New Urban Observations
Thom Andersen, Laura Kraning, and Steven O’Day in person!
These extraordinary films continue the rich tradition of the city symphony and the experimental and experiential films of the city, dating back to the earliest days of film. The city itself – its people and spaces, rhythms and hustle, and the life cycles of buildings and places – are viewed and made personal through the superb craft and perceptive gaze of tonight’s filmmakers. London, San Francisco, Detroit, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, all seen in their uniqueness, while all give insight into the arcs and possibilities of all cities.
The program includes two Los Angeles premieres: Jack Cronin’s ravishing look at the empty spaces of Detroit, and Laura Kraning’s immersive look at the reflections and images found at a drive-in in the City of Industry. Also, it includes another opportunity to see Thom Andersen’s latest 16mm film, of billboards and spaces of a lost Los Angeles, with its history still suffusing the present, after its two sold-out screenings thus far in Los Angeles. Steven O’Day finds the exhilarating possibilities of modern transportation in Tokyo; Tomonari Nishikawa masterfully distills Market Street, and film, to its essential lines; and Eva Weber allows us an intimate view of London from on high.
Curated by Adam Hyman.
At the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd. (at Las Palmas), Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: General $10, Students/seniors $6; free for Filmforum members
Advance ticket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets.
The Solitary Life of Cranes, by Eva Weber (2008, England, video, 27 min,)
Part city symphony, part visual poem, ‘The Solitary Life of Cranes’ explores the invisible life of a city, its patterns and hidden secrets, seen through the eyes of crane drivers working high above its streets.
The Solitary Life of Cranes’ premiered at Britdoc Film Festival in July 2008 where it won the Award for Best Short Film.
Market Street, by Tomonari Nishikawa (2005, US, 16mm, silent, b&w, 5 min.)
All images are shot on Market Street, one of the main streets in San Francisco, composing each frame on the street while filming. It was commissioned by Exploratorium and San Francisco Arts Commission for the outdoor screening event, A Trip Down Market Street 1905/2005: An Outdoor Centennial Celebration.
Invisible City, by Jack Cronin (2006, USA, Super 8 on DV, 11 min.)
Los Angeles Premiere!
Invisible City was filmed in Detroit over the course of three years. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, in which the Italian author suggests that what constitutes a city is not so much its physical structure but the impression it makes upon its visitors. The film is loosely organized into four segments representing spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Vineland, by Laura Kraning (2009, USA, DV, 10.15 min.)
Los Angeles premiere!
Winner of the City is Cinema Jury Award at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival.
At the last drive-in movie theater in Los Angeles, dislocated Hollywood images filled with apocalyptic angst float within the desolate nocturnal landscape of the City of Industry. In this border zone, re-framed and mirrored projections collide with the displaced radio broadcast soundtrack, revealing overlapping realities at the intersection of nostalgia and alienation. - L.K.
"...A spectral quality characterizes all the images and sounds, both those that emanate from the screen in the night sky, and those of the surrounding cityscape. Vineland speaks quietly and eloquently of fantasized image-making, of the sheer presence and scale of Hollywood’s imposition on the landscape, both that of the nation and the one in our minds." - Tony Pipolo, Millenium Film Journal
Tokyo by Bicycle, by Steven O’Day (2010, USA, video, 3 min.)
Bicycling through tokyo -- at the speed of light. long exposure photography + bicycle + neon megalopolis = bike love!!!
Get Out of the Car, by Thom Andersen (2010, 16mm film, 34 min)
Direction: Thom Andersen; camera: Madison Brookshire, Adam R. Levine; editing: Adam R. Levine; sound: Craig Smith
GET OUT OF THE CAR is a city symphony film in 16mm composed from advertising signs, building facades, fragments of music and conversation, and unmarked sites of vanished cultural landmarks. The musical fragments compose an impressionistic survey of popular music made in Los Angeles (and a few other places) from 1941 to 1999, with an emphasis on rhythm’n’blues and jazz from the 1950s and corridos from the 1990s. The music of Richard Berry, Johnny Otis, Leiber and Stoller, and Los Tigres del Norte is featured prominently.
"Get Out Of The Car… is an elegiac portrait of the back patio of the city: Latin quarters, empty spaces that had been communal spaces, a culture in disappearance, a culture in transformation." – Cahiers du Cinéma España
Originally from Germany, Eva Weber is a London-based director working in both documentary and fiction. Eva began her career making several award-winning short fiction films, before joining the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1998. Whilst working as a director for BBC Broadcast, she directed numerous promotions, commercials and branded films for the BBC and other television and advertising companies.
Since leaving the BBC, Eva has directed the short documentaries ‘The Intimacy of Strangers’ which premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival; ‘City of Cranes’ which won the Award for Best Documentary Short at Los Angeles Film Festival; The Solitary Life of Cranes’; and ‘Steel Homes’ for the Scottish Documentary Institute.. http://www.oddgirlout.co.uk
Tomonari Nishikawa is an artist and filmmaker whose works have been screened at film festivals, cinemathques, museums, and other alternative spaces. Along with both film and video projects, he makes installations, and one of them, Building 945, received the 2008 Museum of Contemporary Cinema Grant Award. Nishikawa occasionally works as a film curator. He has been a guest adviser and curator of Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions in Tokyo, and he worked as a programming consultant for 2010 Aichi Art Triennale in Nagoya, Japan. He is one of the founders and currently festival adviser of KLEX: Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival in Malaysia. Nishikawa teaches at Binghamton University. http://www.tomonarinishikawa.com/
Nishikawa will be at Los Angeles Filmforum with a one-person show on April 17, 2011.
Jack Cronin teaches film and video at Oakland Community College, Michigan. He has taught film at various other institutions, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. He is a former Director of the Detroit Film Center, and also served as Executive Director of the 2007 Detroit Docs International Film Festival. Jack’s films, which sometimes combine documentary and experimental techniques, have been included in festivals and screening programs in the North America, South America and Europe.
Laura Kraning is a filmmaker whose work blurs the boundaries of documentary and experimental film and often explores the surreal within the real. Her early work as an abstract painter has infused her process of seeing and translating the hidden meanings beneath the surface of the everyday, making visible the textures unfolding within the temporal landscape. Her films have screened at numerous festivals and venues including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, National Gallery of Art, Los Angeles Filmforum, Portland Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, and the REDCAT Theater in L.A. Her most recent film, VINELAND, premiered at the New York Film Festival's Views From the Avant-Garde and received the. Laura currently resides in Los Angeles. http://www.laurakraning.com/
Steven O’Day recently received an MFA from the Division of Animation and Digital Art at the University of Southern California. A new media artist working primarily with animation and installation, his projects have been installed, performed, and screened domestically and internationally. Most recently, he performed at a TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) event in Los Angeles, created and installed a series of animated idents for the Tokyo Broadcast System in Tokyo, Japan, and had an animated-piece tour with the onedotzero_adventures in motion festival.
Thom Andersen has lived in Los Angeles for most of his life. In the 1960s, he made short films, including Melting (1965), Olivia’s Place (1966), and --- ------- (1967, with Malcolm Brodwick). In 1974 he completed Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer, an hour-long documentation of Muybridge’s photographic work. In 1995, with Noël Burch, he completed Red Hollywood, a videotape about the filmwork created by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist. Their work on the history of the Blacklist also produced a book, Les Communistes de Hollywood: Autre chose que des martyrs, published in 1994. In 2003 he completed Los Angeles Plays Itself, a videotape about the representation of Los Angeles in movies. It won the National Film Board of Canada Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2003 Vancouver International Film Festival, and it was voted best documentary of 2004 in the Village Voice Film Critics’ Poll. He has taught film composition at the California Institute of the Arts since 1987.
For the screenings at the Egyptian Theater:
Parking is now easiest at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Bring your ticket for validation. Parking is $2 for 4 hours with validation. Enter that complex on Highland or Hollywood. The theater is 1.5 blocks east.
This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2010 is our 34th year.
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