Back in the 1980s, a series of music and art performance parties raged through the Mojave Desert, setting the template for modern gatherings like Lollapooza, Coachella, and Burning Man. These experimental happenings were unwieldy and dangerous, and that, of course, was part of their attraction. Desolation Center tells the story of the cultural moment that birthed them, and the documentary’s detail and depth comes courtesy of director Stuart Swezey, the guy who originally organized the events. Concert footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Muppets, and many more are the primary draw. Panel Q&A follows each screening.

Fri., Sept. 13: Director Stuart Swezey and Suzi Gardner (L7), George Hurley (Minutemen), Don Bolles (Germs & 45 Grave), Mariska Leyssius (co-producer). Moderated by Chris Morris (Variety).

Sun., Sept.  at 7 p.m.: Director Stuart Swezey and K.K. Barrett (Screamers, production designer), Nancy Steiner (sostume designer), Mariska Leyssius (co-producer) Tyler Hubby (editor). Moderated by Peter Baxter (Slamdance Festival).

ArcLight, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Sept. 13- Sun., Sept. 15; various showtimes; $16-$18; (323) 615-2550,

LA Weekly