L.A. EigaFest covers the diversity of Japanese film: See Friday.
L.A. EigaFest covers the diversity of Japanese film: See Friday.
Courtesy of the Japan Film Society

21 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week

fri 9/25

Wes Craven was the rare horror maestro with the ability (let alone inclination) to make us think even as he scared the wits out of us, and for that he shall be missed. Still, there's a fittingly dark comfort to be taken in the fact that the director of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and too many others to list will be unsettling viewers from beyond the veil for decades to come. Cinefamily welcomes this legacy with a triple feature of The Hills Have Eyes, Stranger in Our House and The Last House on the Left. This program sandwiches a little-seen TV movie between two classics, allowing us to both revisit some of Craven's best-known work and discover something new. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Fri., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $16. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

If you're in the mood for late-night horror but, for whatever indefensible reason, Craven isn't your guy, head to the Nuart's 35mm screening of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later at midnight. As the seventh installment in a slasher series, a genre notorious for diminishing returns in its sequels, the film is difficult to classify as "good" in the traditional sense. But the cumulative effect of watching the masked Michael Myers terrorize Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, still our finest scream queen) time after time, film after film, is a certain melancholy that's also comforting in its familiarity. Plus, you know, stupid teenagers getting offed by an unkillable psycho wielding a butcher knife. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., Sept. 25, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com. —Michael Nordine

In June, after three years with Scott Aukerman on IFC's absurdist talk spoof Comedy Bang! Bang!, comedian-musician Reggie Watts decamped to CBS as bandleader of The Late Late Show With James Corden. Perhaps to blow off some corporate steam, he and his backing four-piece — succinctly named "Karen" — have since kept their creative pipes flushed at Silver Lake bar El Cid, performing two sets every Tuesday from 10 p.m. to close. Tonight Watts goes solo at downtown's Teragram Ballroom, returning to the stripped-down keyboard/looping machine/vocal acrobatics that established him as one of the industry's most expansive improvisers. Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. Seventh St., downtown; Fri., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; $25. (213) 689-9100, teragramballroom.com. —Julie Seabaugh

L.A. EigaFest will screen highlights of Japan's film world this weekend at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas. The event opens Friday with Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, the third live-action film based on the popular manga/anime series Rurouni Kenshin, and closes on Sunday with yakuza comedy Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen. In between, moviegoers can catch the North American premiere of Princess Jellyfish, based on the manga about a group of very nerdy women; the U.S. premiere of horror master Sion Sono's latest, Tag; and Japanese box office hit Flying Colors, among other features and shorts. Friday's Rurouni Kenshin screening is the big event, with a $45 price tag that includes an after-party at nearby venue Belasco. Regal Cinemas, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Fri.-Sun., Sept. 25-27, showtimes vary; $6-$45. laeigafest.com. —Liz Ohanesian

In conjunction with its Hammer Conversations series, the Hammer Museum hosts a discussion with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, singer of British post-punk industrial band Throbbing Gristle, and Simon Reynolds, an L.A.-based music critic, author and former editor at Spin. The talk is in conjunction with the two-day "All the Instruments Agree: An Exhibition or a Concert," running Sept. 26-27, featuring more than two dozen acts at the border of art and music, including P-Orridge, Glitterbust, a new project by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Alex Knost, Egyptian Hassan Khan, choreographer Simone Forti, the Angeles Free Music Society and many others who will perform on two outdoor stages from noon to 10 p.m. each day. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; free, tickets required. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Siran Babayan

The world’s only metal mariachi band.
The world’s only metal mariachi band.
Courtesy of Metalachi

sat 9/26

The Mexican folk music of mariachi has become so iconic that it's hard to imagine this tradition as a product of cultural fusion: When Spanish colonizers introduced string instruments to Central America, indigenous musicians applied their own rhythms to the European violins, and mariachi was born. Today's version of that synthesis is Metalachi, the world's only heavy-metal mariachi band. These mariachi rockers will change your perception of the genre at this free show presented in conjunction with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes' "Corazón de la Comunidad: A Story of Mariachi in Los Angeles." The special exhibition, which highlights the diverse voices of mariachi in L.A., is on view through Jan. 11. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Sat., Sept. 26, 7-10 p.m.; free. (888) 488-8038, lapca.org. —Sascha Bos

Not that they ever went away, but the Back to the Future movies seem to be on everyone's minds of late. These are nostalgic times, and you can't go a day without someone online talking about how old this or that milestone makes them feel — it's been 30 years since the first movie came out, after all, which is how far back in time Michael J. Fox originally went. Cinefamily screens the first two installments of Marty McFly's achronological adventures at Hollywood Forever, where the past always comingles with the present, with portions of the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. (gates at 5:45); $18. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org. —Michael Nordine

The third Jalopnik Film Festival, dedicated to the intersection of cinema and car culture, is an all-day schedule of films such as the grueling racing documentary Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans; George Miller's ultraviolent original Mad Max; Being Evel, Johnny Knoxville's paean to fellow daredevil Evel Knievel; John Frankenheimer's Ronin, with its exhilarating car chases; and the world-premiere tragic short In Loving Memory, about the hundreds of motorcyclists who have died during the past century's Isle of Man TT races. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 Broadway, downtown; Sat., Sept. 26, 11 a.m.; $25-75. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles. —David Cotner

The site-specific masters at Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre are launching Sophie and Charlie, a dance show unveiled in weekly episodes, like a telenovela. Over the next few weeks, the episodic romance promises to lead audiences to a quartet of charming landscape plots while revealing plot twists. In the opening episode, Sophie and Charlie "meet cute" in At the Funeral in a San Fernando Valley church. First Date moves to Venice's Beyond Baroque, followed by Intensive Care at a Crenshaw hospital, with the finale, Garden Bout, at a WeHo park. Each venue has live music, and a video compilation may be in the works. Unitarian Universalist Church, 12355 Moorpark St., Studio City; Sat., Sept. 26, 7 & 9 p.m.; Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thu., Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.; semi-vacant hospital, 3831 Stocker St., Crenshaw; Sun., Oct. 11, 4 & 6 p.m.; Kings Road Park, 1000 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood; Sun., Oct. 18, 3 & 5 p.m. Individual tickets $50, $20 students. (866) 811-4111, heididuckler.org. —Ann Haskins

The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival
The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival
Courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival

sun 9/27

In addition to the affordable lobster meals ($23 for a whole, steamed lobster and fixins), the 16th annual Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival will feature live bands all weekend long, ranging from "hulabilly" to taiko drumming and indie rock. Although these lobsters weren't caught at the Port — they're shipped in all the way from Maine — it's still a lot more fun to eat shellfish by the ocean than in a stuffy restaurant. It takes 16 tons (about 20,000 total) live lobsters to make this New England lobstah-shack fantasy come true. Ports O' Call Village, 1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro; Fri., Sept. 25, 5-11 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $10, children under 12 free. (310) 798-7478, lobsterfest.com. —Sascha Bos

Enough with the horror and the time travel, you say? Well, classicists, perhaps seeing Doctor Zhivago at the Egyptian will sate your cinematic needs. David Lean's epic romance plays in the heart of Hollywood as part of both its 50th-anniversary celebration and the American Cinematheque's ongoing Omar Sharif remembrance. The film's runtime is long, but so is its list of accolades: five Oscars, five Golden Globes, No. 39 on AFI's list of the 100 greatest films of all time and the eighth highest-grossing film of all time when adjusting for inflation. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com. -Michael Nordine

mon 9/28

Crematory worker Caitlin Doughty presents Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory, the paperback edition of her wildly successful foray into the inner workings of how humans view and cope with death. The book delves into the history of cremation in particular and undertaking in general, while dealing with everything from finding cremains in one's clothes to figuring out how many bodies can fit into a Dodge van. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Mon., Sept. 28, 7 p.m.; free, book is $15.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

Michael Ritchie directed Robert Redford in two consecutive films, namely The Candidate and Downhill Racer, which the New Beverly is screening in reverse chronological order because the only constant in this world is chaos. Ritchie made an auspicious debut with the latter (which is really the former), in which a gifted skier played by the Sundance Kid goes for the gold; Redford's presidential candidate, meanwhile, would appear to have no chance of winning, which enables and emboldens him to speak truth to power and throw a wrench in the whole dysfunctional process. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Tue., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com. —Michael Nordine

Avant-garde fans, rejoice. Film at REDCAT begins its fall season with the world premiere of Margaret Honda's Color Correction. The artist's first feature-length film was made using the timing tapes that color-corrected a Hollywood feature whose identity is unknown. Honda will appear in person to discuss the silent work, which screens on 35mm and runs 101 minutes. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Mon., Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.; $11. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org. —Michael Nordine

Once actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, known for movies such as Smashed, met hip-hop producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and told him she was a big fan. Nakamura later called her up, suggesting they collaborate. The result is the music duo Got a Girl, performing at Largo tonight. Last year they released an album, I Love You but I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now, a travelogue influenced by French pop, about a girl traveling wooed and wowed by the men she meets, in much the same way that Serge Gainsbourg swept Jane Birkin off her feet. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Mon., Sept. 28, 7 p.m.; $30. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. —David Cotner

tue 9/29

Industrial musicals are weird musical-theater productions dedicated to extolling the virtues of companies and products for their employees and shareholders. Former Late Night With David Letterman writer Steve Young co-wrote a book about the now mostly obsolete format, and has arranged a Cinefamily fundraiser for documentary The Industrial Musicals Movie. The presentation will include footage of American Standards' extravaganza The Bathrooms Are Coming; a preview of the doc, which stars David Letterman, Martin Short and others; and a live performance by Eleni Mandell and DJ Don Bolles. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Tue., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —David Cotner

LACMA's Classic Sci-Fi series continues with the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers on 35mm. This is the rare franchise with two different remakes that are actually worthwhile (check out Abel Ferrara's 1993 version if you haven't already), but the first remains a must for genre enthusiasts nearly half a century later. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Sept. 29, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine

Wendell Pierce
Wendell Pierce
Photo by Sean Hagwell

wed 9/30

When actor Wendell Pierce and his family returned to his Pontchartrain Park home after Hurricane Katrina, he found it in ruins and under 14 feet of water. Pierce, known for The Wire, would eventually star in the New Orleans–set Treme and help rebuild his neighborhood. Tonight, Pierce discusses his memoir of that period, The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, a Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken, which includes an account of putting on a production of Waiting for Godot in his native city. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Sept. 30, 7 p.m.; free, book is $27.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner

In keeping with recent tributes to Rodney Dangerfield and Joan Rivers, the Grammy Museum's latest comedy-themed exhibit is "George Carlin: A Place for My Stuff." Among the memorabilia on display are the stand-up comedian's childhood photos, set lists from performances on The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, a script from Kevin Smith's 1999 film Dogma, public arrest records and all five of Carlin's Grammy Awards. The items are on loan from daughter and co-curator Kelly Carlin, who'll taking part in an exhibit-related event next month, when she discusses her new memoir, A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George. Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Wed., Sept. 30, through March 31; $10.95-$12.95. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org. —Siran Babayan

thu 10/1

It's hard to believe it's been a half century since quirky, mop-haired choreographer Twyla Tharp made her first dance. For some it may be hard to recall the way she sent Joffrey Ballet's classically trained dancers "tharping" to a Beach Boys soundtrack in 1973's Deuce Coupe. The aftershocks continued after Tharp merged her company with American Ballet Theatre in 1988. There were television shows, a collaboration with an adventurous young Russian named Baryshnikov and, more recently, a venture into Broadway, as she served up dance theater to soundtracks by Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan. Yes, Tharp has had quite a run, but she's hardly resting on her laurels: Twyla Tharp: 50th-Anniversary Celebration boasts a double bill of new works, one set to Bach and the other set to Henry Butler and Steve Bernstein's jazz score. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thu.-Sat., Oct. 1-3, 0x000A8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 4, 2 p.m.; $49-$129. (310) 746-4000, thewallis.org. —Ann Haskins

Attention all you beef-o jocks, pompom pinheads and Bible-thumping mamas: You know you squirmed when the movie Carrie's Sissy Spacek — as the titular girl so humiliated by the sorry likes of you moronic creeps — got her totally justified vengeance that grisly night at the prom. There's a little bit of Carrie in all of us, and we're gonna revel in Carrie: The Musical, the famous 1988 Broadway bomb that director Brady Schwind put on earlier this year at La Mirada Theatre and is remounting at the Los Angeles Theatre downtown. Elaborate special effects, in-the-round seating and buckets of blood immerse the audience in this horrific tale of righteous retribution. Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, downtown; Thu., Oct. 1-Sun., Nov. 22, times vary; $40-$125. (888) 596-1027, experiencecarrie.com. —John Payne


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