Media Arts Preview: Indian Film Festival, Noir City Festival and More

It's all about film festivals this week in LA media arts, with showcases devoted to French, Japanese, Chinese and Indian cinema, as well as film noir and films about the sea...

Between DisorderThursday, April 7
REDCAT presents six screenings of new works from China in a program titled Between Disorder and Unexpected Pleasures: Tales from the New Chinese Cinema. Tonight's film is Winter Vacation by poet and filmmaker Li Honagi, who has created a story about youth living in Inner Mongolia. "Li Hongqi effortlessly leads the viewer through a series of breathtaking tableaux in which tension accumulates and then releases in unexpected, and often wickedly funny, ways," write REDCAT's curators. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and the series continues on Friday and Saturday this week.

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The wulf, an experimental arts venue located in downtown LA, presents an evening of live video and audio mixing with Katherine Liberovskaya, a video and media artist based in Montreal, and Phill Niblock, an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers, and known for making "thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres which generate many other tones in the performance space." The first set starts at 9:00 p.m.

In conjunction with the Hammer Museum's exhibition All of This and Nothing, LA-based media artist Kerry Tribe will stage a live performance that reenacts Hollis Frampton's 1971 experimental film Critical Mass. Performance of Critical Mass starts at 7:00 p.m.

BirthrightFriday, April 8
This year's Japan Film Festival starts tonight at the New Beverly with two films about family relations. A Good Husband, at 7:00 p.m., looks at a husband and wife who've grown apart, while Birthright, at 9:40 p.m., is told from a young orphan's point of view, as she discovers that her mother is living happily without her. Screenings continue through Sunday, April 17. This year, proceeds from the festival will go to victims of the earthquake in Japan.

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Saturday, April 9

Featuring "a lethal blonde and a cold-blooded cop," the rarely screened Loophole from 1954 is one of the gems screening in the Noir City festival, which celebrates an array of rarely screened film noir movies, many of them not available on DVD, and many of them presented as new prints. The festival started in early April, but tonight's screenings include both Loophole and 1950's Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, an adaptation of a novel by Horace McCoy and described as "one of the best crime films of the noir era." Screenings continue throughout April at the Egyptian Theatre.

Monday, April 11
French films are celebrated in the City of Lights, City of Angels film festival, presented by the Franco-American Cultural Fund. The event will include 34 feature films and dozens of shorts, with a romantic comedy titled Service Entrance starring Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain, starting things off tonight. See the full schedule at the COL-COA website.

Indian Film FestivalTuesday, April 12
The ninth iteration of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles starts its five-day run tonight with I Am Kalam, a new film by Nila Madhab Panda, about a young boy who encounters a local prince. The festival includes seminars, panel discussions, Indian food, and Rhythm Village, which celebrates the relationship between music and images with Bollywood singers, DJs, Indian dance forms and more.

FinishedWednesday, April 13
In conjunction with his exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Mark Flores will present We Are a Camera, a selection of experimental films that reflect LA in some way, including Finished, by LA filmmaker William E. Jones, --- ------ by Thom Andersen about the LA music scene in the 1960s, and Flores' own Going Down Slow, a six-minute trip up and down escalators around the LA subway system.

Treasure_IslandThursday, April 14
Yet another festival this week: the LA Harbor International Film Festival is all about films and videos that reflect "the harbor and all that it embraces - shipping and commerce, fishing, sailing, water sports, sea life and the area's rich, ethnic and cultural influences." Set in the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, the festival features an eclectic array of films, as well as a unique literacy outreach component in which students read Treasure Island, and then view the 1950 Disney adaptation as part of the opening day's events.

About the Author

Holly Willis teaches in USC's School of Cinematic Arts and writes about new media art. She is the author of "New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image" and editor of "The New Ecology of Things" on pervasive computing.
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