Media Arts Preview: The Histories of Art & Music and More Events

Screenings this week look back at the histories of art and music, or, from the past, imagine the future...

Thursday, August 18
MOCA presents The Cool School: How Los Angeles Learned to Love Modern Art tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Ahmanson Auditorium on Grand Avenue. The film chronicles the activities of the Ferus Gallery, "which groomed the L.A. art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant, artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses, and Robert Irwin."

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WorldonaWireFriday, August 19
The great German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed a sci-fi epic called World on a Wire in 1973 that some say presaged both Blade Runner and The Matrix in its exploration of artificial intelligence, and its fretting about the human race in a reality more virtual than real. The three-and-a-half hour film rarely screens, but LACMA will present a new digital restoration tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 20
The Hammer Museum will screen Wattstax, a documentary featuring Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and Richard Pryor, who participated in the 1972 Wattstax WattstaxMusic Festival. "Weaving together performance footage along with impromptu interviews with concertgoers, Wattstax gives insight to the 1960s and 1970s African American experience in Watts and the U.S. at large." Director Mel Stuart and actor Ted Lange will answer questions following the screening, which starts at 8:00 p.m.

The Echo Park Film Center hosts the Cut and Run Tour tonight, a traveling festival of experimental films and video now in its third year with leadership by festival directors Mallary Abel and Brenda Contreras. This year's curatorial theme is "The Autonomy of Place" and centers on the "politics and philosophies of the forgotten, overlooked, and sometimes untold landscapes of our time and place." Films by Robert Todd, Salise Hughes, Roger Beebe, Charles Fairbanks, Shelly Silver, Sara Zia Ebrahimi and Rick Bahto. The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

Hollywood BowlThe Hollywood Bowl will bring Walt Disney's 1940 masterpiece Fantasia to life by playing musical selections from the film in conjunction with film clips. The evening starts at 8:00 p.m. and ends appropriately enough with fire works. The event will be repeated tomorrow night, at the same time.

Sunday, August 21
Can Machine Projects events get any better? Seriously! This week, the space invites you to Mind Reading for the Left and Right Brain, an odd event that starts with an electronics workshop led by Beth McMullian in which participants will learn how to create a lie detector/galvanic skin response meter. Then, hone your psychic abilities under the tutelage of psychics Asher Hartman and Haruko Tanaka. It all starts at 1:00 p.m., and continues until 6:00 p.m.

JacobsAvant-garde filmmaking icon Ken Jacobs is in town to screen experiments in 3D with two events. This afternoon, he joins the LA 3D Club at the Downtown Independent, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. where he'll show excerpts from some recent films exploring 3D and digital media.

Then, on Tuesday, August 23, LA Filmforum and Cinefamily present The Intimacy of Intervention: An Evening With Ken Jacobs, featuring several amazing examples of work by the artist known for his experiments with perception, vision, space and time. Curated by Mark Toscano, the show includes Perfect Film, The Georgetown Loop and A Tom Tom Chaser, all of which interrogate and manipulate footage, looking for the magic latent in the image. The screening will take place at the Silent Movie Theatre, and starts at 8:00 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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