Fast cars. Rock stars. Street art. The San Pedro International Film Festival rolls into my hood this weekend with an especially cool lineup. The festivities start tonight with the usual monthly highlight of the Peedrow social calendar: Art Walk. October’s iteration features the opening of a SPIFF-sponsored pop-up gallery featuring works by artists in the documentary Dark Progressivism, about LA’s graffiti and mural arts history (which screens October 15). There’s also an exhibit about the Brotherhood Raceway, the defunct street-racing venue on Terminal Island, culled from the photo archive of Eddie Meeks and curated by my good friends Laurie Steelink (Cornelius Project/Track 16) and Tim Maxeiner. The gallery will be open during box-office hours throughout the festival, at the SPIFF Lounge at 446 W. 6th Street.
On Friday guitar legend Wayne Kramer (MC5) and his wife Margaret Saadi will talk about their work bringing music to prisons with their organization Jail Guitar Doors (named after the Clash song which includes Kramer as a subject), as well as play some music. Some of the greats of Latin jazz, including Michel Camilo and Chucho Valdes, are showcased in the documentary Playing Lecuona, about the influence of the Cuban pianist Ernesto Lecuona, screening Oct. 15. Other festival highlights include Lunafest, the collection of short films by women that usually contains some gems, and some virtual reality fun. This is the most diverse and probably the hippest SPIFF ever. Full schedule at www.spiff.org.