Los Angeles Observed

NOTE: Filmforum members also get free admission to all Alternative Projections shows. Students/seniors – $6 admission. To receive your free or discounted rate for online pre-sales, you must purchase your ticket(s) online ahead of time, and you will receive your discount back in cash at the box office before the show.

If Thom Anderson’s 2003 celluloid essay Los Angeles Plays Itself explored the way Hollywood trained thousands of lenses upon its fragmented topography over the course of a century, tonight’s program uncovers how alternate visions of L.A. were executed by several generations of experimental filmmakers. Apt that Anderson’s own contribution to the oeuvre, 1966’s Olivia’s Place, will be screened alongside a saturated roster of unconventional documentaries, avant-garde ethnographies and rare films that capture landscapes turned on their fractured heads. Beautifully restored prints showcase William Hale, Baylis Glascock and other artists whose takes on their surroundings were carried out with a palpable awareness of truth’s often lovely precariousness in non-fiction.

FILMS:
- Muscle Beach (Joseph Strick & Irving Lerner, 1948, 35mm, B&W, 9 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
- Grand Central Market (William Hale, 1963, 16mm, B&W, 10 min. Print courtesy of the National Archives)
- City City (Duane Kubo & Donna Deitch, 1974, 16mm, color, 11 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
- Shoppers Market : A marvelous study of a market in Santa Monica, circa early ’60s. Rediscovered at the Alternative Projections symposium in November 2010, courtesy of Ken Eisenstein. (John Vicario, 1963, 16mm, color, 22 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
- Olivia’s Place (Thom Andersen, 1966/74, 16mm, color, 6 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
- Bunker Hill: The classic study of old Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles, before it was leveled to build the Music Center. (Kent MacKenzie, 1956, 35mm or 16mm, B&W, 18 min. Print courtesy of USC)
- Film Exercise No. 2 (Baylis Glascock, 5 min.)
- Venice Pier (Gary Beydler, 1976, 16mm, color, 16 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)