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October 16 – October 17, 2017

Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles

Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles is an experimental documentary tracing the changing city of Los Angeles (1920s-1960s), showing how its landscape expresses an almost infinite collection of mythologies. Made from home movies and studio-produced “process plates”—background images of the city shot by studio cinematographers for rear projection in feature films—Lost Landscapes depicts places, people, work and daily life during a period of rapid urban development and showing the life and growth of the United States’ preeminent Western metropolis as the sum of countless individual acts.

Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles is the latest of Rick Prelinger’s “urban history film events,” featuring rediscovered and largely unseen archival film footage arranged into feature-length programs. Unlike most screenings, the audience makes the soundtrack — viewers are encouraged to identify places, people and events; ask questions; and engage with fellow audience members. While the films show Los Angeles as it was, the event encourages viewers to think about—and share—their ideas for the city’s future. What kind of a city do we want to live in?

Rick Prelinger is an archivist, filmmaker, and educator. He is Professor of Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz and is a board member of Internet Archive. His films made from archival material have played at festivals, museums, theaters and educational institutions around the world. Lost Landscapes of San Francisco (11 episodes, 2006-2016) plays every autumn in San Francisco. He has also made urban history films in Oakland and Detroit, and is currently producing a New York film for a late-autumn premiere.

For one special evening, Rick Prelinger will take the HFA audience on interactive journey through cinema’s most infamous city. And join him again the following day as he gives Houghton Library’s bi-annual George Parker Winship Lecture.

Presented in partnership with Houghton Library.

Special thanks: Thomas Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library and Director, Houghton Library; Anne-Marie Eze, Director of Scholarly and Public Programs, Houghton Library.

$12 Special Event Tickets
Rick Prelinger in Person

Monday October 16 at 7pm

Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles

Directed by Rick Prelinger
US 2017, digital video, b/w & color, 83 min








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Free Admission – Lamont Library’s Forum Room
Rick Prelinger in Person

Tuesday October 17 at 5:30pm

Effacements in the Repository: Do Physical Objects Have the Right To Exist?

While archives and special collections are collecting at an unprecedented pace, growth and shrinkage have become close partners. As constraints swell and digitization marches on, deaccessioning has moved from the periphery of practice toward the center. Entire legacy media forms—newspapers, academic journals, videotapes, reference works, maps, even film—are becoming digital by default. Rather than replaying old polemics and engaging in nostalgia for paper, ink and celluloid, this talk will treat broader issues that have received much less examination. How do physical materials held by libraries and archives become obsolete, then inconvenient, and finally difficult? Does inconvenience have its merits? Do objects in these categories have the right to exist? Are certain affordances introduced only when physical and digital collections interact? How might bibliography, filmography and mediagraphy remediate and repair gaps in collections introduced by their custodians? And, in a time when monuments celebrating white supremacy are being pulled off their pedestals, are librarians and archivists practicing erasure or healing? – RP

Rick Prelinger presents Houghton Library’s George Parker Winship Lecture which will be held in the Forum Room of the Lamont Library. A reception at Houghton Library in the Edison and Newman Room will follow.

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