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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: Film Independent with Christopher Nolan, First Fridays at NHM with Lord Huron and a Horrible Movie Night

La Luz de Jesus Gallery holds four art openings tonight. (Image: 'Death and the Maiden' by Lisa Petrucci, courtesy of the artist and gallery)
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There are a lot of great film, art, music and science events happening in LA tonight. Film Independent and LACMA presents an evening with Christopher Nolan; Teller (of Penn & fame) discusses two magic films; Horrible Movie Night riffs on so-bad-they're-good films; NHM kicks off 2013 First Fridays and a pop art gallery opening. Here's our short list:

First Fridays are back at the Natural History Museum, mixing science and music. This year’s theme 100 Back, 100 Forward celebrates the museum’s 100-year history. The evening begins with tours at 5 pm, 5:30 pm and 6 pm with Dr. John Harris. At 6:30 pm, there’s a presentation with Dr. Kirk Johnson on Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies. Johnson tells the story of the Oct. 2010 discovery of the skeleton of a young female mammoth in the Colorado Rockies and the treasure trove of other fossils. Later that night from 8-10 pm the music is performed by Lord Huron and Wildcat! Wildcat! with DJ Justin Gage. Concert ticket and museum admission ($18); museum admission only ($12). Pre-sale tickets are sold out, but a limited number of tickets will be available at the Museum’s South Entrance tonight at 5 pm.

Film Independent at LACMA presents An Evening with Christopher Nolan tonight at 7:30 pm. There’s a screening of his writing and directing debut, Following (1998), which set the template for the “fractured narrative style” that Nolan often employs in his work. It’s followed by a Q&A with the director. At the Bing Theater. Stand-by tickets only with the line forming at 6:30 pm. (Seating is not guaranteed.) Tickets: $10-$20.

NerdMelt presents Horrible Movie Night tonight at 8 pm to help audiences (re-)discover some of the worst movies ever created. Hosts John Mathot (Disney's Phineas & Ferb) and Susan Wright (The Because Show podcast) are joined by stand-ups and improv groups for a screening of 1984's Scream for Help about a teenager with a murderous stepfather. According to NerdMelt, “It features the absolute worst soundtrack in movie history, written & performed by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.” Win a prize if you make the funniest comment of the evening. $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

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The Aero Theatre presents a magic-themed double feature beginning at 7:30 pm with Play Dead (2012) about the crazy, creepy off-Broadway production created by magicians Todd Robbins and Teller (of Penn and Teller). It’s followed by Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989), directed by Arthur Penn. The black comedy follows Penn & Teller on their cross-country antics. There’s a discussion! with Teller scheduled between films. Tickets: $11.

La Luz de Jesus holds an opening reception tonightfrom 8-11 pm for four new gallery shows: Hudson Marquez’s High Humidity; Junko Mizuno’s Euphoria; Lisa Petrucci’s Come Play With Me and Shaun Berke’s Sisters of the Inquisition. Free. The shows remain up through Jan. 27.

The Norton Simon Museum hosts a free first Friday night screening of Lust for Life (1956) tonight at 6:30 pm. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, actor Kirk Douglas plays tortured artist Vincent van Gogh, who drives away his family and friends—including artist Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn). In the Museum theater. No reservations 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).