20 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week

Twin Peaks is so hot right now. Fire Walk With Me screens on Tuesday and Wednesday at Cinefamily.EXPAND
Twin Peaks is so hot right now. Fire Walk With Me screens on Tuesday and Wednesday at Cinefamily.
New Line Cinema


L.A.'s Pride Festival and #ResistMarch, a VHS video swap, a bike ride from Atwater Village to Glendale, and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 6/9

Carlo Rotella, Mike Ezra and contributor Robert Anasi discuss their new book, The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside. Edited by Rotella, a professor at Boston College, and Ezra, a professor at Sonoma State University, the anthology features essays by writers, authors, academics, former amateur boxers, managers and musicians who offer different perspectives on boxing not only as a bloodsport but as a business, with chapters on such "marquee attractions" as Roy Jones Jr., Antonio Margarito, Bernard Hopkins, two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields and other boxers. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., June 9, 7 p.m.; free, book is $19. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Bette Gordon's independent 1983 feature Variety is the feminist Hitchcockian thriller you didn't know existed. The plot unspools patiently as Christine (Sandy McLeod), an aspiring writer, takes a job tearing tickets at a Manhattan porn theater. She's slowly drawn into the seedy spectacle and begins to focus her freshly awakened erotic fantasies on a mysterious patron who may be a local mafioso. Penned by novelist Kathy Acker, with a vivid jazz score by John Lurie, the film is a neon-lit snapshot of NYC and a compelling character study — like Vertigo with the gender roles inverted. Gordon will host an evening at the Cinefamily that includes this film and a separately ticketed screening of Michael Powell's 1960 masterpiece Peeping Tom. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., June 9, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

sat 6/10

L.A. Pride week culminates in the L.A. Pride Festival at West Hollywood Park, although this year the traditional parade, with its floats and celebrity grand marshals, will be replaced by #ResistMarch. Beginning at 8 a.m. at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and ending at West Hollywood Park, the all-inclusive rally invites not only members of the LGBTQ community and their allies but anyone protesting our current administration. But organizers won't let politics cast a pall over the festivities, which attract around a half-million people each year. The packed roster of entertainers includes Brandy, Chromeo, Aaron Carter, Erika Jayne, Brooke Candy, Kat Dahlia, iLoveMakonnen, Young M.A., Spencer Ludwig, Starley, Tish Hyman, Leon Else, Connell Cruise, Jesse Montana and others. West Hollywood Park, 647 San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Sat., June 10, noon-1 a.m.; Sun., June 11, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; $25-$35. lapride.org, resistmarch.org.—Siran Babayan

Fans of schlock cinema, B movies, obscure film and being kind and rewinding won't want to miss Lo-Fi Video's VHSwap at counterculture gallery Lethal Amounts. The event features vendors selling vintage VHS tapes, independent video companies presenting reissues and new VHS and DVDs, and film posters and art for sale. Actors from some of your favorite cult classics will be on hand to sign autographs, including James Duval (Frank the Bunny in Donnie Darko), Robert Ray Shafer (Psycho Cop) and Ruth Collins (Doom Asylum, Psychos in Love). Attendees are welcome to bring their own VHS tapes to swap, so if you're tired of rewatching Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, you might just be able to trade it for Amazon Women on the Moon. Lethal Amounts, 1226 W. Seventh St., Westlake; Sat., June 10, noon-5 p.m.; $5 suggested donation. (213) 265-7452, lethalamounts.com. —Matt Stromberg

Now in its eighth year, L.A. Food Fest brings together 100 food vendors, plus five beer gardens and six cocktail stands, and puts them all in one location so that you can go nuts. VIP tickets will get you in earlier, but all tickets include food. There's a special area set up just for Instagram-friendly food photos, plus a bloody mary bar, an iced coffee lounge (very trendy) and an area just for desserts — mostly ice cream, but popsicles and cotton candy, too. In attendance: Petty Cash, Sunny Blue, Starry Kitchen x Button Mash, Stella Barra Pizzeria, Howlin' Ray's, Hanjip, Sumo Dog, Loteria Grill and more. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3911 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park; Sat., June 10, 2-7 p.m.; $50-$95. lafoodfest.com. —Katherine Spiers

Barry Levinson's deceptively nostalgic Diner — a veritable catalog of 1950s cultural attitudes and artifacts — has survived as a touching and tender interrogation of masculinity on the cusp of adulthood. Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern and Tim Daly hang around the titular institution and talk (and talk and talk) about girls, jobs and getting older. Directed as a stand-alone, the film now is considered part of Levinson's autobiographical "Baltimore trilogy." Paul Reiser will take part in a Q&A after the Anniversary Classics screening. Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., June 10, 7:30 p.m.; $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell

sun 6/11

If you're like most Angelenos (who live east of the Westside), chances are you've driven from Atwater Village up to Glendale more times than you could possibly count. Still, there's something totally different about experiencing an otherwise mundane drive on a bicycle on a street with no cars around to honk and bum you out. This month's closed-streets, biking-walking-skating extravaganza CicLAvia is entitled Glendale Meets Atwater Village. The three-mile route begins (or ends, depending) at Glendale Boulevard and Glenhurst Avenue in Atwater Village. Then cyclists travel via Glendale Boulevard to Central to Brand, ending at a hub at Brand Boulevard and Doran Street. As always, there are free bike maintenance tents, and several businesses along the route are offering specials, such as $1 off pints at Pacific Plate Brewery Taproom in Glendale. Glenhurst Avenue and Glendale Boulevard, Atwater Village, or Brand Boulevard and Doran Street, Glendale; Sun., June 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. ciclavia.org. —Gwynedd Stuart

Suarez Dance Theater's latest, Family Dinner, began with three hosted potlucks with games and improvisation that led to a consideration of the parallels between the Bible's Book of Ruth and contemporary issues of immigration, politics and family. The resulting work promises Christine Suarez's distinctive blend of dance, music and spoken word; it also reunites Bernard Brown, Kai Hazelwood and Nguyen Nguyen, the dancers who dazzled in Suarez's highly praised Mother.Father. Suarez "tours" to multiple venues rather than presenting all the shows in one place. These performances are followed by a potluck, and audience members are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Reservations encouraged by email to familydinnerpotluck@gmail.com. Christine Reed Park, 1133 Seventh St., Santa Monica; Sat., June 10, noon. Also in private home (address provided with reservation), Sun., June 11, 5:30 p.m.; free. suarezdance.org/upcoming-events/. —Ann Haskins

We all know love is totally radical — but how do you practice acts of love that are collectively radical? Stacy Russo, staunch doyenne of the zine scene since the '80s, presents this afternoon's Love Activism Collaborative Zine Workshop. You'll contribute your own individual page to a group Love Activism zine that embraces aspects of humanity such as creativity, empathy, hope, self-care and mindfulness. When it's finished, you'll watch it all get assembled and mailed off to everyone who took part so you can have something tangible to show for all that love streaming off you like steam off hot asphalt in summertime. Book Show, 5503 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park; Sun., June 11, 3 p.m.; $18 (includes supplies and cost to mail the zines); register at paypal.me/StacyRusso. (213) 438-9551, bookshowla.com. —David Cotner

The Back to the Future trilogy is the one plus ultra of Reagan-era blockbuster cinema. The first installment of Robert Zemeckis' ingenious blend of teen comedy and high-concept sci-fi spent 11 weeks atop the box office in 1985 and launched the career of Michael J. Fox. It's the tightest and tidiest of the time-traveling trio. Parts II and III expand the scope of the series to include a glimpse of a dystopian future we now partially inhabit, as well as a boisterous visualization of the Old West. The Aero Theatre screens the entire cycle as part of its Lens on Science series, a weekend program consisting of National Geographic broadcasts and Hollywood favorites. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sun., June 11, 5 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell

That's a lot of men! See Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, Judd Apatow and Kurt Braunohler do stand-up on Wednesday.
That's a lot of men! See Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, Judd Apatow and Kurt Braunohler do stand-up on Wednesday.
Courtesy Live Nation

Upcoming Events

mon 6/12

Since 2014, stand-up comic and actor Chris Crofton has been the "Advice King" for Nashville's alt-weekly, Nashville Scene, doling out hysterical responses to such questions as "Should I start a food truck?," "Should I try cocaine?" and "How should I prepare for the zombie apocalypse?" (Recently, a reader asked: "What kind of guns should I get, and how many?" Crofton's reply: "It depends on what kind of damage you want to do to your brother-in-law.") Crofton, who lives in Los Angeles, also is a musician and hosts the podcast The Chris Crofton Show, as well as a YouTube version of his column. For his first Chris Crofton Advice King: Live!, Crofton performs stand-up and live music, screens videos and answers audience questions with guests and fellow comedians Josh Fadem and Lizzy Cooperman. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., June 12, 9-10:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

tue 6/13

Pop-Up Magazine is the live-show incarnation of the San Francisco–based California Sunday print and online publication, which focuses on stories from the Western United States, Latin America and Asia. Since its debut in a humble San Francisco theater, the show has since spread to venues in big cities across the country, delivering a pioneering blend of storytelling and performance that bridges the gap between subject and spectator. The Pop-Up Magazine Spring Tour includes writers Brittany Spanos and Jon Ronson, as well as comic Yassir Lester and Magik*Magik Orchestra. These high-tech, story-driven shows aren't recorded, so you'll need to be physically present if you want to witness the true magic of words being taken off the page and onto the stage. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Tue., June 13, 8 p.m.; $32; (213) 623-3233, popupmagazine.com. —Tanja M. Laden

As part of its series of political films, People Power, the Hammer Museum screens Steve York's 2002 Bringing Down a Dictator. York directed the 2000 PBS series A Force More Powerful, about various nonviolent movements throughout the 20th century, beginning with Gandhi and the end of British colonialism in India. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the documentary follows members of the Serbian student group Otpor (which stands for "resistance") and other protesters, who used peaceful means to fight for a democratic regime and to overthrow the notorious dictator and former president of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, in 2000. Indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity, Milosevic died in 2006. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., June 13, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan

The sensation of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild went on to garner Oscar nods for Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay and Actress — the last of which made history for 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest person nominated in that category. Director Benh Zeitlin frames the story of a girl's courage against a vivid post-Katrina wasteland, taking a bold, magical-realist approach to a recent historical tragedy. Fans of Terrence Malick might appreciate the wide vision and religious undertones of this film, which basks in the same brand of visual splendor and awestruck narration. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles; Tue., June 13, 1:30 p.m.; free. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org. —Nathaniel Bell

Low ratings can't keep a Twin Peaks fan down. If you're completely in the dark about David Lynch's newly revived TV series, you'd do well to binge-watch the first two seasons. Be sure not to overlook 1992's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the underrated big-screen extension that extrapolates on the last moments in the life of Laura Palmer, the show's famous murder victim. Sheryl Lee is fearless in the lead role, and if the film proves anything, it's that the Twin Peaks mythos is probably the closest thing to Lynch's heart. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Tue.-Wed., June 13-14, 10:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell

 wed 6/14

Out June 23, The Big Sick is a romantic comedy based on the real-life relationship between Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily V. Gordon. Fans know Nanjiani as a comedian who stars as computer programmer Dinesh on HBO's Silicon Valley, while Gordon is a writer and co-creator of The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail, which ran for three seasons on Comedy Central. Co-produced by Judd Apatow and directed by The State's Michael Showalter, the film centers on Nanjiani, who comes from a conservative Pakistani-Muslim family, and his white girlfriend. When Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) becomes sick with a mysterious illness, Nanjiani has to deal with her parents, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. To promote the movie, The Big Sick Comedy Tour features stand-up by Nanjiani, Apatow, Romano and film co-star Kurt Braunohler. Proceeds benefit the International Rescue Committee, Harvest Home and American-Italian Cancer Foundation. The Belasco Theater, 1050 S. Hill St., downtown; Wed., June 14, 8 p.m.; $47.50. (800) 653-8000, thebigsickmovie.com. —Siran Babayan

One of the most curious Clint Eastwood films of the 1970s, The Beguiled sees the virile action star in a more vulnerable position as a wounded Union soldier stranded in a house full of Confederate boarding school girls. Sexual tension gradually gives way to shocking violence as the frustrated young women are stretched to the snapping point. Director Don Siegel considered it his personal favorite of his films; critic Judith Crist called it "a must for sadists and woman-haters." Sofia Coppola's remake, which played in competition at Cannes in May, gives audiences a chance to experience this slice of Southern Gothic from a female vantage point. The New Beverly screens them back-to-back, with Coppola expected for a Q&A. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Wed., June 14, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Nathaniel Bell

thu 6/15

Back in the mid-'80s, it wasn't every day that a black female comedian got her own film. Hell, it isn't a thing that happens every day in 2017. In that respect, Penny Marshall's 1986 action-comedy Jumpin' Jack Flash, starring Whoopi Goldberg, is as rare as it is genuinely funny. In true '80s action-comedy fashion, Goldberg plays a spunky but bored bank employee who intercepts a cry for help via computer and winds up on the wrong side of an international crime ring that's suddenly out to get her. There's Supremes lip-synching, sequined-dress shredding and an amazing scene in which Goldberg's character is dragged around New York City inside a phone booth ("I'm a little black woman in a big silver box"). For its event Two by Penny Marshall, the New Beverly screens the film along with Marshall's other mid-'80s blockbuster, Big. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Thu., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

Spam is a nuisance. You probably spend hours each day deleting emails about male enhancement drugs, diet pills or money scams from Nigerian princes. Mark as Spam: The Email Game Show, however, turns the scourge of the internet into comedy. Hosted by Joey Clift and special guest Laura Silverman, comedians Danielle Radford, Jamie Loftus, Brodie Reed and Allegra Ringo share emails that are real and some fake ones culled from Amanda Meadows' forthcoming parody book, The Best American Emails: Re: A Collection of the Finest Accidental Reply Alls, Pharma Spams, and Anonymous Death Threats. (Meadows is co-founder of comedy book publisher the Devastator Press.) Audience members determine which messages are actual or made up, and the winner with the most correct answers receives email-themed prizes, including a tote bag from the movie You've Got Mail and a signed copy of Meadows' book. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Thu., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; free, RSVP requested. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com. —Siran Babayan

Jim Henson went dark with the splendorous 1982 fantasy The Dark Crystal, which plays like a fever dream Kermit the Frog might have had after reading too much Tolkien. Proudly derivative in terms of plot and characterization, the film is a triumph of production design, with creatures that resemble nothing you've seen before. The all-Muppet cast performs admirably under the direction of Henson and Frank Oz, although you may find yourself rooting for the baddies if only because they look a lot gnarlier. The Egyptian screens this relic in 70mm. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. –Nathaniel Bell


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