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Your Ultimate Guide To January: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

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We found a number of notable happenings in January to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

Jan. 4-7

CHARLIE KAUFMAN RETROSPECTIVE (Film)
Paramount Pictures and Landmark Theatres present a Charlie Kaufman Retrospective from Jan. 4-7 that screens five of the writer/filmmaker's most critically acclaimed films: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York and his latest stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa. On Monday, Jan. 4, the 7:30 pm showing of Anomalisa at the Landmark Theatre will feature a Q&A with Kaufman, co-director Duke Johnson and producer Rosa Tran. Tickets: $10.50.

Jan. 4-9

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GOLDEN GLOBE FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM SERIES (Film)
The Golden Globe Foreign-Language Film Series 2016 takes place at Jan. 4-9 at the Aero and Egyptian theatres. The nominated films—The Brand New Testament (Belgium/France/Luxembourg); The Club (Chile); The Fencer (Finland/Germany/Estonia); Mustang (France); Son of Saul (Hungary)—are screened with the filmmakers in person. On Saturday, Jan. 9, the day before the Golden Globes ceremony, there’s a free panel discussion with the film’s directors at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood at 1 pm. The symposium is free. RSVP for priority admission.

Jan. 6-20

THE CONTENDERS (Film)
Each year, the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Department selects a handful of films to include its screening series, The Contenders. These films, made in the last 12 months, are ones MoMA believes will stand the test of time and include both studio and independent releases. Each of the screenings includes a conversation with the filmmaker. The series comes to the Hammer, beginning on Jan 6 at 7:30 pm with Beasts of No Nation with director Cary Fukunaga. Other films in the series are: The Hateful Eight, Room, 99 Homes, Carol, Taxi, Tangerine, The Martian, Spotlight and The Look of Silence. Tickets: $15.

Jan. 8-9

PATTI SMITH (Music)
Patti Smith and her band perform Horses at The Wiltern on Jan. 8-9. Horses was Smith’s 1975 debut album. Tickets: $39.50-$69.50. 7 pm.

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Jan. 9-Jan. 23

METRO DREAMS (Art)
Gabba Gallery presents the group art show Metro Dreams from Jan. 9-23 with the artists’ reception on Jan. 9 from 7-11 pm. The show consists of four separate “mini expeditions” of works by Moncho1929, Vakseen, Amy Smith and HERO, curated by Jason Ostro and Phil Santos. Jan. 10

THE ANN ARBOR FILM FEST (Film)
On Jan. 10 at 7:30 pm at the Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles Filmforum presents the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival Traveling Tour 16mm Program, screening the best new experimental works from around the world. The program includes works by Ben Balcom, Mark Toscano, Mary Helena Clark, Friedl vom Gröller, Andrew Kim, Margaret Rorison, Ben Rivers, Mike Gibisser, Robert Todd, Jennifer Reeves, Jonathan Schwartz, Sarah J Christman and Tamara Henderson. Film festival program director David Dinnell participates in a Q&A with featured local filmmakers following the screening. Tickets: $10 general admission, $6 students (with ID)/seniors, free for Filmforum members.

Jan. 10-15

CHEESEBURGER WEEK (Food)
Pasadena Cheeseburger Week runs this month to celebrate the invention of the cheeseburger in Pasadena. Forty local eateries are offering specials, signature cheeseburgers and special events. Participating restaurants include: Green Street Restaurant, El Portal, La Grande Orange, Lucky Baldwin’s, Cameron’s Seafood, a/k/a Bistro and dusitD2 hotel constance pasadena.

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Jan. 15

IT’S THE PITS (Art Party)
5 Every Day takes over the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum on Jan. 15 from 7-10 pm for It's the Pits, turning the museum into “a science-skewed creative salon” with artists, musicians and filmmakers to stage pop-up installations and performances throughout the museum’s spaces. L.A. creative groups/artists/collectives participating so far include Lost & Found Film Club, Tom Carroll, Ghosting, dublab, Jherek Bischoff and others. The event is free with RSVP. Parking is $10 flat rate.

Jan. 16-Feb. 13

MODULAR SYNTHESIS (Art)
Subliminal Projects opens the solo art show Modular Synthesis with works by Steve Keene on Jan. 16 at 8 pm. Modular Synthesis marks the artist’s first West Coast show in five years and debuts more than 30 of Keene’s Tattooed Plywood pieces, as well as handmade furniture and more than 750 hand painted multiples. The works will remain on view through Feb. 13. Email RSVP@subliminalprojects.com to attend the opening night reception.

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Jan. 16

DEVOTCHKA (Music)
The four-piece multi-instrumental ensemble DeVotchKa plays the El Rey on Jan. 16. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets: $27.

Jan. 17

FOMO FEST 2016 (Music):
The Echo, Origami Vinyl and Buzzbands present FOMO Fest 2016 (Fear of Missing Out) at The Echo on Jan. 17 at 2 pm. Bands/artists on the bill are: Bird Dog, Breakfast, Cobalt Cranes, Draemings, FORD MADOX FORD, James the Human, Jim and Sam, Miya Folick, The Molochs, Northern American, Prettiest Eyes, Sego, Sun Drug and Veronica Bianqui. All ages. Tickets: $9.50-$12.50.

Jan. 21-24

PHOTO LA (Photography)
photo la—an international photography art show—returns to LA for its 25th year at The REEF in DTLA’s LA Mart. The 2015 edition features photographic art from the 19th century onward. In addition to exhibitions by dealers, galleries, museums and nonprofit organizations, photo la’s programming will also feature lectures, discussions, installations, tours and a special opening gala that honors artist James Welling. Tickets/passes: $15-$30+ fees. (programming tickets extra). Gala tickets: $85.39.

Jan. 24-26

GOLDEN STATE OF COCKTAILS (Drink)
Golden State of Cocktails (GSC) Los Angeles is the premier educational cocktail festival that takes place from Jan. 24-26 at The Majestic Downtown. Most of the seminars, lectures and tastings are open to the public. Program highlights include Smartphone Cocktail Photography, The Modern History of Tequila: From Agave Fields to Craft Cocktails, Rum and Punch: The Historical Roots, the Recipes, Rituals the Modern Revival of the Flowing Bowl and The Drink Download: The Intersection of Tech and Hospitality in the Digital Age. Evening dinners and bar crawls are hosted at various locations throughout DTLA. Ages 21+. All seminars are $40 (unless otherwise noted).

Jan. 26

THE DINNER PARTY DOWNLOAD (Live Podcast)
KPCC presents The Dinner Party Download at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Jan. 28. Hosts Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano, welcome guests Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom, Mozart in the Jungle), Father John Misty and others for a party that includes conversations, questionable etiquette advice, favorite songs and libations. Lobby opens at 7 pm, show is at 8 pm. Tickets: $32.50.

Jan. 27-31

LA ART SHOW: The LA Art Show is the longest-running, most comprehensive art show on the West Coast. This year, the LA Art Show—the longest-running, most comprehensive art show on the West Coast—and its companion Los Angeles Fine Art Show takes place from Jan. 27-31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall. The shows open on Jan. 27 with a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, hosted by Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman. Benefit tickets are: $125-$250. Show tickets: $15-$35.

Jan. 28-31

ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY (Art)
Art Los Angeles Contemporary—now in its seventh year—returns to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica from Jan. 28-31. The fair draws top international established and emerging galleries from around the world and L.A., showcasing the artists they represent. The fair also presents a programming series that includes artist talks, museum curator-led panel discussions, installations and film screening and performance series. Tickets: $24, $30 (pass) and $60 for opening night gala tickets.

Jan. 29-31

GIRLSCHOOL FESTIVAL (Music)
Field Day Weekend at Bootleg Theater is the first GIRLSCHOOL festival, spearheaded by Anna Bulbrook of The Bulls and The Airborne Toxic Event. Bulbrook was inspired by girls, ages 8 to 17, who wanted to get onstage for the first time, and has helped organized a weekend of live performances by White Sea, Kera & the Lesbians (Acoustic), The Bulls, Kate Nash (DJ set), Gothic Tropic and more. Proceeds from the weekend (Jan. 29-31) will benefit the Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls LA. Weekend pass: $15-$20. Individual tickets: $10-$12.

Jan. 29-31

RIOT L.A. (Comedy)
RIOT L.A.—the alternative comedy festival—returns to DTLA at various venues from Jan. 29-31. More than 40 shows are scheduled, including Patton Oswalt, Bridget Everett, T.J. Miller, Ron Funches, Kumail Nanjiani, Todd Glass, Thomas Middleditch, Jerrod Carmichael, Lauren Lapkus, Brody Stevens, Guy Branum, James Adomian, Kate Berlant and many others. There will also be a special Riot LA edition of KCRW’s real-life storytelling show, UnFictional LIVE, taped during the festival weekend. Passes: $110-$375. Individual ticket prices vary, but start at $10.

Jan. 29-30

JENNY LEWIS (Music)
Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins play two nights at the The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian on Jan. 29-30 to celebrate the 10th anniversary?! of Rabbit Fur Coat. Also performing: M. Ward. Tickets: $39.50. 7 pm.

Jan. 30

MUSEUMS: On Saturday, Jan. 30, more than 20 Southern California museums offer free admission in the 11th annual Museums Free-For-All, including the California Science Center, MOCA, LACMA, Japanese American National Museum, Natural History Museum, etc. Museums like the Museum of Tolerance and the Skirball, which are closed on Saturdays, will offer free admission on Sunday, Jan. 31.

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