OK, we give up – for once, it might just be better to hunker down and spend a lazy, scorching post-holiday weekend in your AC at home. If you have it. If you’re like the rest of us, however, without sufficient summertime climate control, there are a few good ways to escape the heat for the next few days, especially if you like cool, dark movie theaters. But let’s begin at the beginning.
For those who love (or parent those who love) anime, the huge annual Anime Expo is now running (through Sunday) at the Los Angeles Convention Center. From cosplay to gaming to publishing and more, the jam-packed event includes vendor booths, exhibitions, entertainment and everything else you can imagine…including several blissful acres of air conditioning.
Our local libraries are also usually nice and cool on hot days, and this weekend the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., is holding its monthly Friends of the Library Book Sale on Friday (12-4 p.m.) and Saturday (12 to 5 p.m.). Most books are priced between $.10 and $1, with a special 50% off sale on all travel and cookbooks. All proceeds go to support the library and its many free programs…and you can also help by donating your gently used books and/or by becoming a Friend of the Library for just $10 per year.
With any luck, the weather will cool a bit by Saturday evening, but even if it doesn’t, there are several good movie and other performance options.
First at 7:30 p.m., the American Cinematheque is in an “a-maze-ing” mood at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, with a double feature of two twisty thrillers, “Dark City” and “Cube.” Starting at 7:30 p.m., 1998’s “Dark City” gives us alien “Strangers” whose world is dying and who hope to save themselves by collecting and studying a group of humans. The the film’s writer, David Goyer, will discuss the movie after the screening…and the discussion will be followed by “Cube,” from 1997, which presents a group of strangers of varying backgrounds and skills dropped into a giant cube filled with shifting, booby-trapped rooms from which they must escape.
Also at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and also at the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater, you can go even further back in time with the Retroformat film series, which will present two early silent films featuring stunt star Charles Hutchison, billed as “one of the greatest stuntmen/serial stars of the silent era.” First, “Lightning Hutch” sets the screen ablaze in “The Torture Trap,” the first action-packed episode of the 1918 American Pathe serial “The Wolves of Kultur,” costarring Leah Baird and Sheldon Lewis. And then, in the fast-moving 1927 feature “Hidden Aces,” he plays gentleman thief Larry “Hutch” Hutchdale, who has his eyes on Princess Orloff of Russia’s jeweled necklace…only to meet his match in the princess’ secretary (Alice Calhoun), who is a cat burglar herself. The show will also include live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.
And finally on Saturday at 8 p.m., for some musical and visual fun in (we hope) air conditioned comfort, there’s the “Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular,” at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine St. The show will present Pink Floyd’s musical favorites (including music from “the Wall” and “Dark Side of the Moon”) “along with deep tracks accompanied by the iconic psychedelic images and visuals that are the band’s hallmark.” It promises “cutting-edge effects, full-color lasers, Hi-Def multi-screen video projection, concert quality sound and lighting effects…in an array of visual displays choreographed to the original Pink Floyd master recordings.” Cool. (And, again, we hope, cool.) Doors open at 7 p.m.
Sunday’s events are fairly minimal this week, but we can happily recommend any of our large, air conditioned museums (sensing a theme here?), or head back to the movies, new or vintage.
And as usual, a good vintage option is, again, back at the Cinematheque, which continues its maze theme a bit more literally, at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a double feature of “Labyrinth” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” In the first, from 1986, fifteen-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), angry with her little brother, wishes him away to the imaginary land of the Goblin King (David Bowie) from her favorite book…but then she has only 13 hours to rescue him from the “phantasmagoric realm of her own creation.” In the second film, from 2006, director Guillermo del Toro takes us back to 1944 Spain, where a young girl arrives at the home of her new stepfather, a brutal Spanish army captain, and is drawn to an ancient maze, where a mysterious creature assigns her three tasks.
Sounds like a good way to end a good, though warm, weekend. Stay cool, everyone!