L.A.: Erasure and the Modern City
Sunday July 21, 2013, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
L.A.: Erasure and the Modern City
Filmmakers Kate Lain, Huckleberry Lain, in person!
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.
More than most cities, Los Angeles is one that is thoroughly invested with the idea and practice of construction and reconstruction. It is the place where people go to reconstruct themselves, and it is a city whose built environment is always being constructed, torn down, and reformed, in space and meaning. The filmic explorations of lost pasts and present histories vary as widely the possibilities of cinema, and we're exploring many of those possibilities, from home movie documents to animations of lost neon, from brand new works revisiting old cinematic representations, to careful explorations of the great geometries of the Southern California basin.
In association with Pacific Standard Time Presents Modern Architecture in L.A., Filmforum is doing four screenings with films looking at the built environment and personal meanings of architecture in Los Angeles. The first is a program called This Is the City on Thursday, July 11 at MOCA; the second is July 14th at the Egyptian; the third, featuring Fabrice Ziolkowski's L.A.X, is this show, July 21st at the Egyptian; and the fourth, featuring Heinz Emigholz's Schindler's Houses and Thom Andersen's Get Out of the Car, at LACMA on July 26th.
Tonight's show looks at erasures and traces of the history, and the grid of the modern city. We bring back the marvelous film L.A.X. from 1980, with its timeless mediations on the creation of Los Angeles, while providing a marvelous look at a city that is partly lost. It's paired with two recent short films by Los Angeles-based makers Kate Lain and Huckleberry Lain (no relation) that also look at the erasures of the past, and the rewriting of elements.
Screening to include, subject to change, and not in this order:
L.A.X., by Fabrice Ziolkowski (1980, 16mm, b&w, sound, 88 min.) camera : Rol Murrow, Frank Tomasulo
sound : Alex Del Zoppo
voices: Maria Laplace / Barbet Schroeder / Bulle Ogier / Pascale Ogier /Beverly Hemberger
L.A.X. deals with slippery concepts of history, memory and how their traces mark the landscape of Los Angeles.
The black and white film is made up of thirty-five shots in black and white, its soundtrack contains excerpts from various texts concerning the history of the city and of Southern California.
A landmark film in the Los Angeles avant-garde, last screened in Los Angeles by Filmforum in 2004! Come check out this ultra-rare screening of the film that influenced many films that followed - an exquisite portrait of Los Angeles in 1980. A resonant mix of the long takes (akin to James Benning's) giving one time to enter landscapes and scenes, overlaid with sounds of the city and quotations from historical, social, and artistic texts.
" Fabrice Ziolkowski's brilliant essay film prowls its way from a bird's-eye view of the Southland in its urban-suburban splendor to the seamier street-level perspective more common to the city dweller. In the process, Ziolkowski's voyeuristic black-and-white camera lingers inquisitively over the Venice canals, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and other iconographic landmarks, while a roundelay of different narrators, reading the work of Halberstam, Godard, Chandler, et al., fill us in on the city's hidden (and often unsavory) history. The film's expansive timeline stretches from the days of Franciscan monks and Indian villages to the irrigating of the San Fernando Valley, the decay of downtown and the ongoing, trenchlike divisions between races and economic classes. The end result is, on one level, a snapshot of Los Angeles at the moment the film was made (1980) and, on another, a record of the city at all moments in all times - past, present and yet to come. A clear influence on subsequent works ranging from Pat O'Neill's Water and Power to Thom Andersen's recent Los Angeles Plays Itself, the film is a seminal achievement in its own right and a valuable contribution to that canon of works about the great, tangled myth of our improbable desert metropolis." -Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly, April 2-8, 2004
"Thirty years after making L.A.X. I still believe one of the most enduring founding myths of American society is that of non-history - all made possible by a formidable history-destroying machine. Nowhere is this more evident than on the continent's westernmost megalopolis: Los Angeles.
It is here that the process of effacing history has become a veritable industry.
One thinks of the movie industry, of course, and how it constantly feeds on the process of erasing its own traces, all the better to apparently reinvent itself. But it's hard to forget southern California's second-largest purveyor of jobs, the defense industry, whose occasional task it is to bomb certain peoples back to the stone age in attempt to wipe out their history. -- F.Z.
PALIMPSEST by Kate Lain (2011, super 8mm to digital, b&w, silent, 2.5 min.)
Part of Lain's Field Notes series, Palimpsest looks at one trace of nature that remaining in the streets of Los Angeles.
ANTIQUITIES FOR THE QUEEN OF ANGELS by Huckleberry Lain (2013, digital, color, sound, 10.5min.)
Sound Alejandro Cohen
Using animation as a form of architectural restoration this film envisions many of the downtown LA cinemas in a previous era. Five cinemas each representing a different decade where the marquee has been reconstructed using accurate historical references.
TRT: 101 minutes
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
July 11 This Is the City, at MOCA
July 14 Constructions of Los Angeles
July 21 LAX by Fabrice Ziolkowski
July 26 Schindler's Houses and Get Out Of the Car, at LACMA
July 28 Simon Tarr in person with films and live cinema performances
Aug 11 Travis Wilkerson in person with Who Killed Cock Robin and more
Aug 18 Far from Afghanistan, with Minda Martin and Travis Wilkerson in perso
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2013 is our 38th year.
Memberships available, $70 single, $105 dual, or $50 single student
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|