Los Angeles Filmforum

Sunday December 2, 2012, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Empty Quarter, by Alain LeTourneau and Pam Minty

Alain LeTourneau and Pam Minty in person from Portland OR!

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028 

Tickets: $10 general; $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available at Brown Paper tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/290995

Empty Quarter (2011, 16mm black & white/sound, 71 minutes) is a film about the region of Southeast Oregon, an area populated by ranching and farming communities, in Lake, Harney, and Malheur counties. The region is roughly one-third of Oregon’s landmass yet holds less than 2% of the state’s population.

Southeast Oregon, though familiar by name is a foreign place, particularly to those who reside in urban environments. It is a landscape in the making, constantly undergoing change, being re-worked. It is a highly politicized landscape, evoking differing opinions concerning resource management and land use. It is also a landscape that is, despite some beliefs, rich with diversity, as seen by the presence of East Indian and Japanese families, ancestors of Basque sheepherders, home to the Paiute tribes people, and to Latinos who have come to help work the land.

Empty Quarter departs from a documentary form that utilizes “talking head” interviews and “B-roll” or “cut-away” images tied together with occasional narration. The film instead presents stark portraits, waiting to be explored and digested by the viewer. Meaning is extracted in the slow process of accumulation and measured response. Through a series of stationary shots, recording open landscapes and the activities of local residents, Empty Quarter reflects on the character of the region. Natural areas are viewed among images of industry, various labor processes, resource management and recreation. Voices of local residents describe the history of pioneer settlement, social life of rural communities and the struggles of small town economies.

Presented in collaboration with Los Angeles Filmforum
September 13-15 & 17, 2012, at the Egyptian Theatre

The films of Chris Marker (July 29, 1921 – July 29, 2012) are a travelogue of pure mystery, where his beloved cats and owls materialize to remind us just how far we have to go and how much we have to remember. His favorite medium was the cinema essay: a series of impressions, snapshots and postcards from distant lands, linked together by Marker’s enigmatic voice. Marker was in love with memory, with its melancholy beauty, and his films are heroic, perhaps doomed attempts to trace memory’s power on our lives. As Marker has said, “I claim, for the image, the humility and the powers of a madeleine.”

Marker himself was even more elusive than his work, a quicksilver character in a world of Klieg lights. He was born in the suburbs of Paris (although he occasionally claimed his birthplace was “Outer Mongolia”). A journalist, travel writer and photographer before he took up filmmaking, Marker consistently refused interviews and rarely appeared in photographs. His earliest films were made in collaboration with Alain Resnais, who shared Marker’s preoccupation with time and memory; and while Marker’s career parallels the French New Wave, his films have always been too singular to be easily grouped with Godard, Truffaut and his other peers.

Join us for a tribute to avant-garde filmmaker Chris Marker, a four-night program including LA JETEE, SANS SOLEIL, THE LAST BOLSHEVIK, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME and shorts program A Chris Marker Bestiary.

Series compiled by Adam Hyman and Gwen Deglise.


Doin’ It on Tape: Video from the Woman’s Building

November 13, 2011, 7:30pm
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

Alexandra Juhasz and artist Jerri Allyn co-host this screening that features video artworks, public service announcements and documentary footage from the Woman’s Building and the L.A. Women’s Video Center. The LAWVC was cofounded at the WB by Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, and Annette Hunt in 1976 and joined by Jerri Allyn in 1977. Featured artists include: Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, Annette Hunt, Cheri Gaulke, Starr Goode, Suzanne Lacy, Leslie Labowitz-Starus, Susan Mogul, Sheila Ruth, Jane Thurmond, and more …

This screening is organized in partnership with the LA Filmforum and in conjunction with the exhibition “Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building” on view at Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design October 1, 2011-January 28, 2012. The video in this program is provided with the permission of the artists; the Long Beach Museum of Art Video Archive, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute; and the Woman’s Building Archive, Otis College of Art and Design.

“Doin’ It In Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building” is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, an unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. Additional funding for Doin’ it in Public has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Henry Luce Foundation, and Barbara Lee Family Foundation.

The program will include excerpts from the following:

Childcare Public Service Announcement, 1977, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn

Mother and Lesbian Daughter Public Service Announcement, 1977, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn

Homosexuality Public Service Announcement, 1977, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn

Lesbian Occupations – Public Service Announcement, 1977, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn

My friends imitating their favorite animals, Candace Compton, 1979

1893 Historical Handicrafts Exhibition / The Woman’s Building at the Chicago Worlds Fair, LA Women’s Video Center, 1976

Feminist Studio Workshop Video-Letter, Susan Mogul, 1974-75

Opening night at the Woman’s Building (Spring Street), December 13, 1975 (including Sheila de Bretteville, Gloria Steinem, June Wayne), Sheila Ruth

Judy Chicago, Sheila Ruth, 1976

Constructive Feminism: Reconstruction of the Woman’s Building, Sheila Ruth, Diana Johnson, and Annette Hunt, 1975

Scenes Never to Be Seen – FSW First Day 1975, Sheila Ruth

Kate Millett, Claudia Queen, Cyd Slayton, 1977

Nun and Deviant, Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, 1976

I love LA, Jane Krauss, 1977

Eclipse in the Western Palace, Cheri Gaulke, 1976

Our Lady of LA, Kathleen Forest, Cheri Gaulke, Sue Maberry, 1982

The Goddess in Art: Starr Goode interviews Marija Gimbutas, circa 1980s

Learn Where the Meat Comes From, Suzanne Lacy, 1976

Record Companies Drag their Feet, Leslie Labowitz, Suzanne Lacy, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn, 1977

In Mourning and Rage, Leslie Labowitz, Suzanne Lacy, Leslie Labowtiz, LA Women’s Video Center – Nancy Angelo, Annette Hunt, Candace Compton, Jerri Allyn, 1977

So you Want to be a Waitress? The Waitresses – Leslie Belt, Chutney Gunderson Berry, Denise Yarfitz, Jerri Allyn, 1978

La La La workshop, (unknown) 1976

– JO

Dream States: The avant-garde of the 1940s and 1950s

October 9, 2011, 7:30pm
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors with ID, free for Filmforum memmbers.  Tickets available at:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/200736

A dorm near USC.  A flat above the Sunset Strip.  A garage in the San Fernando Valley.  A stage in Pasadena.  These are the places where the filmmaking artists of Los Angeles found ways to express their creativity in the years after World War II. 

Los Angeles Filmforum launches our film screening series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 on October 9th with Dream States: The Avant-garde of the 1940s and 1950s.  The serieswill feature over 24 shows between now and May 2012. Alternative Projections isFilmforum’s exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern Californiain the postwar era.  Film series curated by Adam Hyman and Mark Toscano, with additional contributions by David James, Christine Panushka, Terry Cannon, Ben Caldwell, Stephanie Sapienza, and more.

Alternative Projections is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 – 1980, an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Dream States: The avant-garde of the 1940s and 1950s 
The American Avant-Garde film started coming into its own in Los Angeles during and after World War II.  At first influenced by several key films from Europe, particularly Jean Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet, along with influences from psychoanalysis and surrealism, the filmmakers often invoked dream states and elements of Surrealism.   We start our series with the classic Maya Deren film, Meshes of the Afternoon, generally considered the seminal American Avant-Garde film, made on North Kings Road above the Sunset Strip. A pair of other canonical films also were crafted here, Kenneth Anger’sFireworks and Man Ray’s Juliet.  And Alfred Hitchcock asked Salvador Dali to craft a surreal sequence for the film Spellbound.  But beyond these lay a further range of works, not as well known, but equally daring.

Films to be Screened

  • Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren
    Meshes of the Afternoon (1943, 16mm, b/w, 14min.)
    Directed by Maya Deren
  • Spellbound (Salvador Dali directed sequence) (1945, b/w, sound, 3 min.)
    Directed by Salvador Dali and Alfred Hitchcock

  • Fireworks (1947, 35mm (orig. 16mm), b/w, sound, 15min.)
    Directed by Kenneth Anger

    (restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive)

  • Juliet (ca.1940, 16mm, b/w, silent, 3.5min.)
    Directed by Man Ray 
    (print courtesy of the Centre Georges Pompidou)

  • On the Edge (1949) by Curtis Harrington
    On the Edge (1949, 16mm, b/w, sound, 6min.)
    Directed by Curtis Harrington
    (restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
  • Psyche (1947) by Gregory Markopoulos (image courtesy of The Temenos Archive)
    Psyche (Du sang, de la volupté et de la mort, part 1)  (image courtesy of The Temenos Archive) (1947, 16mm, color, sound, 25min.)
    Directed by Gregory Markopoulos
  • House of Cards (1947, 16mm, b/w, sound, 16min.)
    Directed by Joseph Vogel

    Joseph Vogel’s little-seen House of Cards employs an unexpected combination of live action and animation within an expressionistic framework to investigate the psyche of a man trapped by compulsions of violence.  The striking visuals in this film were made by Vogel with the assistance of John and James Whitney, who had just a year or so before concluded their Five Film Exercises cycle.

  • What Is a Man (1958) by Sara Kathyrn Arledge (courtesy UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive © UC Regents. All rights reserved)
    What is a Man (1958, 16mm, color, sound, 9min.) (courtesy UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive © UC Regents. All rights reserved)
    Directed by Sara Kathryn Arledge


Los Angeles Filmforum

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945-1980

Alternative Projections is a focused historical survey of experimental filmmaking in Los Angeles, particularly in the postwar era. The project will culminate in a series of approximately 16 screenings, which will explore the tradition of L.A. avant-garde filmmaking and how it related to other traditions such as painting, sculpture, performance art and dance. Canonical avant-garde works (films by Pat O’Neill, Kenneth Anger and Maya Deren) will be mixed with films that have had limited public screenings in Los Angeles since that period (Gary Beydler, Roberta Friedman and Grahame Weinbren, Robert Nakamura, Sam Erenberg). In conjunction with the screening series, a media-rich website will be launched, including more than 40 newly created oral histories, as well as articles, archival materials, and filmographies of various artists.
(Image: Foregrounds by Pat O’Neill 1978)

List of Screening Here

– JO 

An Evening With Ken Jacobs (Moderated by Azazel Jacobs!)
Q&A With Ken Jacobs 

August 23, 8pm at Cinefamly (Co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum)
$12/Free for Members

Ken Jacobs has called cinema “a form of thinking;” by his own measure, we must count Jacobs among the greatest thinkers of his generation. Los Angeles Filmforum and The Cinefamily are thrilled to host a night of films and Q&A conversation with an artist whose diverse body of work, spanning six decades, contains many of experimental film’s most pioneering, provocative statements. A major figure whose works have been canonized in the permanent collections of MOMA and the Whitney, Jacobs has given us films, videos, performances and writings which have forever altered our concept of what cinema has been and can become. Alternately hilarious, hypnotic, confrontational and meditative, the films in this program testify to Jacobs’ lifelong commitments: progressive politics, the history and splendor of the moving image, and the search for new ideas/forms. Tonight’s five selections, shown on 16mm, 35mm and digital, all showcase divergent approaches to found footage, drawing on such wide-ranging sources as Jacobs’ longstanding fascination with the birth of cinema, high-speed transfer operas based on his own previous films, and fascinating newscast outtakes projected exactly as Jacobs found them in a wastebin. We welcome this legendary artist in person to discuss his work, and participate in a Q&A with another remarkable filmmaker: Jacobs’ own son, Azazel (director of Sundance hit Terri)!”

Films to be screened (curated by Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive.
The Doctor’s Dream (1978, 16mm, 23 min., B&W, sound)

Keaton’s Cops (1991, 16mm, 18 min., B&W, silent)
Perfect Film (1986, 16mm, 22 min., B&W, sound)
The Georgetown Loop (1996, 35mm, 11 min, B&W, silent)

A Tom Tom Chaser (2002, digital presentation, 10 min., B&W, silent).


Sunday, July 10, 2011, 7:30 pm | Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Flying Fish and Dream Portraits: Short Films by Marie Losier

Marie Losier in person!
At the Velaslavasay Panorama

Marie Losier is in town to show her marvelous feature documentary The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye at Outfest on July 9, and we are delighted to host her with a selection of her short films.  These films are whimsical fantasies and fragmented portraits, the former in a tradition of Kuchar and Jack Smith, the latter capturing essential qualities of some of the great artists of our time.  Filled with color, humor, and cinematic delights, with collaborators such as Guy Maddin, Mike and George Kuchar, and Richard Foreman.” –Los Angeles Filmforum


The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
(France , USA, 2011, 75 mins)
Directed By: Marie Losier

Presented by OUTFEST 2011
Saturday, July 9th at 7pm | REDCAT

“THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE is a tender portrait of rebel performance artist and music pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV) and her soul mate and collaborator, Lady Jaye. P-Orridge’s contributions to the industrial and underground music scene in the 1970s take backseat to the couple’s great love affair and daring gender and identity transformations they underwent for their Pandrogyne project, where the pair received surgical procedures to merge into a third pandrogynous being. Winner of the Teddy for Best Documentary at 2011 Berlinale.”


The Train Keeps a Rollin’  The Return of James Benning’s RR
Los Angeles Filmforum presents | Sunday June 26, 2011, 7:30pm

At the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd. (at Las Palmas), Los Angeles CA 90028

RR (2007, 16mm, color, 115 min., sound)
“Benning’s last 16mm film, consisting of 43 static shots of trains crossing through the frame, in locations throughout the United States. The shot duration is determined by the time it takes the train to pass through the frame.

Note: James Benning will not be able to be present, as previously announced.

Six months after the sold-out Los Angeles premiere of James Benning’s marvelous film RR, we’re bringing it back!  If you missed it the first time, now is your chance!”


SHARING SOME SHARITS: Classic Films by Paul Sharits
June 5, 2011, 7:30pm | Los Angeles Filmforum presents
At the Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, CA
Paul Sharits was one of the most important figures of the American avant-garde in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  Trained as a painter, he worked in a variety of arts, and left us with numerous superb films.  He visited Filmforum a couple of times, and we had a tribute show to him in 1997, but Los Angeles is long overdue for another program of his work.  Here’s a chance to see a few of his classic “structuralist” films and more, in living 16mm!  Lots of flicker tonight, folks!”