Media Arts Preview: Lots of Great Work by Women

This week's media arts scene in LA features lots of great work by women, including LA's own Allison Anders, internationally acclaimed Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Zoe Beloff at the Velaslavasay Panorama.

BarbieFriday, April 15
The Barbie Video Girl Doll was slated to be one of last year's hottest selling toys until the FBI issued a memo warning police investigators of its potential use by child pornographers. Or artists. Indeed, the Barbie Film Festival challenges filmmakers to use the svelte doll camera to craft short videos, and the two-minute finished projects will screen tonight at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA at 7:00 p.m.

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Beloff stageSaturday, April 16
Acclaimed filmmaker and media artist Zoe Beloff will offer a public lecture tonight at the Velaslavasay Panorama beginning at 8:00 p.m. The talk offers a context for Beloff's new exhibition The Somnambulists, which will be on view at the Panorama through May 29, 2011. The Somnambulists project is connected to the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society, active between 1926 and 1972, and Beloff will screen several of the Society's Dream Films during her presentation.

LA-based independent filmmaker Allison Anders will present her 1996 feature film Grace of My Heart tonight at the Cinefamily theater at 7:30. Anders is one of the key members of the 1990s LA independent filmmaking scene, known for her attention to female characters, raw emotion and innovative story structure.

tokyo ebisuSunday, April 17
Filmmaker Tomonari Nishikawa, currently a visiting artist in the Cinema Department at Binghamton University, brings his hand-crafted films to Filmforum tonight at 7:30 p.m. Many of the films screened are short cinematic glimpses of urban spaces, with attention to rhythms, pacing and visual composition. The artist often creates in-camera visual effects, or hand-processes his images. The show is titled The Intensity of the World: An Evening with Tomonari Nishikawa, and takes place at the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian.

Where Is WhereMonday, April 18
Finnish filmmaker and media artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila has created a remarkable body of work that explores storytelling across multiple screens, and she is known internationally for her cinematic installations and projections. REDCAT will screen the artist's new film, Where Is Where, which is described as "a visually mesmerizing" split-screen project designed "to evoke and deconstruct the murder of a young French boy by two Algerian playmates during the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s." The film has been screening at museums across the country, and this is a rare opportunity to see Ahtila's work in LA, and shouldn't be missed!

Finding ChristaWednesday, April 20
Artist and filmmaker Camille Billops gained notoriety when her independent documentary Finding Christa screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, where it earned the Grand Jury Prize. The film chronicles Billops' reunion with the daughter she gave up for adoption 18 years earlier, and is celebrated for its emotional honesty. The film, described by critic Vincent Canby as "terrifically artful," will screen at the Hammer Museum tonight at 7:00 p.m., along with the artist's earlier film Suzanne, Suzanne. Billips will discuss the film after the screening.

About the Author

Holly Willis teaches in USC's School of Cinematic Arts and writes about new media art.
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