All posts filed under: LA

WATCH: “Wearing the Big Heart”

When I started Catch-all one of my intentions was to share short films by artists who I felt had something unique and important to say. I haven’t posted any such work in a long time, and I think Wearing the Big Heart by Tony Carter-Hill is a great place to start again. Carter-Hill’s film captures the Los Angeles Women’s March, showcasing the march’s complex mood while revealing remarkably intimate moments within an intense and massive public event. That day meant something very special to me, and I appreciate how Wearing the Big Heart paints the historic Women’s March with such vibrant images and sounds. Carter-Hill’s work is abstract, dynamic, rhythmic, and truly compelling. I was able to ask Tony about what that day meant to him. Here’s a bit of what he had to say: “As people began to walk with their banners held erect and in these colorful costumes, I became more inspired about filming. I thought about reproducing a feeling rather than a narrative, while keeping in mind consciousness and place, national identity, humanistic tendencies, …

Visiting the Huntington

I’ve been meaning to visit The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino for over two years, and finally went with my sister recently. Below are photos we took in the various gardens, which span 120 acres and include a Desert Garden, Japanese Garden, and Chinese Garden, among others. The photos below do not do The Huntington justice, so I recommend spending the day there if you’re ever in the Los Angeles area. The Huntington Library was founded in 1919 by Southern California businessman Henry E. Huntington. Huntington had a deep interest in gardens, art, and books – building a massive research library, art collection, and botanical gardens. Only 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the Huntington Library is a wonderful place to relax and appreciate nature.

Riding the Pacific Surfliner

This past weekend I rode Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to San Diego & back. Here’s a diary entry-style post about my experience: From industrial neighborhoods to the ocean, journeying on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to San Diego takes you through some of California’s distinct landscapes. Leaving from Union Station in downtown LA, the first views from the train are what I’d describe as hyper-industrial: cement trucks, train cars, wires, fences, and giant warehouses that are either overwhelmingly grey, or dotted with colorful graffiti. It’s dirt, metal, and cement for miles. The illicit art on buildings and walls – ranging from indecipherable messages to exceptional works of art – interrupt the monochromatic dominance of the landscape. Oddly enough, I think there’s something particularly beautiful about Los Angeles’ industrial and warehouse districts. The area isn’t at all glamorous, but the beauty is in its history and scope. Downtown LA is home to global industries and distribution centers. It’s where clothes are made and shipped internationally, and produce is organized and distributed across North America. Downtown is a hub …

PHOTOS: Women’s March Los Angeles

The Women’s March on Washington went global y’all (see: Pictures From Women’s Marches on Every Continent). And the Los Angeles sister march drew over 750,000 protestors – more than 10 times the number expected! Taking to the streets with a diverse community of progressive feminists (from all ages and walks of life) was an experience that meant so much to me. In spite of a dreadful Friday, and past year, the Women’s March served as a beam of light. There I saw hope in the form of thousands and thousands of people who are prepared to resist our frightening and repressive administration. We are the resistance. We will fight oppression and injustice together. In the words of Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, we’re stronger together. Oh, and love trumps hate! Here are some photos from the LA women’s march. Though they don’t capture the scope of the march or the shared sense of urgency permeating the air, I thought they were worth sharing:

4 Days Until the Inauguration

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Last year I compiled a few great MLK quotes, and I found that re-reading them today helped rile me up for the week ahead, the next four years, and beyond. The fact that this guy, of all people, is going to be our next president is still difficult for me to digest. I plan on spending the next few days thinking about what I can do in the future – what we can all do – to fight for a more just and compassionate community, country, and world. For the next week or so all of my posts will be related to the presidential inauguration and incoming administration. Tomorrow I’m sharing more about why this president and his cronies and fans scare me, followed by a resistance inspired reading list, online resources for getting involved and making a difference, and quotes from great activists and leaders that will hopefully empower you to stand in opposition to those who wish to oppress and control. This Friday I will be attending an anti-Inauguration rally, and …

VIDEO PROJECT: “Database as Artistic Form”

“Database as Artistic Form” is a video project that I completed this past spring for an interactive media course at USC. The project was inspired by Lev Manovich’s essay “Database as Cultural Form” and city symphonies of the 1920s such as Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and Manhatta (Paul Strand & Charles Sheeler, 1921). For the project I created a database of video and sound clips which I then edited together by running three Java programs to determine the order and length of each clip. In his 1999 essay, “Database as Symbolic Form,” Lev Manovich argues that Man with a Movie Camera is possibly the clearest example of database filmmaking. He points specifically to a scene where Elizaveta Svilova, Vertov’s wife and the editor of the film, is seen examining and organizing strips of celluloid. In this especially self-reflexive moment, Svilova is essentially working with a material database. For my video project I was interested in a digitally mediated take on Svilova’s database, where I would compile a catalogue of sound and video clips, which would …

A Letter to Los Angeles

Dear Los Angeles, I’ve been living in your expansive, complex, beautiful sprawl for over a year now, and it’s been quite a wild ride thus far. In some ways you’ve met my expectations, but in total, this relationship has grown and evolved in ways I could have never imagined. I came here worried I’d hate driving alongside “California drivers,” as some Arizonans derogatorily refer to maniacs who cut you off and zip by smugly. Worse than that, I was worried that I couldn’t drive your streets; I thought that maybe the freeways would be so fast and frightening that I simply wouldn’t have it in me to get behind the wheel. I fretted about this for months before moving, but within a day of driving your crowded streets, I realized that I’m rarely moving fast. And surprisingly, I’m becoming a “California driver” myself. Many Californians (though definitely not all) drive smart, aggressively, and prepared to slam on their breaks or move out of the way at any given moment. Despite the often unbearable traffic, I somehow enjoy driving here. I’ve learned that you’re nothing like the way …

Visiting Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is a non-profit that is devoted to protecting farm animals from cruelty, while also working to inspire people to make choices that are more compassionate and sustainable by promoting a vegan lifestyle. Farm Sanctuary is the country’s largest animal rescue and protection organization, with sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, NY, Northern California, and the Los Angeles area. And thanks to Tracey and Jon Stewart, Farm Sanctuary will soon be opening a fourth location in New Jersey. This past weekend I visited the Los Angeles sanctuary (located in Acton, CA) for the second time, and captured photos of some of the gentle creatures that are lucky enough to act as ambassadors for the 9 billion farm animals that die each year in the U.S. alone. If you are in the upstate New York area, or Northern or Southern California, be sure to visit a sanctuary and get to know these unique, kind, and beautiful animals.  

Video of the Day: Exploring Sunset Boulevard

Though I’ve only lived in Los Angeles for a little less than a year, I feel as though I have discovered so much. Living in LA and learning more about the city each and every day has fueled my desire to explore and make new things; there’s a creative energy here that’s electric. For those who have never been to Los Angeles, you may envision the Kardashians driving through Beverly Hills, trendy tech guys sipping on lattes, and fashion bloggers doing photo shoots in front of some cool building – or maybe you imagine traffic, smog, and an income disparity that is excruciatingly palpable. But beyond the glitz, glam, and grit, there’s so much more to Los Angeles. So much, in fact, that I’ve just barely begun to peel back the layers. There’s something for nearly everyone in LA: culture, music, food, art, movies, academia, activism, ocean, mountains, architecture…the list goes on and on. And of course, there’s the spectacular weather! But despite everything I love about Los Angeles, I know that this city has a rich, complicated, and sometimes troubling history, and I’m eager to learn more. There is no …

AFI FEST ’15: A Week of Films, Filmmakers, and Fun

This year marks my first time attending AFI Fest, and my experience was truly one to remember. Festival passes start at $375, but my class schedule only allowed for me to attend a few screenings, so I took advantage of the fest’s free tickets (yes, free!). This year I attended the premiere of By the Sea, with an introduction by Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Mustang with both an introduction and Q & A with the film’s director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and ensemble cast, and Youth, followed by a conversation with Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino. I had plans to see The Lobster, which looks bizarrely entertaining, but unfortunately had to miss it due to schedule conflicts. After as much fun as I had this year, I plan on attending AFI Fest for as long as I’m living in Los Angeles – it’s a festival that all film lovers should experience at least once! What I found so refreshing about AFI Fest can be summed up in their mission statement: AFI Fest is “American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. ” In her introduction of Mustang, festival director …