Essay L.A.

Series Site

Six programs of essay and collage films, organized by filmmaker and guest curator Courtney Stephens, explore the city of Los Angeles as a space for free-association. From architectural reveries by foreign admirers to personal constellations assembled from celluloid scraps, the filmmakers in the program, many of whom have worked intermittently in other facets of the film industry, are found here sifting through leftovers, as though searching for meanings or even miracles that might have been otherwise overlooked. Titles include the genre-defining Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003, Thom Andersen), filmic anomalies such as Pat O’Neill’s virtuosic document of time and landscape trauma Water and Power (1989), the rarely shown The Savage Eye (1960), and more.