Los Angeles Filmforum Hosts Experimental Animation Screening Series

LOS ANGELES, October 7, 2011 – Los Angeles Filmforum continues our film screening series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 on October 23rd with Film/Music/Forms — Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s. A key strain of experimental filmmaking in Los Angeles, predating the War but continuing and expanding after it, was the abstract film, usually (but not always) created through animation. Other examples evolved from a dance film tradition but chose to use the human figure as an abstract form.

The preeminent practitioner of “visual music” or “abstract animation” before the war in Los Angeles was Oskar Fischinger, whose work influenced generations of filmmakers. As Word War II ended, two additional key figures emerged, the brothers John and James Whitney.  They tended to use computers or automated procedures to develop their dense imagery.  The works of all three continue to screen with some regularity due to their canonical stature.

But beyond the Whitneys and Fischinger were a variety of less well-known people using other forms — macrophotography of crystals; optically manipulated dance; hand drawn animation; and more — to great effect.  Filmmakers such as Sara Kathryn Arledge, Curt Opliger, Elwood Decker, and Lynn Fayman created truly moving (in both senses) pictures – meditations on line, space, and movement.  We hope that this screening will help in the rediscovery of these artists and their superb films.

In person: John Whitney Jr., Norm Hammond (Elwood Decker’s friend and biographer), Demore Scott (Curt Opliger’s companion)(schedules permitting)

What: Los Angeles Filmforum presents Film/Music/Forms — Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s – Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, Screening 4

In person: John Whitney Jr., Norm Hammond (Elwood Decker’s friend and biographer), Demore Scott (Curt Opliger’s companion)(schedules permitting)

When: Sunday October 23, 2011, 7:30 pm

Where: The Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028

More information at www.lafilmforum.org and alternativeprojections.com

Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members

Advance ticket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/205719

Screening (Program subject to change)

Film Exercises #4 and #5, by John & James Whitney (ca.1945, 16mm, color, sound, 13min.) Restored prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Introspection, by Sara Kathryn Arledge (1947, 16mm, color, sound, 8 min)

Restored print courtesy of Pacific Film Archive

Mahzel by John Whitney (ca.1949, 16mm, b/w, sound, 3min.)

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Paper Moon, by Flora Mock (1949, 16mm, color, sound, 4min.)
Phantasmagoria, by Curt Opliger (1949, b/w, silent, 4min.)

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Prelude, by Curt Opliger (1950, 16mm, color, sound, 3min.)

Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Moonlight Sonata, by Frank Collins & Donald Meyer (1948, color, sound, 7.5min.)

Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
Color Fragments, by Elwood Decker (1948, 16mm, color, silent, 11min.)

Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
Crystals, by Elwood Decker (1951, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 2.5min.)

Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
Sophisticated Vamp, by Lynn Fayman (1951/1958, 16mm, color, sound, 4min.)

Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
Title sequence from Hitchcock’s Vertigo by John Whitney & Saul Bass (1958, 3 min., 35mm)

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Yantra, by James Whitney (1957, 16mm, color, 7min.)

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
total: 92min.

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Los Angeles Filmforum’s film screening series Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 features over 24 shows between now and May 2012. Alternative Projections is Filmforum’s exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern California in the postwar era. Film series curated by Adam Hyman and Mark Toscano.  See more at alternativeprojections.com Alternative Projections is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 — 1980, an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.  Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

The screening series is made possible by a grant from the Getty Foundation.

This screening series is supported, in part, 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 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.   Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque.

Note that the Egyptian no longer validates for the Hollywood & Highland parking, although that may still be your best bet for parking.  You’ll have to get validation in the Hollywood & Highland complex though.  There is also street parking, some $5 lots, and the Metro Red Line to Hollywood & Highland.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:

Oct 23 — Alternative Projections: Film/Music/Forms — Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s (at the Egyptian Theatre)

Oct 30 — Alternative Projections: Distributing the Avant-Garde: Selections from the Creative Film Society Collection (at the Egyptian)