7 Things to Do in L.A. This Week for $5 or Less

Loukoumades, available at the Valley Greek Festival
Loukoumades, available at the Valley Greek Festival
Photo by Avlxyz

Take a look inside noir Los Angeles of the mid–20th century with LAPD '53, a collaboration between beloved crime novelist James Ellroy and Los Angeles Police Museum's Glynn Martin. The book features photos from the museum's archives combined with Ellroy's writing; certainly, it's a must-have tome for fans of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia. Both Ellroy and Martin will be on hand to sign copies of the book. Patrons must purchase a copy of LAPD '53 at Vroman's to get in on the signing but then are welcome to bring three other books with them for signing as well. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri., May 22, 7 p.m.; free (must buy book at Vroman's for signing), book is $24.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Awards shows are boring, even with all of Kanye West's interruptions. But for a few short years, the Source Awards was the most notorious awards show in show business — gunfire, audience brawls, East Coast versus West Coast. UCB resurrects the show in the parody The Hip-Hop Source Awardz, with some of the club's top talent representing your favorites: Kanye, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Pitbull and Suge Knight. Hosts Kovasciar Myvette, Vlad Perez, Carl Tart and Lamar Woods (some of whom appear in UCB's all-male-and-black improv group, White Women) will present categories such as Best European Rapper and Best Hip-Hop Recipe. Who'll get Kanye'd? Whose hologram will appear? Who'll go to the emergency room? Take your life in your hands and find out. UCB Franklin, 5919 Franklin Ave., Franklin Village; Fri., May 22, mid.; $5. (323) 908-8702, losangeles.ucbtheatre.com—Siran Babayan

About, co-written by and starring a formerly homeless heroin addict living on the streets of New York, Heaven Knows What is among the most unusual films you'll see this year. Ahead of its limited release next week, Cinefamily presents a free sneak preview of the Safdie Brothers' affecting drama, with the filmmakers in person. Arielle Holmes is a magnetic on-screen presence, and her semi-autobiographical performance is wrenching in its emotional honesty. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Sat., May 23, 4 p.m.; free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org—Michael Nordine

Now in its 42nd year, the annual Valley Greek Festival will lure you in with the sounds of Greece — there is music and dancing — but it's the tastes of the Mediterranean that will keep you coming back. If you're a cheese fanatic, make sure you snack on a gooey piece of saganaki while you indulge in a little ouzo. Daily dinners include all the fixins, from feta cheese to dolmades. Make sure you save room for dessert — the pastries here are plentiful and delicious. Loukoumades, essentially doughnut holes dripping in honey, are a perfectly sweet end to the night. Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 9501 Balboa Blvd., Northridge; Sat.-Mon., May 23-25, 1-9 p.m.; $3. (818) 886-4040, valleygreekfestival.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Deborah Kerr in The Innocents
Deborah Kerr in The Innocents
The Criterion Collection

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You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a more tantalizing double feature of seemingly unrelated films than The Innocents and Last Year at Marienbad. They're linked by their arresting cinematography, which is on display as part of the Academy's This Is Widescreen series. Jack Clayton's deathly quiet adaptation of "The Turn of the Screw" is terrifying in its simplicity and, thanks in no small part to Deborah Kerr's haunting performance, one of the greatest horror films of all time. Last Year at Marienbad, meanwhile, is the most enigmatic and elliptical film Alain Resnais (or any French New Wave filmmaker, for that matter) ever made. Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center, 1313 Vine St., Hollywood; Thu., May 28, 7:30 p.m.; $5. (310) 247-3000, oscars.org—Michael Nordine

Author Audrey Shulman found she could catch more flies with honey than vinegar, as she recounts in her new book, Sitting in Bars With Cake: Lessons and Recipes From One Year of Trying to Bake My Way to a Boyfriend. Shulman used her talent for baking to bring desserts to L.A. bars in an effort to meet someone worth sharing both her life and her pantry. The book has 35 recipes based on her experiences of offering cake to strange men, and she'll share anecdotes, revelations ("any man who offers to help with dishes is better than one who can cook") and — yes — cake! Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., May 27, 7 p.m.; free, book is $24.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

For years the Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound (SASSAS) has been deliberately blurring the lines among art, performance, sound, architecture, conceptualism and experience. This year SASSAS is building on the blur, with the launch of the SASSAS Records limited-edition series of vinyl LPs pairing previously unreleased music with artist-designed covers (for example, Nels Cline/Sterling Ruby). Its annual Blast! DJ Battle fundraiser is May 31, and in anticipation of its silent-auction component, 1301PE Gallery hosts the Bootleg LP Art Auction Pop-Up Preview, on view May 27-30, with an artists reception May 28. The exhibit features some 60 of L.A.'s most adventurous visual artists, contributing original works inspired by their favorite album covers. 1301PE Gallery, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Thu., May 28, 6-9 p.m.; free. (323) 938-5822, 1301pe.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

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