LA FilmForum presents New Urban Observations


Continuing the rich tradition of the city symphony and the experimental and experiential films of the city, dating back to the earliest days of film, FILMFORUM presents 6 exquisite films including a film by local master filmmaker Thom Andersen. The city itself – its people and spaces, rhythms and hustle, and the life cycles of buildings and places – are viewed and made personal through the superb craft and perceptive gaze of tonight’s filmmakers. London, San Francisco, Detroit, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, all seen in their uniqueness, while all give insight into the arcs and possibilities of all cities. Curated by Adam Hyman,

Eva Weber’s “The Solitary Life of Cranes” allows us an intimate view of London from on high, as seen by construction crane drivers. Weber, who cites Werner Herzog, Wong Kar Wai, and painter Edward Hopper as inspiration, has traveled the festival circuit with her poetic “documentary”. Which premiered at Britdoc Film Festival in July 2008 (where it won the Award for Best Short Film) and was shown in the 2010 DocuWeeks festival.

Tomonari Nishikawa’s “Market Street”, a rapid fire portrait of San Francisco’s Market Street  won the Film Award at the EXiS: Experimental Film & Video Festival in Seoul.

 Jack Cronin’s “Invisible City” was filmed in Detroit over the course of three years. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, in which the Italian author suggests that what constitutes a city, is not so much its physical structure but the impression it makes upon its visitors. The film is loosely organized into four segments representing spring, summer, fall, and winter. Los Angeles Premiere!

Laura Kraning’s “Vineland” portrays the last drive-in movie theater in Los Angeles, located in a desolate area called the City of Industry. “Dislocated Hollywood images filled with apocalyptic angst float within the desolate nocturnal landscape of the City of Industry. In this border zone, re-framed and mirrored projections collide with the displaced radio broadcast soundtrack, revealing overlapping realities at the intersection of nostalgia and alienation.” – L.K.

“Vineland speaks quietly and eloquently of fantasized image-making, of the sheer presence and scale of Hollywood’s imposition on the landscape, both that of the nation and the one in our minds.” – Tony Pipolo, Millenium Film Journal. Winner of the City is Cinema Jury Award at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Los Angeles premiere!

Steven Day’s “tokyo / jitensha” is a lightning fast digital bike tour of Tokyo  “long exposure photography + bicycle + neon megalopolis = bike love!!!”

Thom Andersen’s 16mm city symphony  “Get Out of the Car” is a response to his famed “Los Angeles Plays Itself.”  Portraying the empty streets of Los Angeles as a virtual wasteland, with it’s vanishing neighborhood landmarks. Angelenos mourn the passing of the South Central Farm. Andersons’ camera surveys decaying billboards and adverts, signage and traces of the El Monte Legion Stadium and Watts’ Barrelhouse. The film is also a montage of LA’s musical history, featuring snippets of R&B, gospel, jazz and norteño music-including Richard Berry’s “Get Out Of The Car.” Andersen had termed his elegiac work as an act of “militant nostalgia.”

“The Solitary Life of Cranes”, by Eva Weber (2008, England, video, 27 min,)
“Market Street,” by Tomonari Nishikawa (2005, US, 16mm, silent, b&w, 5 min.)
“Invisible City”, by Jack Cronin (2006, USA, Super 8 on DV, 11 min.) Los Angeles Premiere!
“Vineland,” by Laura Kraning (2009, USA, DV, 10.15 min.) Los Angeles premiere!
“Tokyo/Jitensha” by Steven Day (2009, Japan + USA, digital SLR / HD, 01:15 min)
“Get Out of the Car”, by Thom Andersen (2010, 16mm film, 34 min)

 Thom Andersen, Laura Kraning, and Steven Day in person!

Los Angeles Filmforum presents New Urban Observations, with filmmakers Thom Andersen, Laura Kraning, and Steven Day in person
Sunday February 13, 2011, 7:30 pm
The Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
More information at  
Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
Advance ticket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets:

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation.  2011 is our 36th year.


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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