Director Jodi Wille is fascinated by fringe subcultures. Her 2012 documentary, “The Source Family,” encapsulated self-styled guru Father Yod’s questionably utopian community of the 1960s/’70s. For her next project, she’s exploring the Unarius Academy of Science, a spiritual group founded in the 1950s by Ruth and Ernest Norman with some very interesting ideas about aliens and enlightened healing.
Following the death of her husband in 1973, Ruth aka Archangel Uriel purchased 67 acres of land in the mountains near San Diego. This plot of land was to be a landing site for the Space Brothers, emissaries from the Intergalactic Confederation bound for Earth. Over the next two decades, followers of the Unarius Academy spread their “inter-dimensional science of life” and past-life therapy via zany, no-budget, public-access TV programming.
Tonight, Wille will share some of her favorite videos uncovered while researching the documentary, as well as screen “The Decline and Destruction of the Orion Empire: Religious Deception and Spiritual Truth,” a 1980 psychodrama directed by Archangel Uriel. The screening will be followed by a Q+A with Wille and several Unariuns.
TUESDAY April 30, 2019 / 6–11:30 p.m. / Million Dollar Theater
May marks the return of Food Bowl, the month-long food festival presented by the Los Angeles Times. Now in its third year, the festival is overflowing with amazing events.
Things kick off Tuesday night with Mesamérica L.A., the first incarnation of chef Enrique Olvera’s symposium to be hosted outside of Mexico. Olvera and L.A. Times Food Editor Peter Meehan’s collaborative program explores the culinary and cultural connections forged over the last 50 years between Mexico City and Los Angeles.
After the Mesamérica event wraps up, the festivities will continue at DFiesta at the Grand Central Market and La Cita Bar. After cocktails at La Cita, attendees can trek over to Grand Central Market and purchase whichever culinary delights they find most appealing while enjoying roving Mariachi bands and Mexico-inspired fun.
Snag an $85 ticket to receive a curated selection of one-night-only offerings from:
Ditroit (Olvera’s forthcoming L.A. taqueria) X China Cafe
Campobaja (Mexico City) X The Oyster Gourmet (featuring Sanctuary Oysters by Sol Azul)
Los Panchos (Mexico City) X Sari Sari Store and Petty Cash
Horse Thief BBQ
WEDNESDAY May 1, 2019 / 7–9:30 p.m. / Skylight Books
By publishing the first issue of “Love and Rockets” in 1981, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez helped usher the alternative comics revolution of that decade, creating a beloved world of characters that have developed, evolved and actually aged on the page.
Tonight, Jaime will talk about his latest graphic novel, “Is This How You See Me?” with NPR’s Arts Desk Senior Editor Nina Gregory. “Is This How You See Me?” focuses on Maggie and Hopey, two of his ‘Locas,’ flashing back and forth in time to reveal how these young L.A. Chicanx punks grew into complex, middle-aged women.
THURSDAY May 2, 2019 / 5–9 p.m. / Annenberg Space for Photography
NYC’s largest photo exhibition comes to Los Angeles for the first time in its seven-year run. Photoville LA features local and international photographers from all disciplines, as well as talks, workshops, activities, food curated by Smorgasburg; and Photoville’s “famous community beer garden,” where nightly entertainment takes place.
The exhibition is dispersed throughout repurposed shipping containers, photo cubes and lightbox installations. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket and hang out under the stars to enjoy projections while sipping beers imported all the way from Brooklyn Brewery.
FRIDAY May 3, 2019 / 8–11:45 p.m. / Pico Union Project
Jessica Pratt earned herself some diehard fans after White Fence’s Tim Presley discovered and released “Birth,” a collection of Pratt’s demos and early studio recordings in 2012. Listeners quickly fell in love with Pratt’s otherworldly voice and guitar-driven songs.
After moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Pratt recorded her next album, 2015’s “On Your Own Love Again,” in her bedroom and her fanbase grew to international heights. Her eagerly-awaited third release, “Quiet Signs” finally came out this year, and oh, what a treasure it is. Pico Union Project’s beautiful synagogue makes for a perfect setting to experience the record, and hopefully some old favorites.
Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles
SATURDAY May 4, 2019 / 12 –4 p.m. / Urban Radish
Esotouric leads a four-hour bus tour tracing the steps of L.A. literature’s most iconic rogue, Charles Bukowski — where he drank, lived, worked and stumbled around. Stops include the downtown postal sorting facility he writes about in “Post Office,” the De Longpre Avenue apartment where he attempted to be a husband and father; and many of his favorite haunts including Skid Row, Crown Heights and the East Hollywood liquor store, The Pink Elephant. The expert guide will share background on the writer as well as the people and places that inspired his writing along the way.
So much wackiness in one happy place. Lucha VaVOOM’s Cinco de Mayo celebration surpasses them all with wrestling, comedy, Aztec dancers, aerialists, burlesque performers, hula hoop masters, lowriders, mariachis and live music; all of which reaches surreal proportions after a few rounds of tequila.
This year’s extravaganza features Mexican garage-punk band Le Butcherettes, the madman from Miami Otto Von Schirach, folkloricos from Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet, Mariachi Alma y Corazon, cumbia and a free photo booth to immortalize any bad decisions made in this high-octane environment. Stand-up comedy duo The Sklar Brothers host tonight’s show alongside Jeff Davis to keep the good times rolling with off-the-cuff commentary.