“[N]o matter how it was intended, there’s no denying that Mommie Dearest is deliciously entertaining trash.” So wrote Chuck O’Leary at fulvuedrive-in.com about the 1981 film starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford and based on the 1978 memoir of the same name by Crawford’s adopted daughter, Christina Crawford. The movie won five Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Actress, although some critics thought Dunaway was pretty good. The folks behind FilmOut San Diego, our city’s gay film festival, agree that the movie, which depicts the ill treatment Crawford visited upon her children, is trashy and delicious; they want you laugh out loud at maniacally delivered lines like “No wire hangers ever!” You can chuckle at child abuse at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at the Birch North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave.). Tickets are $10.
With Martin Luther King Day approaching, one local dance company is reflecting back on the not-so-good of times in 2012, and just how relevant the activist’s philosophies are today. Eveoke Dance Theatre’s upcoming show Agape tells a story inspired by King’s six principles of non-violent action as it pertains to tragedies in 2012, like the Sandy Hook shooting. There are two previews—Wednesday, Jan. 9, and Thursday Jan. 10, with the show opening on Friday, Jan. 11, and running through Jan. 27. Check eveoke.org for show times and ticket prices. Under the artistic direction of Ericka Aisha Moore, who's been dancing with Eveoke since she was 13, the Tenth Avenue Theatre and Arts Centre (930 Tenth Ave., Dowtown) will have a backdrop that allows the telling of a story about human tragedy and the power of community through movement and dance.
Small Seductions, an exhibition of work by photographer Philip Melnick, which opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Joseph Bellows Gallery (7661 Girard Ave. in La Jolla) is just that—bits and pieces of landscape that make you want to see more. You'll get part of a really cool-looking car—but not the whole car. Or a piece of an iconically Southern California house—but not the full house. But somehow through these fragments, the viewer gets a good dose of 1970s SoCal and its strangely plain, yet wholly unique, urban charm. The gallery will be displaying 50 of Melnick's photos in what will be the artist's first Southern California solo show in three decades. Small Seductions will be on view through Feb. 23.
If the mind is a terrible thing to waste, then artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw is really putting minds to good use. The evidence can be seen in What Comes to Mind: Nature-Human Nature and Visual Translation, an exhibition of the artist's work opening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library (1008 Wall St. in La Jolla). For this collection, Cutler-Shaw took brain scans and melded them with photographs to tell poignant stories that touch on science, medicine, art and memory. The result is haunting black-and-white marbled images, of which Cutler-Shaw is often the main subject. They’re definitely conversation starters for anyone interested in the ins and outs of the human brain. The exhibition will be on view through Feb. 9.