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Film Night at Flor y Canto: March 2003-September 2005 (Part 2 of 2)

by R of the Northeast LA Radical Neighbors Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 10:44 PM

To mark the five-year anniversary of the Eagle Rock Peace Vigil, here is a list of films shown at Flor y Canto over a two-and-a-half year period. These almost-weekly screenings were an outgrowth of the Eagle Rock Vigil. (Links to the rest of this list can be found below in "comments.")

2004 cont'd

October 1
What America Needs: From Sea to Shining Sea (2002, 93 minutes) Directed and Produced by Mark Wojahn
Traveling by train from N.Y.C. to Los Angeles post 9/11, a documentary filmmaker asks more than 500 people from different communities across America "What Do You Think America Needs?" The sincerity and thoughtfulness with which people responded makes this film a thought-provoking look at who Americans are and what they instinctively know. Collectively, their answers relate an unexpected story of hope. This film just premiered last week in Los Angeles at the Silverlake Film Festival.

October 8
Trouble in Paradise (2003, 73 minutes) Directed and Produced by Laurel Greenberg
This documentary presents the real-life drama of Election 2000 and 2002 within the chaotic landscape of Florida politics. It follows a diverse group of Floridians who, compelled by a sense of civic responsibility after the debacle of 2000, become centrally involved in political issues. They volunteer on campaigns, run for office and sue the state, all while revisiting the unanswered questions of the historic election which changed their lives.

October 15
Shocking and Awful: A Grassroots response to the War in Iraq (2004, 30 min.each) Produced by DeeDee Halleck and Deep Dish TV Network
Deep Dish TV ( is the nation’s first grassroots satellite network, linking producers and programmers, independent video makers, and activists. The "Shocking & Awful" series of half hour programs is compiled from independent footage shot from many locations in the U.S. and around the world. This Friday we'll be showing: "Erasing Memory" about the cultural destruction of Iraq and "Channels of War" exploring how the media has become the military

October 22
Point of Attack (2004, 46 minutes) Directed and Produced by Kathleen Foster
This documentary chronicles the post 9/11 racial profiling, large scale round-ups, detentions and mass deportations of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men as part of the 'War on Terrorism'. The film frames the plight of these immigrant communities within the broader context of the U.S. government's 'other war' against civil liberties being waged via the USA Patriot Act. AND

Independent Media In A Time of War (2003, 29 minutes) Produced by Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center
Part scathing critique, part call to action, this documentary argues that dialogue is vital to a healthy democracy. Independent media has a crucial responsibility to go where the silence is, according to narrator Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now". She makes a compelling argument that the news media failed to represent the true face of war, and criticizes the phenomenon of "embedded reporters", which resulted in a pro-military bias in the U.S. media, stifling the voices of independent reporters in Iraq.

October 22
9/11 In Plane Site (2004, 70 minutes)
The one they've been talking up on KPFK all week. It uses news footage from all of the major news sources in an in-depth analysis which shows that what was originally reported on the morning of September 11, 2001 is not what has become the official story of that day. Eyewitness accounts and live video feeds told the real story of 911 and they are presented now for the first time as evidence of the largest cover-up in modern day history. "With the pounding force of a sledgehammer you will find yourself horrified and astonished at the shear scope of the largest transgressions ever carried out against the people of the United States and indeed... of the entire world. "

October 29th
A Night Of Ferocious Joy (2004, 60 min) w/ special guest filmmaker David Zeiger
On May 12, 2002, before an audience of 1,800 people in the legendary Palace theater in Los Angeles, a disparate group of hip hop, latin funk, spoken word and visual artists created the first anti-war concert in the new millennium called ArtSpeaks! Not in Our Name. This concert film captures the energy and feel of what happened that night. Featuring: Ozomatli, The Coup, Blackalicious, Dilated Peoples, Mystic, Saul Williams, The Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra, Jerry Quickley, and Hassan Hakmoun.

November 6
No film.

November 12
The Miami Model (2004)
One year ago, trade ministers from 34 countries met in Miami, Florida, to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The FTAA threatens to devastate workers, the environment, and public services like health care, education, and water, and to destroy indigenous rights and cultural diversity across North, Central, and South America.

Thousands of union members, environmentalists, feminists, anarchists, students, farm workers, media activists, and human rights activists gathered in Miami to struggle against the FTAA. They were brutally attacked with rubber bullets, pepper spray, electric guns and shock batons, embedded reporters and information warfare, all coordinated by the new United States Department of Homeland Security.

In "The Miami Model", Indymedia documents the struggle and the living models of grassroots resistance, creative action and solidarity that arose around it.

November 19
Jung : In the Land of the Mujaheddin with guest speaker from the Italian Emergency organization, Marco Rambaldo
As the bloody offensive against Fallujah continues and the US gets mired deeper in the war on Iraq, it's a good time to remember what really happened in Afghanistan, just a few years ago.

Gino Strada, an Italian surgeon, knows war too well. It's 1999 and, following the murder of a UN worker, all aid agencies have abandoned Afghanistan. The Taliban and the Northern Alliance are 'fighting like rabid dogs, without coming to a conclusion'. The need is desperate: surgical facilities for the tens of thousands of civilians wounded by bullets, shells, shrapnel and landmines, are, when they exist, primitive and filthy. Rarely is anaesthetic available. It's the 'usual shit', as Strada says.

The film is sometimes shocking because it shows what modern weaponry does to the human body. We also see that, for the survivor of a landmine explosion, the consequences and the anguish of disability, are often worse. Yet Jung also shows that there can be hope, even in the most wretched circumstances, It's a story of sanity and compassion in the midst of devastation. Winner of the Golden Lion Award for best documentary, Italy 2001

November 26
Escape from Affluenza
The infamous Jones Family, the one we've all been trying to keep up with for years, is finally calling it quits. Escape From Affluenza takes you live to watch the Joneses announce their surrender! Then, watch as many people from many walks of life show you how they're living better on less and escaping fromAffleunza, a pernicious epidemic of stress, overwork and debt that is affecting Americans in record numbers.

With stories ranging from America's simplicity capital - Seattle - to the Netherlands, Escape From Affluenza uses expert commentary, thought-provoking vignettes and humor to show people how they can reduce their consumption and simplify their lives.

Surplus: Terrorized into being consumers
A fifty-two minute video clip-like montage with a heady pace that speaks out against capitalistic consumerism and its methods of advertising, while using the same brain washing techniques as a television advert. Erik Gandini has created a militant film. Its inspiration is the message touted by the anti-globalization guru, John Zerzan - the 30-second advertising spot is the most powerful weapon of communication humankind has ever invented. In 30 seconds, the receiver of any given message is reduced into a docile consumption slave, one who must believe that buying things is soul-saving and in fact is being terrorized into being a consumer. Gandini and editor Johan S?derberg mix the lips of Bush, Chirac, Berlusconi, Putin and Castro with sound bites of the anti-globalization guru Kalle Lasn, creating an amusing and ironic collage. In addition, the filmmaker interviews world citizens including a poor Cuban woman gaping at the super-abundance in British supermarkets and a manufacturer of sophisticated sex dolls. The film wants to expose the truth about the brain washing that we experience on a daily basis, which results in a roller coaster of amusing and thought provoking images.

December 3
Arlington West (2004, 56 min) with special guests filmmakers Sally Marr and Peter Dudar
This moving documentary by two longtime Los Angeles activists is made up of sixty-four interviews with soldiers and Marines en route to and returning from the war in Iraq, plus interviews with military families. Their stories are shared against the powerful backdrop of the temporary cemetery in the sand known as Arlington West, which is erected every Sunday by the Veterans For Peace on the beach in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Oceanside and other locations.They place a flag draped coffin, and over 1000 wooden crosses on the beach, one for each US soldier killed in Iraq. Thousands of people have visited the memorials since their inception over a year ago.

December 10th
A night of critical analysis of the media and public opinion:

Edward Said: On Orientalism (1998, 40 min)
The late Edward Said's book Orientalism has been profoundly influential in a range of disciplines since its 1978 publication. Said argues that the western understanding of the Middle East as a place full of villians and terrorists ruled by Islamic fundamentalism produces a deeply distorted image of the diversity and complexity of Arab peoples. In this engaging and lavishly illustrated interview he talks about the context within which the book was conceived, its main themes, and how its original thesis relates to the current understanding of "the Orient" as represented in the mass media.


Constructing Public Opinion: How Politicians and the Media Misrepresent the Public (2001, 32 min.)
In this film Professor Justin Lewis provides an innovative lens through which to view the relationship between politics, media and the public. He demonstrates how public opinon polls are used by the media to not just reflect what Americans think, but to actually construct public opinion itself. Exploding the myth that most Americans are moderate or conservative, Constructing Public Opinion shows the way in which political elites help to promote the military/industrial complex and how the media sustains belief in an electoral system with a built-in bias against the interests of ordinary people.

December 17th
Unconstitutional (2004, 60 min.)
"We created Unconstitutional to show Americans the extent to which our civil liberties and our freedoms have been trampled upon by our government since 9/11," said producer Robert Greenwald (Uncovered, Unprecedented, OutFoxed). "The more Americans understand what is at stake, and what has already been lost, the more determined we become to protect our rights." Unconstitutional explores how the Patriot Act has taken away checks on law enforcement and continues to endanger the civil liberties of all Americans. The Patriot Act, which was passed just 45 days after September 11 with virtually no debate, is being met with a significant grassroots groundswell from across the political spectrum. Resolutions opposing the Patriot Act have passed in approximately 340 communities in 41 states, including four statewide resolutions. These communities represent over 53 million people who believe that the Patriot Act goes too far. By focusing on the personal stories of real people, Unconstitutional aims to reveal how paranoia, fear and racial profiling have led to gross infringements on freedom and democracy without strengthening national security.

December 24 and 31 -- No Films Thank you all for a great year of films, food and discussion -- see you in 2005

------January 7, 2005------
Another World is Possible (2002, 24 minutes)
Exciting and visionary politics are about to be ignited at the 2005 World Social Forum, from January 26 to 31 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This will be the 5th incarnation of the important international event. In 2002, also in Porto Alegre, public officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, indigenous nations, farmers, and labor gathered for the 2nd World Social Forum. It was covered extensively by the media in other parts of the world, but was virtually ignored by the US press. The film "Another World is Possible" presents a sampling of the issues and events at this enormous and creative gathering. Amongst the speakers featured are Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Kevin Danaher, Wolfgang Sachs, and Rigoberta Menchu. This documentary impression of the gathering gives hope to US activists that, despite the media blackout, the movement for social justice is alive and well around the world.

January 14
Captain Milkshake (1970, 100 min.) Filmmakers present
Filmed in 1969, this is an anti-Vietnam War film about a marine-on-leave falling in love with an anti-war militant. Things get complicated with conservative relatives, irate hippies and an ill-fated Mexican drug run, all set to the trippy vintage sounds of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe & The Fish, The Steve Miller Band, and Kaleidoscope. Filmed in San Diego, the movie includes scenes of Crystal Pier, Balboa Park, Vacation Village, La Jolla Cove, and Pacific Beach, 35 years ago. The "authentic 60's flashback" was banned by the U.S. military at the time of it's release. Join us for a fun story of free love, cheap grass, psychedelic rock 'n roll and anti-war protests at Berkeley. Wear your love beads.

January 21
In the Light of Reverence (2001, 73 minutes)
A stunning portrait of land-use conflicts over Native American sacred sites on public and private land around the West. A project of Earth Island Institute revealing how across the USA, Native Americans are struggling to protect their sacred places. Religious freedom, so valued in America, is not guaranteed to those who practice land-based religion. Every year, more sacred sites - the land-based equivalent of the world's great cathedrals - are being destroyed. Strip mining and development cause much of the destruction. But rock climbers, tourists, and New Age religious practitioners are part of the problem, too. The biggest problem is ignorance.In the Light of Reverence tells the story of three indigenous communities and the land they struggle to protect: the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Hopi of the Four Corners area, and the Wintu of northern California.

February 4
Permaculture Night - 3 films and a slide presentation to Inspire Urban Farmers
The slide presentation is by the good folks at Path to Freedom, a local urban homestead. Their objective is to live as harmoniously and sustainably as possible in the midst of the city. They incorporate many back-to-basic practices, permaculture methods, and appropriate technologies, including biodiesel. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping others develop along their journey.

Beyond Organic: The Vision of Fairview Gardens (2000, 33 minutes)
Fairview Gardens is an urban farm located in Goleta, California, right in the middle of some of the most expensive real estate in the U.S. Managed for the past two decades by visionary farmer/photographer/author, Michael Ableman, this 12-acre organic farm has become a model of sustainable food production and community involvement, as well as an inspiration for thousands of people all over the world. Beyond Organic tells the story of this amazing farm and its long battle to survive in the face of rapid suburban development. Narrated by Meryl Streep.

Global Gardener: Permaculture with Bill Mollison (1996, 28 minutes)
Bill Mollison is a practical visionary. For nearly two decades he has traveled the globe spreading the word about permaculture, the method of sustainable agriculture that he devised. Permaculture weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, water management and human needs into intricately connected productive communities. Mollison has proved that even in the most difficult conditions permaculture empowers people to turn wastelands into food forests. We will watch a short segment of this 2 hour program, one that features urban solutions in New York City and Harare, Zimbabwe.

City Farmers (1998, 32 minutes)
The story of a community garden in New York City. The gardeners themselves narrate the film, giving a heartwarming and sometimes painful accounting of the struggle to keep their gardens alive. They tell of life on both sides of the garden fence: from their fight against drug dealers and gangs to the successes of the gardens as food suppliers to families and Senior Centers. As they tend their rows, some of these caretakers are reminded of their childhood days on farms in the South, while others, who have known only pavement under their feet, have found new directions for their futures.

Feb. 25
The Future of Food(2004, 91 minutes)
There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America—a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat. The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada, to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology.

Director Deborah Koons Garcia (widow of Jerry) tells us genetically engineered crops have undermined cultivation methods that have been refined over thousands of years. Exploring a gamut of issues from so-called suicide seeds to lax food-safety enforcement laws, and from the controversy over patented genes to infected cornfields, the film is a comprehensive and chilling call to arms against GMOs. It played a roles in the passage of Measure H, which banned the use of GMO farming within Mendocino County, California last March.

Friday, March 4
This Is What Free Trade Looks Like (2004, 64 minutes) with special guest filmmaker
"This Is What Free Trade Looks Like: NAFTA fraud in México, the failure of the WTO, and the case for global revolt" takes a Global South perspective on Free Trade in order to contextualize the increasingly fierce resistance movements emerging around the world today. The most authoritative experience of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) is no doubt the Mexican one, since México has already endured 10 years of the most advanced Free Trade Agreement in operation, NAFTA. The film examines México's experience with NAFTA as a basis for understanding the impacts of other free trade agreements such as the WTO and the FTAA. Interviews with experts and activists are interwoven with entertaining images of the protest events in Cancún, México at the 5th WTO ministerial in September 2003. From the Activist Media Project Los Angeles

March 11
Oil on Ice (2004, 57 minutes)
This documentary is an intimate portrayal of the native Gwich’in Indians taking on powerful global energy interests to prevent invasive oil operations threatening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s fragile caribou calving grounds on which the Native people’s subsistence has always depended. The Gwich’in call the preserve “the place where life begins.” The film vividly brings home how our energy decisions—both individually and as a society — critically impact the future of our global economy, wildlife, and the environment as well as the survival of an extraordinary traditional culture.

This screening is part of a nationwide weekend of screenings being organized by the Sierra Club to activate support for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and reducing America’s dangerous dependence on oil.

March 18th
Stream Restoration Night! Premiering a new short film featuring our own Northeast LA neighborhoods and community Stream Spirit Rising: Daylighting the North Branch (2005, 12 min.) with special guests.

One year ago Northeast Trees sponsored a series of art and education events about the buried streams of the Arroyo Seco watershed and their potential for restoration. Local filmmaker David Gottlieb documented the series, providing a window into the history of the neighborhoods, as well as outlining some solutions. In Highland Park, the North Branch creek used to connect springs, hills and meadows to the Arroyo Seco, providing a home for fish, amphibians, birds, and small mammals, as well as places for children to play. Today the stream is a storm drain. But a small stretch of the North Branch could be brought back to life.

“In many ways these streams are a metaphor for the way we have ‘buried’ our connection with nature”, says Jessica Hall of Northeast Trees. “Daylighting these streams restores not only the streams natural ecological processes, but in many urban neighborhoods it can restore a sense of place and the natural importance of water even in the most urban settings.” Jessica will give us an update and answer questions about what the next steps are. In keeping with the creative flavor of Stream Spirit Rising we will also have local poet Aire Celeste Norell as a guest, reading environmental poetry. She calls herself "a compassionate warrior for peace toward all living things", and recently edited the anthology Cracked Pavement & Plastic Trees: Our Gifts To Future Generations.

April 1
Tony Kienitz "The Year I Ate My Yard"
We've got something different for April Fools Day - Come hear "Master Vegetablarian" Tony Kienitz speak and answer your questions about organic gardening. He has lived in Southern California for nearly 516 moons and has been gardening professionally for 120 of those lunar cycles. Tony's company, Vegetare, designs, sows and tends edible landscapes across the Southland, down in the valleys, along the rambling foothills, from the mountains to the sea. In his thoughtful and funny new book THE YEAR I ATE MY YARD he challenges our notions of what a vegetable garden should provide. Instead of growing freakishly giant, unblemished and insipid crops using factory-made fertilizers and nasty poisons, Kienitz offers practical advice and guidelines for creating gardens that cooperate with natural systems. He shows that by changing the way you look at a vegetable garden you will change the way the plants respond. Most importantly, Kienitz stresses that a vegetable garden, or for that matter, any garden, only needs love for it to thrive - and he provides thoughts on how we can bestow that love.

April 8
The Real Thing: Coca, Democracy and Rebellion in Bolivia (2004, 92 minutes) The American-led War on Drugs has had grave impacts on the Bolivian farmers who produce the coca leaf, the main ingredient in cocaine. The Real Thing: Coca, Democracy and Rebellion in Bolivia reveals how the US government, instead of cracking down on the users, distributors, and producers of cocaine, has targeted the coca plant itself.

Coca has been used for traditional and medicinal purposes since the Inca empire. Choosing to eradicate the coca plant, a strategy which consists of the military pulling each plant out of the ground by hand, is like deciding to prohibit corn because it is possible to make an alcoholic beverage from it, explains one campesino. The film's argument is that it is not a War on Drugs, but an extension of the neo-colonial American dream of bringing “modernity” to their southern neighbours. As Noam Chomsky puts it: “[These governments] are successfully carrying out their objectives, but their objectives have nothing to do with drugs.”

The coca farmers, fed up with the U.S. influence over Bolivian politicians, have mobilized through the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). But because these communities have rejected the plant’s eradication and the imposition of alternative development programs, they have been labelled and treated as terrorists. They tell their story in The Real Thing, and give us a deeper understanding of the conflict and what is at stake.

April 15
Livable Places
The mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, closed downtown streets to cars and built bus stops that load and unload passengers with the same speed as subways. In Boston, urban agriculture produces more than ten thousand pounds of vegetables each season. A livable city is one that has enough affordable homes, viable alternatives to driving alone, jobs that pay a living wage, streets that are pedestrian and bicycle friendly; and parks and plazas in every neighborhood. How can we make our city, characterized by huge economic disparities, concrete-encased rivers, and a landscape of subdivisions, freeways, and malls, into a more livable place?

This Friday we bring you 2 presentations on that question:

Local non-profit Livable Places works to facilitate pedestrian-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhoods in areas that are well-served by transit. Vanessa Luna will let us know about her organization's efforts to encourage builders and local governments to incorporate sustainable building practices and smart growth.

Then we will screen Livable Landscapes: By Chance or By Choice? (2002, 57 minutes) which explores the connection between landscape and community in northern New England, focusing on how growth and sprawl affect quality of life. By examining the history of land use and the changes that have hit working forests, farms, village centers and urban downtowns, the film looks at how communities have tried to preserve the qualities that make them unique. The film explores five communities struggling with choices about transformations that are underway.

May 6
Anarchism in America (1981, 75 minutes)
In 1979 Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher took off on a rambling cross-country trip, funded, ironically, by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their mission was to search out any evidence of anarchist activity in communities as secluded as Atkins Bay and as cosmopolitan as San Francisco.

Along the way a strange cast of characters emerged; some calling themselves “anarchist,” others, eschewing the label, but nonetheless calling themselves “anti-authoritarian,” or “individualist.” In fact, the premise of the documentary was that Americans, inherently, embody anarchist principles, an experience far different then their European counterparts. We stumbled upon Mildred Loomis, 80-years-old and still advocating back to the land individualism; Kenneth Rexroth, a father of the San Francisco beat scene, who immortalized Sacco and Vanzetti in his poems; and the remarkable Republican-turned-Anarchist, Karl Hess, pursued to the end by the IRS for his refusal to pay taxes.

A colorful and provocative survey of anarchism in America, the film attempts to dispel popular misconceptions and trace the historical development of the movement. The film explores the movement both as a native American philosophy stemming from 19th century American traditions of individualism, and as a foreign ideology brought to America by immigrants. The film features rare archival footage and interviews with significant personalities in anarchist history and also live performance footage of the Dead Kennedys.

May 13
The Yes Men (2004, 80 minutes)
"The Yes Men" is a disturbing documentary in which a couple of tricksters named Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum create a fictional WTO spokesman named Hank Hardy Unruh, and a fake WTO Web site where he can be contacted. Real-world groups contact Hank Hardy, and he flies out to their meetings to deliver a speech at which he summarizes the anti-WTO argument in terms the audience, incredibly, absorbs and passively accepts. Apparently (A) no one is really listening, (B) no one is thinking, or (C) the immorality of the WTO's exploitation of cheap foreign labor becomes invisible when it is described in purely economic terms.

Answer: All three, which is why the United States and the other nations controlling the WTO can live with the inhuman cost of its policies, and why so many people simply don't understand what the demonstrators at world trade forums are so mad about.

What is incredible in the film is the lengths to which a trade audience can be pushed without realizing it is the butt of a joke. At the meeting in Finland, which is about "Textiles of the Future," Hank Hardy Unruh concludes his speech, has an assistant rip off his "business suit," and reveals beneath it a gold lame body suit. It has an inflatable appendage that pops up to allow him to view a computer screen at eye level. This appendage looks uncannily like a large phallus. Do the audience members laugh uproariously or walk out in anger? No, they just sit there. They have lost all ability to apply reality to the ideological construction they inhabit." (from Roger Ebert)

Wiping The Tears Of Seven Generations (57 minutes, 1992)
In December 1990, 300 Lakota Sioux horseback riders rode 250 miles, in two weeks, through bitter, below-zero winter weather, to commemorate the lives lost at the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.

This celebrated documentary relates the story of how the Lakota Nation mourned the loss of their loved ones for 100 years -- seven generations of the Lakota. They also mourned the loss of some of their people's sacred knowledge, which died with the elders at Wounded Knee. But in 1990, inspired by dreams and visions of unity and spiritual awakening, a group of Lakota decided to bring their people out of mourning through a traditional Lakota ceremony called "Washigila," or "Wiping The Tears." The Bigfoot Memorial Ride was that ceremony.

The film interweaves stunningly beautiful contemporary scenes of the ride itself with archival film and photos and expert commentary to illustrate the history of the Lakota and provide an unforgettably poignant account of the events leading up to, including, and following the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Special Guest:
The film will be followed by a presentation by Bob Rich, permacultist and engineer, who has created an exciting new permaculture project on the Lakota Pineridge Reservation in South Dakota.

June 10
What the Bleep Do We Know!? (2004, 108 minutes)
This film was an unlikely cult hit in 2004. It's a lecture on mysticism and science mixed into a narrative drama. In the light of quantum physics the filmmakers explore the concept of multiple realities. Marlee Matlin stars in the slightly hokey dramatic thread about a photographer who begins to question her perceptions. Interviews with quantum physics experts and New Age authors offer thought provoking theory about the uncertain world of the quantum field. Rather than reality happening to us, as the old model assumed, we are happening to reality. The act of observation...or "locking into" something...actually changes the nature of what is observed. The act of choice eliminates all other probabilities. If this is true at the quantum level, how do our choices affect-and indeed, change-reality? Good question.

June 17
It'll have Blinking Eyes and a Moving Mouth (88 minutes, 1993)
Maybe it'll have wings that go up and down and rotor blades that spin ‘round on the top. It might look like a U.F.O., an armadillo or a lobster. It could even be a nine foot tall high heeled shoe! But... First and foremost, it's a kinetic sculpture - a fantastical work of art and people-powered vehicle designed to travel over all-terrain courses.

Over twenty-five years ago, California artist Hobart Brown founded the first-ever kinetic sculpture race. From its modest beginnings as a whimsical parade of Dr. Seuss contraptions, the race has grown to become the Triathlon of the Art World - a 38-mile test of creativity, ingenuity and the outer limits of the human spirit. "IT'LL HAVE BLINKING EYES AND A MOVING MOUTH" is a tribute to Hobart Brown and other veteran racers who have not only sculpted magical vehicles, but also magical lives.
This screening is part of NELA bikes! - join the Critical Mass Ride at 6:00 and end up with us.

Check out the new FyC exhibit: "Recognize: Snapshots of Los Angeles Bike Riders" while you're here

July 22
Latino Urbanism: presentation by James Rojas
As Latino immigrants and native-born Mexican Americans citizens settle into Los Angeles, they bring with them different use of urban space to an already existing built environment. Their homes, ciudades, pueblos, and ranchos in Latin America are structured differently both physically and socially than the American suburb.

Latinos bring a rich use of public life to LA and this phenomena can be seen by the way they retrofit the urban design of the streets. Street vendors carrying their wares, pushing carts or setting up temporary tables and tarps, vivid colors, murals and business signs, clusters of people socializing on street corners and over front yard fences, and the furniture and props that make these front yards into personal statements all contribute to the vivid, unique landscape of the city. However there continues to be a lack of understanding of this new urbanism, a lack of understanding that more often than not keeps the city’s bureaucratic land use policy process from meeting the spatial needs of the Latino community, which today constitutes half the city’s population.

James Rojas and the Latino Urban Forum work to understand and improve the condition of Latino communities by examining the architecture, open space, environment, infrastructure and land use policies of today’s evolving urban landscape.

Aug. 12
The Corporation, pt.1 (2004, 145 minutes)
The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation's grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a "person" to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics - including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change. The film is based on the book "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power" by Joel Bakan. It won 24 International Festival awards including the Audience Choice award for documentaries at Sundance.

Because the length of the film and the complexity of the subject, we're breaking it up into 2 nights, screening time about an hour and 15 minutes each, leaving plenty of time to talk about it.

Next Friday, Aug. 19
The Corporation, pt. 2

Aug. 26 no film.

September 9
Come to the LAST of the Friday Video/Potlucks at Flor y Canto:

Peak Oil: Imposed by Nature (2005, 28 minutes) This new film takes a look at the causes and consequences of the coming global peak in oil production. It condenses a lot of convincing information into a great introduction to what global oil decline means to us all. Features oil geologist Colin Campbell, founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.


Our Synthetic Sea (2001, 22 minutes) traces the groundbreaking research conducted by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) regarding the exponential buildup of “non-biodegradable” plastic debris in the world’s ocean. The program documents AMRF research and sampling from Hawaii, the North Central Pacific Gyre, and the California Coastline. Our Synthetic Sea employs scientific papers and interviews with concerned scientists to reveal why toxic, estrogenic plastic debris is a serious, chronic threat to marine food webs.

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