Unsolicited dick pics make it onto a gallery wall, the Hammer celebrates a groundbreaking Peruvian vocalist, Cheech hosts a screening of Born in East L.A., and more to do and see in L.A. this week.
La Luz de Jesus' annual "The Art of Tiki" art show is officially old enough to enjoy its first mai tai. Since 1996, the lowbrow art gallery has celebrated and probed midcentury America's obsession with Polynesia, a cultural phenomenon that had as much to do with escapism as aesthetics, with a group art show. Around that time, midcentury kitsch was experiencing a resurgence thanks to the likes of Shag and Mitch O'Connell, who are just a couple of the artists with pieces in this year's show, along with Mark Ryden, Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker, Mary Fleener, Atomikitty and others, both stalwart participants and newbies. The exhibit is broken up into two sections: One reflects a modern view of the tiki aesthetic while the other consists of vintage items from tikimania's first wave. Tiki scholar Sven Kirsten also signs his latest book, appropriately titled The Art of Tiki. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Fri., Oct. 6, 8-11 p.m. (runs through Oct. 29); free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com/tiki-21. —Gwynedd Stuart
If you're a woman who's even been Weiner-ized — the victim of cyber flashing — Whitney Bell shares your pain. Last year, the local artist and activist took the trend of men sending women photographs of their junk and turned it into a touring art exhibit and discussion about online sexual harassment. Returning to Los Angeles for a second time, "I Didn't Ask for This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics" features nearly 200 real, unsolicited images of male genitalia displayed in a space created to look like a woman's home, as well as additional mixed-media art by more than 20 artists, live tattooing, a vibrator vending machine and a dildo photo booth. Friday also includes DJs, drinks and dildo painting, while Saturday includes oral-sex workshops and panels on various feminist topics with none other than Garbage singer Shirley Manson and other speakers. A portion of the proceeds benefit global anti-harassment organization HollaBack! Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., downtown; Fri., Oct. 6, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sat., Oct. 7, noon-6 p.m.; $17-$36. eventbrite.com/e/i-didnt-ask-for-this-a-lifetime-of-dick-pics-ft-shirley-manson-tickets-35479457011. —Siran Babayan
UCLA is in the midst of a retrospective celebrating the urban character of Berlin, a sister city to Los Angeles. The series highlights 10 German films, many of them rarely screened stateside. Tonight is a double bill starting with Plus-Minus Zero, Eoin Moore's low-budget feature about a group of young fringe dwellers living just enough for the city. The second feature is Hannes Stöhr's Berlin Is in Germany, the story of an ex-con trying to make a fresh start as a taxi driver. Martin Koerber of the Deutsche Kinemathek will talk about the films. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Nathaniel Bell
As music television has continued its decline — or, at least, the dramatic rejiggering that's given us reality properties like Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, for better or worse — music videos have become less a part of popular culture. But the art form began in obscurity and the relative decrease in mass-media attention has allowed it to thrive, returning to its avant-garde roots. The seventh annual Los Angeles Music Video Festival — a weeklong celebration that features a juried competition, a VR showcase and new videos from A Tribe Called Quest, Paramore, Bastille and others — wraps up on Saturday with a closing-night extravaganza. The event culminates with "Björk: The Music Video Retrospective," a look back at the Icelandic singer's stunning visual output over the years; an awards ceremony to honor the weekend's best videos; and an audiovisual collaboration between poet-rapper George Watsky and staunch cohort Carlos Lopez Estrada. For one night, you might forget that Snooki was ever a thing. The Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sat., Oct. 7, 8 p.m.; $30. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/7th-annual-los-angeles-music-video-festival. —David Cotner
One thing opera singers have in common with people who dive for pearls for a living is the ability to take deep breaths and dig deep within themselves for courage before plunging into the great wide blue unknown. L.A. Opera continues its new season with the second work in a row by French composer Georges Bizet, whose beloved Carmen was given a rousing if traditional staging last month. His earlier and more obscure 1863 opera, The Pearl Fishers, is being performed by the local company for the first time, in a production by director Penny Woolcock that centers on two fisherman (Mexican vocalists Javier Camarena and Alfredo Daza) whose friendship is threatened by their mutual attraction to a veiled priestess (the always fierce Georgian coloratura soprano Nino Machaidze). Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. (through Oct. 28); $19-$289. (213) 972-0777, laopera.org. —Falling James
From high in the Andes came a thrilling, trilling wail, and it wasn't a bird or a princess locked in a tower — it was the unearthly, ungodly vocal instrument of a young Peruvian named Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, who, as the eternally magnificent Yma Sumac, rode that five-octave sound and an exotically regal persona to fame in 1950s Hollywood. Voices of the Xtabay: A Tribute to Yma Sumac tips a wide-brimmed hat to the late singer with Latinx vocalists and musicians, including Alberto López of Jungle Fire, Empress Of, Nite Jewel, Maria Elena Altany, Ceci Bastida, Dorian Wood, Carmina Escobar and Francisca Valenzuela. And be sure to check out the museum's "Radical Women" exhibit while you're there celebrating a woman who was pretty radical herself. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —John Payne
Even if you've never seen the famous Odessa Steps sequence in Battleship Potemkin, you've likely seen its influence a dozen times or more (Brian De Palma's hat-tip in The Untouchables being the most explicit). Sergei Eisenstein's vigorous restaging of the historic naval uprising remains a film-school staple for its masterful montage and political fervor. It will screen at the Aero to kick off the American Cinematheque's Landmarks of Soviet Cinema series. As if that weren't enough of a draw, it will be followed immediately by documentary The Man With the Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov's kaleidoscopic city symphony, which was recently voted the eighth greatest film of all time in Sight & Sound's international critics' poll. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Heart of L.A., one of CicLAvia's classic rides, returns to downtown and its environs this weekend. Perfect for the cyclist — or walker or jogger or skateboarder or scooterer — who loves options, the closed-streets ride has four hubs: in Echo Park, in Chinatown, in Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights and on Broadway, not far from Pershing Square. Riders can start at any of the hubs and ride to downtown-adjacent neighborhoods without braving the brushes with road rage; look forward to fewer wheels, slower speeds and better vibes. Broadway Hub, Seventh Street between Hill and Spring streets, downtown; Sun., Oct. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. ciclavia.org. —Gwynedd Stuart
Madcap maven of all things modern Charles Phoenix unveils his new book at the Addicted to Americana: Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style Launch Party. The staunchest of the staunch when it comes to celebrating a time when everyone thought they'd soon either be living on other planets or dying as radioactive mutants, Phoenix fills Addicted to Americana to overflowing with ravishing images of roadside attractions, automotive marvels and scads of other midcentury masterpieces, here in the sumptuous guts of a former Twinkies factory, serenaded by roller rink organist Dominic Cangelosi and fueled by cake and punch courtesy of the Phoenix Test Kitchen. Modernica Props, 2805 Gilroy St., Elysian Valley; Sun., Oct. 8, 2-5 p.m.; $39. (323) 664-2322, charlesphoenix.com. —David Cotner
Cheech and Chong's 1985 comedy/music album Get Out of My Room featured the song "Born in East L.A.," a spoof of Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." and Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." ("Walked all day in the burning sun/Now I know what it's like to be born on the run.") That parody inspired the 1987 movie Born in East L.A., about an unlucky German-Spanglish-English–speaking Mexican-American sap from East Los Angeles, who's mistaken for an illegal alien in an immigration bust, gets deported to Mexico and tries to cross the border. It was a comedy that satirized a serious issue that's even more relevant today, which writer-director-star Cheech Marin will no doubt discuss at tonight's 30th-anniversary screening. Hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, panelists include film co-stars Daniel Stern, Paul Rodriguez and Kamala Lopez. Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Mon., Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $3-$5. (310) 247-3000, pstlala.oscars.org/event/born-in-east-la. —Siran Babayan
Walt Disney and his team created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927 between the Alice Comedies and the Mickey Mouse series. Oswald was one of Disney's first animated stars, appearing in 26 silent shorts from 1927 to 1928. Disney lost the rights to the character in a contract dispute with Universal Pictures, which continued producing the cartoons until 1943. Historian David Bossert, who was a Disney animator for more than 30 years, uses sketches, photographs, scripts and other archival materials to trace the origins of the little-known rabbit in his new book, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, which he signs tonight. Bossert also chronicles how Walt Disney Studios reacquired the rights to Oswald in 2006, and from there goes into the studio's ongoing search for the missing films. Vroman's Bookstore, 659 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Mon., Oct. 9, 7 p.m.; free, book is $40. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan
In director Alejandro González Iñárritu's 2014 film Birdman, Michael Keaton plays a washed-up actor who is trying to reclaim his career, years after he starred as the lead in a superhero movie. But the real superheroes of the movie were behind the lens. Oscar-winning Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's meandering camerawork seemed to float between various storylines, seemingly shot in one long, seamless take. Then there was the almost supernatural score by drummer Antonio Sánchez, who punctuates the soundtrack with free-wheeling jazz drum beats that pop and roll in a frenetic style that mirrors the energy of the antics on screen. At this special performance of CDMX: Birdman Live at Disney Hall, Sánchez performs a solo drum score to accompany the film. The performance is part of the PST: LA/LA arts initiative, and a portion of the proceeds goes to help UNICEF's relief efforts in Sánchez's hometown, Mexico City. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Mon., Oct. 9, 8 p.m.; $20-$33. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —Drew Tewksbury
Jennifer Kroot's excellent new documentary The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin chronicles the life and career of gay literary icon and San Francisco legend Armistead Maupin. Born into a conservative North Carolina family, Maupin was a law-school dropout who served in the Navy, met Richard Nixon and worked for Jesse Helms before moving to San Francisco in the 1970s to create the famed Tales of the City newspaper serial (later a book series and PBS show). In the doc, which includes interviews with Laura Linney, Ian McKellen, Olympia Dukakis, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan and Margaret Cho, Maupin also opens up about coming out, his trysts with Rock Hudson, living through the AIDS epidemic and meeting his 30-years-younger husband, Christopher Turner. Tonight, the author discusses those and more events from his latest autobiography, Logical Family: A Memoir. West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Oct. 10, 7-8:30 p.m.; $29, includes book. eventbrite.com/e/armistead-maupin-discusses-and-signs-logical-family-a-memoir-tickets-37767190684. —Siran Babayan
"Soy ... Drácula!" It's an injustice that the Spanish-language version of Bram Stoker's deathless novel — shot concurrently with the Tod Browning/Bela Lugosi adaptation on the same sets — is so little known. The pace is swifter, the camerawork more fluid, and the sybaritic Lupita Tovar so compelling that this film can hold its own against any version extant. LACMA's Tuesday Matinees series will screen Drácula in a recently restored, subtitled DCP. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Oct. 10, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell
The truly dedicated will need to attend more than four shows per day to see all of the 44 performances over the 10 days of the fifth edition of the Los Angeles Exchange (LAX) Festival. Just concentrating on the promising passel of dance events from a raft of mostly contemporary dance artists should provide a deep taste of the fest's cutting-edge flavors. The fest features performances at three venues, including Szalt Dance Co. performing Marshmallow Sea at Bootleg Theater (Oct. 6-8) and Tamara Cubas + Teatro Línea de Sombra at L.A. Theater Center (Oct. 12-15), but tonight through Friday, check out Milka Djordjevich at Bob Baker Marionette Theater. The UCLA-educated dancer, who went on to get her MFA at Sarah Lawrence, performs Anthem, a piece that questions modern dance's conventions by embracing theatricality. For the fest's full lineup visit performancepractice.la/festival. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Echo Park; Wed.-Thu., Oct. 11-12, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 13, 9 p.m.; $20. performancepractice.la/portfolio/anthem2/. —Ann Haskins
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Staid astronomers and hippie songwriters alike have long recognized that we are all composed of bits of ancient stardust. In composer Paola Prestini and librettist Royce Vavrek's operatic science-fiction fantasy, The Hubble Cantata, the universe itself is the backdrop for an intergalactic love story as an astrophysicist (baritone Nathan Gunn) searches through the cosmos for his wife (soprano Jessica Rivera). Images from the Hubble Space Telescope deepen Prestini's reverential and contemplative, if formally mannered, melodies before the multimedia spectacle culminates with Eliza McNitt's immersive virtual-reality film Fistful of Stars. Astrophysicist Mario Livio, who narrates the film, will have a preshow discussion with Griffith Observatory curator Laura Danly. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood Hills; Wed., Oct. 11, 8 p.m.; $65-$105. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org. —Falling James
High school can be a nightmare and few want to relive it, so Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez do it for you in Max & Ivan: The Reunion. The British comedy duo's credits include SXSW, Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The two also starred in a BBC Radio 4 detective sitcom called The Casebook of Max and Ivan and a Channel 4 series of shorts called The Reunion. In the latter, Olesker (playing Tom, a down-and-out cater-waiter) and Gonzalez (playing hopeless Brian, who's allergic to everything) catch up at their 10-year high school reunion, where they mingle with past friends, including old flames, bullies, drunk teachers and a kid whose name no one remembers. In tonight's stage version, the comedians take on all 100-plus characters in just under an hour. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Thu., Oct. 12, 8:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
CSUN's Buster Keaton retrospective continues with two of the silent clown's most charming features. First on the list is College, in which the Great Stone Face plays an Ivy League nerd determined to impress the girl of his dreams by becoming an athlete. In Steamboat Bill Jr., he's the gawky son of a tough-as-nails riverboat captain whose mettle is tested aboard his dad's paddle steamer. In one of silent cinema's greatest set pieces, Keaton does battle with a cyclone ripping through the local town. Leaning into the mighty wind, he becomes an icon of resilience in the face of life's vicissitudes. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., Oct. 12, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Nathaniel Bell