Media Arts Preview: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Look for planes, trains and automobiles this week in LA's media art openings and screenings...

Meeks Cutoff

Thursday, June 23
Kelly Reichardt's film Meek's Cutoff stars Michelle Williams in a story about pioneers crossing the desert in 1845 and begins a limited engagement tonight (through Saturday, June 25) at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. The film has been described as a "discreetly trippy Western" by J. Hoberman and as "bracingly original" by A.O. Scott.

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Friday, June 24
Danny Plotnick has been a key figure in American DIY and independent film culture for more than two decades and is himself a filmmaker with a body of work that has screened worldwide. Danny Plotnick's Films - Warts and All features eleven shorts by Plotnick and screens as part of the Subversive Cinema series curated by Gerry Fialka at the 212 Pier Coffeehouse on Pier Avenue in Santa Monica. The show starts at 7:00 p.m.

AppleII JamSaturday, June 25
You've heard of laptop orchestras, but what about Apple II concerts? Machine Project invites Apple II owners to bring their computers - which are not known for their sound quality - to participate in an Apple II Concert, aka a musical experiment with Jason Torchnisky and Chris Kallmyer, who will use a 16-step sequencer and musical inspiration to coax from these aging machines. Contact machine@machineproject.com if you have an Apple II and want to participate, or stop by the gallery to hear the concert. Computer owner/musicians meet at 6:00 p.m.; concert starts at 8:00 p.m.

Over the RainbowThe Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena presents Over and Over, a show of new and recent video by LA-based artist Pascual Sisto, with an opening reception tonight, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. The show includes four videos, each of which in some way uses accumulation and repetition, including Over the Rainbow, a looping video featuring cars on several overpasses, and Flight Patterns, artfully merging flying planes and birds. The show will be up through September 11, 2011.

MOCA will screen Luz, Câmera, PICHAÇÂO tonight at 6:30 p.m. to complement its Art in the Streets show. The film is a documentary about Brazilian youth and street culture, and the act of making a city one's own by marking it with paint.

benning rrSunday, June 26
After its sold out show six months ago, James Benning's RR will screen again at Filmforum tonight. RR, like many of Benning's films, was shot on 16mm and features a fixed camera, with each shot showing a single train passing by. Dubbed one of the best films of the year by Film Comment, RR has earned accolades internationally. "The locomotives' varying colors, speeds, vectors, and reverberations are charged with visual thrills, romance and a nostalgia heightened by Benning's declaration that this will be his last work in 16mm film," notes the Harvard Film Archive. The screening begins at 7:30 in the Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian.

About the Author

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