LA, Echo Park Film Center, Tom of Finland

Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles
Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles

Echo Park Film Center, 08/05/14

Echo Park Film Center is jewel of a place, the walls are lined with film canisters, DVDs and information about films and processing films. When I arrive the education coordinator for Echo Park is hand processing some film in readiness for a youth session on film processing. I like this place, it feels rare and rather magical.

Rick Bahto (or Dicky), Echo Park’s curator and programmer, is sparkling with energy and enthusiasm for film, I feel immediately inspired on meeting him. We do a test run of the films and decide to go get a drink together to talk about LA and artists here.

Rick talks to me about some of the other spaces that are receptive to experimental film in LA, these include: Redcat (an interdisciplinary arts centre, with exhibitions, screenings and performances), LA Filmforum (the longest running not-for-profit organisation screening experimental and independent films in Southern California) and Human Resources (a mixed arts space, with screening programmes). Rick also suggests, for inspiration for artists, the New Works Salons, which he curates, and which showcases new work for discussion.

Echo Park’s audience feeds back positively on the films, several questions regarding Naheed Raza’s Silk – a visceral, affective film, which explores the environment of spiders being raised for silk harvesting and the process used to do this – arise. It’s an appreciative audience, and I would really like to work with Echo Park again on other programmes or future work. Rick’s obvious passion and knowledge of artists and the sector is really valuable, and it would be good to work with someone who is so committed to film and video.

After the screening we go to the Tom of Finland House for Tom of Finland’s birthday party, organised by my friend Stuart Sandford who is artist in residence there. My final evening in LA, and I am sad to leave.

Now for a flight to the east coast, and New York.