In addition to the films and happenings that I’ve been covering at LA Live, the Los Angeles Film Festival boasts programming and events throughout downtown and Los Angeles as whole. Venues include the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the REDCAT theater, and the Grammy Museum. Last night, a bunch of the Los Angeles Film Festival crowd took the celebration over the Hotel Café for a set of live music from Rodriguez, the prolific yet criminally underappreciated singer-songwriter and the subject of Searching for Sugar Man. Although the show wasn’t formally affiliated with the Los Angeles Film Festival, the audience that packed the venue was clearly made up of folks who had heard about the show at Tuesday’s Summer Showcase screening at the festival.
Although Rodriguez, reportedly born in 1942, is one of the oldest performers still touring and playing his music live, he gave an all-too brief yet impassioned performance that was as energetic as it was poetic. Eager fans were treated to a set of hits from Rodriguez’s album Cold Fact that included, “Sugar Man,” “Crucify Your Mind,” and “This Is Not a Song, It’s An Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues,” and well-chosen covers including “Redneck Nation,” and “I Only Have Eyes For You.” Light In the Attic reissued both his Rodriguez’s albums, with Rodriguez finally getting the royalties he so richly deserves. After jovially talking to the audience during his set like a kid in a candy store, Rodriguez spent an incredible amount of time with new and old fans, signing and selling CDs and genuinely thanking everyone for coming. Everyone present witnessed a really special evening of music. For those who missed it, and those who want more, Rodriguez said on-stage that an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman is looking to take place August, and I heard whispers of a larger LA show in the fall being in the works.
After Rodriguez finished his set, I made a beeline back down to LA Live for festival’s first showing of the Thai film P-047. Although I’m hesitant to call the film the most reviled of the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival, there were certainly more walkouts than any other screening I’ve attended. P-047 follows two young men as they pick the locks of other people homes. They break in, not to steal anything, but rather to basks temporarily in the lives of others, and create a certain degree of havoc. The first problem is that the characters are entirely unsympathetic, and the second problem is that they’re not even that interesting, despite their controversial actions. The film descends into a bizarre blend of flashback, fantasy, and voyeurism. I’m typically a great fan of this approach to filmmaking, but there nothing here to be compelled by or latch onto, mentally or emotionally.
The hot ticket for tonight is going to be the Summer Showcase screening of Celeste and Jesse Forever which I reviewed in my festival preview piece. However, the true must-see event tonight is the Summer Showcase of Beauty of Embarrassing at the Bing Theater at LACMA, which I also reviewed in my preview piece. In addition the film (which is one of the festival’s true delights), subject Wayne White and documentarian Neil Berkeley are scheduled to be on-hand for a Q&A afterward. A little birdie told me that Pee-Wee Herman himself Paul Reubens will also be on-hand. If you want to avoid the red carpet hoopla of Celeste and Jesse Forever and can’t make it to LACMA, Pincus is enjoying its final showing at LA Live. Although I said it in my festival preview piece, the performance from actor David Nordstrom holds up as one of the best the festival has to offer. And in my seemingly endless yet always fulfilling quest to see 52 of the films playing at this year’s festival (my current count stands at 40), I’ll be taking in the pop culture documentary About Face and the French drama Unforgiveable. Here’s hoping I see you there.
Filed under: Film Festivals