Gargoyle Magazine, a literary journal founded in Arlington in 1976, celebrates its 35th anniversary Thursday with a reading at Artisphere. Toby Barlow, Barbara DeCesare, Nani Power, and other authors will appear. 7 PM. Free.
Now that Oscar nominations are out, it’s time to get up to date on all the big fall movies you missed. Start with The Social Network—which plays at Arlington Cinema ’N’ Drafthouse Thursday night—and finally understand the term “Winklevi.” 7 PM. $5.50.
The DC-based trio the Laughing Man brings its blend of blues, jazz, and rock to Iota Club & Café Thursday night. The group is joined by Greenland and Black Telephone. 9 PM. $10.
The Freer Gallery’s Iranian Film Festival continues Friday with a screening of Please Do Not Disturb Friday. The 2010 film, directed by Mohsen Abdolvahab, intertwines three stories of modern life in a darkly comic fashion. 7 PM. Free.
The 20th annual Rooms With a View lecture series kicks off Thursday with a reception at Artisphere followed by an open rehearsal of Washington Shakespeare Company’s upcoming production, Juno and the Paycock. To RSVP, e-mail email@example.com. 6 to 8. Free.
Reigning champs from karaoke nights at Sticky Rice and Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar are duking it out for the title at the third Annual H Street Karaoke Championship Thursday, held at the neighboring Rock & Roll Hotel. The doors open at 8, and the competition starts at 9. Free.
The House of France screens Le Bruit des Glaçons (The Clink of Ice) Friday. The 2010 dark comedy tells the story of an alcoholic writer who’s visited by his cancer’s human incarnation. Buy tickets ($8) through Eventbrite. 7 PM.
Alison Sigethy’s new exhibit, “Understory" is now at Art League until February 7. To celebrate the opening of the mixed-media show—most of the pieces are made from recycled materials—the gallery is hosting a reception Thursday from 6:30 to 8, featuring a performance by Karen Reedy Dance. Free.
In conjunction with the new Alexis Rockman exhibit, the American Art Museum is screening a series of classic sci-fi films. This Thursday is Them!, which explores what happens when giant ants attack. 6 PM. Free.
Thursday, join historian David C. Ward at the National Portrait Gallery for a discussion of Marsden Hartley’s Eight Bells Folly, Memorial for Hart Crane, an abstract painting inspired by the modernist poet. Meet in the museum’s F Street lobby at 6. Free.
“Exposed: The Polaroid Retrospective” opens Thursday evening with a reception at Sova (1359 H St., NE). The new exhibit features more than 1,000 images, all taken by local photographers on vintage instant cameras. 6:30 to 11:30. Free.
The Washington-based band River James plays at Black Cat Thursday. It’s the four-piece folk group’s first performance, and Deleted Scenes is also on the bill. Click here to purchase tickets ($10). 9 PM.
Throughout the holiday season, the United States Botanic Garden is featuring festive musical performances. This week, the women of Silver Spring’s Capital Accord Chorus are singing in four-part a capella harmony. Thursday from 6 to 8; free.
Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit quite like Frank Capra’s Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Catch it Thursday at the National Portrait Gallery, where it’s screening as part of the on-going Rockwell Film Series. 6:30; free.
Kill two birds with one stone Thursday at U Street Music Hall’s Crank Up the Cause fundraiser, where you can get in your dance-party fix and get a jump start on your holiday giving. Hosted by Citizen Effect, the event features three DJs. Guests can choose to donate to one of five local charities. Purchase tickets ($10) here. 6 to 9:30.
Scandinavian holiday decoration is on display at the Danish Embassy (3200 Whitehaven St., NW) Thursday afternoon, when the “Creative Christmas: 50 Years of Iconic Danish Design” installation is open to the public. The exhibit includes a series of 50 trees designed with wood, fiber, glass, metal, and plastic. 1 to 5. Free.
Neurologist Oliver Sacks is reading and signing books at Politics and Prose Thursday. His latest book, The Mind’s Eye, tells the story of individuals who have succeeded despite losing what many consider to be crucial senses and abilities. The event is sponsored by Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 7 PM; $8
Thursday from 7 to 8:30, the Hirshhorn Museum is hosting a poetry reading by preeminent Argentinean writers living in the United States and Canada. Poetry by Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Nela Rio, Lila Zemborain, Mercedes Roffé, and Alicia Borinsky will be recited in Spanish and accompanied by music. Free.
The Capital Irish Film Festival kicks off Thursday with My Brothers at E Street Cinema. The film follows three siblings on a trek to find a replacement for their dying father’s treasured watch. Tickets ($10) are available here or at the door. 8 PM.
On Thursday, Caramel is hosting a photo exhibit, silent auction, and art sale featuring the work of local artists and photographers. All proceeds benefit Loaves and Fishes, a program that serves meals to low-income and homeless individuals in DC’s Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods. 6 to 8:30. Free.
Earl Greyhound, whose new three-song EP is out on Thursday, plays the Black Cat that same night along with guest Knights on Earth. Be one of the first to pick up your copy at 9 PM. $10.
Start your weekend a little early at What’s the Deal’s free-drinks happy hour Thursday at Rhino Bar. Click here to RSVP and get two free cocktails or draft beers. 6 to 8. No cover.
Local photographer Robert Keating’s new exhibit, “C&O Canal,” celebrates its opening at the Art League Gallery (105 N. Union St., Alexandria) with a reception Thursday evening. The series of panoramas examines the 184½-mile canal in detail. 6:30 to 8:30. Free.
Put your $10 toward a good cause at the Friends of New Orleans Happy Hour at Louisana Kitchen & Bayou Bar, this Thursday. Bethesda Green and Gulf Savers are joining forces to raise money to help restore the ecosystem that was affected by oil spills. A $10 donation is suggested. 5 to 8. Click here to RSVP.
The Rhythm Road series, a collaboration between the State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, presents two free concerts Thursday. At 6, Paul Beaudry & Pathways, a lively jazz-and-blues quartet, is performing. At 7:15, the Turning Pointe, a modern-gospel group from Atlanta, will take the stage. The shows are at the Grosvenor Auditorium.
Indulge yourself with a spiced-chocolate martini while enjoying the splendor of the Tudor Place Historic Home and Garden. A Thursday reception features a display of items used to create and serve chocolate dishes from the 18th through 20th centuries. $10. 6 to 8. Register here.