Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Restoring & Rediscovering the Los Angeles Avant-Garde

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Although cinematic experimentation in the shadow of “the Industry” goes back practically as far as Hollywood itself, the 1960s and ’70s in Los Angeles were a particularly vibrant and exciting time for experimental filmmaking. Despite the astounding variety and volume of strong, unique and diverse work coming out of the Southland during this time, much of it is still quite unknown outside of the area. This program showcases a broad range of work made between 1967 and 1980, all in restored prints from the Academy Film Archive, including Thom Andersen & Malcolm Brodwick’s — ——-, Gary Beydler’s Pasadena Freeway Stills, a recently unearthed video by Morgan Fisher and other works by Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, Fred Worden, Chris Langdon and two by Pat O’Neill (in collaboration with Chick Strand & Neon Park on a newly-discovered sponsored film and with Robert Abel on By The Sea). A few of these films have been widely shown but the majority have likely never screened in the Bay Area before, despite the fact that they were made less than a six-hour drive away. In particular, Dead Reckoning and Rose for Red from David and Diana Wilson respectively, whose acclaimed films have gone nearly unseen since they opened the Museum of Jurassic Technology in the 1980s. (Mark Toscano)

Prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Download program notes