Friday, February 6, 2009

Brilliance Exploding Out of Echo Park Film Center

Look at this. It's ragingly brilliant. It's a film called 'La Vida Nueva' by Kaymen Barber at the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles.

I love the shots going down the streets while shooting out of a car. Just wonderful. This film grabs attention and does not let go. It keeps hitting you with people who want to tell their stories to the filmmaker. You know, it's not easy to get people to want to tell you their story. Not easy at all. This Kaymen Barber has some serious talent and better not stop making movies because he's going to waltz himself straight into a professional filmmaking career and blow a few directors I know clear out of the pond.

It looks like the film is shot with a silent camera and then sound is recorded later. Frankly, I think the technique is totally captivating and it is something I never would have thought of. It's so good in fact that I want to steal it. That's how good it is.

Here's another film. It's called 'Thick Strings and Shredded Cheese,' by Carla Orendorff.

This is a young filmmaker learning fearlessly. She's good. This film is moving in a very simple and direct way. I love the shots of the photos and the spools of thread. The way the filmmaker animates them on the table. I've never seen that before. It's something new. To do that in the middle of a documentary with a voice telling a story is a very unique and wonderful approach.

Here's yet another. It's called 'Spray Cans and Stencils.' It's by John Tavares. It's about artists and what they do.

I think what you have here are three artists showing their respect for each other. The two spray can and stencil artists are doing their thing for the film artist and the sense of mutual understanding that comes through this film is very subtle but unmistakable. I love the quick shot of the painter taking a digital photo of his work on the wall. He is serious and proud. As he should be. This is a fascinating documentary that I wish lasted at least an hour because I want to see more.

I once had a big conversation with friends about how best to find real intelligence in kids aside from IQ tests and things like that. I said that if you want to find intelligence you go and hand cameras to kids and see what they make. That's one way you can find someone's mind. But I never had the will to prove it. It looks to me like someone down at the Echo Park Film Center is doing this and it's paying off. I haven't been down there yet, but I think it's a great place anyway. I can tell from the films.

Echo Park Film Center also has a YouTube Channel.


Mike Everleth said...

I've only been to the EPFC a couple of times, but it's a really fun, great space. One event I went to had the Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping show up in person. I got to chat with him and he was great. And my friend Charles Doran hosted a special L.A. short film screening there that was packed and amazing.

I'll have to check out these short films.

Camouflage Lenses said...

Hi, Mike. Yes, the center sounds and looks really good on their web site. I have been amazed by the films coming out of there for months now and only just got around to posting something about it. I only picked three films for my post but there are many others so I'll write about more of them soon.

I have an old Super 8 camera that I'm thinking of using soon and I bet the center has film. It'll be a good reason to stop in and see the place.

Have a good week. By the way, your site is just totally killer these days. It's like a free film school. Fantastic stuff.