From photography celebrating the 50th anniversary of a most legendary music festival to a chance to fly high, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week.

fri 8/2


Rolling Lady Stones

Accompanying the Norton Simon’s current exhibition “The Sweetness of Life: Three 18th-Century French Paintings from The Frick Collection” (on view through September 9), film critic Peter Rainer put together a series of movies by French women directors, whose movies themselves have focused on aspects of the female experience. The films conclude with tonight’s presentation of avant-garde classic, Agnès Varda’s Vagabond (1985), which like the others in the series will be introduced with remarks from Rainer. Vagabond offers a flash-back narrative structure, telling the episodic story of the protagonist’s increasingly dangerous and untethered existence which begins with a poetic, subversive quest for freedom and tragically ends in her death. Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri., Aug. 2, 5:50 p.m.; free with $15 museum admission. (626) 449-6840),—Shana Nys Dambrot

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Agnes Varda and Sandrine Bonnaire on the set of Vagabond in 1985 (Courtesy of Criterion)


A Trailblazing Film Festival

L.A. has the distinction of being the first city to host an art and film festival solely dedicated to the Latinx community. The sixth annual CineArte: A Latinx Queer Film & Art Festival, an event and nonprofit run by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, returns for more screenings of feature films, documentaries and shorts, both in English and Spanish. Friday kicks off with live music by LillyFlor y Los Compas and DJ Sizzle, in addition to a reception for “Liberacion: From Volcanoes to Hope,” an exhibit of paintings, photographs and mixed media by 12 Salvadoran artists (running through September 21 in the center’s gallery). And Saturday continues with more than a dozen shorts organized into two sections, “Revolutionizing Familia” and “Reflections,” and feature films, including Werk of Art, a documentary about the L.A. drag scene, as well as workshops and discussions with the movies’ cast and crew. Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Fri., Aug. 2, 7-10 p.m. & Sat., Aug. 3, 1-8:30 p.m.; $10, $8 seniors and students. (323) 993-7400,—Siran Babayan

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Bacchus Uncorked (Courtesy of the Getty)

sat 8/3


Wine Time Capsule

During the salon Bacchus Uncorked: Villas and Vineyards, you’ll learn how wealthy and well-heeled ancient Romans found out that the volcanic soil around Mt. Vesuvius made for some pretty badass wines — and oenophilic archaeologist Steven Tuck will clue you in on all the grim horrors and hot lava that went into making those tasty tipples. Roman villas were a subculture unto themselves, seamlessly meshing architecture, design and wine to create a seemingly endless fount of aesthetics and inebriation. You’ll also sample an illuminating selection of those selfsame wines — just so you can see how the other half lived. And died! The Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; Sat., Aug. 3, 5:30 p.m.; $75. (310) 440-7300, —David Cotner

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The Great Escape (Courtesy of the artist)


Surrealism Three Ways

A trio of new exhibitions open this weekend at elevated urban art emporium, Thinkspace Projects, fresh off curating another excellent year of Pow! Wow! Long Beach. Back at their Culver City HQ, Michael Reeder’s “The Otherealm” visually combines elements of cut-ups and figurative and abstract painting to portray the existence of divided consciousness. Kyle Bryant’s “On Broken Wings” in the office galleries executes finely detailed, collage and illustration-based surrealist storytelling with the crispness of drawing and the logic of a dream. And in the project room, Matthew Grabelsky’s “Jungle Train” wonders what a less humanoid, more post-species type world could look like. Thinkspace, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City; opening reception: Sat., Aug. 3, 6-9 p.m.; through Aug. 24; free. (310) 558-3375, —Shana Nys Dambrot


Caribbean Ballet

Don’t expect tutus or familiar story ballet music, but do expect energetic action and highly trained ballet dancers, when Kenneth Walker Dance Project and its contemporary ballet dancers take the stage. As a choreographer, Walker is known for drawing on atypical scores ballet, here turning to music from North Africa for his latest, In Her Footsteps. Invited guest company Jose Costas’ Contempo Ballet reflect a Caribbean sensibility fueled by Costas’ Puerto Rican heritage. Among SoCal’s growing ranks of contemporary ballet companies, the 10-year-old KWDP is notable for giving dancers from the company’s South Bay home base an alternative to leaving to dance elsewhere. Cal State University Long Beach, Martha P. Knoebel Dance Theatre, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach; Sat., Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. & Sun., Aug. 4, 2:30 p.m.; $17-$18.—Ann Haskins  

sun 8/4


Flying High

Channel your inner Kite Man with today’s Giant Kites of Guatemala afternoon of fun, during which you delve into the Guatemalan cultural touchstone of building bright eye-catching kites — also known as barriletes — that double as poetic metaphors for the fragile and windswept nature of existence. They use them during Día de los Muertos in Guatemala. You’ll make your own kites to fly and honor the dead — whether they’re looking down on your beautiful creations from the Great Above or looking up at them from the Great Below really depends on your own fluttering concepts of the afterlife. The Fowler, 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood; Sun., Aug. 4, 1 p.m.; free. (310) 825-4361,—David Cotner

mon 8/5


Reimagining the Palette of Pop Culture

Linda Vallejo is a monumental presence in the local art scene. One of the first art teachers at Self-Help Graphics and the founder of Galería Las Américas, the East L.A. native has long been fascinated by the collision of pop culture with ethnic identity, and in her exhibition of new and recent work, Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings, the painter/sculptor repopulates an almost exclusively white cultural landscape with brown faces. In her provocative series, “Make ’Em All Mexicans,” for instance, Vallejo recasts such cultural icons as Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse as Latino figures, leavening her pointed imagery with sly wit and rampant style. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Mon., Aug. 5, 1-5 p.m.; through Jan. 13; free. (213) 542-6259, —Falling James

tue 8/6


Incomplete Masterpiece

There is very little that is factually accurate about the life of W.A. Mozart in the 1979 play Amadeus by Peter Shaffer and the related popular 1984 film, which feel more like cute and sentimental fairy tales than works of real substance. The reality of Mozart’s short, brilliant life is far more interesting than any corny theatrical adaptation, although what ultimately matters is the Austrian composer’s music. Tragically, Mozart didn’t live long enough to finish Requiem in D Minor, the moving piece that stands as a mournful epitaph to his life. In a kind of midsummer night’s elegy, conductor Iván Fischer guides stellar Trinidadian soprano Jeanine De Bique, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and Budapest Festival Orchestra through the dramatic requiem. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tue., Aug. 6, 8 p.m.; $1-$162. (323) 850-2000,—Falling James

wed 8/7


Speaking Out

“All my life when I’ve tried to talk to men about sexism, my main obstacle has been trying to convince them, quite simply, that it exists,” Chavisa Woods writes at the outset of her new book, 100 Times: A Memoir of Sexism (Seven Stories Press). One of the disheartening things about the era we live in is that, even as women are bravely uncovering and going public with their personal stories of oppression, many of the men on the planet remain blissfully disingenuous about gender inequities. With her forthright, stark style, Woods reveals and examines the abuse she and so many other women have endured, which she will amplify further in a discussion with incisive queercore icon/poet Michelle Tea. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175,—Falling James

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Monica Wyatt in Diverted Destruction 12 at Loft at Lizs (Courtesy of the artist)


Wrecking Crew

For the 12th year in a row, the Loft at Liz’s presents its beloved Diverted Destruction exhibition, curated group shows featuring artists who use salvaged and reclaimed materials to create original collage, assemblage and installation-based art. As a purveyor of antique hardware that is itself often saved from a trip to the junkyard in a diamond-in-the-rough sort of way, these shows are close to the curator’s heart, and always feature artist talks and workshops that address the specific dynamics of upcycling in art history. Many but not all of the artists included already use these techniques in their work and are happy to share the source-material anecdotes and imaginative sparks that animate their practices. The Loft at Liz’s, 453 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; artists talk: Wed., Aug. 7, 7-9 p.m.; through Aug. 19; free. (323) 939-4403,—Shana Nys Dambrot

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A couple play the guitar sitting on their car on the way to the Woodstock Festival, August 1969. (Baron Wolman)

thu 8/8


Rock & Roll History

The world’s most famous music festival turns the big five-oh this year, and Hollywood’s Mr Musichead Gallery celebrates with Woodstock 50th Anniversary, a group show of more than 50 prints by Woodstock photographers Jason Laure, Baron Wolman and Barry Z. Levine. Collectively, their images illustrate the music and muddy mess of those “Three Days of Peace & Music” in August 1969, especially the more than 400,000 people who attended; Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, N.Y., where the concert took place; lots of naked hippies bathing in a lake; and, of the course, the 32 acts that performed, namely Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Santana. (Wolman, Rolling Stone’s first chief photographer, photographed the legendary band right on the stage.) The exhibit’s free opening reception includes lives music and a discussion with the three photographers, moderated by gallery owner Sam Milgrom, who’ll reflect on being at one of the most historic moments in American rock & roll. Mr Musichead Gallery, 7420 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.; Thu., Aug. 8, 7-10 p.m.; through Aug. 24; free. (323) 876-0042,—Siran Babayan


Helter Skelter

Writers, artists and filmmakers alike remain fascinated by Charles Manson, a despicable historical figure who took advantage of disenfranchised youth, inciting them to kill innocent people for the thrill of it and as revenge for his failed entertainment career. He was also a racist who hoped to incite an apocalyptic race war, which he named after the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” So why does the general public remain fascinated by this monster 50 years later? Prurient curiosity? Coming to terms with the dark nature of humanity? These are questions to ask ourselves as we watch Tarantino’s latest, set just before the Tate/LaBianca murders and while checking out the Lethal Amounts’ new exhibit, Once Upon A Time in ’69. If any art space could explore this polarizing man in an unflinching way, it’s this one. which never shies away from and often seeks out provocative and controversial art. Presenting artifacts from the era in addition to ephemera from the collections of John Aes-Nihl (an archivist and collector who made 1984’s Manson Family Movies, a faux home movie–style film about the cult), the show will also include writings, photographs, original art and ephemera, much of it never before seen or available to the public. Q&A’s, walkthroughs and more are promised.  Lethal Amounts, 1226 W. 7th St., Westlake; Thu., Aug. 8, 7-11 p.m., through Aug.11, times vary; $19.69-$40.—Lina Lecaro

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