In person: Thom Andersen and Clay Dean
Los Angeles is perhaps the most photographed, yet least understood city in the world. For all of the countless images, it is as though few people have actually seen the city well enough to depict it. Coinciding with A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California, Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA presents a program of recent films that break this mold, and in so doing document the changing landscape of the city in the 21st century. Thom Andersen, Alexandra Cuesta, and Clay Dean use poignant and at times even poetic images of buildings, immigrant neighborhoods, deteriorating signage, and readymade still lifes to give us a sense of place as well as the uncanny. Serving as an elegiac prologue to this recent efflorescence of observational cinema is Kent MacKenzie’s heartbreaking Bunker Hill 1956, a rich documentary memorializing the site whose destruction preceded downtown’s current incarnation as a corporate office block (and home to MOCA).
Bunker Hill 1956 by Kent MacKenzie (1956, 16mm, black and white, sound, 18 min, print courtesy of USC)
Despedida (Farewell) by Alexandra Cuesta (2013, 16mm, color, sound, 10 min)
Not West of Western by Clay Dean (2011, 16mm, black and white, sound, 13.5 min)
Get Out of the Car by Thom Andersen (2010, 16mm, color, sound, 35 min)
Total Running Time: 76.5 minutes