2011, Alma Har'el, USA, 80 min.
- Tue, Feb 7th 6:00pm
"The most original documentary of 2011...an overwhelming experience." — Robert Savage, CineVue
Set on the edge of Southern California's desert debacle the Salton Sea, Bombay Beach is a rusting, carcass-strewn backwater that, as one reviewer put it, "brings to mind the remnants of a vacation resort in a post-apocalyptic world." This unique documentary focuses on three of the inhabitants — a black L.A. teenager seeking refuge from gang violence, a grizzled old-timer selling loose cigarettes, and a seven-year-old boy battling bipolar disorder — but its sensibility is closer to Terrence Malick, Terry Gilliam, and David Lynch than to the traditional documentary. Intimate, at times startlingly revealing portraits of the subjects (director Har'el, no tourist, spent over a year living with them) are expanded by sensuous magic-hour cinematography and choreographed dance routines (music by Beirut and Bob Dylan) that honor their imaginative inner lives. DCP digital. (MR)
FEBRUARY 7: Lecture by award-winning filmmaker and installation artist Melika Bass, Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.