Location la: Bartos Screening Room
With Alma Har’el in person
Dir. Alma Har’el. 2011. 80 mins. Digital projection. The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development boom, the Salton Sea in California is a barren, forgotten desert landscape that some people still call home. For her award-winning debut feature, Alma Har’el steals moments with three memorable characters: a young boy diagnosed with bipolar disorder trying to find his place at home and school, a sensitive high school football star trying to steer clear of the gang warfare that is besieging his friends and relatives back in Los Angeles, and an elderly retired oil field worker living on his own terms at the fringes of society. With a dreamy, shallow-focus visual approach that would prove influential for a generation of documentary storytellers, and carried along by emotive music by Bob Dylan and Beirut, Bombay Beach feels less like a work of observation than of deep immersion and collaboration. Nominated for two Cinema Eye Honors awards, including Best Debut Feature.
Preceded by the short film Fjögur píanó, an extended video for the Sigur Rós song of the same title, in which a young couple shift through every stage of a relationship (Dir. Alma Har’el. 2012, 10 mins. Digital projection. With Shia LaBeouf, Denna Thomsen).
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