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LA Weekend Calendar: Ellen's B-Day Party, Lunar New Year Festival & Fruit Trees For Good (PHOTOS)

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FRIDAY
Screening of "Spirited Away" (Japanese Anime You Actually Like)
What: It may seem like Japanese anime only appeals to a niche audience, but not so. This was perhaps most widely demonstrated with Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away," which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2002 and has had an adoring fan base ever since. But the brilliance doesn't stop there. Miyazaki and fellow animation director Isao Takahata's production company, Studio Ghibli, has produced an array of cinematic treats--some of which are making their way from Japan to the states for the first time this week. American Cinematheque presents a Studio Ghibli retrospective, with features including "Howl's Moving Castle," "Pom Poko," "Castle in the Sky" and nine others. Tonight, the movie that led Miyazaki to be named one of TIME's "most influential people" in 2005: "Spirited Away." It's perfect for kids, couples or those flying solo.
When: Friday, Jan. 27, 7:30pm; Retrospective through Feb. 12 at the Aero Theatre & Egyptian Theatre
Where: Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA

Art, Redefined
What: Human Resources (yes, that's what it's called) bridges the divide between hole-in-the-wall DIY art galleries and the great art institutions of LA. It's definitely DIY, local artist-based and edgey, but it's also gained respect through its recent exhibitions commissioned by the Getty for Pacific Standard Time. Tonight's event, called "HR in January/00:00 Reset," features over 30 artists, some with live performances, others with works exhibited. What does it mean to push the art world's boundaries? Here's a sneak peak at one of the performances tonight: "an entrance procession, a priest, music, other speakers, an exit procession... will draw inspiration and iconography from Native American Traditions, Pagan Traditions and PUNK. The big idea is to create an experience that is a 'new' church for the freaks, punk, queers, artists, us." Do you dare?
When: Friday, Jan. 27, 8-11pm, Free
Where: Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street, Los Angeles, CA

SATURDAY
Fruit Trees For Good
What: What to do about obesity and lack of nutrition in LA's low-income communities? Plant fruit trees! Better yet, prep fruit trees and empower those who need them to plant their own healthy habits. Every January, TreePeople does just this and then distributes the trees to communities across Los Angeles. This year, in partnership with Social Justice Learning Center and the Inglewood Unified School District, volunteers will wrap the trees' roots in wet newspaper and store them in bags so they're ready for Inglewood residents. Fruit all around!
When: Saturday, Jan 28, 9am-4pm, Free
Where: Inglewood, CA; For details about the event and to register online, click over to iVolunteer's website.

Eagle Rock Brewery Turns Two
What: Thirsty for a reputable craft beer scene in LA? Come support Eagle Rock Brewery this weekend, as our fledgling beer house turns two. Serving its brews at craft beer bar Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park, Eagle Rock brewers are ready to celebrate. A $12 ticket will buy you a commemorative glass (that is, unless they run out) and four drink tickets ('cause the brewski never runs out!). And for that moment when you fear you've had too many, Grill'em All and Mandoline Grill food trucks will be there to pull you through.
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 12-4pm, $12 ticket, available only at door
Where: Verdugo Bar, 3408 Verdugo Rd., Los Angeles, CA

Lunar New Year Festival
What: Two of the greatest things about LA: the diversity and the sun. Get outside Saturday and enjoy both. It's Chinese New Year! And downtown LA's Lunar New Year Festival is one of the largest in the country, with an expected 125,000 attending. The annual Golden Dragon Parade, at 1pm Saturday, will feature floats, bands and other entertainers. There will be arts and crafts and artisan clothing makers from LA Craft Experience (LACE), as KPCC reports. AND, in addition to the numerous delicious Chinese restaurants in the area, gourmet food trucks will roll up to the event, including the Food Network's show Cupcake Wars, with 1,000 Chinese New Year-themed cupcakes available.
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 12pm-8pm; Sunday 12pm-6pm
Where: Central Plaza, 943 North Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

Ellen Degeneres's B-Day!
What: Who doesn't love Ellen? Well, guess what: you're invited to her birthday party. In addition to her 54th birthday, the 2nd Annual Ellen Art Show is a worthwhile fundraiser for The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth. 67 portraits of Ellen Degeneres will be raffled off to raise money, and the event will feature celebrity guest appearances, gifts to early attendees, open floor for b-boys and b-girls (break dancers) and performances from De La Soul's DJ Maseo and American Idol finalist Brett Loewenstern. Partying for a good cause!
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 6pm-2am, $5 suggested donation
Where: The Terrell Moore Gallery, 1221 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA

DJ Beni Parties on the Westside
What: If you feel like you need to sweat out the work week in an alcohol-infused kind of way, this west side party is for you. Small Venice-based record label, Guns in the Sun, has gained a reputation in the last couple years for throwing parties with Collaborative Media, featuring musicians from around the world. Tonight's star: Australian producer and DJ, Beni. Listen here to see if you dig his beats. Also there to shake things up is local DJ, Goddallers; if you've ever been to the party he throws, A Club Called Rhonda, you understand rowdy. Better yet: admission is free before 11pm. Party on.
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 9pm-2am, RSVP to clay@gunsinthesun.com
Where: V Lounge, 2020 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA

SUNDAY
Everyone Loves Vintage
What: Tired of the same old patterns at H&M? "They don't make 'em like they used it," right? Vintage is where it's at. And lucky for you, this weekend's Vintage Clothing & Textile Show isn't just for fashion insiders. There will be 65 exhibitors selling and displaying "gently worn" designer clothing, shoes and handbags (including Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton) as well as vintage hats, jewelry, accessories, fabric, draperies and more. According to the website, "Particpating dealers are known to save their best and most unusual items for this event and their audience knows it. There is always something for everyone, from the most discerning collector to the college student on a limited budget!" Sounds like an adventure!
When: Sunday, Jan. 29, $7, 9am-3pm; for early buyers: 8am, $20
Where: The Pickwick Gardens, 1001 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA

"Museums Free-For-All"
What: There are so many museums in LA... most of us have only been to a fraction of them. Ready? Museum marathon! Well, only if that's how you choose to make use of the seventh annual "Museums Free-For-All" this weekend. In an admirable effort to broaden museum attendance and accessibility, the Museum Marketing Roundtable has managed to get the California Science Center, Hammer Museum, Getty Center and Villa, MOCA, Museum of Tolerance, Skirball Cultural Center and about a dozen others to open their doors for free, on both Saturday and Sunday. Which ones will you venture to?
When: Sunday, Jan. 29, visit individual museum websites for hours
Where: Participating museums across Los Angeles

PHOTOS: See below for a preview of the art at the 2nd Annual Ellen Art Show

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