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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: Wednesday

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Future designs aren't always this scary. (This is a robot arm that spins vinyl.) / Photo by Lush.i.ous via LAist's flickr pool.

SCI-Arc’s lecture series continues tonight with “Embrace Your One-Trick Pony.” On the dais is Robert Hodgin, founding partner of the Barbarian Group, an award winning creative marketing and design production agency. Hodgin now specializes in code processing and audio-visual experimentation in his designs.

7 pm // SCI-Arc // 960 East 3rd St., Los Angeles // Free.

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The docudrama Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers bows at the Skirball tonight for a five-show run. The Nixon administration pulls all the tricks in trying to stop The Washington Post’s of the Pentagon Papers, a secret study documenting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Funny, but the themes of free speech vs. national security ring louder than ever today. The performance will be recorded to air on Los Angeles Theatre Works nationally syndicated radio theater series, The Play's The Thing (locally on Saturday from 10 pm to midnight on 89.3 KPCC).

8 pm // Skirball Cultural Center // 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. // $20-$47.

The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 film that follows three WWII veterans as they struggle to get back to normalcy after the war ends. What’s refreshing is that director William Wyler didn’t shy away from social issues – and the problems – that these soldiers faced. (One real-life vet in the film Harold Russell’s performance is especially heartbreaking since he lost his arms in battle.) The film didn’t whitewash the war, unlike many other films of its era. Film critic Kevin Thomas will introduce the screening.

7:30 pm // Aero Theatre // 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica // $10.

Calling all history buffs: Hollywood Heritage President Marc Wanamaker and Museum director Robert W. Nudelman present the slideshow “Hidden Hollywood II.” They’ll show historic (1900s-1960s) photos of Tinseltown, its studios and landmarks – many of which have never been published before.

7:30 pm // Hollywood Heritage Museum @ the Lasky-DeMille Barn // 2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood (across from the Hollywood Bowl) // $5-$8.

Josh Swiller joined the Peace Corps to go somewhere his deafness wouldn't matter. He ended up in Africa. He'll discuss his book, The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa in a conversation with Louise Steinman, curator of ALOUD at Central Library.

7 pm // Mark Taper Forum @ the Central Libary // Fifth and Flower streets, Los Angeles // Free (but reservations necessary.

*Pencil pick of the day

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