From a chance to capture the scent of the 1980s to an opportunity to truly steep in the knowledge and flavors of tea, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!
All About the Plot
Doris Wishman apparently never got the memo that many people consider sexploitation films to be sexist. Not only was the New York native the only woman directing sexploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s, she is also credited as the most prolific female director of the sound era. Wishman’s 1961 film Nude on the Moon is a thoroughly kitschy but enjoyably campy fantasy about astronaut-scientists who discover that the moon is inhabited by beautiful, topless alien space women. Something Weird Video’s Lisa Petrucci discusses Wishman’s life and work at a screening of Nude on the Moon, which is paired with Smut Without Smut: Bizarro Horror Nite, a collection of excerpts from ’70s porn horror films in which the sex scenes have been cut, leaving behind only vestiges of tacky horror flicks. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Falling James
Poetry Between Pacific Shores
Tonight Beyond Baroque does what it does best — host and present a roster of diverse and important voices from the world of poetry. And they do mean the world, as Tanya Ko Hong hosts East Meets West Night of Poetic Language Festival, a co-presentation with Antioch University’s literary MFA program that welcomes renowned Korean poets Do Hyun Ahn and Dukkyu Park to the BB stage. They will be joined by L.A. writers F. Douglas Brown, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Tresha Faye Haefner, Tanya Ko Hong, Armine Iknadossian, Jun C Kim, Hack Hee Kang, Cassandra Lane, Sehba Sarwar, Mike Sonksen and Linda Ravenswood in a special night of intercontinental arts that proves poetry is truly a universal language. In addition to the readings and book signings, a reception takes place in the patio garden from 6:45-7:45, before the main event. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Fri., Aug. 8, 8-10 p.m.; $10, free for members. beyondbaroque.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Field Trip to Little India
Fowler Museum at UCLA’s current exhibit, India’s Subterranean Stepwells: Photographs by Victoria Lautman, features 48 images of India’s “manmade water storage systems called stepwells,” built between the 9th and 18th centuries. In conjunction with the display, the museum hosts Global Dining: Northern India in Artesia, a chance for visitors to learn about Indian culture beyond art that includes a trip to Rajdhani, a vegetarian restaurant in Artesia’s Little India enclave that specializes in thali-style cuisine, which consists of several small, all-you-can-eat dishes served on a steel platter and filled with rice, vegetables, chutney, lentil soup, flatbread and rose-flavored ice cream. Following the meal, you can explore the other restaurants, grocery stores and shops that run through the neighborhood’s Pioneer Boulevard. Fowler Museum at UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive, Westwood; Sat., Aug. 10, departs at noon; $60. (310) 825-4361, fowler.ucla.edu. – Siran Babayan
The Refugee Takes Center Stage
It is poetic yet chilling that the Japan American National Museum is the venue for With Memories on Their Backs: Honoring the Plight of Refugees, the latest from the performance group Voices Carry. Inside the museum are exhibits capturing the sometimes harrowing incarceration of the Japanese-American population in internment/detention/
Steeped in the Knowledge of Tea
Sip, discuss and learn about the world’s most consumed beverage — second to water — at the ninth annual Los Angeles Tea Festival. Whether you prefer Darjeeling, Oolong or Pu-erh, the dozens of exhibitors at the two-day event will display teas and related products from all cultures, while speakers lead classes and workshops on topics ranging from “Diversity of Ceylon Teas” to “Benefits of Tea in Soap” to “Cannabis 101.” Industry experts will also demonstrate how to properly prepare and serve during a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, how to pair tea with cheese and chocolate, and how to make your own blend. Magic Box at the Reef, 1933 S. Broadway, Historic South-Central; Sat., Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., Aug. 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $20. (213) 763-5715, teafestivalla.com. – Siran Babayan
Remembering Johnny Ramone
Even though Johnny Ramone isn’t actually buried at Hollywood Forever, he is a larger-than-life presence in the Hollywood cemetery thanks in part to sculptor Wayne Toth’s iconic statue, which captures the glowering Ramones guitarist mid-strum. His ferocious spirit also lives on with the annual Johnny Ramone Tribute, which has evolved from a straightforward tribute to the Ramones into an ongoing series of screenings of the late guitarist’s favorite movies. This year, host Vincent Gallo presides over a screening of Walter Hill’s apocalyptic 1979 gang odyssey The Warriors and welcomes such guests as comedian Fred Armisen and ex-Pistol Steve Jones. Mr. Musichead presents a punk and glam photo exhibit in the cathedral mausoleum. Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 469-1181, hollywoodforever.com. —Falling James
To Be, or Not to Be?
How well do you know Hamlet? Shakespeare gets a remix in Bad Hamlet, an interactive new take on the theatrical classic that meshes its myriad interpretations via the public into a uniquely entertaining hot mess. The production, from the Coin & Ghost ensemble and director by Rob Adler, is innovative in a few different ways — mobile phone use is encouraged for the production for one, and its actors use video as a component with jaunts outside of the theater in which they engage with the community via cameras. Asking the public about their knowledge of the Shakespeare classic, the footage is then live-streamed back into the theatre, shaping how it will be interpreted onstage. Each performance is hence “crowdsourced” into creation, so how it is to be — or not to be — is always in question. New American Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Place, Hollywood; Thu.-Sat., through Sat., Aug. 24; $25 suggested donation. coinandghost.org/badham.—Lina Lecaro
It Smells Like the ‘80s
Return to those thrilling days of Sunset Strip yesteryear when you steel yourself to take the Perfume Design Challenge: Rock and Hedonism. Using notes of Aqua Net, essence of Benson & Hedges, eau de Southern Comfort and that certain je ne sais quoi that could be anything from nostalgia to envy, you’ll interpret that magic decade by creating a scent that’s inspired by it. Your sense memories will create something that’s uniquely you. Breathe it in. Take a whiff. Your memories of that amazing decade will come flooding back quicker than you can say, “Why doesn’t he bathe more often?” Institute for Art and Olfaction, 932 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Mon., Aug. 12, 7 p.m.; $20. (213) 616-1744, artandolfaction.com. —David Cotner
Brick and Mortar
Shirikiana Aina’s 1982 film Brick by Brick was prescient in its examination of the devastating effects of neglect and gentrification on minority communities, made all the more powerful by being set in Washington, D.C., where the visual juxtapositions of poverty and the pageantry of government monuments amplify the injustice. But more than a documentation of strife, the film also focuses on the Seaton Street Project, a tenants union with a progressive community ownership model whose ideas are just as resonant today as ever. The screening is part of Art + Practice’s current exhibition “Time is Running Out of Time: Experimental Film and Video from the L.A. Rebellion and Today,” on view through September 14, itself part of the Broad’s “Soul of a Nation,” on view through September 1. Representatives from both venues as well as the Southern California Library will be on hand to discuss the film’s historical context and continuing relevance. Art + Practice, 3401 W. 43rd St., Leimert Park; Tue., Aug. 13, 7 p.m.; free. artandpractice.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot
Remember that Smell?
It only takes 45 minutes to reach a greater understanding of yourself as an individual adult human being when you explore Sense Memory in Art. Not that you should actually touch run your dirty fingers over all that art — just be as aware and present as you possibly can about all your senses working simultaneously while you look at a work of art. What are you hearing? What do you smell? Your sixth sense counts, too — as do your senses of balance, place, propriety and, yes, even your sense of humor. It’s all connected. It’s all happening. Just like you! The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Bel-Air; Wed., Aug. 14, 3:30 p.m.; free. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_
Shoot for the Stars
“We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” Chrissie Hynde sang at the Hollywood Bowl last month, invoking the famous Oscar Wilde line she quotes in her Pretenders song “Message of Love.” Marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the “America in Space” tribute at the Bowl on Thursday recalls a time when the leaders of this country were more interested in reaching for the stars than reliving the final days of the Roman Empire. Conductor David Newman shepherds L.A. Philharmonic through a celestially themed program that ranges from the West Coast premiere of Michael Giacchino’s Apollo 11 homage Advent and selections from Gustav Holst’s The Planets (natch) to Penka Kouneva’s salute to women astronauts and excerpts from Hidden Figures by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch — all of it against a backdrop of archival footage and other visual wonders. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Thu., Aug. 15, 8 p.m.; $1-$162. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com. —Falling James
Immerse yourself in the breadth — and, depending on how critical you are, the depths of Korean popular culture at this year’s KCON Los Angeles. A bicoastal celebration — nay, veneration — of the Korean cultural experience, over four days (a first for KCON USA) you’ll experience K-pop from bands at Staples Center like ONEUS, Chungha, LOOΠΔ Momoland, NU’EST, and SEVENTEEN, as well as K-couture, K-lifestyle, K-cuisine — hell, even K-rails at the construction sites outside the Convention Center. And don’t count the North Koreans out just yet! They finally got a pizzeria in 2009. They’re catching up! Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Thu.-Sun., Aug. 15-19, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; $36-1800. (213) 741-1151, facebook.com/events/