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

Patrick McPheron's "Invasion"
Patrick McPheron's "Invasion"

In an exciting new collaboration, Film Independent at LACMA and the Toronto International Film Festival have selected three films representing the best in Canadian cinema. All of these events are free, and the first is tonight: Albert Shin's filial drama In Her Place. Shin, a Canadian of Korean extraction, returned to his motherland to shoot this movie about a wealthy couple from Seoul descending upon a failing farm in the country to adopt the unborn child of a poor teenager. Tomorrow sees the other two screenings in the CAN/LA series, Felix and Meira (at 1 p.m.) and Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) (at 7:30). LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., July 31, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

What's the best disaster movie of 1998? If you answered Armageddon, put on your dunce hat and prepare for cinematic enlightenment. Mimi Leder beat Michael Bay to the end-of-the-world party by a month and a half, but Deep Impact didn't see the same boffo box office as its close competitor (though it was the highest-grossing film directed by a woman until Twilight). No matter: Téa Leoni, thespian goddess that she is, imbues the story of an apocalyptic asteroid with enough humanity for all 7 billion of us. Los Angeles Film School, 6353 Sunset Blvd., #4006, Hollywood; Fri., July 31, 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.); free. lafilm.edu —Michael Nordine

William Finnegan discusses his latest book, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, a memoir about his upbringing in California and Hawaii. He reveals how overcoming his childhood shyness led to everything from his joining a surf gang in Hawaii to war reporting — all while searching for that perfect wave. Pages, a Bookstore, 904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; Fri., July 31, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 318-0900, pagesabookstore.com. —David Cotner

Patrick McPheron is a noted fashion photographer with an abiding love of vintage science fiction and a technicolor imagination. His new book, Invasion, brings all these facets together in a series of high-production-value, high-camp photographs. They tell a classic tale of nefarious alien invaders, corporate overlords and citizen resistance, complete with gender-bending, evil robots and modern architecture, starring ageless party monster James St. James and RuPaul's Drag Race fave Tammie Brown. Tonight's book launch premieres 20 prints from the project installed in an "immersive sci-fi experience." HNYPT, 212 W. 12th St., downtown; Sat., Aug. 1, 8-11 p.m.; free with RSVP to rsvp@TheInvasionSeries.com. (213) 769-8040, theinvasionseries.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

For nine hours this weekend, musicians will play in the Fitzpatrick-Leland house that Rudolf Schindler designed in Laurel Canyon. The multilevel house, with its slightly curved front-yard swimming pool, has been serving as a sort of laboratory for the musicians. They’ve been living and playing there in preparation for this performance, composed by artist Scott Benzel and called Op. 21: Inner Experience Fellowship/Friends of Crime. A gong player will be in the basement, a pianist in the upstairs bedroom. Visitors are expected to wander and can stay as long as they want. Address and parking information available with RSVP; free. Sat., Aug. 1, 1-10 p.m. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org. —Catherine Wagley

Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Photo by Sabir Majeed

Since its inception in 2006, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair has attracted thousands of visitors who come to watch more than 200 local authors, poets, spoken-word artists and performers across five stages. The daylong event boasts readings, panels, workshops, film screenings, book giveaways and children's activities. This year's highlights include a panel discussion with writers from Fox's Empire, as well as a special forum on the 50th anniversary of the Watts riots, featuring Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, community leaders and educators addressing the causes of the civil unrest and "where we are as a city (and a nation) since the riots." Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw; Sat., Aug. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (323) 730-0628, leimertparkbookfair.com. —Siran Babayan

In the waning days of summer — already? — Nerdist Industries hosts the sixth annual Summahfest. Comedian and rapper Howard Kremer (of the Have a Summah comedy albums) returns to host the popular blowout, which includes music, water slides, food trucks, free beer, water-balloon fights, face painting and other summer-themed activities. At 6 p.m., stand-up comedians Steve Agee, Paul Danke, Cornell Reid, Nick Rutherford, Jada Catta-Preta, John Roy, Brody Stevens and Saturday Night Live alum Brooks Wheelan provide the chuckles, followed by an improv show at 8. So slap on the SPF and have a couple of laughs before it's suddenly September. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 1, 2-10 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

A look back at the Chicano Movement, on Tuesday.
A look back at the Chicano Movement, on Tuesday.
Photo by Alan Zak

The latest installment of Hammer Conversations features Mark Bradford and Anita Hill. Bradford, an award-winning L.A. abstract artist and teacher whose exhibit "Scorched Earth" is at the Hammer through Sept. 27, will talk with Hill, lately a professor working in law and women's studies at the Heller Graduate School. Gender, race and feminism as a window to social justice and activism will be the topics covered, but maybe they'll talk about Clarence Thomas, too. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Aug. 2, 2 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Often after a political struggle, it takes years to figure out what happened. Tonight's attempt attends to make sense of the L.A. Chicano Movement in the 1960s and '70s, as UC Santa Barbara professor Mario T. Garcia presents his book The Chicano Generation: Testimonios of the Movement. The empowerment of Chicanos was catalyzed by activists such as Gloria Arellanes, Rosalio Munoz and Raul Ruiz, and is related here in their own words. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., Aug. 4, 7 p.m.; free, book is $29.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >