A celebration of Russian culture with some totally free events, a free screening of The Wizard of Oz and more fun stuff to do this week for a little (or no) money.
UCLA's departments of comparative literature, musicology and Slavic languages/literatures have joined forces for a three-day celebration of Russian arts and cuisine. Far From Moscow is a multidisciplinary look at what's going on in Russia right now, from comic books to music. The festival launches on Friday with events both on campus and around town, at a variety of price points. No knowledge of Russian is necessary; everything will be translated or subtitled in English. Head to the Fowler Museum for a free show of comics and graphic arts, most of which will be seen in the United States for the first time. For $15, check out a screening of Queen of Spades, a film derived from Tchaikovsky and Pushkin, at the James Bridges Theatre. Foodies might want to shell out $185 for a seven-course dinner from an all-star roster of Russian chefs at Verlaine in West Hollywood. Contemporary and classical music concerts at multiple venues also are part of the event. UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood; Fri.-Sun., Dec. 9-11, noon; free-$185. (310) 825-9212, ffmfestival.com. —Liz Ohanesian
Rules Don't Apply may not have been the return to form you were hoping for from Warren Beatty, but neither is it his only movie playing on the big screen — there's also Bonnie and Clyde. That Beatty's latest film is in part a paean to the Tinseltown of yore is a bit odd, given that he helped usher in the New Hollywood era by both producing and starring in this most urgent tale of lovers on the lam. Watch as Beatty and Faye Dunaway's bank-robbing spree reaches its bullet-ridden conclusion on 35mm courtesy of the Nuart. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Dec. 9, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine
Forty years later, the first King Kong remake doesn't exactly boast a legacy in keeping with its massive box office take. John Guillermin's update certainly has its champions, however, and with yet another reboot on the way, the Aero's screening presents an opportunity to get intimately acquainted with the Kong mythos: Don Mancini will moderate a postfilm discussion with legendary make-up artist Rick Baker, cinematographer Richard H. Kline, Martha and Raffaella De Laurentiis, King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon author Ray Morton and Richard Kraft of Kraft-Engel Management. (Whether any of them will be chained onstage in tribute to Kong himself could not be confirmed.) Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. —Michael Nordine
Get your tongue stuck to a pole at the New Beverly, where A Christmas Story gets the midnight treatment — which is to say, by the time the movie starts it'll be only two weeks until Christmas. Director Bob Clark also is responsible for the equally seasonal Black Christmas, an early slasher that the New Bev is given to celebrating during the holidays; suffice to say that people lose their eyes in that one as well. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat., Dec. 10, 11:59 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine
There's no place like home, but UCLA will have to do if you feel like seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen. The crown jewel of 1939, a year often remembered as Hollywood's best — see also Gone With the Wind (likewise directed by Victor Fleming) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington — is movie magic personified. UCLA presents it as a free matinee, so bring the young ones — just don't tell them how the studio treated poor Judy Garland until they're older. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., Dec. 11, 11 a.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
Moonlight is perhaps the most lauded film of the year, and rightfully so. Barry Jenkins' first feature in eight years (following 2008's Medicine for Melancholy) is gorgeous and gripping; it's a film that clenches your heart long after you leave the theater. Three incredible leads offer us potent, often painful fragments of an African-American man's journey of self-discovery, from boyhood to manhood. The film is likely to continue sweeping up awards and well-deserved exposure for Jenkins, so don't miss this unique opportunity to explore the film's complex humanity at the Hammer's Moonlight screening and Q&A with the director. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Mon., Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Neha Talreja
Before he began writing for and acting in bit parts on Conan, Emmy-winning comedian Andrés du Bouchet hosted Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There Is a Game in New York between 2002 and 2006. The weekly sketch/stand-up/improv hybrid featured du Bouchet playing an MC named Francisco Guglioni from the fictional country of Boliviguay, who presided over skits involving wacky inventions and games with Christopher Walken impersonators, as well as appearances by then–little knowns Nick Kroll, Aziz Ansari, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal. Du Bouchet brings the show to L.A. for the first time with Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There Is a Game's 15th Annual Holiday Special, which includes sidekick/keyboardist Adam Felber and guests Dana Gould, Dan Cronin, Brandon Wardell, Ed Salazar and Rebecca Schiffman. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tue., Dec. 13, 9-10:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 851-7223, nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan
Like The Apartment before it, Irma La Douce was directed by Billy Wilder and stars Jack Lemmon alongside Shirley MacLaine. This adaptation of Marguerite Monnot and Alexandre Breffort's stage musical (English title: “Irma the Sweet”) stars MacLaine as the eponymous prostitute and Lemmon as a former police officer who falls under her spell in Paris. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Dec. 13, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.