Below are brief descriptions of Filmforum’s upcoming schedule. Full details about each week’s screening will appear on the main page of the site on the Monday before that screening. If you would like more details on any of the upcoming shows in advance of the Monday before, please email us at email@example.com and we can send you the program notes in advance. ________________________________________________________________
Fall 2009 Season
Sunday September 20, 2009, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents The Trials of American Liberalism:
Profit motive and the whispering wind by John Gianvito and American/Sandinista by Jason Blalock Los Angeles premieres!
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles
Tonight we feature two tributes to the efforts of American progressives past, using two very different approaches to non-fiction film, both compelling and insightful.
Profit motive and the whispering wind by John Gianvito (2008, 58 min, 16mm)
A visual meditation on the progressive history of the United States as seen through cemeteries, historic plaques and markers. Inspired by Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”.
Winner of Best Experimental Film of the Year from the National Society of Film Critics (2008)!
American/Sandinista by Jason Blalock (2008, 30 min, video)
In the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, a bloody civil war between the socialist-influenced Sandinistas and U.S.- backed Contras ravaged Nicaragua. Despite the danger, thousands of Americans disobeyed White House warnings and descended upon the Central American nation, determined to lend their skills and labor to the revolutionary Sandinista cause.
Sunday September 27, 2009, 7:00 pm – Los Angeles Filmforum, Cinefamily, Part Time Punks, and the San Francisco Cinematheque present
ere erera baleibu icik subua aruaren (1968-70) dir. Jose Antonio Sistiaga with a new score composed and performed by Savage Republic
Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036.
Admission $14; $10 for Filmforum & CInefamily members. General admission seating
Advance tickets available at:
A hand-painted masterpiece of the 1970s; a legendary band of the 1980s. Sistiaga’s rarely-screened ere erera baleibu icik subua aruaren (1970, 75 min., 35mm) is a work of uncompromising beauty that entirely deserves a wider appreciation. Savage Republic, one of the unrecognized godfathers of post-rock, formed roughly three decades ago in the midst of the Los Angeles punk rock scene and abruptly disbanded in 1989. In recent years, they’ve reformed and their unique sound (akin to a Middle Eastern surf band backed by the rhythm section from Joy Division) is as compelling and inexorable as ever. Savage Republic – original members Ethan Port and Thom Fuhrmann joined by Alan Waddington and Kerry Dowling — performs a newly commissioned score to Sistiaga’s prodigious work, presented in a stunning 35mm print from Paris. (Jonathan Marlow)
Sunday October 4, 2009, 7:30 pm - Bodies, Objects, Films: An Yvonne Rainer Retrospective (part 1 of 8 )
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles
Yvonne Rainer in person!
Leading tonight’s Q&A is Lynette Kessler, Executive Director of Dance Camera West
Over the course of our 2009-2010 seasons, Filmforum is proud to present a full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer. One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, Rainer now calls Southern California home for much of the year, so we will be honored to have her in person at several of the screenings. To make it more interesting, each appearance by Rainer will feature a Q&A led by a different interlocutor, to discuss with her varying aspects of her approaches to her art and life. We’ll start with her earliest and latest works, all connected to various performances. Tonight’s Q&A will be led by Lynette Kessler, director of Dance Camera West, to help bring it the relationship between these works and Rainer’s dance performances.
Five Easy Pieces: A compilation of five early short films made between 1966 to 1969:
Hand Movie (1966, 5:00, b&w, silent, 8mm to video)
Volleyball (Foot Film) (1967, 10:00 b&w, silent, 16mm to video)
Rhode Island Red (1968, 10:00, b&w, silent, 16mm to video)
Trio Film (1968, 13:00, b&w, silent, 16mm to video)
Line (1969, 10:00, b&w, silent, 16mm to video)
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid (2002, 31 min, video)
Oct 11, 2009, 7:30 pm – Los Angeles Filmforum presents The Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour – Program 1
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the original and longest running independent film festival in the United States, recognized as a premiere showcase for risk-taking, pioneering and art driven cinema. This exciting show mixes new experimental, animation, and documentary work – a great way to catch up on what is happening in film & video art! Tonight includes Dahlia (Michael Langan, 5 min); Studies in Transfalumination (Peter Rose, 5 min.); Passages (Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre, 24.5 min.); Reincarnation (Takeshi Kushida, 5 min.); Six Apartments (Reynold Reynolds, 12.5 min.); Video Terraform Dance Party (Jeremy Bailey, 12 min.); A City to Yourself (Nicole Macdonald, 24 min.)
Oct 17, 2009, 7:30 pm – Los Angeles Filmforum presents The GoodTimesKid and The Whirled
With Azazel Jacobs and Ken Jacobs in Person!
In a Los Angeles (if not a global) first, we host the father and son filmmakers Ken and Azazel Jacobs. Ken Jacobs comes with The Whirled (1956-61; 18 min), a short long unseen in Los Angeles (if ever) a series of improvisations with Jack Smith. Azazel Jacobs presents his second feature film The GoodTimesKid. (2005/2009; 77 min.), “an absurdist comedy of errors, a punk-rock slice of DIY rebellion, and a warmhearted frolic that captures the “amour fou spirit of the early French New Wave” (The Village Voice).”
Oct 18, 2009, 7:30 pm – Los Angeles Filmforum presents ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom with Puffy Cheeks) by Ken Jacobs with Jacobs in person!
Los Angeles Premiere! 3-D!
Ken Jacobs is one of the leading practitioners of film and video art in the world. We’re delighted to host the Los Angeles premiere of his newest video work. ANAGLYPH TOM (2008, 118 minutes, DV-Cam) “Our beloved performers from the 1905 TOM, TOM, THE PIPER’S SON again encapsulate human absurdity for our amusement but this time in entirely illusionary 3-D.”- Ken Jacobs. This screening concludes a weeklong residency by Jacobs at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Los Angeles Filmforum.
Oct 25, 2009, 7:00 pm – UCLA Film & Television Archive, Los Angeles Filmforum, the Getty Research Institute, CalArts Film/Video, and REDCAT present Robert Beavers in Person
First time in Los Angeles!
At the UCLA Film & Television Archive
This presentation of work by avant-garde filmmaker Robert Beavers represents the filmmaker’s Los Angeles debut, after a career spanning from the mid-1960s to the present day, and is organized in conjunction with the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Including AMOR (1980, 15 min. 35mm, color, Italy/Austria); THE STOAS (1991-97, 22 min., 35mm, color, Greece); THE GROUND (1993-2001, 20 min., 35mm, color, Greece); and PITCHER OF COLORED LIGHT (2007, 24 min., 16mm, United States/Switzerland). Note change in time & location!
Sunday November 1, 2009, 4:30 and 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum and AFI FEST present 3 premieres!
4:30 Los Herederos with A Letter to Uncle Boonmee
7:30 The Anchorage
4:30 pm LOS HEREDEROS directed by Eugenio Polgovsky
(2008, 90 min., Mexico, HDCAM) – Los Angeles premiere!
The “herederos” of the title —children who have “inherited” a legacy of grinding poverty—live on the land. They plow, they harvest, they load wood and they build walls with the bricks that they made with their hands. They also frolic, and play and dance. LOS HEREDEROS is both extremely intimate (the camera’s point of view is like that of a tiny creature scurrying to keep pace with the kids) and pointedly universal, while rigorously refusing to draw conclusions. –Robert Koehler
A LETTER TO UNCLE BOONMEE directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2009, 18 min., Thailand/U.K., Digibeta) – Los Angeles premiere!
Winner of two prizes at the 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
In Apichatpong’s hauntingly poetic piece—one part of his ambitious “Primitives” project—the voices of three young men describe to an uncle how their Thai village of Nabua has been abandoned in the wake of war.
7:30 pm THE ANCHORAGE directed by C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom (2009, 87 min., U.S./Sweden, 35mm) U.S. premiere! C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom in person!
Winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard for Filmmakers of the Present
Immersing the viewer in magnificent Swedish landscapes, this sober and meditative film reveals the beauty of nature and the beings that co-exist in harmony there: a Rousseauesque vision of a relationship between a human being and her environment.
Los Angeles Filmforum, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028. Sunday Nov 1, 2009. 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. http://lafilmforum.wordpress.com. The Egyptian Theatre has a validation stamp for the Hollywood & Highland complex. Park 4 hours for $2 with validation.
Get your tickets starting October 16 at AFI.com or AFI.com/AFIFEST, or by calling 1-866-AFI-FEST. You can also obtain tickets by going to the Festival Box Office located at the Mann 6 Theatre starting on October 26th, or on the day of the screenings via rush lines.
Sunday November 8, 2009:
Los Angeles Filmforum presents FILM ABOUT A WOMAN WHO… by Yvonne Rainer. Part 2 of 8 of Bodies, Objects, Films: An Yvonne Rainer Retrospective. Over the course of our 2009-2010 seasons, Filmforum is proud to present a full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer. Tonight, Film About A Woman Who… (1974, 105 mins, b&w, 16mm) Rainer’s landmark film is a meditation on ambivalence that plays with cliché and the conventions of soap opera while telling the story of a woman whose sexual dissatisfaction masks an enormous anger. (Note: Rainer will NOT be present at this show.)
Los Angeles Filmforum, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028. Sunday Nov 8, 2009. 7:30 pm. General admission $10, students/seniors $6, free for Filmforum members. http://lafilmforum.wordpress.com. The Egyptian Theatre has a validation stamp for the Hollywood & Highland complex. Park 4 hours for $2 with validation.
Sunday November 15, 2009, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents D.W. Griffith in California, with talk by Tom Gunning. For fans of early film, and of Southern California history! We’re delighted to host the internationally-renowned film scholar Tom Gunning, who will talk about Griffith’s time in California, and these selected, rarely screened films made in So Cal in the years before World War I. All in 16mm with live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Films: Man’s Genesis (1912, 17 min); The New Dress (1911, 17 min.); The Massacre (1914, 20 min); The Unchanging Sea (1910, 14 min.); The Sands of Dee (1912, 17 min); The Female of the Species (1912, 17 min)
Los Angeles Filmforum, at the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado Street (@ Sunset Blvd), Los Angeles CA 90026. 213-484-8846. Sunday November 15, 2009. 7:30 pm. General admission $10, students/seniors $6, free for Filmforum members. http://www.lafilmforum.org
Sunday November 22, 7:30 pm:
Los Angeles Filmforum presents The Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour – Program 2
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the original and longest running independent film festival in the United States, recognized as a premiere showcase for risk-taking, pioneering and art driven cinema. This program explores themes of a changing globalized world through personal, existential journeys and includes films from Paris, London, Winnipeg, and the U.S. Films: “Cattle Call” (Mike Maryniuk & Matthew Rankin, 4 min); “Utopia, Part 3: The World’s Largest Shopping Mall” (Sam Green & Carrie Lozano, 12 min); “Quiero Ver” (Adele Horne; 6 min); “Skhizein” (Jeremy Clapin, 14 min); “Retouches” (Georges Schwizgebel, 5 min); “Más Se Perdió” (Stephen Connolly, 15 min); “Nora” (Alla Kovgan & David Hinton, 35 min); “Blue Tide, Black Water” (Eve Gordon & Sam Hamilton, 10 min)
Los Angeles Filmforum, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028. Sunday Nov 22, 2009. 7:30 pm. General admission $10, students/seniors $6, free for Filmforum members. http://www.lafilmforum.org. The Egyptian Theatre has a validation stamp for the Hollywood & Highland complex. Park 4 hours for $2 with validation.
Spring 2009 Season
April 4 – Journey From Darkness into Light: Films By Kerry Laitala
This “spooktacular” program includes nine short 16mm films from visiting Bay-area filmmaker Kerry Laitala. “For every work [Laitala] produces, she places her fingers on the pulse of the piece and allows it to grow organically without a script or prescribed plan. She prescribes to the concepts laid down by Germaine Dulac, maker of surrealist films in the 1920’s, that cinema should not be enslaved by narrative and theatre, and is interested in expansive forms of media production. Laitala is deeply invested in the process of working directly with the film medium basically is involved in all aspects of production: shooting, developing, editing and sound design as well as optical printing much of material to further re-work it into another form.“ (filmmaker’s bio). Full show details here!
April 5 – Animated Documentaries Part 1: Portraits
“Animated documentaries” – isn’t that an oxymoron? No longer! Documentary has now moved past the notion that it needs to be an exact representation of reality, although many in the United States still resist the expansive concept. And animation has long included more than kids cartoons, although most people only know the films they see on Saturday morning television. But now is the time to break through the bounds of the real, to get into the minds of real people in real situations, to find visuals for events that weren’t documented, to raise issues of perception and experience and reality. Why are most animated documentaries linked still to an acceptable aural interview – an illustrated radio documentary? Where does animation fall short, and what objections does it raise? And where does it open up the realm of the possible, and provide a new way to visualize truth?
Tonight we look at the range of possibilities of portraits – biographical moments, short profiles, and pointed interviews. Going beyond the filmmaker (we’ll look at autobiographical films later), these play with external representations to bring out key aspects of the personalities of the subjects. Full show details here!
Monday April 13, 2009, 8:00pm – Animated Documentaries Part 2: Rendering the Facts (at the Silent Movie Theatre)
For series details, see above description for April 5.
Tonight we’ll look at difficult and entertaining assortment of films where the animation serves as visual reportage, representing “the facts.” From the winsome or rough tales of the loss of virginity in Never Like the First Time to the bouncy remixed score of sweetpea growers in England in Success with Sweetpeas, these films draw upon interviews and historical events. We’ll also be including such works as the “Men in Black” segment of the Oscar-nominated documentary Operation Homecoming: writing the Wartime Experience, The Velvet Tigress which looks at a 1930s murderess, and the original animated documentary, “The Sinking of the Lusitania” by Winsor McKay, which also raises the question of where documentary meets propaganda. And more! Full show details here!
Sunday April 19, 2009, 7:30pm – Common Ground: Four films from young filmmakers
Four young film-makers–Vera Brunner-Sung, Haeyong Moon, Erika Vogt, and Laida Lerxtundi—celebrate the commonplace and the contingent. They lead us to notice anew what we might miss in our everyday surroundings. They celebrate the memories made in a stone, in a field, in a song. Are these places sacred then? We live in a ruined paradise, and in ruining it, we have made it our home, and since it is our home, we must learn to love it and to value it. That is the lesson of these movies. – Thom Andersen Full show details here!
Sunday April 26, 2009, 7:30pm – Treasures from American Film Archives IV
With Jeff Lambert, Assistant Director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, and Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive in person!
This March brings the long-awaited release of the National Film Preservation Foundation’s glorious 2-DVD box set, TREASURES IV: AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE FILM, 1947-1986, the home-video debut of 26 classics of American experimental filmmaking. TREASURES IV showcases the preservation work of America’s foremost avant-garde film archives: Anthology Film Archive, the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Museum of Modern Art, the Donnell Media Center of the New York Public Library, and Pacific Film Archive. In honor of its release, Filmforum tonight brings you six of the restored films from the set, on film, in all their glory, the better to whet your appetite for all the glories of the box set. More details to come!
May 2 & 3, 2009 -The Orphan Film Symposium West!
Where: The Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave (just south of Melrose), Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-655-2510 (ph)
When: Saturday May 2 and Sunday May 3, 2009
How: To purchase tickets or symposium passes, visit http://www.cinefamily.org or call 323-655-2510
Los Angeles Filmforum, Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts will present a retrospective of the Orphan Film Symposium – Orphans West – at the historic Silent Movie Theatre on May 2 and 3, 2009.
The Orphan Film Symposium has had six incarnations since its start in 1999 at the University of South Carolina. Founder Dan Streible has since developed the symposium into a favorite of AMIA members, filmmakers, and historians. The event is now held at New York University as a project of their Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program, and draws sold out crowds from around the world (18 nations were represented at the last symposium).
For the uninitiated, “orphan” works are those which are outside of the mainstream and often have no known origin or copyright, or were at one point considered “lost” and without a formal repository to preserve it. These include home movies, amateur and educational films, industrial and sponsored films, experimental films, and newsreels. Presenters at the symposium speak about orphan restoration and research projects, their processes of discovery for these films and videos, followed by screenings of the works.
Undoubtedly, latecomers to the Orphans phenomenon are curious as to what stories and treasures the early incarnations of the symposium uncovered. For those curious parties who have missed some or all of the symposia, LA-based organizations Los Angeles Filmforum and Cinefamily worked with NYU and Dan Streible to coordinate a two-day retrospective event on May 2 and 3 at the historic Silent Movie Theatre at 611 N. Fairfax. The event will feature five shows; each featuring selected presentations and screenings from all six previous symposia. Orphans founder Dan Streible will be present along with an amazing lineup of presenters and films.
Admission is $13 per show. For $65, patrons will receive a pass to all five shows in the symposium, free soda and popcorn AND a dinner and wine reception on Saturday night between the first and second shows.
The presentations and films included in the symposium range in topic from Mexican super 8mm; the NASA space program; sex education; science; historical; political; and much more. Our presenters include Dan Streible, Craig Baldwin, Scott Stark, Jess Lerner, Stephen Parr, Christopher Lane and Amy Sloper. To view the full lineup of shows, presenters and films, visit the Orphans West page at http://www.lafilmforum.org/OrphansWest/Program
Sunday May 17, 2009, 7:30 pm – Descent: Three Stories of Family
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas
Descent: Three Stories of Family features three documentaries that explore familial relationships, personal stories, and cultural traditions. Investigating the human landscape through the lens of three distinct stylistic approaches, this documentary program highlights and deconstructs the theme of family.
Curator and Filmmaker LeAnn Erickson in person!
Folk Songs, by LeAnn Erickson (2007, 12:20, 16mm/digital video)
Images of Flying and Falling, by Ariana Gerstein (2001, 24:00, 16mm/digital video)
No Man is an Island, by Sonja Lindén (2006, 40:20, 16mm)
With a total running time of 80 minutes, the program begins with the film Folk Songs, by university professor and independent video/filmmaker LeAnn Erickson. Folk Songs has been featured at numerous international film festivals including the 35th Athens Film and Video Festival (USA), Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival (Canada), and the Sofia International Film Festival (Bulgaria). A native of the American Midwest Erickson poetically reflects on ‘the old country’ her grandparents left behind when they left Russia in 1913 to settle in the US. In search of her roots, Erickson travels to Russia and back only to find that the path to her immigrant past lies within her family’s own traditions. The Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival program notes state: “This lyrical and impressionistic rumination on the filmmaker’s Bulgarian heritage explores the impact of family and tradition, the links between the old world and the new, and the simple, lovely gestures that unite generations.”
Next is Images of Flying and Falling by Ariana Gerstein, university professor and independent filmmaker. An experimental documentary featured at such international venues as the Black Maria Film Festival (USA), the European Media Arts Festival (Germany) and the San Francisco International Film Festival (USA), Images of Flying and Falling uses moving and still photographic images to revive and recount lost memories of her deceased grandmother. As if piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, Gerstein strategically layers and aligns images and sounds as she reconstructs stories and searches for answers. Gerstein states, “Images of Flying and Falling, is an attempt to connect and hold onto the elusive- asking the viewer- what is reality and how do we shape it in the age of personal computers?”
The final film in the compilation is No Man Is an Island. Sonja Lindén, an independent filmmaker from Finland, combines observational techniques with poetic collage as she follows her father over the course of a year in her documentary No man is an Island. Screening at such internationally acclaimed festivals as the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival (UK), DOK Leipzig (Germany), and the 47th Krakow Film Festival (Poland) No man is an Island is an intimate and loving portrait of Kristen Lindén, a man who has dwelled alone on an island for the past 16 years. As father Linden chops wood, prepares for winter and builds his own coffin, what emerges is a closely observed analysis of existence in its simplest form told with humor and loving respect. Helsinki Documentary Film Festival program notes: “The most touching subjects are found close. No man is an Island portrays the filmmaker’s father poetically, with beautiful and carefully considered photography and music.”
May 27, 2009, 7:30 pm – Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Thom Andersen and Morgan Fisher
at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum
Presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, the Hammer Museum, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Admission free!
Full details at http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/public/calendar/calendar_f.html
Perhaps best known for his acclaimed Los Angeles Plays Itself, Thom Andersen also produced a vital body of work in the 1960s. His longtime friend, filmmaker and painter Morgan Fisher, has explored many facets of the film medium. Both filmmakers will be in attendance for a discussion.
RESTORING THE LOS ANGELES AVANT-GARDE: Thom Andersen and Morgan Fisher
Films by Los Angeles artists, presented in newly restored prints by the Academy Film Archive. Program curated and introduced by Mark Toscano.
All Films shown in restored prints from the Academy Film Archive, and courtesy of the filmmakers.
ALL HAMMER PUBLIC PROGRAMS ARE FREE. Tickets are required, and are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time. Limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis. Hammer members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required.
Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6:00
Friday May 29, 2009, 7:30 pm – Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: THINGS ARE ALWAYS GOING WRONG: NEW RESTORATIONS OF LOS ANGELES EXPERIMENTAL FILMS
at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum
Presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, the Hammer Museum, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Full details at http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/public/calendar/calendar_f.html
Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6:00_______________________________________________________________
Sunday May 31, 2009, 7:30 pm – Dialogues by Owen Land, Los Angeles Premiere! Owen Land in person
At the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028
On one level, DIALOGUES is a parody of Scorpio Rising, using era-specific hit records to locate scenes in time; on another level, it’s an interpretation of Plato’s dialogue ‘ ‘, in which Socrates proves the doctrine of re-incarnation; on still another level, it is a polemic for the Tantric belief in the sacredness of male-female polarity in the form of thirty “Platonic Dialogues.” Rated R: Restricted to audiences with a knowledge of Art History.
Also coming in Spring 2009!
John Gianvito and Jason Blalock
Festival of (In)Appropriation (June 7)