This week’s local events seem to be dominated by film and film history (hmmm…must be Oscar season), but we’ve got science, food history and cars for you, too.
For those interested in science, and how the next generation will use it to save the world, check out the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s 25th Anniversary Regional Science Bowl, today (Saturday) at the utility’s downtown headquarters, 111 N. Hope Street. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., more than 250 of the city’s top science students from 29 area public, private, parochial and charter high schools will compete in 50 teams for the chance to represent the city at the U.S. Department of energy Office of Science National Science Bowl in Washington, DC in April. Today’s competition will test students’ reflexes, teamwork skills and knowledge of science, math, technology and related current events in a fun competitive atmosphere following a television game show format. In addition to the Washington trip, there will also be cash and scholarship prizes for both individuals and schools. Everyone is welcome.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Los Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club will be holding an open house at its headquarters at 3250 Wilshire Blvd. You can learn what the Sierra Club is all about, find out about important environmental issues, and network with members and representatives of many of the chapter’s entities. Lunch will be provided, and you’ll be entered into a special drawing if you bring your own plate, utensils and mug. There’s no charge for the event, but RSVPs are appreciated at the link above, and parking in the building with Sierra Club validation is $5.
Later, at the John C. Fremont Branch Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., homework tutor Brian will be available from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, to help students from Kindergarten through community college age with math and science homework (no reservations needed; first come, first served). Later, starting at 2 p.m., the library will also host the first of two scheduled LA Made programs, featuring Charles Perry, the president and co-founder of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, who will talk about the history of tiki bars in Los Angeles and why Southern Californians fell in love with the promise of paradise when visiting these Polynesian-themed establishments.
Also at 2 p.m. on Saturday, a bit further north in Hollywood, the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, 6644 Hollywood Blvd., which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, will present a talk and book signing with Steven Jay Rubin, author of “The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia,” “an exhaustive fact-filled volume about one of the greatest television shows ever.” The event will include a screening of an episode of the classic sci fi anthology series.
And finally on Saturday, as long as we’re in vintage media mode, the American Cinematheque, just a few blocks down at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., will present three different screening events. The first, at 2 p.m., is Fashion & Film: The 1920s, which includes an illustrated presentation with film and costume design historian Kimberly Truhler, and a screening of the 1927 film, “It,” starring flapper Clara Bow (forever after known as Hollywood’s “It Girl.) In the film, Bow stars as a sexy department store worker who hopes to get the man of her dreams by dating his best friend. The program launches Truhler’s Fashion & Film series, which will cover the 1920s through the 1980s in separate installments.
Next, starting at 7:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the Cinematheque will present screenings of “Salesman,” a new digital restoration of the landmark “direct cinema” documentary of “direct cinema” from the brothers Albert and David Maysles. The film “captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman – in this case four competitors working for a Bible sales company” as they are “engrossed in carving out their slice of the American Dream.”
And finally, at both 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. today, there will be screenings of the legendary cult film, “The Room” (the film that inspired the recent “The Disaster Artist”). There will also be an introduction by writer-director Tommy Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero. (Please also note that the 7:30 p.m. show is already sold out online, but there will be a standby line starting when box office opens at 6:00 p.m.) Tickets are still available for the 10:30 show.
On Sunday, you can start your engines early, with an Enzo Ferrari Birthday Club Cruise-In from 8-10:00 a.m. on the third floor of the parking structure at the Petersen Museum. Join car enthusiasts in celebrating “Il Commendatore” Enzo Ferrari’s birthday, along with his achievements in design, engineering, and motorsport. More than 200 Ferraris are expected to attend, in one of the largest public displays of the marque this year. Museum members will also be given early entry, starting at 9 a.m., to the current Ferrari exhibition, Seeing Red: 70 years of Ferrari. There will be complimentary coffee and bagels while supplies last, and awards will be given to participants for Best-In-Show, People’s Choice and Petersen Perfection. The sought-after Petersen Perfection award will be given to the most historically authentic vehicle.
Later, it’s back to the movies – this time at LACMA – with a talk on The Art of the Movie Poster: A Conversation with Mike Kaplan and Kenneth Turan, starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday. An ideal movie poster, according to Kaplan, a designer, art director and producer – as well as the creator of such iconic posters as the one for “A Clockwork Orange” – “captures graphically the creativity and emotion of the film-going experience” in a single image, while at the same time standing alone as a work of art.” Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, will discuss the artistic and historic significance of posters from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The conversation celebrates the opening of LACMA’s new exhibition, “The Art of the Movie Poster: Highlights from the Mike Kaplan Collection at LACMA. It’s free and open to the public.
And, finally on Sunday, one more great vintage film screening, this time the original “Blade Runner,” again at the Cinematheque/Egyptian Theater. Starting at 7:30 p.m., you can see Ridley Scott’s “dazzling fusion of retro-noir and future paranoia is set in a decaying, rain-drenched Los Angeles,” starring Harrison Ford stars as the government-sanctioned killer who falls in love with gorgeous, enigmatic Sean Young. (This will be the 2007 Final Cut version.)
Last but not least, it’s also worth nothing that we are in the last weekend of the 16-day full closure of Wilshire Blvd. between Western Ave. and Manhattan Place, for Metro Purple Line Extension construction preparation. The closures will be in effect all weekend, but the street will re-open at 6 a.m. on Monday.
Have a great weekend!