Media Arts Preview: Classic Anime, Toy Cameras and More

Look to the past this week - to classical anime, Ernie Kovacs, Powaqqatsi and toy cameras from the 1960s - all of which are part of this week's media arts scene in LA.

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strong>Thursday, August 25
The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany is a portrait of the award-winning sci-fi writer who introduced notions of race, class, gender and sexuality into the genre. The film captures the celebrated author's radical lifestyle, and screens in conjunction with the Speculative show tonight at LACE, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The final show in the Summer Classic Anime Film Series takes place tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum. The series complements Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo exhibition of drawings and paintings, and includes nearly a dozen short films from the early days of anime.

Alice_Wonderland_2010_6.jpgFriday, August 26
Join LACMA in celebrating the filmmaking brilliance of Tim Burtan for tonight's outdoor screening of Alice in Wonderland, which stars Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. The film will be presented in an amphitheater located in the park behind LACMA, and the screening starts at sundown, or at around 8:00 p.m.

Inquiry Towards the Practice of Secular Magic is an evolving act of continuous questioning that includes live cinema performance, films, art and archival documents all organized in "a bewildering tapestry of transfigured reality!" The event, which starts at 8:30 tonight and is repeated at the same time tomorrow night, is presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, piXel (+) freQuency and the Disembodied Theater Corporation. You'll need to bring your own seating to piXel (+) freQuency.

Diana.jpgSaturday, August 27
The Lomography Gallery Store in West Hollywood is hosting a city-wide scavenger hunt "for the things that make Los Angeles special and unique." Participants will use the Diana plastic toy camera, which was introduced in the 1960s by Great Wall Plastic Factory, and has over the years become a favorite low-tech toy of artists and amateurs alike, who value its idiosyncratic pictures. The hunt takes place today between noon and 5:00 p.m., but be sure to call ahead to pre-register: 323-301-1414.

The Egyptian pays tribute to the maverick TV pioneer Ernie Kovacs with a presentation of highlights from his work, underscoring his particular brand of surreal comedy, followed by a panel discussion with Harry Shearer, Jeff Garlin and many others. The tribute starts at 7:30 p.m.

Powaqqatsi.jpgTuesday, August 30
Tonight at the Hollywood Bowl, Philip Glass and his ensemble will perform the music that accompanies Godfrey Reggio's documentary Powaqqatsi, which contrasts traditional and modern industries in developing countries. The film offers a powerful audio-visual commentary on "life in transformation," and will be thrilling to see as a live event. The show 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. 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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