The Los Angeles Film Festival ended Sunday and I’m not sure what I want to say about it. I saw several films and wanted to see more, but circumstances, and trying to blog about most of what I did see, kept me to a one or two movie per day average on the days I attended. Most of the films were as good as their buzz at least, but most of them had already screened at Sundance.
For me, the highlights were “Black Dynamite” — which was by far the most fun screening all around despite happening within hours of Michael Jackson’s death (which happened to be a less than a mile from where I was working on my posts) — and “We Live in Public” which was simply the most interesting film with the most interesting post-screening discussion. “Branson” was a highlight of another sort for the electrifying performer/one-man-drama, Jackson Cash. The film geek/native West Angeleno in me went moderately wild for a film I haven’t written about here, Curtis Harrington’s melange of romance and dark fantasy “Night Tide,” which was shot in late fifties Santa Monica and Venice.
Los Angeles is, of course, an extremely large city with strong neighborhoods but no true urban core (which is not to say that we aren’t trying to grow one) and a place where all kinds of movies screen all the time, if you know where to find them. It’s also, of course, the place on earth with the largest concentration of people involved with actually making movies or doing things related to making them. Getting them to spend a lot of time actually watching new films probably requires enticing them to go elsewhere and break their usual, already way too busy, routine.