Insiders and Outsiders: Everyday Echo Street and Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles
Location la: Bartos Screening Room
With introduction by guest curator Courtney Stephens
Everyday Echo Street (Dir. Susan Mogul. 1993, 33 mins. Digital projection.)
Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (Dir. Reyner Banham. 1972, 52 mins. Digital projection.)
Filmmaker Susan Mogul, who was involved in 1970s feminist circles in Los Angeles, documents life in and around her Highland Park apartment complex. The comings and goings of neighbors, handymen and delivery personnel, connections which at first appear diffuse, are revealed to be a quilt of interdependencies in a city of transplants and regular acts of kindness. British architectural historian Reyner Banham, who wrote The Four Ecologies about Los Angeles (Autopia, Surfurbia, Foothills, and The Plains) does in fact love Los Angeles, and infamously learned to drive in order to cavort most intimately with the multi-centered city that fascinated him. In the film, he drives around in a talking car, visits with vernacular architecture, and gets hot dogs with Ed Ruscha. He reads the city as one borne of automated movement and waves of migration, a uniquely twentieth-century invention. Together the two films provide an insider / outsider gaze on the city, expanding and contracting from vast horizontality to the emotional networks that sustain a single building.—Courtney Stephens
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