- Filmmaking team Allison Anders and Kurt Voss have been programming and producing the Don’t Knock the Rock film festival in Los Angeles for over a decade, with Cinefamily providing a steady home base after years of vagabonding around town. Focused (pure rock n’ roll, usually at the margins, with a taste for the overlooked and cultish) and compact (running Friday until Monday), this edition brings together a lineup that looks at lost, sometimes forgotten souls.
Good examples: Paul Kelly’s “Lawrence of Belgravia,” on the tumultuous life of bandleader (Felt, Go-Kart Mozart, Denim) Lawrence (Friday 7:30 p.m.); Richard Lowenstein’s and Lynn-Maree Milburn’s “Autoluminescent,” a portrait of late, legendary Aussie guitarist Rowland S. Howard (Friday 9:40 p.m.); Lily Keber’s “Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker,” on the brilliant jazz and rock pianist (Sunday 4:30 p.m.); Paul Duane’s intense study of volatile musician-turned-criminal-turned-musician Jerry McGill, “Very Extremely Dangerous” (Sunday 7:30 p.m.); plus Anders’ and Voss’ latest feature, completing their trilogy of Los Angeles rock life, “Strutter.”
- There’s the Venice Biennale, and there’s the Venice Beach Biennial, which the perennially scrappy Echo Park Film Center honors with an evening of Highlights (curated by Kate Brown and Monique van Genderen) on Saturday at 8 p.m. With films (including painting-on-film and a science fiction musical) by Dave Tucker, Haruko Tanaka, Laura Owens, Seema Kapur and Isabell Spengler, it may not be a surprise that the Film Center bills it as “an epic, marathon night of goodness.”
- If that’s not enough for one weekend, the Film Center continues its Filmmobile Summer Screening Series (previous films have included Preston Sturges’ “Sullivan’s Travels” and Robert Aldrich’s “Kiss Me Deadly”) on Friday with writer-director Rupert Hughes’ 1923 Hollywood comedy-drama “Souls for Sale.” The cinematically site-specific location of the mobile screening (Friday 8 p.m.) is revealed 24 hours ahead of time by phone: 213-484-8846.
Robert Koehler, a film critic for Film Comment, Cinema Scope and Cineaste, blogs about movies on arts·meme.