Los Angeles Observed

  • Olivia's Place (1966) by Thom Andersen
  • Venice Pier (1976) by Gary Beydler
  • City City (1974) by Duane Kubo
  • Shoppers MArket by John Vicario
  • Shoppers Market by John Vicario
  • Venice Pier by Gary Beydler

    January 21, 2012, 5:00pm
    Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036

    If Thom Andersen’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 Andersen’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 artist Gary Beydler, Hollywood maverick Joseph Strick, creator of The Exiles Kent MacKenzie,  and other artists whose takes on their SoCal surroundings were carried out with a palpable awareness of truth’s often lovely precariousness in non-fiction.

    In person: Thom Andersen, Baylis Glascock, John Vicario (schedules permitting)

    Tickets $10 general; $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum and Cinefamily members at Brown Paper Tickets.

    Films to be Screened

    • Muscle Beach (1948, 35mm, b/w, sound, 9min.)
      Directed by Joseph Strick and Irving Lerner

      (restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
    • City City by Duane Kubo and Donna Deitch City City by Duane Kubo and Donna Deitch

      City City (1974, 16mm, color, sound, 11min.)
      Directed by Donna Deitch and Duane Kubo

      (new print courtesy of Visual Communications and the Academy Film Archive)
    • Shoppers Market by John Vicario Shoppers Market by John Vicario

      Shoppers Market (1963, 16mm, color, sound, 22min.)
      Directed by John Vicario

      (restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
      " Supermarkets and their stuffs appeal to our wallets through our eyes, and, presumably, to our stomachs through our mouths. The remarkable thing about John Vicario’s recently re-discovered Shoppers Market (1963) is its attention to our ears. With its snippets of customer conversation melded to the eponymous Santa Monica store’s ambience and Muzak (including some piped-in in post by the filmmaker himself—e.g. Ussachevsky, Bartók), Vicario’s film, made at U.C.L.A., cuts a fascinating tapestry of observational footage that audibly takes us to the verge of inner anxieties around produce and product, timelessness and 24 hour commerce, walking the aisle and checking out." - Ken Eisenstein
    • Olivia's Place (1966/74) by Thom Andersen Olivia's Place (1966/74) by Thom Andersen

      Olivia's Place (1966/74, 16mm, color, sound, 6min.)
      Directed by Thom Andersen

      (restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
    • Venice Pier (1976) by Gary Beydler Venice Pier (1976) by Gary Beydler

      Venice Pier (1976, 16mm, color, sound, 16min.)
      Directed by Gary Beydler

      (restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
    • Bunker Hill (1956, 16mm, b/w, sound, 18min.)
      Directed by Kent MacKenzie

      The classic study of old Bunker Hill, in downtown Los Angeles, before it was leveled to build the Music Center.
    • Film Exercise Number One (1962, 16mm, color, sound, 5min.)
      Directed by Baylis Glascock