Media Arts Preview: Festival Fever

The Los Angeles Film Festival is back to jump start summer with a 10-day tribute to national and international film.

XareneThursday, June 16
LACE presents Speculative, an eclectic show that includes diverse forms of media centered on the question of production and audience, and the role of subversive and tactical media in 21st century art. Curated by Christopher O'Leary and Zach Blas, the show features work by Casey Alt, Zach Blas, Jeff Cain, Micha Cardenas & Elle Mehrmand, Xarene Eskandar, Michael Kontopoulos, Christopher O'Leary, Claudia Salamanca and Pinar Yoldas; it opens tonight with a reception 8:00 - 10:00 p.m., and will be on view through August 28, 2011.

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The Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, kicks off tonight with a 10-day showcase of national and international cinema, with more than 200 feature films, shorts and music videos. The opening night film is Richard Linklater's Bernie, while closing night features Troy Nixey's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins. The festival also includes dozens of conversations dedicated to screenwriting, production and new technologies. Check the festival film guide for full details.

Dance Camera WestThe 10th anniversary Dance Camera West festival and conference also starts today, featuring discussions, screenings and other events between today and Sunday, June 19, 2011. Tonight's event takes place at the Getty Center, with a screening at 7:00 p.m.; it continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various venues, with the conference and screenings, and includes a new film by director Mike Figgis titled The Co(te)lette Film. Figgis, known for his roots in experimental theater, will talk with Vanity Fair west coast editor Krista Smith prior to the screening of his film on Sunday; the full schedule includes descriptions of all of the films and events.

The Levi's Film Workshop, taking place in conjunction with MOCA's Art in the Streets show, features a series of 3D workshops. Participants work with USC's STEREO3D to explore a 3D stop motion workflow. The workshop takes place tonight at 6:00 p.m. and is free, but go here to register. You can also learn about live video mixing with James Cui on Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.

meshes-of-the-afternoon.jpgFriday, June 17

The Echo Park Film Center's Filmmobile will be out tonight, projecting Maya Deren's celebrated experimental film Meshes of the Afternoon. The inspiration for generations of filmmakers and music video directors, the black-and-white dream film from 1943 is nothing less than dazzling. The location for the event will be announced on Thursday, June 16; find out via twitter (@EPFCFilmmobile), or by calling 213-484-8846.

Unfinished SpacesTrack 16 welcomes filmmakers Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray with a reception tonight at 7:30. The event celebrates the pair's documentary Unfinished Spaces, which explores the work of three Cuban architects who designed a futuristic art school in Havana, but left the country in 1965 before the school was built. The reception will feature clips from the film, food, drink and a chance to meet the filmmakers, as well as two of the profiled architects. Unfinished Spaces is screening at the LA Film Festival this weekend.

Saturday, June 18
Artists Anna Boyiazis and Danial Nord, two of the winners of this year's City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships, and Nuttaphol Ma, winner of the Feitelson Arts Fellowship, will talk about their work today at the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park at 2:00 p.m. The current exhibition includes work by all 12 C.O.L.A. artists who received fellowships - make sure you see Nord's State of the Art, a mixed media installation in which Mickey Mouse collides with broken televisions to create an eerie reflection on media's past and present.

Taking Things ApartWant to know how to take apart your blender or DVD player? Join Machine Project this morning for a workshop titled Taking Things Apart, designed to teach participants how to disassemble small appliances. The event, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., facilitates basic technical literacy and hands-on tool use. Bring the family!

Wednesday, June 22
Filmmaker Christian Weisenborn profiles notorious German filmmaker Werner Herzog in Werner Herzog - I Am My Films, Part 2 / 30 Years Later. Weisenborn made an earlier portrait of Herzog, and returns many years later, after Herzog has gained international acclaim and built an incredible body of work. The film will screen at the Goethe-Institut at 7:00 p.m.

About the Author

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