LA Filmforum & Melnitz Movies present Crosstown Rivals - Works from USC and UCLA in the 1960s

Event Date: April 12, 2012 - 7:30pm

Location: The James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall 1409, UCLA

Crosstown Rivals

Works from USC and UCLA in the 1960s


Co-Presented by LA Filmforum's Alternative Projections

Additional short films and guests to be announced soon.

In person: David Lebrun, others TBA (schedules permitting)

Enthused by the possibilities of “underground” film, energetic students at Los Angeles’ leading universities made a healthy amount of work using alternative approaches in the 1960s. This work gained notoriety in the mass media, with an article in Time Magazine, among others.

Special thanks to the UCLA Film & Television Archive; Todd Wiener; May Haduong; Mark Quigley, and Dino Everett.

Screening Order (subject to change):

Visiting from USC:

Wipeout (Paul Golding, 1965, 16mm, 3min.)
A dynamic social protest collage film utilizing still photos, accompanied by the Surfaris recording of "Wipeout". - Creative Film Society catalog, 1972

Pulp (Bruce Green, 1967, 16mm, 8min.)
A cynical yet tongue-in-cheek satire on today's leather-jacketed rebels-without-a-cause whose attitudes and sexual appetites are influenced by the multitude of men's pulp magazines. - Creative Film Society catalog, 1972

Marcello, I’m So Bored (John Milius, 1966, 16mm, 9 min)
John Milius was a precious critic of the 'counter-culture,' his critique may be seen as a its most turgid in APOCALYPSE NOW (which he wrote with George Lucas in 1967) and at its lightest in this early film, an intentionally crude cartoon with a live action epilogue in which Milius appears with Gayle Hunnicutt. - Scratching the Belly of the Beast Catalogue, 1994

Herbie (Paul Golding and George Lucas, 1965, 16mm, 2:45)
The filmmakers create stylish visual music from the diffuse, reflected lights of driving cars against a soundtrack of Herbie Hancock music. - Mark Toscano

Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4 EB (George Lucas, 1967, 16mm, 15 min)
THX 1138 4EB runs through passages into order to escape a totalitarian dystopia.

Home at UCLA:

Freightyard Symphony (Robert Abel, 1963, DVD, color, sound, 6.5min.)
Highly accomplished animated student film by commercial effects pioneer Robert Abel – on trains and movement.

S.W.L.A. (Rob Thompson, 1971, 16mm, b/w & color, 6min.)
Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
A semi-abstract cinepoem using high contrast black and white images and stylized color effects to capture the mood of an industrial area in Southwest Los Angeles. The film is reminiscent in style and artistic effectiveness of the work of Pat O'Neill and Scott Bartlett, particularly their 7362 and METANOMEN, and is highly recommended as the largest example of this sort of psychedelic-surreal filmartistry. Winner of innumerable 1971 film festival awards. - Creative Film Society Catalog, 1975

Now That The Buffalo’s Gone (Burton Gershfield, 1967, 16mm, color, 7 min.)
Provided courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
A powerful New American Cinema protest against the decline and fall of the American Indian, using quasi-three dimensional color techniques as part of its overall structure. 'This beautiful little film uses fast-moving positive-negative color images to recall how the American Indian was displaced from the land. From the colorful past of the buffalo hunt to the less than perfect life of present day reservations this sympathetic protest film shows why even Indians on television can never really win. This film is recommended for discussion with Junior highs through adults and for worship services built around a theme of concern for the American Indian.' - Media for Christian Formation. - Creative Film Society Catalogue, 1975

Sanctus (David Lebrun, 1967, 16mm, 18 min)
Provided courtesy of the Academy Film Archive
A New American Cinepoem in which three individual ritual ceremonies in Mexico are filmically interrelated: (1) a Catholic High Mass, (2) a bullfight, (3) the sacred mushroom ceremony of the Mazatec Indians. Creative Film Society Catalogue, 1972

Synthesis (Penelope Spheeris, 1968, 16mm, color, sound, 7min.)
Penelope Spheeris's first film, made at UCLA. In a seemingly near-future control room devoid of people, various readouts and calculations suggest that humankind is not altogether compatible with the grand scheme of the universe.

Les AngeS Dorment (Felix Venable, 1965, 16mm, color, sound, 9 min)
Restored print from the Academy Film Archive
The only extant film made by the legendary Felix Venable, a primary mentor and friend to Jim Morrison. Venable’s own mythic status among Doors fans in part derives from his tragic early death in November 1970 (a few months before Morrison himself). In Les AngeS Dorment (note the capitalization…), a series of vignettes set to varying scores are exemplified by highly refined and intuitive camerawork and editing. This influential film is intensely and quietly psychedelic, suggestive of acid experiences and a shifting sense of fragmented consciousness.


More Information on Los Angeles Filmforum:

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 will feature over 24 shows between now and May 2012. Alternative Projections is Filmforum’s exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern California in the postwar era. Film series curated by Adam Hyman and Mark Toscano, with additional contributions by Rani Singh, Jerri Allyn, David James, Christine Panushka, Terry Cannon, Ben Caldwell, Stephanie Sapienza, Amy Halpern, and more.

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Primary funding for Alternative Projections was provided by the Getty Foundation, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Metabolic Studio. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
April 19. 7:00 pm – Alternative Projections: Cross Town Rivals: Films from UCLA and USC in the 1960s – at USC Cinematheque 108

April 22 – Alternative Projections: Conceptual Media – at the Egyptian Theatre
April 29 – Alternative Projections: – at the Egyptian Theatre

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