L.A. JOURNAL explores the personality of a restless city which
has never settled, which remains undefinable. The only permanent
thing about Los Angeles is that it is forever changing. The character
of L.A. is not something which can be stuffed and displayed like
a big game trophy. The most we can do is snap a picture as it whizzes
past in a blur of motion, always leaving us to wonder what strange
creature almost trampled us, what type of things it eats, what incredible
landscapes it roams, and what fantastic rituals it practices.
L.A. JOURNAL captures the frenetic multilayered buzz of L.A. using
a hybrid form of photography, a kind of "pixilated photojournalism"
which was not possible before laserdisc. It also includes thousands
of archival photographs of Los Angeles history and a selection of
early Los Angeles music to serve as backgrounds that expose the
foundation of the city and the roots of its identity. Spoken word
pieces by Angelenos lend a tangible sense of character to the people
who live here, and express how they feel about it. Finally, an experimental,
computer-driven score accents the animated photodocument, eliciting
L.A.'s restless push towards an unknown future.
Perhaps the closest we can come to comprehending Los Angeles is
to participate in its wild and chaotic dance; to scatter madly for
the falling coins, and count our takings afterwards. In order to
experience the full gestalt of L.A., we need to be not in two, but
a thousand places at once. To that end, L.A. JOURNAL is a multifaceted
glimpse of Los Angeles, a dense slice of the city on laserdisc for
a frame-by-frame analysis, and an important document of a metropolis-in-motion.
Mark C. Brems
Original Audio Score
UCLA Department of Special Collections, Los Angeles Times History
Center, Huntington Library, Bruce Henstell, Bill Reagh, Michael
Dare, Patrick Media Group
Archival Photo Curator
Julia Jones with Rebekah Behrendt
Mark C. Brems