Planet Weekend Picks, Jan. 25-27

“Detropia” is one of several films being screened this weekend as part of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival at the Princeton Public Library.

Friday, January 25

The seventh annual Princeton Environmental Film Festival kicked off Thursday night at the Princeton Public Library. The free festival runs for three consecutive four-day weekends through Feb. 10. The festival features documentary films, presentations and speakers that explore environmental sustainability from a wide range of perspectives. A complete schedule can be found on the library’s website. Tonight, festival goers will watch “Detropia”. Told through the eyes of people struggling to stay in the city of Detroit despite its decline, this documentary features artistic and haunting images of a once grand city on the brink of dissolution. Refusing to abandon hope or resistance, the residents reflect the spirit of the Motor City, its battle to survive in postindustrial America and its trudge toward a radically different future. Along the way, the film reveals a correlation with the rest of middle-class America and the widening chasm of income inequality. The screening starts at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room.

A Delicate Balance at McCarter Theatre – Edward Albee’s play about unexpected house guests who plan to stay indefinitely. Directed by Emily Mann. Berlind Theatre, tickets $20 and up. Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.

Book Sale Preview at the Lawrence Library – $5 admission, $15 per family. Library is located at intersection of Darrah Lane and Route 1 in Lawrence. Runs until 8:30 p.m. Regular book sale (no admission runs 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday, January 26

Science on Saturday at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory – Public talk open to students, parents, teachers, and community members. “Disastrous Equations: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Tsunami” presented by J. Douglas Wright, professor of mathematics, Drexel University. Register on site at the Forrestal Campus on Route 1 North in Plainsboro beginning at 8:15 a.m.  Photo ID required. Free.  Program starts at 9:30 a.m.

Solar 101 at the West Windsor Library – Learn about renewable energy and solar technology options. Library located at 333 North Post Road. Program begins at 10 a.m., free.

Free Firewood for Mercer Residents – Stop by Mercer County Park and pick up some firewood, courtesy of the county. Just show identification to prove your residency. Up to had a cord per vehicle, 9 a.m. to noon.

Ice Harvest at the Howell Living History Farm – Help farmers cut, chop, and shave ice. Fill an ice house. Make ice cream. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 70 Wooden’s Lane in  Lambertville, free.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? International Middle School Open House – The French American School of Princeton is opening a new German-American track of the 5th, 6th and 7th grades in September. The program will be open to grade-level fluent in German entering in Grade 6, 7 and 8; students may be native speakers, bilingual or transfers from other language immersion programs. German native speakers are invited to an informational meeting at the International Middle School at the French American School of Princeton, located at 75 Mapleton Road in Plainsboro. The program begins at 10:30 a.m.

Mozart’s Birthday with the Dryden Ensemble – Concert in Miller Chapel at Princeton Theological Seminary, 7:30 p.m., tickets $35.

Cafe Improv at the Arts Council of Princeton – Music, poetry, comedy and more. Runs from 7 to 10 p.m., tickets $2.

Princeton Environmental Film Festival screening of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a 6-year-old girl (Best Actress Academy Award nominee Quvenzhane Wallis) exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. The Best Picture Academy Award-nominated film also stars Dwight Henry and Levy Easterly. 7 p.m., community room, free.

Paco Pena Flamenco Dance at McCarter Theatre – Paco Pena, a flamenco guitarist, is featured with his dance company. Matthews Theatre,  7:30 p.m., tickets $20 and up.

Screening of “Trek” – Film about the the journey of four young men as they hike the 2,168 miles of the Appalachian Trail, followed by discussion hosted by the West Windsor Bike Pedestrian Alliance at the West Windsor Arts Council, 952 Alexander Road in West Windsor, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., free for arts council and pedestrian alliance members, $5 general admission.

Sunday, January 27

The Handsome Molly Dancers will be at Terhune Orchards Sunday afternoon.
The Handsome Molly Dancers will be at Terhune Orchards Sunday afternoon.

Wassailing the Apple Trees – Bundle up and help Terhune Orchards celebrate the heath if the apple trees at the free annual winter festival. Activities include music, chanting, songs, toasts of hot cider, cider donuts, and a bonfire with marshmallows. Entertainment by Spiced Punch  and Handsome Molly Dancers. Wine tasting room open for hot mulled wine and snacks. 1 to 4 p.m., 330 Cold Soil road in Lawrenceville.

Punk Rock Flea Market – More than 40 vendors with handmade vintage clothing, collectibles, handblown glass items, antiques and vinyl with punk, rock, jazz, and blues. $3 admission benefits the Hurricane Sandy Relief Rebuild Effort. Hosted at Artworks, 19 Everett Alley in Trenton, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Princeton Environmental Film Festival Panel Discussion: “Hurricane Sandy, Climate Change and the Future of Our Coastline” – The panel features filmmaker Ben Kalina, film editor Marc D’Agostino, and journalist Michael Lemonick. They will discuss how climate change will factor into development of coastal communities. Kalina’s film and video projects focus on the intersection of science, culture and the environment. He has worked on the documentaries “Two Square Miles” and “A Sea Change,” and is the director/producer of grand-prize winning fiction shorts and documentaries. Kalina’s work in progress, “Shored Up,” is about beach erosion. Lemonick is the senior staff writer at Climate Central and a former senior science writer at Time magazine. 4 p.m. in the community room, free.