Skip to main content

Xcèntric 2023-2024

There is Something on Your Mind

Restored Los Angeles Artists’ Films from the Academy Film Archive


On the occasion of the seminar on film archives, filmmaker, curator, and film preservationist Mark Toscano presents a program of experimental films restored at the Academy Film Archive with the city of Los Angeles as the protagonist.

"As a film preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, I’ve been specializing in the conservation, restoration, and curation of experimental film for more than twenty years.  It’s such an honor and pleasure to do this work, but I particularly love to curate programs, because sharing these films with interested and engaged audiences is like falling in love with them over and over again for me.  It’s my first time screening films in Barcelona in person, so I wanted to bring a personal selection of some of my favorite 16mm American experimental films I've worked on, with a special emphasis on Los Angeles-centric films that may be somewhat lesser known, but which will likely be exciting discoveries for many viewers.

There have been a lot of pop philosophical jokes about Los Angeles not being a place, but rather a state of mind, and despite the cliché, there is some truth to this sentiment.  It’s also an incredibly geographically diverse place, so constructing a single holistic identity for it as a comprehensible space seems futile.  Essentially, Los Angeles is really hard to define and summarize, but I dearly love it, so I thought it would be interesting to share a program that contains work by artists who are perhaps inspired by their time in Los Angeles to explore different subjective spaces/states of mind.

The films in this program were all made by artists who live (or at one point lived) in Los Angeles, and represent a wildly diverse array of audiovisual explorations of inner and outer space.  Over 88 minutes, we’ll experience animation, live action, documentary, poetry, optical transformations, landscape studies, psychedelic sci-fi, musical palm trees, infrared photography, roadkill, and a Petula Clark song that will almost certainly be stuck in your head for a long time after the show is over."

Mark Toscano


Los ojos, Gary Beydler, 1975, no sound, 2’; The Gypsy Cried, Chris Langdon, 1973, 3’; Olivia’s Place, Thom Andersen, 1966-74, 6’; Hula, Amy Halpern, 2022, 6’; Our Lady of the Angels Part 1: Entrance Entrance, Chris Regan, 1976, 15’; A Film for Log Hill Dogs, Diana and David Wilson, 1974, sense so, 2’; The Log Hill Story, Diana Wilson, 1976, no sound, 2’; Kristallnacht, Chick Strand, 1979, 7’; Now That the Buffalo’s Gone, Burton C. Gershfield, 1967, 6’; Aether, Daina Krumins, 1972, 5’; Twelve, Beth Block, 1977, 9’; Throbs, Fred Worden, 1972, 7’; Omega, Donald Fox, 1970, 13’; Animato, Mike Jittlov, 1977, 3’.


Program and notes by Mark Toscano.  All films will screen in restored 16mm prints from the Academy Film Archive with thanks to the filmmakers.  Kristallnacht was restored by the Academy Film Archive and the Pacific Film Archive with support from the National FIlm Preservation Foundation.

You might also be interested in