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L.A. Filmforum: Film/Music/Forms – Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s

Exterior entrance to the Egyptian  Theater in Hollywood, California

Oct. 23
7:30 p.m.
Egyptian Theater
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Hosted by: L.A. Filmforum

Alternative Projections is an ambitious new screening series by the L.A. Filmforum that surveys the experimental filmmaking scene of Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980.

“Early Abstractions of the 1940s and 1950s” covers abstract selections from the post-WWII era. Included are several films by John Whitney and James Whitney, two of the more well-known names from this period. But, there are also films by Sara Kathryn Arledge, Curt Opliger, Elwood Decker, Lynn Fayman and others. The full lineup of films is below.

The Alternative Projections project is the result of three years of research into the archives of several film venues and organizations. In addition to the screenings, there is an extensive online catalog of film titles and filmmaker names.

The L.A. experimental film scene, thanks to its close proximity to the commercial film industry, has had, at best, a fragmented history. Alternative Projections hopes to make that history much more complete and cohesive.

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

Introspection (1947, 16mm, color, sound, 8min.)
Directed by Sara Kathryn Arledge
(restored print courtesy of the Pacific Film Archive)

Mahzel (ca.1949, 16mm, b/w, sound, 3min.)
Directed by John Whitney
(print courtesy of the Whitney Collection at the Academy Film Archive)

Prelude (1950, 16mm, color, sound, 3min.)
Directed by Curt Opliger
(restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

Phantasmagoria (1946/49, digital (orig. 8mm), b/w, sound, 6min.)
Directed by Curt Opliger

Color Fragments (1948, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 11min.)
Directed by Elwood Decker
(restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

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

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

Title sequence from Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958, 35mm, color, sound, 3min.)
Directed by John Whitney and Saul Bass

Yantra (1957, 16mm, color, sound, 8min.)
Directed by James Whitney
(print courtesy of the Whitney Collection at the Academy Film Archive)

Paper Moon (1949, digital (orig. 16mm), color, sound, 4min.)
Directed by Flora Mock
(digital copy courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)

Moonlight Sonata (1948, 16mm, color, sound, 7.5min.)
Directed by Frank Collins and Donald Meyer
(restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)


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