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Pencil This In: French Music and Film; An Evening of Food Stories and a Free Screening of 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

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There's a ton of great events happening tonight in LA. If you have the energy to go out after a weekend of sun, St. Paddy's Day festivities or marathon running, you need to check out one of these events—from French music to a French film series, an evening of storytelling around food, a free screening of a Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper film and more. Read on for all the details.

The city of Malibu and the LA County Public Library presents the new Malibu Library Speaker Series, which kicks off tonight at 7 pm with author Garth Stein. He’ll give a special reading and presentation of his novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. The book is an uplifting/heartbreaking story about his dog Enzo who “gains tremendous insight into the human condition.” At the Malibu High School Auditorium. Free.

The UCLA Festival of Preservation 2013 continues tonight at 7:30 pm with a screening of The Argonauts of California-1849. The film was released in 1916 by the Monrovia Feature Film Company, based in Monrovia in the San Gabriel Valley, which at the time was vying with Hollywood and other municipalities for dominance in the film industry. (We all know how that contest turned out.) The film was shot in the foothills of the SGV about a group of New Englanders who stake their gold claim at Sutter’s Mill, Calif. The arduous task of preserving this film began in the 1980s from several deteriorating and incomplete nitrate prints. Musical accompaniment tonight will be provided by Robert Israel. At the Billy Wilder Theater. Tickets: $10.

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Calling all Francophiles: Theatre Raymond Kabbaz (at Lycee Francais) presents 
A Week of French Language Cinema in Los Angeles
 this week with five free screenings. The festival kicks off tonight with Sister (a Swiss film) at 7:45, preceded by a wine and hors d'oeuvres at reception at 7 pm. Admission is free, but RSVP to: And don’t worry, all films have English subtitles.

The Annenberg Beach house presents an evening of cafe jazz and Francophilic folk music with Jessica Fichot (vocals, accordion, toy piano) and friends Brandon Turner (upright bass), Alex Budman (clarinet, sax, flute) and Oscar Schedin (guitar) tonight from 6:30-8 pm. We hear that Fichot wowed the crowd two years ago with songs from her debut album, Le Chemin, and now she’s back with work from her new project, Le Secret. Free, but reservations required.

It’s an evening of life stories about food tonight on stage at South Santa Monica, presented by Back at Café Du Monde… Featured foodies and personalities get to share epicurian-inspired monologues and stories. On the program tonight: Stassi Schroeder, Chef Richard Petty, music artist Michael Lyle, Stephen Domingue (Ragin Cajun food truck), Chef Jamal Gillespie, actress Lisa Annitti and Back at Café Du Monde… creator Peggy Sweeney-McDonald. Tickets: $25 and includes show, dessert, coffee and tax & gratuity. A cash bar and full menu is available for purchase. For Reservations call (310) 828-9988.

Film Independent at LACMA presents a free screening of The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling as a down-on-his-luck motorcycle stunt rider, Bradley Cooper as a rookie cop and Eva Mendes as Gosling’s love interest. The film is writer/director Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to Blue Valentine, and he’s doing a Q&A tonight after the screening. 7:30 pm. Free. Standby tickets may be available. Line forms at 6:30 pm and tickets are not guaranteed.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, now in its 20th year, happens this weekend (March 21-24). The festival has added an educational component, offering hands-on workshops and panels—including one tonight How to be Brave, Moving & Hilarious Onstage. In the workshop, participants interested in developing a solo show, play, storytelling or comedy will write, improvise, do storytelling and experience what happens to the creative process. 7-9 pm at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Room 111. Tickets: $20. No experience necessary.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).