Rock & Roll Experiments

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Rock N Roll Film (still)
Rock & Roll Experiments

611 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
February 15th, 2012 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

(323) 655-2510
experimental film
Tickets: General $10, Students/seniors $6; free for Filmforum members Advance ticket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets.


Rock ‘n roll and experimental film were on parallel groundbreaking paths from the late ‘60s to the early ‘70s, fueled by all of the ecstasy and anger of a vibrant and explosive California counterculture never to be replicated. The instances at which these aural and visual courses intersected is the departure point for tonight’s program, which we hope proves once and for all that in that era, cinema’s influence on music (and vice-versa) was on par with the holy pairing of sex and drugs. This show’s line-up — a reverent glimpse at the early stages of the symbiotic melding of two mediums — places loopy Zappa fare alongside Christina Hornisher’s structuralist speculations, and George Lucas’ prescient early work beside Chris Langdon’s pared-down homage to ‘60s singer-songwriter Lou Christie. Come witness the synesthetically powerful results of a compact cultural Big Bang.

In person: To Be announced (Schedules permitting)

Screening (Additions to come):
--- ------- (1967, 16mm, color, sound, 12min.)
Directed by Thom Andersen and Malcolm Brodwick

Coming Down (1968, 16mm, color, sound, 4min.)
Directed by Pat O'Neill, featuring the band The United States of America
(new print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

A Dance Film Inspired by the Music of Jim Morrison, by Toni Basil, (1968, 2m, color, sound)  
Music: Jimi Hendrix; Camera:  Peter Hasenstein
Dancers: Johnny Almarez, Debby Cohen Katz/Anderson, Toni Basil, Tom Cahill, Jimmy Hibbard, Carol La Brie, Alvinia, Mystery
Perhaps the first film to combine classical dance with dancing of “the street.”
"dancers in white face groove out in photomontage on a black backdrop to the music of Jimi Hendrix…” – from "Paper Monument: A Journal of Contemporary Art," review by Naomi Fry of the exhibition "Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle" at NYU

4x8=16 (1966, 16mm, color, sound, 3min.)
Directed by Christina Hornisher

The Emperor (1967, 16mm, b/w, sound, 24min.)
Directed by George Lucas  
Print courtesy of USC
"Emperor" Bob Hudson was the most eccentric disc jockey in 1960s rock radio, and George Lucas's film portrait tries to find a form that matches his eccentricity while documenting the culture that supported him. The end credits appear in the middle of the film, which is also interrupted by fake commercials (some mildly witty, some acutely embarrassing). Fortunately, Hudson himself is quite perceptive about what he does, and he expresses a real appreciation for the music he plays. Lucas allows his listeners to have their say also, and he portrays them with intelligence and affection.” -Thom Andersen

The Gypsy Cried (1973, 16mm, b/w, sound, 3min.)
Directed by Chris Langdon
(preservation print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

Two Faces Have I (1973, 16mm, b/w, sound, 3min.)
Directed by Chris Langdon
(preservation print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1969, 17 min., screening from Digital Betacam
Directed by Frank Zappa
(Tape courtesy of Pacific Film Archive)
Originally Broadcast 4/30/1969.
Antics of the Mothers of Invention are further accelerated by heavily processed film footage. Zappa is seen performing music from the "Uncle Meat" LP. This work was completed about 10 years before MTV went on the air.
Music by Zappa, "mostly from Uncle Meat." Photographed by Zappa and others. Special Optical Effects by Burton C. Gershfield. Produced by Herb Cohen. With the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart.
Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 will feature over 24 shows between October 2011 and May 2012. Alternative Projections is Filmforum’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 California in the postwar era. Film series curated by Adam Hyman and Mark Toscano, with additional contributions by David James, Christine Panushka, Jerri Allyn, Abraham Ferrer, Terry Cannon, Ben Caldwell, Stephanie Sapienza, Amy Halpern, and more.

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, 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.

Primary funding for Alternative Projections was provided by the Getty Foundation, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque.

Our website at contains oral histories, articles, and a searchable database with individuals, films, organizations, and exhibitions, and archival content. This is the first database of its kind and will give scholars and the public a much richer understanding of art production in Los Angeles for years to come.  The contents of the screening series can also be found there.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
Jan 21 – Alternative Projections: Los Angeles Observed (at Cinefamily)
Jan 25 & 26 – Single Wing Turquoise Bird – light show performance with live music, at UCLA EDA, part of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival!
Jan 28 - Alternative Projections: Visions, Memory, and a Machine (at Cinefamily)

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation.  2012 is our 37th year
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