top of page

Saturday, June 1  |  2:00 PM  |  Dave Barber Cinematheque  |  14A

We're chained. Five films that erode the American dream through a physical and spiritual entanglement with Los Angeles.* If regional affinity is the low-hanging fruit of programming, we’ve chosen to embrace it because these disparate portraits of L.A. offer a lens into profoundly contemporary concerns. Drifting and trotting across concrete, these films trace the mood of a place that is both real and projected through eco-ennui, isolation, housing insecurity, and borders.
*If our funders are reading this, please note that this program contains 20% Canadian content.

**Please also note that this program features rapid movement and flashing light; this program is rated 14A. Total runtime 64 minutes.


Terminal Island, dir. Sam Drake
2024 | USA | 13 | 16mm on video | Canadian premiere
The space between real and phantasmatic ecological dread. An ambivalent lament for LA’s vanishing palms. Destruction, death drive, and desire muddled in surface abrasions.

Holographic Will
, dir. Mike Stoltz
2023 | USA | 5.5 | 16mm | Manitoban premiere
A domestic swirl filmed while the building was being sold. How much longer can we afford to stay? A kaleidoscopic portrait of destabilization during the struggle to stay in a rent-controlled apartment amidst an affordable housing crisis. Shot frame-by-frame, moving the camera between every image. Single frames move forward in time, creating after-image combinations without superimpositions. A phased drum machine soundtrack emphasizes the percussive quality of the image. (With gratitude to neighbours and the Los Angeles Tenants Union Northeast Local.)

The Concrete River, 
dir. Nora Sweeney
2023 | USA | 16 | 16mm | Canadian premiere
An exploration of how different communities spend time along the Los Angeles River, a 51 mile waterway largely channelized with concrete that cuts through various neighborhoods of Greater Los Angeles. While people fish, skateboard, paint, play music, have quiet moments to engage with the landscape, or carve out a place to live by the banks, egrets and herons roost in trees growing in the middle of the river. I was drawn to the river as an unregulated public space where people converge with each other and nature, finding respite from the city.

Even God,
 dir. Liz Roberts
2024 | USA | 12 | video | Canadian premiere
All personal archival VHS engaging with a core question of artists in times of chaos: who owns a memory and what is its value? A record of the queer Midwest. Drugs, sex, love, friendship, and a failed Los Angeles movie deal.

dir. Laura Ohio
2023 | Canada/USA | 13 | video | Canadian premiere
NO MOON TONIGHT is an essay film that journeys through a personal archive of erotic thresholds and institutional borders. Ohio examines the possibility of personal transformation within both the dark, unsettling spaces of intimacy and the systems of hyper-visibility constructed by histories of enclosure and white supremacy.


Images from: Sam Drake's Terminal Island, Mike Stoltz's Holographic Will and Liz Roberts' Even God (top), and Nora Sweeney's The Concrete River and Laura Ohio's NO MOON TONIGHT (bottom)

bottom of page