100 Most Outrageous Kills @ CINEFAMILY Friday 10.28 -

Cinefamily’s 100 Most Outrageous Kills

From the golden age of goremastery to the innovative new technologies of modern effects wizards, cinema is littered with the bodies of the awesomely dispatched — and cold-blooded murder, in the hands of innovative filmmakers who present it in ways we’ve never seen before, can be a heavenly fine art. Tonight, in a show originated at Austin, Texas’s Alamo Drafthouse, Cinefamily will be celebrating the absolute finest in on-screen annihilation with a non-stop nightmare of intestine-ripping, head-bursting, unrepentant baby-eating and other crimson-soaked savagery! This night is intended for the most severe and iron-stomached bloodhounds around, and Cinefamily will accept absolutely no responsibility for lost lunches. Wimps and weekend horrormeisters, leave the hall; if you can’t stand the meat, stay out of the kitchen. See all you death beasts in the murder pit! - 8p

The House By The Cemetary (brand-new HD restoration!)

A rare kick-ass horror film that even dislikers of gore tend to enjoy, The House by the Cemetary contains Lucio Fulci’s typically strong emphasis on atmosphere and shocking visuals, but also devotes more time than usual to character development and surprising plotting, allowing the graphic gore to serve as a function of the story rather than an end unto itself. The last of Fulci’s Gothic zombie excursions (and the conclusion of his unofficial early ’80s “Gates Of Hell” trilogy), House is also a strangely beautiful film, with Sergio Salvati’s expert ‘scope cinematography crafting a strange world of childhood fairy tales gone very bad, and Walter Rizzati’s poignant score providing much needed emotional support. Here, Fulci really shines and produces some of his finest work; the claustrophobic mixture of chills and supernatural poetry would do Mario Bava proud. - Dir. Lucio Fulci, 1981, HD presentation, 87 min. - 9:30p-ish

More Here...

100 Most Outrageous Kills 2011! (trailer) from Cinefamily on Vimeo.


Tonight @ Skylight Books - CECIL CASTELLUCCI reads and signs her new young adult novel FIRST DAY ON EARTH.

First Day on Earth (Scholastic)

Young adult author (and Skylight favorite!) Cecil Castellucci returns to Skylight Books to launch her new young adult novel First Day on Earth. This isn't just a launch party... it's also Cecil's birthday, so expect a party!

Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Quiet, but with a lot of words underneath. Seven years ago, Mal disappeared for three days. Everyone tells him it was a breakdown, a seizure, something medical. He thinks it was something different. An alien abduction. But there's no way for him to know for sure. Then, at an abductee support group, he meets Hooper, who has some otherworldly secrets of his own. And suddenly the truth is closer than Mal ever imagined it could be.

Cecil Castellucci grew up in New York City and is the author of the young adult novels Rose Sees Red, Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, and Beige, the children's picture book Grandma's Gloves, and the comic books The Plain Janes and Janes in Love. Currently, Cecil Castellucci lives in Los Angeles. You can learn more about her at misscecil.com and via her blog, castellucci.livejournal.com.

The Party Starts Here...


@ LACMA Oct 13, - World Premiere of HUNTER S. THOMPSONS' The Rum Diary.

Earlier this year, LACMA announced their partnership with Film Independent—the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—to collaborate on a new film program, presented by The New York Times. We’re now excited to share the first programming schedule for the new series, Film Independent at LACMA, with an opening line-up that represents the broad range of the program. Under the curatorial leadership of film critic Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent at LACMA will present classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; artists and their influences; emerging auteurs; international showcases; and special guest-curated programs, all rounded out with conversations with artists, curators, and special guests. The series launches on October 13 with the world premiere of The Rum Diary, the long awaited passion project produced by its star, Johnny Depp, who is scheduled to be in attendance that evening, along with director Bruce Robinson and co-stars Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart.

The introductory line-up also includes a Live Read, conceived by award-winning director Jason Reitman who will serve as the series’ first guest artist, bringing classic screenplays to life with some of today’s best actors. For the Live Read debut, Reitman has selected the John Hughes’ classic The Breakfast Club (1985), with a surprise cast who will read the script together for the first time and allow the audience to see them shape start-to-finish performances on the fly.

The series kick-off will also include a members-only screening of Martha Marcy May Marlene, by writer-director Sean Durkin which won him the Directing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; a restored print of Modern Times (1936); and director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s first film Accattone (1961) that forever changed the definition of Italian Neorealism. The regular weekly schedule for Film Independent at LACMA will begin October 27, and complement the museum’s ongoing Tuesday matinee series and film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions.

More Here...


Now @ REDCAT -Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako: more more more… future

Three exceptional male dancers led by renowned Congolese choreographer and director Faustin Linyekula join with a raucous on-stage band in this fervent celebration of hope in the face of the ongoing legacy of war and ruin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Set to the blistering poems of political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo—Linyekula’s childhood friend—more more more… future brings original music by Kinshasa guitar sensation Flamme Kapaya, who mixes infectious, hip-swinging Congolese pop with hefty doses of raging rock.

Linyekula and Kapaya build the performance around the pop genre of
ndombolo, inverting that genre’s lurid fantasies of easy fame and riches into vivid stories of economic hardship and social injustice experienced daily by the Congolese people as they seek to reclaim their future. “To be positive is the most subversive,” Linyekula writes. “Celebrating is a way of resisting.”The 2011 U.S. tour of more more more... future is produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.

Learn More Here...


GO SEE - Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 - Now on View @ THE GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY @ MOCA.

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 addresses the dynamic period in American art when modernism, characterized by a master narrative of progress and succession, reached a dead end, and a multiplicity of movements, forms, and genres began to take shape simultaneously. Indeed, the very notion of art history was called into question during this pluralistic period. As critic Arthur C. Danto explained, pluralism carried with it the “implication that there was no longer any historical direction. That meant that there was no longer a vector to art history, and no longer a basis in truth for the effort to spot the historically next thing.”1 This was partly the result of the individual artist’s own practice—including the spirit of questioning and experimentation occurring in and beyond the studio—taking precedence over affiliation with any group or movement.

In hindsight, pluralism can be seen as one of the most important developments to affect post war art. Moreover, as this exhibition argues vigorously, what cohered as postmodernism during the 1980s in New York effectively codified ideas and concepts evolving from art made in California between 1974 and 1981. Featuring 139 artists working in a wide array of mediums and styles, Under the Big Black Sun examines the exceptionally fertile and diverse production from all across California during this tumultuous transitional period in United States history, which was, incidentally, bracketed by two Presidents from California: Richard Nixon, who left the White House in 1974; and Ronald Reagan, who ascended to it in 1981.

The exhibition borrows its title from an album by the Los Angeles–based punk band X to suggest that, during this post-Watergate, post-Vietnam era, disillusionment had eclipsed “California Dreamin’” and hippie optimism. The title also alludes to the plethora of individual art practices, both studio and poststudio, that flourished within this dystopian atmosphere, creating an artistic milieu in which “everything under the sun” was permitted and produced.

Nixon’s 1974 resignation and retreat to Southern California in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal left American society in a state of cynicism, malaise, and moral collapse that was only reinforced during the summer of 1976, when Congress released evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency had opened American mail illegally, assassinated foreign leaders, overthrown democratic governments, and falsified stories in American newspapers. In his July 1976 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, presidential nominee Jimmy Carter frankly acknowledged the national tenor, saying, “In recent years our nation has seen a failure of leadership. We have been hurt and we have been disillusioned. We have seen a wall go up that separates us from our own government.”2 Wracked by record inflation, the accident at Three Mile Island, the Iran hostage crisis, and the energy crisis, America ultimately rejected President Carter in his campaign for re-election in 1980 in favor of another Californian as president. Reagan promised to restore confidence in the American Dream for a brighter richer future, and his Reagan Revolution was possible, in part, due to the founding in 1979 of the Moral Majority, an evangelical Christian coalition led by Jerry Falwell that was a key element in the consolidation of power for the New Christian Right. By the end of the 1970s, the left-leaning libertarianism and liberal idealism of the 1960s hippie generation—which flourished in California like nowhere else—seemed to have fully (and cynically) morphed into a right-wing extremism that also had roots here. For some, like San Francisco punk band the Dead Kennedys, the legacy of the 1960s was the elevation of individualism and the transformation of Baby Boomer nonconformity into just another form of social control. As their 1979 song “California Über Alles”

Close your eyes, can’t happen here
Big Bro’ on white horse is near
The hippies won’t come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay
Mellow out or you will pay!3

Such conditions produced bitter debate over America’s fundamental cultural values and challenged the postwar liberal consensus. While Reagan’s election in 1980 heralded a new era of conservatism in national culture and politics, in California a particular strain of libertarian populism had already taken hold, as demonstrated by the 1978 passage of taxpayer advocate Howard Jarvis’s Proposition 13, co-written with Paul Gann. Prop 13 sought to rollback property tax assessments and then cap annual rate increases, anticipating the Reagan administration’s economic tax cuts of 1981. If California was popularly known as a haven for free-spirited individualists, Prop 13 privileged individuals to the detriment of state-funded, social support structures such as schools and arts organizations.4

Between 1974 and 1981, it may well have seemed that California had turned the American Dream into a nightmare, but in fact during that period many regarded the very notion of a master narrative like the American Dream with a suspicion bordering on contempt. The singular rubric of modernism, itself informed by notions of progress, purity, and transcendence, was collapsing under the collective weight of pluralism, which had been gaining momentum since the Civil Rights movement and, slightly later, the feminist movement. As art critic Kim Levin wrote in 1979:

The ’70s has been a decade which felt like it was waiting for something to happen. It was as if history were grinding to a halt. Its innovations were disguised as revivals… It was defying all the proscriptions of modernist purity. The mainstream trickled on, minimalizing and conceptualizing itself into oblivion, but we were finally bored with all that arctic purity. The fact is, it wasn’t just another decade. Something did happen, something so momentous that it was ignored in disbelief: modernity had gone out of style.5

Art-historically speaking, the mid- to late 1970s was absent of any dominant movement, “ism,” or style; it was an “in-between” time when diversity and experimentation were the rule of the day, as some scrambled to find the next “important” trend while others took advantage of boundaries coming down to forge connections between previously distinct realms of practice, such as photography and conceptual art, or media critique and performance art. The next “ism” to emerge was postmodernism, which theorized the dissolution of master narratives and traced the cultural determinants of a multiplicity of art forms and genres that proliferated at that time and continues to this day. California had a special role to play as artists began to question seriously the assumptions of modernism—with its obvious connections to the similarly authoritative moral, political, and social institutions that were crumbling all around—as well as the primacy of New York in determining what was art-historically valid. New York—still perceived to be the center of the commercial and creative art world, having launched Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptual art, Pop art, Post-Minimalism, etc.—remained on the lookout for the next important movement, sporadically claiming performance art, Neo-Expressionism, and even Pattern and Decoration as its own and advancing each as the “next big thing.” In service to the market, artists in New York were often lumped in as part of a movement before they even had a chance to develop their own voices, which restricted their capacity for experimentation and inhibited their development. When New York did embrace California art, it was often within a narrow provincial context, in which, for example, assemblage was viewed as a secondary response to Robert Rauschenberg.

In reality, California had seen the inception of many contemporary art movements and media, including assemblage, ceramics, photography, social documentary photography, art and technology, video, conceptual narrative, installations, environments, art in public space, Funk, Finish Fetish, Minimalism, Light and Space, New Topographics, Earth art, performance art, body art, Conceptualism, and a plethora of other developments that focused on aspects of what was a rapidly changing and politically unstable time. While the art scenes in Northern and Southern California did not cohere stylistically in ways that were conducive to the market, the overall scene was marked by profound ideological sympathies. Art-making in California remained a fluid, open, and malleable endeavor; artists were associated with each other and with certain sets of ideas but were not limited by them, and friendships were as much defined by neighborhoods, associations, interests, and lifestyles. Nontraditional institutions and artist-driven galleries and collectives created a looser structure that served as an alternative to the commercial system and provided a way for artists to see each other’s work. This openness was the single most significant factor in the unprecedented inclusion of feminist, gay, Chicano, African American, and Asian American communities within the mainstream art world—their radicalism in many ways coming to dominate, from an iconographic standpoint, the second half of the 1970s.

While much has been made of the sweeping changes that took place during the late 1970s, the contributions of feminism may be the most far-reaching, as it fundamentally altered the art world. Feminists were seen as part of a broader coalition of identity-based artists that ultimately changed the very criteria by which art is understood, appreciated, and even remunerated. Indeed, the feminist and Civil Rights movements were of such significance that today we cannot help but celebrate those artists that the modernism of the previous generation all but ignored. If, as Lucy R. Lippard has said, “Feminism’s greatest contribution to the future of art has probably been precisely its lack of contribution to modernism…. In endlessly different ways, the best women artists have resisted the treadmill to progress by simply disregarding a history that was not theirs,”6 the same can certainly be said for all of the marginalized groups who had no particular investment in modernism. While I agree with Lippard’s comment about feminism’s lack of emphasis on modernism, I question her assertion that “The 1970s might not have been ‘pluralist’ at all if women artists had not emerged during that decade to introduce the multicolored threads of the female experience into the male fabric of modern art.”7 To isolate the contribution of feminist artists relative to the broader changes that gave rise to identity politics is to miss the opportunity for meaningful connection. The feminist movement was to a significant degree empowered by the Civil Rights movement. As Lippard herself has said, “The 1970s pluralism, decried for different reasons by both left and right, has at least produced a kind of compost heap where artists can sort out what is fertile and what is sterile.”8 After the key transitional period of 1974–1981, it was possible for minorities to see their identities and experiences reflected in the art of their time. Indeed, the very meaning of art in society was changed by the reevaluation of the modernist mainstream, even if that was not immediately evident. As Levin observed in 1980, “nobody seems to know what’s happening. The seventies came and went, and most of the art world pretended they never existed at all, grumbling that there were no new art, no superstars, no new movements, no isms that lasted longer than fifteen minutes.”9 While Neo-Expressionism seemed to be New York’s answer to that malaise, Los Angeles continued to breathe new life into the art world by exploring all possibilities. Artists from Berlin to Beijing, from London to Tokyo, all looked to California—Los Angeles, in particular—as a wellspring of new ideas and ways of working.

With a few notable exceptions, artists in Los Angeles had been working outside the influence of commercial galleries since the closures of Ferus Gallery and Virginia Dwan Gallery (both of which had New York connections) as well as the handful of others catering to a very small community of collectors during the 1960s. This situation gave rise to a proliferation of alternative spaces, such as the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Woman’s Building, as well as experimentation with non-market-friendly art forms—such as happenings and performances by artists including Bas Jan Ader, Asco, Chris Burden, Allan Kaprow, and the Kipper Kids—as well as installation art by Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and many others. San Francisco was even less market driven, with artists like Howard Fried, Lynn Hershman, Tom Marioni, Bonnie Ora Sherk, and Survival Research Laboratories pushing the limits of what art could be in a variety of ways, and alternative centers such as Marioni’s Museum of Conceptual Art, 80 Langton Street, SF Camerawork, and La Mamelle, Inc., exploring new models of presentation. This period marks perhaps the last time there was a sustained and meaningful artistic dialogue between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As artists in California looked for what could still be perceived as a historically significant style, a proliferation of possibilities emerged that still affect current art practice to an unrecognized degree. The eclecticism of the period is not just manifested in the differences between artists, communities, and genres, but also in individual bodies of work that evidence artists’ own attempts to subvert the demand for a signature style that would entrap them, codify their practices, and limit diversity. Instead, artists favored a much more fluid and interactive assimilation of all that they could see, borrow, and steal, both from the world at large and from each other. California has always been a place where, to some degree, one can try new things without the historical determinism, critical scrutiny, or market pressure of the New York art world, but what differentiates it from other places that are “not New York” is the critical mass of artists who live here. Partly because of its exceptional school system, California enjoyed a large number of increasingly professionalized artists during the 1970s, many of whom were affiliated with academia, which then included established art schools (San Francisco Art Institute) and art departments (University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis), as well as important new art academies (California Institute of the Arts, Valencia [CalArts]) and emerging graduate programs (University of California campuses at Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Diego). In addition, artists from elsewhere circulated through these institutions, lecturing and sharing their ideas and knowledge with a new generation.

The importance of art schools in supporting new art forms that eventually made their way to New York can be seen, for example, in the influence of the post-studio classes of John Baldessari and Michael Asher at CalArts on artistic practice during the mid- to late 1970s. Along with questioning the very premise of being an “artist,” CalArts regarded its students as “already” artists, resisting the hierarchical models that informed other schools. As Douglas Eklund explained, “The belief that the students they accepted were already artists was a way of defusing the authoritarianism of traditional art education.”10 Many artists who came to be associated with the Pictures Generation—including Jack Goldstein, Matt Mullican, David Salle, and James Welling—passed through CalArts during the mid-1970s. Certainly, the influence of someone like Baldessari is evident even in the work of those who did not live in California, such as Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, and Richard Prince. A direct line can be traced from California pluralism to New York postmodernism, as the revolutionary effect of pluralism on the studio practices of artists came to define what we now know as the hallmarks of postmodernism in art, including the deconstruction of visual tropes, media critique, identity politics, and artist activism. To this day, California remains closer to the ideals represented by the pluralistic and inclusionary tendencies of postmodernism.

That we now take for granted, at least somewhat, the fact that other media have supplanted the primacy of painting and sculpture is a testament to the enduring legacy of this period. Then-nascent genres such as photography, video, performance, body art, and installation have emerged in the intervening forty years as among the most significant of our time. The pluralism of artistic practices and the multiplicity of styles so characteristic of the present moment have their roots in the desire to find a singular movement in the wake of the Pop, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, and Conceptualism of the 1960s and early 70s. Whether one attributes today’s multiplicity to schools, communication technologies, globalism, transportation, or the emergence of contemporary art centers, nothing has contributed more to breaking down traditional notions of genre and singular style than the artistic experimentation of the mid- to late 1970s. Rather than by movements or schools, this era was defined by individuals. (Notably, the first exhibition to take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, at both the Temporary Contemporary and Grand Avenue buildings, was titled Individuals.)

Under the Big Black Sun embodies the various ambitions of these pioneering American artists who created new forms by borrowing from old modes and incorporating new materials and technologies emerging in both laboratories and art studios across the state. While these new forms did not fully displace such longstanding artistic traditions as oil painting or ceramics, they ultimately continued to thrive in California because of its consistent support for the development of new technologies—as well as the vibrant powerful images and iconography that emerged as the state underwent massive social and political change. What historically had been divided became entangled, with no single style prevailing. The result was an explosive proliferation of genres, mediums, and modes of production, a plurality that reached its apex in California and that ultimately spread around the world through its artists and their work. Perhaps ironically, postmodernism, which arose out of the undefined and highly speculative period of the late 1970s, seemed at times to veer regressively back toward that search for singular categories rather than pursue the “tributaries” of pluralism as they evolved. But rather than regard these developments in art as a stream, it may be more appropriate to think of art as a great marsh in which new life is born and sustained but that is difficult to define for lack of a clear delineation between land and water.

At a time when venerable institutions might be seen to be canonizing generations of “contemporary” artists—for example, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent exhibition of the 1980s Pictures Generation or Los Angeles’s own Getty Research Institute’s sprawling Pacific Standard Time initiative—it is my hope that with Under the Big Black Sun we accomplish the opposite. Rather than create new canons, I wish to reopen the roster of artists, movements, and mediums—not just to reshuffle the deck, but to greatly expand our sense of the important artists and meaningful works of that era. The single most critical factor in the seismic shift in art that took place during the 1970s here in California, nationally, and internationally was the breaking open of hierarchies, as well as the linear progressive narrative that had constituted the history of art up to and including modernism. Indeed, as 1970s pluralism evolved into 1980s postmodernism, so postmodernism gave rise to globalism, the era in which we find ourselves today. Globalism is unthinkable without a foundation of pluralism and, in turn, it has prompted a reevaluation of modernism itself—to consider it as a simultaneously occurring global phenomenon rather than an “international style” exported by Europe and the United States.

In California, even as the years between 1974 and 1981 were rife with disillusionment, confusion, a lack of direction and leadership, the eruption of energy and environmental crises, and a declining standard of living—and even as the political situation became increasingly divisive as a result—new art proliferated as the political and social role of artists, the power of institutions and the art-historical canon, and the very necessity of the art object were questioned. The collective loss of faith in government and other institutionalized forms of authority yielded a spirit of freedom and experimentation that reached its apex in the Golden State, already a fertile ground for creativity and nonconformity. The foundations for the era we find ourselves in now were laid during the 1970s, and the role that California artists—much more so than academics or critic—played in its formation is just beginning to be understood. It is my hope that Under the Big Black Sun will not so much define that era, but allow it to remain unrestricted, in keeping with the artists’ original intentions. The very messiness of the 1970s should not be cleaned up, codified, or organized the way previous art-historical periods have. Desire for the comfort of singular successive movements should not obscure what was among the richest moments in American art.

More Here


@ The HAMMER Tonight - Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson premiere Twenty Twenty.

Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson premiere Twenty Twenty, their new multimedia performance about black music created and fostered in L.A. from 1960 to 1980. Smith and Thompson are your sonic tour guides through this impressionistic survey of distinctive music that includes Odetta’s spirituals, free jazz, psychedelic rock and the funky soul of the Brothers Johnson.

ALL HAMMER PUBLIC PROGRAMS ARE FREE. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Hammer members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required.

Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6p.

Learn More Here...


10.8.11 @ Armory Center for the Arts -Speaking in Tongues: The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken.

Speaking in Tongues advances our understanding of two seminal Los Angeles artists by bringing them into close conversation for the first time, examining how they both bridged modernist and emerging post-modernist trends by ushering in the use of photography as a key element of contemporary art. Placing Berman and Heinecken in the cultural context of 1960s and 1970s Southern California, which fueled and amplified their creative approaches, the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue trace the evolution of a new visual language, which placed photography and its representational contingencies at the heart of contemporary art.

Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976

Exhibition: October 2, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Opening: Saturday, October 8, 2011, 7-9p
Curators: Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon

Learn More Here...