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Weekend Planner: 20 Of The Coolest Things To Do In Los Angeles

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The genre film festival Beyond Fest opens this weekend. (Image detail of Beyond Fest poster by La Boca, via Facebook)
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Here are 20 awesome events happening in L.A. this weekend...

FRIDAY, SEPT. 29

BEYOND FEST (Film)
Beyond Fest—L.A.’s largest genre film festival—brings 12 days of movies and music to the Egyptian Theatre starting on Friday night. The programming featuring 32 events and 23 West Coast premieres. While some events have already sold out, there are number of screenings still available (including 14 free films, courtesy of Shudder). Beyond Fest opens with Brawl in Cell Block 99 at 7:30 p.m. Followed by Ichi The Killer: The Digitally Restored Director's Cut at 11:55 p.m. Tickets: $12 per screening unless otherwise noted.

THE XX (Music)
The xx headlines The Forum on Friday night. Perfume Genius opens the show. Tickets start at $40. 7:30 p.m.

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THE SHINS (Music)
The Shins headline the Greek Theatre on Friday with Foxygen and Day Wave opening. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$49.50.

UNSILENT CINEMA (Film + music)
UnSilent Cinema returns to Figat7th on Friday night, pairing outdoor screenings of classic, silent films with contemporary scores. Julia Holter performs a new score for The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer). Preceding the film is a live set by composer and filmmaker Noveller. DJ Set by Raul Campos of KCRW tonight, too. DJ set at 7 p.m., screening at 8 p.m.

THE CAT THAT CHANGED AMERICA (Film)
The Cat That Changed America is the documentary on P22, the mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park.The film screens at the DTLA Film Festival on Friday at 7 p.m. at Regal LA Live Cinema, followed by a Q&A with Beth Pratt-Bergstrom from Save LA Cougars and Poison Free Malibu. The film reaches out to the next generation of conservationists as it shows how modern America lives alongside wildlife in LA. Tickets: $15.

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VAN NUYS ARTS FESTIVAL (Fest)
The first-ever Van Nuys Arts Festival takes place on Friday from 6-10 p.m. at the Van Nuys Civic Center. While the festival showcases the works of local artists, the programming also includes live music and performances, an art book fair, a vinyl pop-up store, live mural paintings, a museum pop-up with artifacts of the San Fernando Valley, a silent disco DJ set, family-friendly activities, food trucks and more. Free and all ages.

#GIRLGAZE UNCENSORED (Art)
Amanda de Cadenet, photographer and founder of #girlgaze, has partnered with Amanda and Shepard Fairey, for the exhibition #girlgaze Uncensored. Opening on Friday night with a reception from 8-11p.m., the art show highlights issues of under-representation of the female gaze and the censorship of the female body. Artwork by more than 50 photographers from the worldwide Girlgaze community, celebrating the human body—in all its imperfect forms will be on view. Fairey and the Chulita Vinyl Club spin the tunes all night long. RSVP for the opening to rsvp@subliminalprojects.com is required. The works will remain on view through Oct. 28.

WINDOW HORSES (Film)
The animated film Window Horses, has its American premiere on Friday at the Laemmle Music Hall. The film is about a young Canadian poet Rosie Ming (Sandra Oh), who is invited to perform at a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. “Once in Iran, she finds herself in the company of poets and Persians who tell her stories that force her to confront her past: the Iranian father she assumed abandoned her and the nature of poetry itself.” Director Ann Marie Fleming does Q&As at the 7:40 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday nights.

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THE LAST BOOK REVIEW (Variety)
The Last Book Review—a free storytelling, music and book review night at The Last Bookstore in DTLA—returns on Friday night. Hosted by Ever Mainard and Sean White, the event features storytellers, comics and writers sharing humorous tales, personal essays “and one very witty book review.” With music by the Minelli Brothers, the scheduled storytellers/performers are Jonathan Giles, Dave Waite, Casey Ley, Ellen Etten and Elizabeth Austin. The music starts at 8 p.m. and the stories begin at 8:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 30

BEST FRIENDS SHOW (Storytelling)
The Best Friends Show is back at the Virgil at 8 pm on Saturday night. The show invites comedians to tell a shared story with their best friend—because sometimes friends remember better than they do. Stories by: Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls, 13 Reasons Why) and Jenny Yang (The Comedy Comedy Festival); Anthony Gioe and Nick Mandernach (UCB, Funny or Die) and Jamie Lee (HBO's Crashing, Girlcode) and Dan Black (UCB). Hosted by Kim Seltzer and Aliya Kamalova. Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 (cash) at the door.

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Giant Robot + GR2 have art openings this weekend. (Image: Courtesy of Giant Robot)
GIANT ROBOT + GR2 (Art exhibitions)
GR2 Gallery and the Giant Robot Store have simultaneous art show openings on Saturday night. Over at GR2, the gallery opens Interlude, a two-person exhibition of works by Ryan Bubnis and Deth P Sun. Over at the Giant Robot store is the group show, Fruit Salad: A Juicy Farewell to Summer, curated by Cassia Lupo. The opening reception on Saturday night for both shows runs from 6:30-10 p.m. Interlude remains on view through Oct. 18 and Fruit Salad closes on Nov. 8.

ARCADIA MOON FESTIVAL (Cultural festival)
The Arcadia Moon Festival takes place on Saturday at the L.A. Arboretum on Saturday night from 6-9 p.m. The traditional Chinese celebration is observed when the full moon is at its brightest for the year. The festival features Chinese music, martial arts, dance performances, food trucks and moon cakes. Bring a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs for lounging around in the garden. General adult admission: $10, $14 at the door.

OKTOBERFEST AT SANTA ANITA (Beer + horses)
Oktoberfest comes to Santa Anita Park on Saturday and Sunday. The two-day Bavarian bash features German food, music and craft brews, and front-row views of the day’s races. Eats include soft pretzels with paprika cream cheese, Roasted Nuremberg Sausage, Kaese Spaetzle, Apple Strudel and more. Tickets: $35, including eight 3 oz. beer or cider tastings, mini souvenir stein, $5 wagering voucher, access to trackside and grandstand seating, plus racing program and tip sheet.

BERNHARD MAIRINGER POP-UP (Food)
Chef Bernhard Mairinger (BierBeisl) is back in the kitchen doing a pop-up dinner event at Silaa Thai on Robertson on Saturday night. The menu includes an amuse bouche, herb cured ocean trout, creamy pumpkin soup, veal schnitzel, seared venison loin. Tickets: $85 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

MUSIC TASTES GOOD (Food + music fest)
The Music Tastes Good music and food festival takes place in Downtown Long Beach from Friday to Sunday. The lineup includes Ween, Sleater-Kinney + RIDE, Alvvays, Digable Planets, of Montreal, Dr. Octagon, !!!, Big Freedia, Heaven 17, Protomartyr, Old 97’s and many others. In the Taste Tent, the festival features 16 special guest chefs from New Orleans and Long Beach. Music Tastes Good passes start at $75 a day, passes for the new "Taste Tent" experience start at $150 and VIP passes start at $225.

WICKED LIT (Immersive theater)
Unbound Productions returns with four short immersive plays for Wicked Lit, a theater production that takes place throughout the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery—at night. The lineup features: Thoth's Labyrinth, The Damned Thing, The Open Door and Liliom (the frame for WL17). The performances run through Nov. 11, generally Thursdays to Sundays with a few extra Wednesdays thrown in before Halloween. Tickets: $45-$90.

SUNDAY, OCT. 1

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The Los Angeles Chocolate Salon is at the Pasadena Convention Center this Sunday. (Image: Los Angeles Chocolate Salon via Facebook)
CHOCOLATE SALON (Chocolate)
The 2017 Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon returns to the Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chocolate fans can taste and experience artisan and gourmet chocolate from such purveyors as Amano Artisan Chocolate, Marco Paolo Chocolates, Mignon Chocolate, Raphio Chocolate, Cowboy Toffee, Food Market Gypsy, among others. Adult tickets start at $20.

LA FERIA DE LOS MOLES (Food)
Now in its 10th year, La Feria de Los Moles—a gastronomical celebration of Mexican mole dishes—takes place on Sunday at Grand Park in DTLA. Pastries and other dishes will be prepared along with mole, from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. There will be cultural activities, crafts in addition to the delicacies from Puebla and Oaxaca. Entrance to the event is free, and all the foods are available for purchase.

COAST (Open streets)
Santa Monica’s COAST Open Streets Festival takes place on Sunday with two miles of car-free streets. This edition features more entertainment, including two stages with music, dance and interactive art. COAST is free to the public and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The route closes Ocean Avenue from Wilshire Boulevard to Tongva Park, and Main Street from Colorado Avenue to Marine Street.

KISS MY ASS (Comedy)
Kiss My Ass is a comedy show at The Satellite on Sunday, hosted by Dicker Troy and Josh Fadem with David Cross, Natalie Palamides and Joe DeRosa. Ages 21+. Tickets: $8. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.