20 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Let the feathers fly at International Pillow Fight Day on Saturday.
A gigantic pillow fight in the park, a porn film festival, a big ol' leather party in Silver Lake and more fun stuff to do and see in L.A. this week.
Melissa Mora Hidalgo comes to the Museum of Latin American Art to discuss her new book, Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands. Montebello-born Hidalgo, who holds a Ph.D. in literature and has been a Morrissey fan since the early 1990s, answers not the oft-asked question of why Latinos love the singer but rather where you can find them. Hidalgo spotlights fellow fans and fan-run events in Moz Angeles, including radio show Breakfast With The Smiths on Indie103.1.com and MorrisseyOke karaoke at Eastside Luv and Teatro Moz at Casa 0101, both in Boyle Heights. Cover bands abound as well, including Hidalgo's own all-female group, Sheilas Take a Bow. With a foreword by OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano, the musical map also outlines all the significant Morrissey landmarks: from Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Hollywood High School to the now-closed Cat & Fiddle Pub in Hollywood and his former home in West Hollywood. MOLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Fri., March 31, 7-9 p.m.; $10. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org/events/book-signing-mozlandia-melissa-mora-hidalgo/. —Siran Babayan
If you listen to punk rock but have a sense of humor, you've probably spent precious work hours reading The Hard Times. The Bay Area–based punk parody website, launched two years ago by former SF Weekly music editor Matt Saincome, spoofs the musical genre and its subgenres with hysterical fake news stories like "Rachel Dolezal Now Claiming to Be Founding Member of Bad Brains," "Bachelorette Party Interrupts Henry Rollins' Spoken Word Show" and "Singer Billy Joel Quits Green Day." Following last month's show at NerdMelt, featuring Rhea Butcher, The Hard Times Live returns with a new lineup that includes stand-up by Kyle Kinane, Madison Shepard, Ryan Long and Maggie Maye, music by singer-songwriter Chris Farren and videos by hosts Goodrich Gevaart, John-Michael Bond and Hana Michels, all of whom are contributing writers on the site. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., March 31, 7-8:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Richard Kelly's creepy, impishly funny genre bender Donnie Darko didn't find a wide audience when it first hit theaters in 2001. Perhaps the story of a medicated teen receiving prophetic messages from a demonic, 6-foot-tall rabbit was deemed a little too ambitious. The first-time writer-director, only 26 at the time, deftly mixes high-concept sci-fi, earnest teen romance and Reagan-era satire into a heady cocktail. To quote Homer Simpson: "It's like something out of that twilighty show about that zone." Cinefamily honors this singular cult film by premiering a brand-new restoration in a weeklong run. For those still harboring questions about the philosophy of time travel, Kelly himself will appear in person on Friday and Saturday to clear things up. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., March 31, 9 p.m.; $14. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Thanks to VHS and the internet, watching porn in a theater went the way of the typewriter. But Dan Savage's HUMP! Film Festival is reinventing the experience, minus the trench coat and sticky floors. Curated by Savage, who's a syndicated sex-advice columnist and podcaster, the touring festival and competition screens nearly two dozen dirty shorts by amateur actors submitted in such categories as best sex, best humor, best kink and best in show, and with such titles as You've Got Tail, The Little Merman, Summer Fuckation and Sexucation: Just Jizz. Try finding a movie featuring "sock puppets, xylophones and intergenerational fist fucking" on YouPorn or Pornhub. Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St., downtown; Sat., April 1, 7 & 9:15 p.m. (also Fri., March 31; Fri.-Sat., April 7-8); $25. humpfilmfest.com. —Siran Babayan
Turns out April 1 isn't just for fools: It's also International Pillow Fight Day, and Los Angeles is getting in on the wacky annual tradition with food trucks, DJs, live music and a whole lot of downy fun at International Pillow Fight Day Los Angeles 2017. Participants are encouraged to bring their own soft pillows (preferably with feathers), as well as a garbage bag or a rake to help gather fallen plumage after the event. While the family-friendly brawl is free, organizers will be accepting donations to go toward performers and any other cleanup costs, so we can all fight responsibly. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., downtown; Sat., April 1, 2-5 p.m.; free. facebook.com/lapillowfight2017. —Tanja M. Laden
Never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen? Then you won't want to miss Stanley Kubrick's visionary sci-fi masterwork during the Aero Theatre's limited engagement: six screenings over two weekends (starting March 24). Come for the awesome celestial ballet that dazzled viewers back in 1968; stay for the penetrating questions regarding mankind's ultimate destiny. In addition to showing this indelible cultural landmark in 70mm, the American Cinematheque is selling a limited number of posters signed by stars Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea. You may want to hurry, since they'll probably sell faster than you can sprach Zarathustra. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Hairy chests in leather vests abound at this weekend's Off Sunset Festival. The leather-fetish extravaganza, now in its fifth year, is the official closing event for L.A. Leather Pride, a weeklong celebration of fetish culture full of pageants and parties (including one called La La Leather, in keeping with the zeitgeist). Along with typical festival fare — booths and food and drinks — Off Sunset has a DJ stage, plus live local bands from 2-6 p.m., starting with Boys With Guitars and wrapping up with Rage Against the Machine tribute band Renegades of Rage. It's the place to be for Angelenos who can't hide their cowhide pride. 21 and up. 4219 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake; Sun., April 2, noon-7 p.m.; $20. offsunsetfestival.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Long after the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Jazz Age remains an iconic era characterized by groundbreaking music, cutting-edge fashions and a burgeoning youth culture that redefined American society. The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party is a fabulous fête that channels our sentimental longing for the past into a two-part event. The California Feetwarmers headline the daytime portion, while Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys take over during the second part, at night. Charleston lessons, exhibitions and a solo dance contest provide plenty of people-watching and vintage-fashion photo ops, while a tarot-card reader, interwar-inspired vendor village, unlimited merry-go-round rides and costume contests deliver other delightful diversions. If the wistful affection of a bygone era should become too much, just remember we're only a few years away from witnessing a brand-new '20s of our own. Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round Park Center, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park; Sun., April 2, noon-6:30 p.m. & 6-10 p.m.; $22-$55. roaringtwentiesstreetjam.com/copy-of-roaring-20s-street-jam. —Tanja M. Laden
Sarah Palin is one of the least eloquent American politicians. In fact, Jenny Baranick found Palin's meager grasp of the English language so irksome she wrote a book about it. Based in New York, Baranick teaches English composition, critical thinking and remedial English at FIDM. In Sarah Palin's Expert Guide to Good Grammar: What You Can Learn From Someone Who Doesn't Know Right From Write (Skyhorse, $12.99), Baranick dissects the former vice presidential candidate's incoherent and rambling speeches, interviews and statements from the last eight years, with their poor vocabulary, syntax and grammar, and uses them as "teachable moments." In other words, don't let bad sentences like "For it is they who point a finger not realizing that they have triple the amount of fingers pointin' right back at 'em" happen to you. Diesel, A Bookstore in Brentwood, 225 26th St., Brentwood; Sun., April 2, 3-4 p.m.; free. (310) 576-9960, dieselbookstore.com/event/jenny-baranick-discusses-and-signs-sarah-palins-expert-guide-good-grammar. —Siran Babayan
One of L.A.'s most reliable cinematic highlights is Noir City, the Egyptian Theatre's annual series of vintage double bills programmed by the American Cinematheque and the Film Noir Foundation. For closing night, treat yourself to a double feature, 1950s-style: a studio-backed "A" feature followed by a cheaper "B" movie. The Big Heat, directed by German émigré Fritz Lang, is a scalding crime drama about a righteous cop (Glenn Ford) and his uncompromising quest to crack a ruthless crime syndicate. The infamous scene featuring a carafe of boiling coffee and Gloria Grahame's face secured its reputation as one of the most brutal films of its era. Stay late for the second feature, Russell Rouse's Wicked Woman. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., April 2, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Nathaniel Bell
On Friday, find out why Morrissey is so big with Latinos.
Courtesy Rio Yanez
There's roughly one day a year when, for baseball fans everywhere, hope springs eternal and a trip to the World Series seems as likely as getting into a fender-bender on the 10. This Dodgers Opening Day, Angelenos who bleed blue have plenty of reason to be optimistic. Besides a (mostly) impressive showing in the postseason before losing to the World Series champion Cubs, the reigning NL West champs have Puig and Kershaw and not-half-bad Vegas odds (9-1 to make it to the World Series) on their side. Plus the Padres really suck. And, really, even if you don't give a shit about the game, baseball season is a great excuse to head to Dodger Stadium, eat garlic fries and a long-ass hot dog and drink beer in the middle of the day. 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Elysian Park; Mon., April 3, 1:10 p.m.; tickets available with purchase of a 21- or 30-game plan. losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Gifted and provocative performance artists Julia Heyward and Perry Hoberman combine their skills in video and installation art in 29 SpaceTime, a surreal, awe-inspiring multimedia display featuring a series of original music numbers designed to be performed in a sequence as a unit. The dramatized program is based on real events, inspired by the firsthand accounts of people living near a simulated military war zone in the Mojave Desert. Touching on existential topics such as government surveillance, secrecy, mind control and unexplained phenomena, the interdisciplinary feast for the senses is a powerful commentary on anxiety in the digital age. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., April 3, 8:30 p.m.; $11, $8 members and students. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/29-spacetime. —Tanja M. Laden
In 1997, Chicana artist Felicia Montes was among 30 East L.A.–based artists who traveled to Mexico to commune with the Zapatistas, a society of self-sufficient indigenous rebels. The trip resulted in the creation of Mujeres de Maiz, a Chicana art collective that's celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with an exhibit at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. As part of a two-part series on the Latinx experience, Santa Monica College welcomes Montes for Chicana Art: Resistance and Affirmation – Then and Now, a discussion about how political and social changes have transformed Chicanx art from the 1960s till today. Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Tue., April 4, 11:15 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. (310) 434-4100, facebook.com/events/1675417622757190. —Gwynedd Stuart
For the kind of film "they just don't make anymore," try Morocco. This 1930 romance involving a Legionnaire and a cabaret singer was one of the sultriest films of the early sound era and a smashing stylistic success for German-born director Josef von Sternberg. This is the movie in which Marlene Dietrich, sporting a tuxedo and a top hat, casually pauses in the middle of a number to smooch a pretty lady in the audience. The whole pre-Code affair is so thick with atmosphere that it will leave even the contemporary viewer gasping for air. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., April 4, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Nathaniel Bell
Laemmle Theatres launches its Twofer Tuesdays series with a Bette Davis night. Topping the double bill is Now, Voyager, a prime example of the classic 1940s "women's picture." Watch Davis transform from homely spinster to desirable leading lady for the love of the dashing Paul Henreid, who lights two cigarettes at once in a supreme romantic gesture. Davis die-hards will want to stay for the bonus feature, Marked Woman, in which she plays a "nightclub hostess" (read: prostitute) who testifies against the mob boss responsible for her sister's death. The 7:15 p.m. show at the Laemmle Ahrya will include a special introduction by film historian Jeremy Arnold. Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills (also at the Playhouse 7 and NoHo); Tue., April 4, 7:15 p.m. (Now, Voyager); 5 & 9:45 p.m. (Marked Woman); $13. (310) 478-3836, laemmle.com. —Nathaniel Bell
Dan Savage's HUMP! Film Festival brings porn back to theaters on Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy Nicolle Clemetson
L.A. isn't a dystopian wasteland — yet — but venerable Union Station endures as a reminder of an era when the city constructed grand, monumental structures that were not only stylish but meant to last. Opened in 1939, the railway station — an imposing combination of art deco, streamline moderne and mission revival flourishes — gave many visitors their first glimpse of this sunny metropolis. Metro Art kicks off its Sci-Fi at Union Station series with a free screening of Ridley Scott's dark 1982 fantasy, Blade Runner, in the Historic Ticketing Hall, the large, ornate room that was made over into a decrepit police station in the film. It's the perfect nexus point to muse about L.A.'s converging past and future while the world outside plunges into apocalyptic chaos. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown; Wed., April 5, 7:30 p.m.; free with reservation. facebook.com/events/1439513489400254. —Falling James
The concept of outdoor rooms is a mainstay of SoCal landscape architecture and the concept underlying the Wonder Room, the annual outdoor performing arts event where visitors to Santa Monica's Tongva Park are invited to meander through the various areas, experiencing a variety of performances and installations. For the fourth annual event, the organizers have assembled musicians, singers and a new, as yet untitled work from the inventive choreographer Sarah Elgart and her company, Arrogant Elbow. Garbed in wearable sculpture from Tanja Skala and Swinda Reichelt, Elgart's 20 dancers perform to a score from Paul Chavez/Feltlike. Tongva Park, 1615 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Wed.-Thu., April 5-6, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; free. smgov.net/tongvapark/events. —Ann Haskins
The good folks at L.A. Chamber Orchestra continue to demonstrate the relevance of classical music in the modern era by presenting performances in unusual spaces, such as their monthly lunchtime concerts in downtown lobbies and plazas. As part of the nighttime Westside Connections series, LACO concertmaster-violinist Margaret Batjer welcomes Russian-American conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn (son of dissident novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn), who will discuss and conduct selections by Dmitri Shostakovich. This year, the series focuses on epochal works that were created during times of political strife, such as the Russian composer's Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, a 1944 tribute to victims of the Holocaust. NPR's Renée Montagne moderates the discussion. Moss Theater, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu., April 6, 7:30 p.m.; $56. (213) 622-7001, laco.org. —Falling James
Over the past decade or so, tons of young women have taken to the internet to share both the most intimate and mundane aspects of their lives, discussing makeup routines, sex, relationship struggles, technology, politics and feminism. Few have turned their online personas into an art form quite as successfully as artist Molly Soda, whose work across various platforms — Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, GIFs and zines — is both an intrinsic part and insightful examination of the digital space. Her upcoming solo show thanks for the add! takes us back to the halcyon days of MySpace and AOL, presenting artifacts from the dawn of our current confessional online culture. leiminspace, 443 Lei Min Way, Chinatown; Thu., April 6, 7 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/892745640862573. —Matt Stromberg
CSUN's John Cassavetes retrospective continues with A Woman Under the Influence, the emotionally harrowing account of a suburban housewife whose quirks (e.g., cooking a spaghetti breakfast) are perceived as insanity by her friends and family. Gena Rowlands' brave, shattering performance dominates this key work of American independent cinema by one of its towering figures. As usual, attendance is free, but bring $8 for on-campus parking. CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Thu., April 6, 7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-1200, csun.edu. —Nathaniel Bell
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.