Flux: The Art of Short Films | KCET
Flux: The Art of Short Films
Now in its seventh year, the Flux Screening Series at the Hammer Museum has seen a lot of action. They launched the series back in 2008 with, among other short flicks, the premiere of Björk's video for "Wanderlust," a whimsical visual journey directed by Encyclopedia Pictura. Since then, they've brought works from the likes of Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Kanye West to the Hammer's big screen. The screenings have helped jumpstart the careers of Amautalab, who brought their short "The Blindness of the Woods" to a previous Flux event, and numerous others.
At the Hammer tonight, Flux puts the emphasis on music videos and short films, but it's about more than that.
"Flux is a global, creative community that celebrates art, film, music, design, in general, kind of the creative fields," says Meg Grey Wells, who co-founded the organization with Jonathan Wells. "More than anything, I think that Flux is really a community. It's a community that brings together different people from around the world, whether we're doing events here in Los Angeles or in different parts of the world."
With their screening series, Flux gives filmmakers an opportunity to showcase works whose usual home would be YouTube or Vimeo in a theater. "I think that virtually all filmmakers compose their works for a cinema screen," says Jonathan Wells.
The settings gives an opportunity for the audience to digest the works in a way that might not happen at one's desk. "Maybe you aren't watching it in full screen or you're distracted by something else. The phone rings," says Jonathan of the YouTube viewing experience. "When you're in a theater with a full house and you're uninterrupted."
That gives the filmmakers a different sort of opportunity too. "When someone watches their work online, maybe they get a comment," he continues. Actually hearing the reaction of the crowd, Jonathan adds, is something the creators won't get online.
On Thursday, filmmaker Jessica Sanders will be on hand for the premiere of her new short, "Bunion." Sanders is a returning filmmaker for the series. Previously, she had shown a music video for singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd. This time around, Sanders' contribution is a comedy short written by and starring her pal Avi Rothman. Sanders has spent some time directing commercials, but is also well-known for her work in documentary films. In fact, she was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 for the documentary short "Sing!"
"It's definitely departure from different types of heavier subject matter that I've done," says Sanders. "I wanted to use this short film to play with some more comedic aspects of storytelling."
Once again, music videos will figure into the programming on Thursday night. Director Dugan O'Neal and musician/artist Ry X of The Acid collaborated on the band's clip for "Basic Instinct," in which dance troupe WIFE moves in dreamy slow motion.
"It's an honor to get to show it at one of the best art spaces in L.A.," says Ry X. "It's a deep honor and, personally, I'm humbled."
"It's always nice to, in this day and age, watch things on a big screen in a good theater because most of the time we watch everything on the Internet," adds O'Neal. "To see it on the big screen is always such a special experience for the people who are making this stuff."
Music videos dominate this Flux event. The Isaiah Seret-directed clip for Devendra Banhart's "Für Hildegard von Bingen," will screen at the Hammer. It's an intriguing, narrative-based video with references to early-'80s New York. David Bowie's track "Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy)" will appear. The video, directed by Barnaby Roper highlights the rhythm of Murphy's remix, with animated handclaps and on-beat abstractions. Olivier Babinet's video for "Life on Earth," from the group Tomorrow's World, takes the simple concept of a school day and turns it into an endearing piece of art.
One of the highlights of the event, though, will be a stop-motion animated short from L.A.-based artist Allison Schulnik. The work, called "Eager," is Meg Grey Wells' one-to-watch. "I would kind of liken it to a cinematic opera," she says. "It builds. It has elements of song and dance and cinema and animation."
Central to the event is the non-traditional approach to the film festival Q/A session. Instead of answering questions, creators are encouraged to do a live presentation, possibly based on the work that screened. The presentations can be wildly creative. Sanders previously held a levitation while Mia Doi Todd played. Other filmmakers have put together dance bits and celebrity impersonations.
Spectacles aside, the organizers and participants seem to agree that the community that builds at Flux screenings that make the events special.
"This is very much an event that brings together Los Angeles' creative community," says Jonathan. "LA is so spread out, this is one event that brings people together."
The economic, social, and environmental woes of Trona are common to communities built around extractive industries. But even after the 2019 earthquake, the residents of the mining town remain "Trona Strong."
“New Shores: The Future Dialogue Between Two Homelands,” is a Current:LA event series highlighting the cuisine of nearby neighborhoods and the immigrant stories that thread them together.
Since its gifting to Los Angeles on December 1896, Griffith Park has been the sprawling landscape on which Angelenos have drawn their dreams. Learn more about its many unexpected histories.
How well do you know what goes in the blue bin and what goes in the trash? Take our recycling quiz to test your knowledge.
- 1 of 210
- next ›
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
- 1 of 11
- next ›