A video from Freewaves
A video from Freewaves

5 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

The argument over whether or not the Internet has economically screwed creative folks is as old as, well, the Internet. Scott Timberg probes this debate in his new book, Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class. In a conversation with Janet Fitch (White Oleander), Timberg discusses his book, which looks at how technology, new media and the economy have relegated once-employed artists to freelancers who can scarcely earn a middle-class living. (Timberg can relate; he was laid off as an L.A. Times arts reporter in 2008.) The L.A.-based writer has contributed to The New York Times, GQ, Salon and this very publication, co-edits the anthology The Misread City: New Literary Los Angeles and blogs for ArtsJournal. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., March 15, 5-6 p.m.; free, book is $26. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Siran Babayan

A Week of French-Language Cinema celebrates the Francophile in us all, kicking off with films from Belgium paired with Belgian beer. The animated Aya de Yopougon from Ivory Coast follows, as well as films from Switzerland and Quebec. It all culminates on closing night with films from France: animated short Sweet Cocoon and Mélanie Laurent's Respire. And it wouldn't be complete without a wine tasting courtesy of the French Consulate. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, 3261 Overland Ave., West L.A.; Mon., March 16-Sat., March 21., 7:30 p.m.; free with rsvp.trk@lyceela.org (indicate number of seats and days). (310) 836-3464, theatreraymondkabbaz.com. —Tanja M. Laden

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Nothing like a little light reading: Kevin Sessums discusses and signs I Left It on the Mountain: A Memoir, about his realization, at age 53, that all that anonymous empty sex and abuse of various substances — interspersed with stints as a writer for Vanity Fair and Interview — had left him more or less a hollow husk of a human being. After conquering Mount Kilimanjaro and wandering the world, he realized that he could either keep cratering or get over his incredible power trip and try to change his ways. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., March 17, 7 p.m.; free, book is $25.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

The Freewaves organization takes a unique approach to supporting independent video and new-media art programming, putting together spectacular works for events at venues from the L.A. Art Show to the Getty Center — and coming up at L.A. Weekly's own Artopia in April. But with Long Live L.A., it brings it to the doctor's office. Made by teams of contemporary artists and local students, this slate of 30 original short videos engages with our city's policy regarding mental health and addiction issues, and will be playing at clinics and on public health websites, as well as out-the-window.org/videos. You can see them all at tonight's launch party and artists panel. Mercado la Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., March 18, 7-9 p.m.; free. (323) 871-1950, freewaves.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

In the Hammer Forum Terror in the Name of Islam, onetime British diplomat and counterterrorism expert Richard Barrett opens the mind of Undercover Jihadi author Mubin Shaikh to reveal why mild-mannered Muslims can become radicalized. Canadian-born Shaikh ran away and joined the extremist circus after 9/11 but finally got over it and volunteered to help the Canadian Security Intelligence Service fight terrorism. Tonight is that rare and illuminating evening of conversation about the conflict with insight from someone who's actually seen both sides. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Westwood; Thu., March 19, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

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