If you've been looking for love in all the wrong places, take a look at these five events. From hilarious improv shenanigans to artistic renderings of found footage, there is bound to be something to catch your eye. And best of all, each one is $15 or less: What's not to love?
1. Laugh Your Way through the Oscars Improviganza
iO West's fifth annual Oscars Improviganza is about to dump a bucket of cold water on Hollywood's biggest circle jerk. Hosted by singer-comedian Larry Bene, three improv teams from the club roster will each re-enact three of this year's nine films nominated for Best Picture, including American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. The teams also will collectively bring to life a 10th film as suggested by the audience, who will pick the winner using a "clap-master meter," although the only golden statuettes in sight will be at the souvenir shops on Hollywood Boulevard. So while we fully expect to see them set up an art heist, hijack a ship and float into space, pulling off Martin Scorsese's glorified hair-metal video might the biggest challenge of the night, what with all the drugs, nudity, dwarf-tossing and sticking a candle where the sun don't shine. iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Feb. 15, 11:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 962-7560, ioimprov.com. - Siran Babayan
2. Party Hearty at I Art You
Valentine's Day was, of course, Friday. But maybe St. Valentine can be excused for being a day late this year, as the newest edition of the quarterly, one-night-only art party thrown by Create:Fixate offers a promising combination of art, music, cocktails and shopping to impress your beloved culture monster. Celebrating love in all its forms, the organizers have called it I Art You for a reason. The eclectic, curated art exhibition that forms the foundation of the series features a blend of artists, designers, DJs and musicians, some of them live-painting and taking photographs throughout the night. But Create:Fixate also is known for bringing the talent in the DJ department, with this edition starring The Lift's Wiseacre, KCRW's Mario Cotto and a groovy live music lineup. Whether you're there on a date or just want to show yourself some love, in addition to the art on the walls, take advantage of the panoply of local artisanal designers showing jewelry, fashions and unique, handmade tokens of your affection. And if your Valentine's Day didn't go so great, come early for a singles mixer from 7-9 p.m.; you might get lucky. Lot 613, 613 Imperial St., dwntwn.; Sat., Feb. 15, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; $20, $15 before 9 p.m. (323) 934-7777, createfixate.com.? - Shana Nys Dambrot
3. Pay Tribute to Ned Vizzini
Truth hurts, and no other truism is more painful than "Change alone is changeless" - because when you lose such a grand and shuddering talent as author Ned Vizzini, it changes the culture in the worst of all possible ways. Tonight's Tribute to Ned Vizzini sees his fellow young-adult authors coming together to commemorate the man who passed away in December at 32, a death that leaves the YA literary scene bereft. Although he was based in Brooklyn, Vizzini worked as a TV writer and story editor and was much loved by West Coast friends. Hosted by Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist co-author Rachel Cohn, Vizzini's contemporaries - graphic novelist Cecil Castellucci, Witches of East End writer Melissa de la Cruz, L.A. Review of Books contributor Kristen Kittscher and Boy Meets Boy scribe David Levithan - will read from his work. His is a bibliography that, most tellingly, includes his autobiographical 2006 novel, It's Kind of a Funny Story, which dealt with depression - something, in Vizzini's case, that unfortunately did not change. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Mon., Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylight?books.com - David Cotner
Turn the page for two more awesome events this week.
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4. Be amazed by the Sixth Annual Festival of (In)appropriation
Whether it's visual arts or music, artists in various disciplines are upcycling so-called "found" media to repurpose and recontextualize existing works of art. The same goes for people working in film and video. The sixth annual Festival of (In)appropriation, hosted by Los Angeles Filmforum, is an experimental-film series screening a selection of 14 shorts made from archive films, public-domain footage, popular cinema and original material. Films such as Tina Takemoto's Looking for Jiro and Cheryl Pagurek's Passage examine personal and collective identities within the context of social history and cultural heritage. Others, like Gregg Biermann's Magic Mirror Maze, are best described as video art. From politically charged to thought-provoking to purely entertaining, each film is a compelling study into the deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of moving images, collectively redefining the meaning of adaptive reuse. Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.; $10 general, $6 students and seniors, Filmforum members free. (323) 466-3456, brownpapertickets.com/event/565355. - Tanja M. Laden
5. The Wes Anderson Collection
Twenty years ago, filmmaker Wes Anderson premiered his short film Bottle Rocket at the Sundance Film Festival. The seven feature films he has directed since then have spawned their own idiosyncratic genre of precious perfectionism - frequently imitated but never surpassed. So it is high time to lionize Anderson in book form. Matt Zoller Seitz's new tome, The Wes Anderson Collection, is based on a 2009 series of video essays by the New York magazine TV critic. In Collection, he dissects the overwhelming influence that films such as Rushmore and Moonrise Kingdom have had on contemporary cinema. In addition to Seitz signing and discussing his book, there will be a Wes Anderson costume contest for those looking to dust off their red track suits or the Steve Zissou uniforms they haven't worn since last Halloween. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues., Feb. 18, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. - Sean J. O'Connell