5 Design Things to do This Week

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A Charlie Kaufman retrospective, a show of songs and films by two bicyclists named Ben, a look-back at a historic dam building disaster, Laurie Lipton’s techno-Rococo in pencil, and Happy Birthday Marion! at the Annenberg Beach House — that’s all this week in design events.

Michael (David Thewlis) and Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) find love in a hopeless place. Paramount Animation / Starburns industries (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Charlie Kaufman Retrospective

Mind-bending writer/filmmaker Charlie Kaufman’s new stop-motion animated film Anomalisa is currently playing at the Landmark in West LA. Tonight (Monday 1/4), the 7:30 PM screening will feature a Q&A with Kaufman, co-director Duke Johnson and producer Rosa Tran. Online ticket sales are closed but there are still a few seats available at the door. Get there early!

Tonight’s event is part of a weeklong screening some of the Kaufman’s past films: Being John Malkovich (1999) Monday 1/4; Adaptation (2003) Tuesday 1/5; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Wednesday 1/6; Synecdoche, New York (2008) Thursday 1/7. These screenings are all at 1 PM.

When: Daily screenings through January 7, 2016; 1:00 PM (click here for specific screenings)

Where: Landmark Theatre, 10850 West Pico, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Tickets: $10.50 ; buy online or call the theater at 310-470-0492 (extension 7 to reach a human being).

2)  Author Jon Wilkman on the St. Francis Dam Collapse

Author and documentary filmmaker Jon Wilkman leads an illustrated discussion at a Burbank branch library of his new book, “Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles.” The 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam near L.A. resulted in the deaths of almost 500 people and ended the career of LADWP chief engineer William Mulholland.

Wilkman’s book “includes more than two decades’ worth of research, eyewitness interviews, theories as to why the dam broke and a profile of Mulholland.”

When: Wednesday, January 6, 2016; 7:00 PM

Where: Buena Vista Branch Library, 300 N. Buena Vista St., BurbankCA 91505

Tickets: Free and open to the public.

Ben Townsend

3) An Evening with Cyclist/Storyteller/Musician Ben Townsend and Friends 

In the fall of 2014, two guys named Ben — storyteller and musician Ben Townsend, and director/producer/musician Ben Guzman — rode their bicycles from West Virginia to Los Angeles, playing music and filming local musicians and artists as they traveled.

This Saturday at the Velaslavasay Panorama near USC, you can join the Bens for an evening of storytelling, live music featuring songs from each state they pedaled through, and documentary shorts filmed along the way.

When: Saturday, January 9, 2016; 7:30 PM

Where: Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tickets: $20 General; $15 Current Velasavasay Panorama Enthusiast Society members

marion davies

4) Happy Birthday Marion! at the Annenberg Beach House

The Annenberg Community Beach House celebrates the birthday of the original resident of the property: Marion Davies, silent film star, bon vivant, and mistress of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst.

The event features home movies from Hearst’s 74th birthday party at the Beach House (with a circus theme!), a Q&A with Davies historian Lara Fowler, and music by the LA Love Band. Get that feather boa out of mothballs — period attire is encouraged. For all ages.

When: Sunday, January 10, 2016; 11:00 AM– 2:00 PM

Where: The Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy; parking $3 per hour or $8 per day.

Tickets: Free and open to the public but space is limited. RSVP at HappyBirthdayMarion2016.eventbrite.com or call 310-458-4904.

"Virtual Reality, detail 2015", charcoal & pencil on paper, 113x165 cm / 44.5"x65" AVAILABLE (please contact for price)
“Virtual Reality, detail 2015″, charcoal & pencil on paper, 113×165 cm / 44.5″x65” (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Laurie Lipton: Techno Rococco 

“Splashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: to create something no one had ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back of my brain. What I wanted fell between ‘isms.’ It wasn’t ‘surreal,’ ‘it wasn’t ‘real’… it was lurking between the two.” That’s how artist Laurie Lipton described her own journey towards her what has become her trademark: astonishing black/white dreamscapes, subverting the trappings of modern life and environments into fevered, often humorous, sometimes macabre imagery, realized through a painstaking process of “building up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatching lines like an egg tempera painting.”

Sick” she calls her process and sick is how one could describe some of her marvelous drawings, currently on show in an exhibition called Techno Rococco at Ace Gallery on Wilshire at Reeve.

When: Through March 2016, Tues-Sat: 10-6

Where: ACE GALLERY, 9430 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90212

Tickets:  Open to the public