If we were back in the 1960s, this might be called a “happening.” Aficionados of the esoteric, the eclectic and the simply weird will want to know about this first avant-garde film festival, Counter Culture, Counter Cinema. Programmed from the collection of The New American Cinema Group/The Film-Makers' Cooperative (New York), the festival is showcasing the long-term alliance between experimental cinema and counterculture activities. Along with David E. James, professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, the festival is being curated by MM Serra, executive director of Film-Maker's Cooperative, the world's oldest and largest archive of independent media. “Avant-garde is a French military term for the soldier who braces the front line and ventures into unexplored territory,” Serra explains. “Avant-garde artists, like these soldiers, are the ones on the forefront of cultural and aesthetic innovation, often putting themselves in the line of fire in order to explore the boundaries of transgression and break cultural taboos with the unorthodox, daring, and radical.” The festival will be showcasing 40 films, and many of the filmmakers will be present to participate in panel discussions. In fact, many of these filmmaking luminaries will be reuniting for their first public appearance in years. If you appreciate film as art (or you just appreciate the unusual) this is a do-not-miss event.

Thu., Oct. 14; Fri., Oct. 15; Sat., Oct. 16, 2010

LA Weekly