Air Conditioning Appreciation Month may be coming to a close, but we all know here in Houston we still have quite a few more days ahead to worship the A.C. And to help you out, this week we've got plenty to do indoors, from art shows to good books to great movies. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and six of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Local Arts Block Party
Talento Bilingue De Houston
6 p.m. Thursday, free
“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950,” the new comprehensive exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has inspired a party – an arts block party, that is. The MFAH and Talento Bilingue De Houston will present the celebration of local artists – such as GONZO247, Black Cassidy, Fabiola Blanco and David Flores – this Thursday at the Talento Bilingue De Houston center in the East End. DJ Ill will be on-hand to play a set, food trucks will be on-site and visitors will have the opportunity to watch art-making live and in person.
She Rides Shotgun, The Woman From Prague and The Devil's Muse book signings
Murder By The Book
6:30 p.m. Thursday, free
An ex-con and his daughter on the run from a prison gang. International intrigue in the Czech Republic. Escalating violence during a rookie cop’s first Mardi Gras beat. It’s three for the irresistible price of free this Thursday at Murder By The Book as Jordan Harper, Rob Hart and Bill Loehfelm all stop in to discuss their new books. Harper’s debut, She Rides Shotgun, boasts “expert pacing and well-developed characters”; “noir fans will be enthralled” by Hart’s The Woman From Prague; and Loehfelm “simmers the tensions” in his New Orleans-set novel, The Devil's Muse, “like the finest of cooks stirring a pot of gumbo with a bomb in it.”
Houston Museum of Natural Science
7:15 p.m. Friday, $5
The cultural fascination with the RMS Titanic has hardly wavered in the last hundred years, but James Cameron’s 1997 drama is easily the most successful of all tales inspired by the ship’s sinking. The film grossed over 2 billion dollars, won 11 Oscars and spawned the highest-selling single of 1998, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” – not to mention launching Leo-mania. DiCaprio’s ill-fated romance with Kate Winslet, set against one of the defining tragedies of the 20th century, remains one heck of a ride, and more than deserving of a screening in the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s “Take Two” series.
He Loves Her: A Tribute to James Baldwin & Nina Simone
7:30 p.m. Friday, pay-what-you-can (suggested $10)
The T.R.U.T.H. Project closes the Next Iteration Theater Presents series with "He Loves Her: A Tribute to James Baldwin & Nina Simone." The tribute will utilize spoken-word and poetry, dance and vocals from the organization's artist ensemble to pay homage to the two iconic (and unapologetic) figures, just five days before James Baldwin's birthday. After the experience, make plans to stay for the artist talk back, starting immediately after the performance.
Black Girl Magic Art Show & Market
7 p.m. Friday, free
Insomnia Gallery and mixed media artist Jaz Henry join forces to present the Black Girl Magic Art Show & Market, a celebration of the under-recognized work of black women artists. There is no set theme for the evening, but you can safely expect good art to line the walls. Insomnia will also host an outdoor art and maker market with over a dozen vendors outside of Bohemeo’s and inside, an open-mike night starting at 7 p.m. (arrive at 6:30 p.m. if you’re interested in participating). Check the Facebook page for more information, like a list of artists and DJs.
The Square at Memorial City
8 p.m. Friday, free
For better or worse, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 sci-fi adventure film ushered in the age of digital filmmaking, and only one thing is sure – the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park remain one of the best examples of the union between practical and digital effects, so good they won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in ‘94. Following last week’s screening of Jurassic World down at GreenStreet, come out to The Square at Memorial City to see the havoc that a power outage wreaks on a dinosaur-filled theme park when Jurassic Park screens as part of their Flashback Friday Movie Nights series.
The Impressionists and the Man Who Made Them
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
2 p.m. Sunday, $9
If you’re in any way a fan of Impressionist works, Paul Durand-Ruel is a name worth knowing. Durand-Ruel is the man responsible for introducing Americans to the new style of painting in 1886. Phil Grabsky’s documentary about the 2014 exhibit “Inventing Impressionism,” focused on Durand-Ruel and considered possibly the most comprehensive exploration of Impressionists ever, will screen Sunday as part of the “Armchair Travel: Exhibition on Screen” series, and The Guardian says “fascinating theories and titbits abound, and the way these canvases reflect light renders them newly immersive on the big screen. An enriching experience.”
Paris, Texas (with a performance from Mydolls)
8:15 p.m. Monday, free
The film that “invented a certain flavor of Texas cool,” Wim Wenders’s Paris,Texas, screens Monday night at Axelrad, courtesy of Architecture Center Houston, Houston Cinema Arts Society, Alamo Beer and Mydolls, the art-punk band that not only played in the film, but has ruled Houston for the last 40 years. At 8:15 p.m., before the film, Mydolls will perform and after their set, Hunter Carson will introduce the film and answer a few audience questions. The film will start at sundown (about 9 p.m.) and if you notice a camera, it’s because 14 Pews will be on hand filming a documentary on Mydolls.
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Paradise Valley book signing
Murder By The Book
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, free
C.J. Box’s “Highway Quartet” series comes to an end with Cassie Dewell, the chief investigator for the Bakken County Sheriff’s Department, finding herself marked as the fall guy for a set up gone wrong, leaving her alone to chase down and face the dangerous Lizard King, a serial killer who targets prostitutes. As if that’s not enough, a young man Cassie has taken under her wing goes missing, and Cassie finds the two cases may be more connected than they appear. Kirkus says “if you like chases across wide-open spaces, you’ll race toward the satisfying climax without caring about anything else.”
Boys in the Trees
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Mason
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $5.41
In Australian writer/director Nicholas Verso’s debut film, set on Halloween night in 1997, two former grade-school friends, Corey and Jonah, now on very different sides of the high school popularity spectrum, find themselves walking alone through the woods. Together, they tell scary stories, the way they used to as kids, but the monsters and threats of the stories serve as clever metaphors for the real and just as frightening emotional struggles they’re going through as teens on the verge of graduation. The film found success traveling through the festival circuit last year, and features a totally ‘90s soundtrack, with artists like Marilyn Manson and Rammstein.