There's no shortage of movie-centric events in L.A. (we are, after all, the home base of the Industry), but they're not always free and open to the public. This week is an exception, with four awesome movie events that are completely free! We've also got an art show, lest you think films are the only way people express their creativity around here.
On Saturday, make sure to catch one of the five excellent outdoor movies screening in L.A. (two of which are free). Then, check out an avant-garde flood experience at USC and a conversation with film legend Buck Henry. Want something a little more low-brow? Everything is Festival will showcase America's Funniest Home Videos rejects and classics like Samurai Cop. Make it to their opening night on Thursday to get in free. You may never go back to your local multiplex again.
5. Get Drunk on Art
“Neckface: Drinking on the Job” is a show a year in the making — and it sounds like one hell of a year. Inspired by the tenaciously seedy bar culture of his new hometown of L.A., this tagger/painter/phenom immersed himself in alcoholism (and related unsavory behaviors) for an extended bender, during which he somehow managed to work furiously on his art. The result: the dark, witty and hilarious pieces created for this much-anticipated installation. Using a method akin to the surrealists’ automatic drawings, Neckface basically worked nightly in a fugue state, awoke to discover the surprises he’d left for himself in the studio the evening before, and then refined and elaborated on them before starting the process all over again. Well, maybe refined is not the word. Neckface is, after all, known for his exceptionally vulgar, sassy and sophomoric yet insightful observations on human nature — and his new barfly compatriots did not skimp on the material. New Image Art Gallery, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.; continues Tue.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Sept. 13; free. (323) 654-2192, newimageartgallery.com. ?—Shana Nys Dambrot
4. Go to the Movies
Outdoor movies are one of our favorite things about summer in L.A. The warm summer air, the food trucks, the lack of bugs — where else are conditions so perfect? But with August coming to a close, such opportunities are running out. Tonight, three of this summer’s biggest venues will show three different classic comedies — Clueless in Glendale, The Princess Bride in Beverly Hills and There’s Something About Mary in Hollywood. Screenings of the first two films will be paired with live music and food trucks, while There’s Something About Mary benefits from the great ambiance of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Prefer your movies free? This is the last day to catch downtown’s Movies in the Park, and today they’re showing Flash Gordon at sunset and Barbarella at 11 p.m. (with food trucks, too!). The hardest part will be deciding which movie to see. Clueless: Street Food Cinema, Glendale Central Park, 201 E. Colorado St., Glendale; Sat., Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. (doors 5:30 p.m., band 6:30 p.m.); $12 general/$17 reserved, $6/$11 children 6-12, free, kids under 5). (323) 254-5068. streetfoodcinema.com. The Princess Bride: Eat|See|Hear, La Cienega Park, 325 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sat., Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. (doors 5:30 p.m., music 7 p.m.); $10 ($8, kids 12 and under). eatseehear.com. There’s Something About Mary: Cinespia, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Aug 23, 9 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.); $14. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org. Movies in the Park, Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., Aug. 23, sundown & 11 p.m.; free. grand?parkla.org. —Sascha Bos
3. Listen to a Legend
Although it has been more than 30 years since he did it, Buck Henry has hosted Saturday Night Live 10 times (that’s twice as many as Justin Timberlake). The versatile comedian co-wrote The Graduate, co-created Get Smart with Mel Brooks, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for directing Heaven Can Wait. Add to that 60 acting credits and you have the undeniable makings of a legend. For this event, Lost & Found at the Movies: The Art of Adapting, the 83-year-old Henry will join Sundance Festival senior programmer John Nein to discuss screenplay adaptation. It’s probably best to save any questions about John Belushi’s unhinged samurai for another day. The event is sold out, but they release tickets from no-shows an hour before the event. Be there at 6:30 p.m. for the first-come, first-served line. Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Mon., Aug 25, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org. —Sean J. O’Connell
2. Feel the Flood
Rare is it that you’re able to witness an event in America’s history that is at once surreal and hyper-real — but in tonight’s screening of The Great Flood, with director Bill Morrison in conversation with Cinematic Arts professor Mary Sweeney, you’ll transcend entropy and time to witness a uniquely American upheaval. The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 deluged 27,000 square miles; the exodus of sharecroppers that followed led to a flowering of inner-city life and the propagation of the blues to northern climes. With no dialogue — the images in the film, weathered and withered as they are, speak for themselves — and a scarcity of narrative text, Morrison and composer Bill Frisell have alchemized source material from the National Archives to show an America eaten away by waters that scoured the countryside as surely as any death or revolution. Yet the power of cinema in The Great Flood is, in its way, just as fearsome and majestic as the water that drowned the world that spring. Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Tue., Aug. 26, 7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (213) 740-0483, cinema.usc.edu. —David Cotner
1. See the Best of the Worst
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and almost every kind of media thereafter, including but not limited to GIFs. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year’s fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT’s very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America’s Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento’s favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28-Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Tanja M. Laden
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
See also: Upcoming Siracha Festivals.
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter: