9 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week
Be sure to check out Moon Uterus at the L.A. Art Book Fair this weekend.
A book fair, a night of outsider cinema, comedy from Ken Reid and more things to do and see this week for 10 bucks or less.
Good thing psychiatric advice is only a nickel, because missing the opening of The Peanut Gallery: A Charlie Brown–Themed Art Show would be enough to drive a person crazy. For this salute to the singular vision of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, more than 100 artists have contributed work celebrating a comic strip that represents a rare intersection of populism and existentialism. On display will be new interpretations of the Peanuts gang by artists including Joanna Barondess, Tuesday Bassen, Burrito Breath, ummmheather, Killer Acid, Tricia Mendoza, Thom Foolery, JQ Hammer, Zia Adsit-Metts, Vivan Nguyen, Ron Regé Jr., Wizard Skull and Wyeth Yates. NerdMelt Showroom, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Feb. 5, 7-10 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —David Cotner
Action, Anarchy and Audacity: A Seijun Suzuki Retrospective begins at UCLA with Branded to Kill and Youth of the Beast, the latter on 35mm. A master of low-rent genre fare, Suzuki was once fired from the legendary Nikkatsu Studios because the movies he directed for them "made no sense and made no money" (his words, not ours). Don't let the self-deprecation fool you, however: Japan's criminal underworld has rarely looked as stylish as it does in films like Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter, as any of the filmmakers influenced by them (such as Quentin Tarantino and John Woo, to name just a few) can attest. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
The unassumingly named An Evening of Dance on Film celebrates dancers of color who began their careers when segregation blatantly governed filmmaking. Back then, dance numbers featuring the likes of the Nicholas Brothers hoofing with white performers were edited out for theaters in the South. But the talents of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr. and others eventually were woven into films in ways that could not easily be cut out, allowing the performers to be seen by a broader audience. The documentary is a timely reminder of efforts that eroded racial barriers but didn't quite bring about diversity in the film industry. A talk-back session with jazz archivist Mark Cantor follows the free screening. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Sat., Feb. 6, 8 p.m.; free. (323) 964-9766, ebonyrep.org. —Ann Haskins
Boston-based comic Ken Reid's credits include opening for Patton Oswalt, Bob Saget, John Oliver and Todd Barry, but for nearly two years now, Reid also has hosted the TV Guidance Counselor podcast, inspired by his wealth of TV knowledge and enormous collection of TV Guides; he owns every issue from 1965 to 2000. Each week, Reid and a fellow comedian, actor or singer go through a random issue of the magazine and wax nostalgic about their favorite shows, mostly from the 1980s and '90s. Past guests have included Andrew W.K., Janeane Garofalo, Dana Gould, Michael Ian Black and Laraine Newman. Tonight, Greg Proops and Laura Kightlinger join Reid for a taping of his first full-length comedy album, The Vanity Project, Vol. 1: Hollywood. NerdMelt Showroom, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Feb. 8, 9 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
In keeping with its inclination toward the outré and eclectic, Cinefamily presents Outsider Cinema Night. Offerings from filmmakers working beyond the realm of studio and traditional independent production take the spotlight, presented free of charge (just remember to register online in advance). This is sure to be the most out-there event of the week, with Laz Rojas — known for playing every single role, both male and female, in his work — in person. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Mon., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.; free (first come, first served). (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine
Despite lifelong battles with mental illness and substance abuse, Rob Roberge has remained insightfully articulate throughout it all, whether he's playing angular guitar with local art-punks The Urinals, teaching at UC Riverside's Palm Desert Center or writing a series of well-received novels, including Drive and The Cost of Living. With his latest book, Liar: A Memoir, the Connecticut native sheds the veneer of fiction for an even more startling and revelatory form of truth, which he describes as "a sophisticated virus that adapts to each host." In a discussion with fellow novelist David L. Ulin, Roberge explains how he ended up in an abandoned shack in the Mojave Desert trying to kill himself only to be resuscitated by a surge of bittersweet and ambivalent memories. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $26. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Falling James
Ingrid Bergman's most famous collaborator will probably always be Roberto Rossellini, whom she married not long after she starred in his enigmatic Stromboli. Still, her three films with Alfred Hitchcock are not to be overlooked. Spellbound, the first of these, co-stars Gregory Peck and extols the benefits of psychoanalysis — not the most popular viewpoint in 1945. Bergman plays a psychiatrist attempting to help an amnesiac accused of murder (Peck) remember the truth of what happened on the night in question. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Feb. 9, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
New York nonprofit Printed Matter returns for the fourth time to host the L.A. Art Book Fair, which last year attracted more than 30,000 attendees. Over 250 local, national and international presses, booksellers, artists and independent publishers — from as far away as Japan and New Zealand — will sell art books, catalogs, periodicals and zines. The three-day event also offers exhibits, readings and discussions on topics ranging from Black Lives Matter to the Beatles. Thursday's preview night includes musical performances by Moon Uterus (Mel Shimkovitz, Devendra Banhart, Amy von Harrington) and Christeene. Museum of Contemporary Art, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown; Thu., Feb. 11, 6-9 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 12, 1-6 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 13, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $10. (213) 625-4390, laartbookfair.net. —Siran Babayan
Cal State Northridge's free Thursday Nights at the Cinematheque returns with a semester-long Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective. This week's offering is Andrei Rublev, the Russian auteur's epic (read: 205 minutes) account of his nation's most celebrated icon painter. The film was heavily censored by the Soviet Union when Tarkovsky first made it in 1966 — which, in hindsight, is probably as ringing an endorsement as it could have received. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Feb. 11, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Michael Nordine
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