Media Arts Preview: Underground Artists and Topanga Canyon Bohemians


Don't miss Bruce Conner's ebullient dance film Breakaway screening this weekend. The black-and-white film was shot at variable speeds and moves backwards and forwards, and points to the filmmaker's tremendous influence on 20th century film and video that followed for the next 50 years.

Friday, December 2
UCLA's ongoing series L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema continues tonight with a focus on the work of Alile Sharon Larkin. A Different Image from 1982 will screen, along with Dreadlocks and the Three Bears, made by Larkin and Armandilo Cousin, from 1991. Larkin will be in attendance, and the show will start at 7:30 p.m.


Russ Tamblyn, Rio Reel

Saturday, December 3
Join Toni Basil, Tosh Berman, George Herms and Russ Tamblyn at the Armory center for the Arts in Pasadena for a screening of films made in the mid-1960s by a group of underground artists and Topanga Canyon bohemians. Titled Wallace Berman's Underground, and designed to complement the Armory's exhibit, Speaking in Tongues: The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976, the show is also part of Filmforum's Alternative Projections series, and will include screenings of films such as Aleph, by Berman, and the dazzling Breakaway, by Bruce Conner. The show will start at 8:00 p.m.

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Pearls Ocean Floor

Sunday, December 4
Skotia Gallery presents Pearls on the Ocean Floor, a feature-length documentary focusing on female Iranian artists, including Shadi Ghadirian, Shirin Neshat, Parastou Forouhar and Sarah Rahbar. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. with a reception; the screening starts at 6:00 p.m.; and a discussion with the filmmaker, Robert Adanto, follows. There is limited seating, so RSVPs are requested: sofia@skotiagallery.com

Alvarado Remix takes place at Machine Project's Storefront Plaza, and features a group of artists selected by Paul Fraser who "will remix and manipulate the ambient urban street noises of Alvarado Street." The event starts at 1:00 p.m., and ends at 5:00 p.m.

Los Angeles Filmforum, Visual Communications and the Downtown Independent present another show in Filmforum's ongoing exploration of avant-garde film in LA between 1945 and 1980 titled Community Visionaries: Visual Communications and the Dawn of Asian Pacific American Cinema.


Today's show starts at 2:00 p.m. and focuses on the early years of Visual Communications, which was founded by a group of Asian American filmmakers, activists and educators to support community-based filmmaking in numerous ways. VC contributors and filmmakers Robert Nakamura, Eddie Wong, Duane Kubo and Alan Kondo will attend, and the event will present a survey of films from the 1970s my Asian American filmmakers.


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