A Teacher's Secret Life Hillel Aron's look at the life and death of Harry Major, a Hollywood High teacher with a penchant for taking in ex-cons, had readers riveted last week ("The Pen Pal Murder," Oct. 17). Anon can't wait for the movie version, saying, "Great story and writing. Write...
While the Nightmare on Elm Street series went from “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you” to “Nine, 10, Robert Englund’s at a convention again,” it started out as a frightening look at small-town America, a place that was, in its way, just as ruined as the face of its serial-killer villain, Freddy Krueger. Wes Craven’s visionary work of horror struck directly at one of the most potent aspects of the human experience — dreaming — and transmogrified it into deeply personal violence, which, when paired with sick humor, took up a special place in the hearts of fans. By the time Don’t Sleep: An All-Nighter on Elm Street (Pts. 1-7), a 35mm marathon of the films, wraps up, you’ll stumble blinking into the daylight. Just don’t sleep through these movies — you might wake up in a multiplex chased by a spool of film that wants to have its way with you. Also scheduled: special Elm Street guests TBA, and if you’re lucky, maybe the resident Cinefamily DJs will play DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “A Nightmare on Elm Nightmare on My Street” so you can really start dreaming of death.More
Tenacious D’s devil-worshipping chubby rockers Jack Black and Kyle Gass have been making fans laugh since they wrote “Fuck Her Gently” more than a decade ago, so who better to stage comedy in a music festival setting? Last year’s inaugural Festival Supreme included Adam Sandler, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Eric Idle, Tim & Eric, The Mister Show Experience, Garfunkel & Oates and The Mighty Boosh, as well as surprise appearances by Conan O’Brien, The Lonely Island and Billy Idol. This year’s lineup of comedy and bands (and a few performers who are doing both) features Cheech & Chong, Dethklok Metalocalypse, Workaholics, Margaret Cho, Norm Macdonald, Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo, Nick Kroll, Dr. Demento, Peaches, Eagles of Death Metal, The Aquabats and a reunion of The State. Also new this year? “The Circus of Death,” where you’ll encounter a spooky train ride, merry-go-round, puppets and freak-show characters to put you in the mood for Halloween. Costumes are encouraged. Dressing like Cheech or Chong — beanie, mustache, spliff — is highly encouraged. Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds, 665 W. Jefferson Blvd., University Park; Sat., Oct. 25, 2 p.m.; $99. festivalsupreme.com. More
Although Día de los Muertos, the Mexican tradition of honoring and celebrating the dearly departed, won’t start until Oct. 31, there’s a new Día coming to Long Beach today — Día de los Verdes. The festival takes place at the Growing Experience, a seven-acre farm that once was an empty lot within the Carmelitos Housing Projects. The farm now provides plots where Carmelitos’ residents can grow their own food, as well as a paid job-training program for youth and an affordable CSA open to anyone who wants to eat healthy and locally. Hosted with Green Long Beach, Squeeze Art Collective and Mixt Media Arts, the event will feature live music, crafting, face painting and a squash cook-off. At this twist on the classic ritual, the ofrendas honor not dead relatives but our tenuous relationship with nature — including one remembering extinct animals. The altars will be lit at 6 p.m. as part of the closing ceremony. Inspired by the diversity of Long Beach and the “celebration of life, family and culture” that is Día de los Muertos, Día de los Verdes is “a nod to our community and the ways in which we work together on a daily basis to strive for a sustainable, thriving future,” says Green Long Beach organizer Tiffany Chen. The Growing Experience Urban Farm, 750 Via Carmelitos, Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. facebook.com/events/517615185050404.More
The 18th Street Art Center has been host and home to a quarter-century of the most progressive, fearless, experimental, visual and performing arts in Los Angeles history. So it’s fitting that its silver anniversary takes up the whole weekend. 18is25 starts with the de rigueur big gala benefit on Saturday night, followed by a day of beer, art, music and history on Sunday. The gala benefit art sale and party offers unique video and performance work, food and popular 18th Street extended family such as Barbara T. Smith, Phranc and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario. Sunday doubles as the center’s fifth annual BAM (Beer, Art and Music Festival) and as such is its own reward — but this year’s “anniversary edition” is augmented not only by a general air of festivity and frolic but also by unlimited tastings from some 40 artisanal brewers, the continuation of the previous evening’s art sale, on-site artists-in-residence in full open-studio mode and, yes, plenty of food trucks. 18th Street Art Center, 1639 18th St., Santa Monica.; Sat., Oct. 25, 6-10 p.m.-Sun., Oct. 26, 1-5 p.m.; $45-$125 (weekend passes $150). (310) 453-4347, 18thstreet.org. More
When it comes to the life of Bruce Haack, separating truth from fiction is not easy. The groundbreaking electronic music composer and inventor is said to have taught himself to play piano by age 3. By 8, he apparently was escaping his abusive mother's wrath by sneaking off to Indian...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
Lily Simonson does serious research for her paintings. She studies specimens or goes on expeditions (she's on her way back to Antarctica this fall). But her paintings, like the ones in her "On Ice" exhibition at CB1, don't necessarily read as scientific. They read as intuitive, painterly explorations of what rock forms, icicles and iciness feel and look like. They're the kind of things you just like. And the way the main gallery is black-lit and her paintings glow seems to shrug off the gravitas of both art and science. 207 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; through Oct. 26. (213) 806-7889, cb1gallery.com.More
It's just math. With ever more overflowing arts districts and only so many Saturday nights a month, a bumper crop of shows opens tonight in Culver City — and several galleries are ringing in the new season by showing off their marquee rosters. Exact hours and show durations vary, so you'll want to check gallery sites for complete details. Promising and must-see highlights include Brooklyn-based artist KAWS at Honor Fraser, offering new work extrapolating from the Peanuts comics. The artist styles these images to the point of abstraction with his trademark bold color schemes, along with more gestural, black-and-white works (through Oct. 31). Also Kehinde Wiley's World Stage series at Roberts & Tilton (through Oct. 25) continues with an iteration based on Haiti's pageant culture, using the artist's iconic portraits of everyday folks rendered in his lavishly regal style. Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst's Post / Relationship / X at Luis de Jesus (through Nov. 1) surveys their years-long transgender love affair and artistic collaboration with recent photos that debuted at Paris Photo L.A., as well as a brand-new video piece. Sandow Birk at Koplin Del Rio (through Oct. 17) presents the third in his aesthetically and emotionally intense series transcribing the entire Koran and illuminating it with images of contemporary secular life in America. Rebecca Farr offers haunting mixed media paintings on canvas and the release of her new book at Klowden Mann through Oct. 18). The Miaz Brothers take on "The Masters" in a new series of ghostly, witty paintings at Fabien Castanier (through Oct. 11), in the Italian sibling-collaborators' first U.S. show. Tim Gratkowski at Walter Maciel (through Nov. 1) shows new two- and three-dimensional, retro-slick and expressively abstract mixed-media collages. Patricia Chidlaw at George Billis Gallery (through Nov. 1) installs a diverse suite of urban landscape paintings, which go beyond photorealism to show us our common world in an uncommon light. Honor Fraser Gallery, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; thru Nov. 1; free. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.More
It's an unwritten rule that we're supposed to feel most in step with people our own age, as if sharing the same cultural and historical references somehow enables our ability to look into one another's hearts. So why do we sometimes tumble into deeper friendships with people who are 10...
A Fuller Life is a family affair, produced and directed by Samantha Fuller, in honor of her late father, Samuel Fuller, the great journalist-turned-filmmaker (Forty Guns, Pickup on South Street, The Naked Kiss).
Reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi in both form and content, Anlo Sepulveda and Paul Collins's experimental documentary Yakona tells the story of the San Marcos River — or, rather, lets the river share its own origin tale and life story.
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Where Roy Choi goes, people will follow - this has been well-established. Because if the legions of the hungry are willing to follow his Kogi trucks when they alight in deserted motel parking lots or alongside Orange County topless clubs, it stands to reason that they will go where theyMore
The Culver City restaurant scene is well into its mannerist phase, an era of sleek surfaces, theatrical settings and food that coolly defies nature. But the standard-bearer at the moment has to be the eco-intensive Akasha, where the recycled wood is sealed with beeswax, the chairs are upholstered in hempMore
At Alimento in Silver Lake, chef Zach Pollack veers from highly traditional dishes, such as a gorgeously decadent maccheroncini pasta with chicken livers and marsala, to playful takes on Americana, like his "pig in a blanket." A fat hunk of mortadella is sandwiched between two layers of flaky spelt pastry,More
On a barren corner of Broadway and Olympic in downtown L.A. sits Alma, chef Ari Taymor's fantasy-come-to-life. Taymor makes beignets with seaweed and tofu, a totally next-generation donut that is as fun to eat in its fried umami glory as it is tasty. Sablefish, lightly smoked and slick, comes onMore
Where my favorite osterie in Italy find purpose in the repetition of classic dishes, in menus that may not change for decades, Gino Angelini is by nature a creative chef who likes to mark dishes as his own. A regular at his restaurants could tell the difference between Angelini's saltimboccaMore
The first thing you should know about Animal is that it is practically a shrine to bacon, which appears everywhere on the short, seasonal menu, up to and including a chocolate dessert. The chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, former Food Network stars who call themselves the Food Dudes, areMore
The cheese-and-charcuterie-intensive inspiration for L.A.'s new generation of wine bars, Suzanne Goin's pan-Mediterranean A.O.C. is a fantasy of a modern small-plates restaurant, the kind of place you drop into for a glass of Friulian Tocai and a plate of sliced prosciutto, a Cairanne and some bacon-wrapped dates with Parmesan -More
The menu at South Pasadena's Aro Latin is a cultural mishmash that encompasses both chef Rocio Camacho's Oaxacan cooking and owner Karan Raina's Indian heritage. So there's chicken with mole poblano, but also ribs cooked with coconut milk and served with fresh mango. Here you might come across the bestMore
An Attari sandwich is close to a perfect thing, a length of toasted French bread, a layer of main ingredient, and a dressing that includes fresh tomatoes, a handful of shredded lettuce and a smattering of spiced, supertart Iranian pickles that somehow manage to give the impression of a goodMore
Terri Wahl's evolved diner may be the grooviest place in Eagle Rock on Saturday afternoons, a converted bungalow a few blocks from Occidental College, crowded with punk moms, rogue artists, and pretty much anyone who likes to eat breakfast at 3 p.m. The service is basically DIY, down to theMore
The menu at Baco Mercat reads almost like a graduate exam in culinary poststructuralism, mixing flavors from Italy, France and western China, Georgia (U.S.) and Georgia (Eastern Europe), Tuscany and Peru. Josef Centeno's take on posole includes a chile-red pork broth, crisps of beef and pork and house-made noodles thatMore
There are closets in Beverly Hills that have more square footage than Bánh Mì My Tho, but this Alhambra Vietnamese sandwich shop makes far, far better use of its real estate. Here in this tiny space, fresh bread is made daily for the shop's excellent banh mi sandwiches -- someMore
San Gabriel ValleyMonterey Park/ Alhambra/ S. Gabriel
In some respects, Chef Jose Centeno's Bar Ama is two restaurants in one. The first serves giant mounds of guacamole, oozy bowls of queso dip and gut-bomb enchiladas smothered in cheese. It's slutty Mexican-American food made with better ingredients than is typical of the genre but with the same emotionalMore
It’s been less than three years since former Campanile general manager Claudio Blotta and his wife Adria opened Barbrix is 2009, and the converted house tucked away off busy Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake is already a community hub. Choose from the lengthy beer list or sip hand-picked wines fromMore
The Bazaar restaurant, within the SLS hotel, is a funky playground for the sophisticated young professional, a place to unwind after work or have an impromptu, lavish six course dinner conceptualized by chef José Andrés. At the bar, you'll find high-end drinks and plush furniture. In the restaurant, you'll findMore
Would your doctor approve? She would not. The counter bristles with taps for beers so local that they probably could be delivered on an MTA bus, and you will be tasting several of them before you stagger out the door. Sunday brunch includes Lucky Charms pancakes with Fruity Pebbles whippedMore
At Bestia downtown, Chef Ori Menashe's presenting rustic Italian dining, often taken to its cheffy extremes. Instead of beef tartare, there's beef-heart tartare; rather than the trendy but now widely accepted sautéed chicken livers, there are chicken gizzards. They're served with beets for a Halloween-worthy effect, a plate smeared withMore
My friend Caryl has always maintained that So Kong Dong was the best tofu restaurant in Koreatown. I have always plumped for Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant across the street. So Kong Dong seems almost Soviet in its appearance, a low-ceilinged dining room bathed in a singularly unappealing fluorescent glare. BeverlyMore
Surprisingly, for the most part the food at Kevin Bludso's new Bludso's Bar-&-Que in Hollywood is a pretty amazing representation of what you might get at a barbecue shack — in the South or in Compton. The meats are smoky; the sides taste honest. Collards are funky and imbued withMore
Bludso's is known for its barbecue beef brisket, which comes in a foam and foil container, dripping with meaty juices. The small, Texas-style joint, with simply a counter and few stools, is big on brisket ribs, rib tips, hot links, chicken. The Texas Sampler ($25.50) is a plate that canMore
Is it possible that owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who worked the marriage of Mexican cuisine and New American grill cooking a full decade before the guys who are thought of as pioneers, just opened a new Border Grill? They did - a thorough revamping of their oldMore
Foodies fond of foie gras, vichyssoise and other French fare have no doubt gotten their fix at Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. And no doubt they’ve spotted tourists, film industry types and all manners of posh folk splitting a charcuterie plate or a $110 seafood platter at the raw bar.More
Braised meats play a major roll in many of Chef Funke's dishes, and several mellow, soothing ragus appear each night — perhaps lamb over fat yellow pappardelle, perhaps tight rolls of strascinati with supple, juicy duck. Aside from pasta and bread, Bucato's menu features sputini, which translates approximately to "snacks,"More
Leo Bulgarini is the wrong guy to mouth off to the day after his beloved AS Roma squad drops a game to Genoa or Inter Milan. His gelati are labeled only in Italian, and his standards are so famously strict that he has been known to pull his delicious sorbettiMore
On Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, this charming neighborhood restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine is many things: a deli, a market, a fantastic breakfast spot, and a Mecca for one of the best dishes in town, the duck carnets taco. With outdoor patio dining and friendly service, you can dineMore