q&A with filmmaker Michael Moore to a book signing with GWAR, there's lots of good free stuff to do in L.A. this week.

In case you don't know what to get your favorite tin-pot despot for the holidays, here's a playbook for the next crackdown: Director Michael Moore appears in person for a Q&A following the screening of his latest documentary, Where to Invade Next. Moore, playing proxy invader for American interests, interacts with common citizens of other countries to find out which are ripest for plunder and exploitation. With Moore's trademark anger simmering just beneath his avuncular surface, Where to Invade Next is a playful, empathetic counterpoint to the grim events unspooling in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere. (Moore also will appear with the film, plus his debut, Roger & Me, Sun., Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.) Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Bldg., USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Fri., Dec. 4, 2 p.m.; free with RSVP. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu/events. —David Cotner

Convinced that this is the year you will finally go DIY for the holidays? Head to Self Help Graphics & Art's Holiday Marketplace for an afternoon packed with demos. From doll making to collage to button making, there's a tutorial to help make your holiday season artier. Make sure to check out the printing demos, where artists will collaborate with chefs to make some unusual pieces. If the thought of making things this holiday season is overwhelming, fear not. Lots of artists and vendors will be on hand with gifts you can buy. Self Help Graphics & Art, 1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights; Sat., Dec. 5, noon-5 p.m.; free. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com. —Liz Ohanesian

You'll need to wear a hazmat suit just to flip through Let There Be GWAR, a coffee table book offering the definitive history of the world's scariest, most theatrical metal band. The book, from author Roger Gastman and Bob Gorman, a member of the Slave Pit (Gwar's art collective and production company), traces the group's origins to a bottling factory in Richmond, Virginia, in the mid-'80s, and details its lineup changes, discography, tours, videos, troubles with the law and quasi-mainstream success in the '90s, thanks to Jerry Springer, Joan Rivers, Beavis and Butt-head, a couple of Hollywood movies and even a Grammy nomination. The tome is heavy with fliers, comics, backstage passes, fan mail and member interviews, as well as a preface by MTV News host and surprising super fan Kurt Loder. Gwar co-founder Hunter Jackson signs the book. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Sat., Dec. 5, 7-10 p.m.; free. laluzdejesus.com. —Siran Babyan

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As community awareness goes, few people are as devoted to their surroundings as Patricia Lombard — see why when she discusses her new book, Larchmont ($22, Arcadia Books). Lombard, publisher of the Larchmont Buzz, has devoted herself, since moving to the area in 1989, to chronicling the development of the densely populated half-square-mile enclave. Throughout 128 pages, you'll see rare historical images — such as the Larchmont Theatre and the streetcars that ran past it — and when she's done, you can walk right up the street and have scones, because like any well-rounded neighborhood, it's all right there. Chevalier's Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Koreatown; Tue., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 465-1334, chevaliersbooks.com. —David Cotner

Forty-five years ago, activists decided that social justice at home meant more than dying in Vietnam, so the Chicano Moratorium was launched. It was a movement that led tens of thousands to march in protest — until the police response resulted in the deaths of four people, including Mexican-American journalist Ruben Salazar. In tonight's East Los Angeles and the Chicano Moratorium program, three films show the event and its aftermath: Cinco Vidas (1973), about five ordinary locals; Murals of East Los Angeles (1977); and The Chicano Moratorium: A Question of Freedom (1971) by Loyola Marymount student Thomas Myrdahl, filmed on the ground as the chaos unfolded. Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, cinema.ucla.edu/events/2015/12/09/east-los-angeles-and-chicano-moratorium. —David Cotner

Tonight's screening of Killer of Sheep marks the final edition of Metro Art's fall film series in collaboration with Echo Park Film Center. Directed by Charles Burnett on location in Watts for less than $10,000, the film tells the story of Stan, whose inner life is being demolished by his stultifying work at a slaughterhouse. He's frustrated by money problems, but there are no pat solutions or happy endings here — he just keeps on keeping on, enjoying simple pleasures such as slow dancing with his wife and holding his daughter, brightening momentarily when embers of hope and humor stir. Fred Harvey Room, Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown; Thu., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org/events/metro-presents-killer-of-sheep-at-union-station. —David Cotner

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