Media Arts Preview: Kino Eye and Soft Fiction

Man with a Movie Camera

Sex, singing and Soviet filmmaking figure prominently in this week's media art scene...

Thursday, February 9
Several projects by LA-based artist and designer Rebeca Méndez are on view in a group exhibition titled So Close and Yet So Far at Mount Saint Mary's College through March 24. Curated by Irina D. Costache, the show includes work by three other artists as well.

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Saturday, February 11
UCLA Film & Television Archive presents Kino Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov, a 12-evening series of screenings showcasing the bold experiments of the Soviet filmmaker from the 1920s and '30s. While Vertov is best known for his 1929-documentary Man With a Movie Camera, he is responsible for a long list of other films, many of which rarely screen publicly. The series begins tonight with A Sixth Part of the World and continues through March 31.

The Fifth Annual African American ShortsFest features short films by African American directors and animators exploring new themes and forms of storytelling. Program 1, which starts at 5:00 p.m., includes nine films, and Program 2, at 7:30 p.m., includes six films. Both shows take place at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian.

Machine Project is hosting D3: Object Divestment Services 1980 Special Edition. The project invites participants to bring various objects, ephemera and ideas from 1980 to Machine today, between 4:00 and 9:00 p.m. On Sunday, between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., these objects will be "energetically dismantled" in a "transformative ritual."

Soft FictionSunday, February 12

Los Angeles Filmforum presents Sex Roles & Rules: Gender, Liberation, and Sexuality, another show in the Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles series. The program includes a rich mix of films and videos about women and men, with nudity and adult behavior, and films by artists as varied as Linda Benglis, Penelope Spheeris and Richard Newton. One of the highlights is Chick Strand's phenomenal 1979 film Soft Fiction, which mixes documentary interviews with more poetic imagery to create a stunning portrait of sexual desire and behavior. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian.

The Last BuffaloMonday, February 13
REDCAT presents The Last Buffalo, the Los Angeles premiere of a documentary feature by Lee Anne Schmitt about Terry Albrecht, a guide for hunters who want to kill buffalo. The film is described as a hybrid documentary and essay film, with the buffalo becoming "a catalyst for sifting through entrenched American myths, particularly the exaltation of individualism as mediated through hunting rituals.

Thom AndersenWednesday, February 15
Los Angeles Filmforum and Cinefamily present Rock & Roll Experiments, another screening in the Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 series. This show focuses on the intersection of experimental film and rock music during the '60s and '70s, with an eclectic mix of films, including an early short by George Lucas, Pat O'Neill's Coming Down, which features the band The United States of America, and Thom Andersen's --- -------. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. at Cinefamily.

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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