Several of Los Angeles' greatest visual innovators -- Sharon Lockhart, Thom Andersen, and Natalie Bookchin -- present their work this week, demonstrating our city's incredible diversity in cinematic exploration.
Friday, April 6
The third iteration of Transmedia Hollywood takes place today. The event is a day-long seminar dedicated to exploring the transformation of the media industry and new kinds of storytelling and creative output. Hosted by Henry Jenkins and Denise Mann, the event includes panelists as varied as game designer Christy Dena and future cinema guru Nick DeMartino. The conference begins at 9:45 a.m. on the USC campus, and concludes at 8:00 p.m.
LACMA's exhibition In Wonderland is accompanied by a wonderful screening series dedicated to an array of "mind-bending fairy tales and fantasies" inspired by Lewis Carroll's "Alice" stories. The series begins tonight with Jan Svankmajer's inimitable "Alice," a live-action and animation blend that tells the story of Alice through the eyes of the girl narrator, with no hesitation in visiting the darker places of the story. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders" at 9:05 p.m. Tomorrow, catch the Paramount Pictures version of "Alice in Wonderland" from 1933 at 5:00 p.m., followed by the groundbreaking Czech New Wave film "Daisies" by director Vera Chytilová at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7
The Echo Park Film Center presents Steve Dwoskin's 1974 film "Behindert." Labeled "Dwoskin's masterpiece," the 16mm film is described by critic Adrian Martin as "an astonishingly intimate recreation of Dwoskin's time with actor Carola Regnier (who gives a hypnotically intricate performance of her own desires and vulnerabilities." The film will screen at 8:00 p.m.
Thom Andersen's much loved portrait of Los Angeles as seen through hundreds of archival film clips will screen tonight at the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. With "Los Angeles Plays Itself," Andersen brings together classic Hollywood features such as "Blade Runner" and "LA Confidential," as well as less well-known and decidedly unusual clips, and while the range of examples is huge, what makes the film so enormously pleasurable is Andersen's wry, idiosyncratic take spoken in voice-over. Andersen ponders the city's history, musing on architecture, geography, and storytelling obsessions, and occasionally rants about particular irritants -- the lack of geographic continuity in most Hollywood car chases, for example. The film will screen at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 8
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions will host a conversation between media artist Natalie Bookchin and Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. The pair will discuss Bookchin's 18-channel video installation, "Now he's out in public and everyone can see," currently on view at LACE. The talk starts at 2:00 p.m. at LACE in Hollywood. The video installation uses YouTube videos in a way that "weaves together found fragments from online video diaries in which vloggers recount a series of media scandals involving African American men." The project continues a series of works in which the artist explores media, the boundary between private and public, as well as the display of multiple screens within a gallery space.
Monday, April 9
The Maine clam lives roughly nine inches below the wet surface of the coastal mud flats, where a small hole alone reveals its presence. Getting to the clams requires bending forward at the waist, plunging a gloved hand into the ooze, feeling for the round, razor sharp shell, and then pulling upward, the rude capture ending with a wet, sucking sound. It's backbreaking work, but through the lens of Sharon Lockhart's camera, it's also magnificent. Lockhart's "Double Tide," screening tonight at REDCAT at 8:30 p.m., chronicles a woman digging clams with a camera that remains resolutely still, letting us witness from a distance the woman's zigzag across the mud. The meditative portrait honors the labor alongside the beauty, the extraordinary effort within the splendor of the landscape. The filmmaker, who teaches in USC's Roski School of Fine Arts, will be in attendance.