Monday, September 28, 2009


It's late September and that means the change of season is making itself known. Autumn always seems to be so emotionally weighted and I dislike it for that reason. The weather outside was rather cloudy after practice so Peter and I went to see a movie called The Exiles at Anthology Film Archive.
Limitedly released in 1961. The film follows a cast of Native Americans who were the first generation to leave their reservations and seek out a modern life in LA. Shot mostly in downtown, the movie documents an aspect of LA I've only read about in the stories of John Fante. The story follows a group through one day and night, seemingly a reenactment of an average day. In addition to that, there is real testimonials to their experience of moving off of the reservation and into the city used as narration. Great shots of the marquees downtown and Angel's Flight (no longer in existence).
The only movie I've ever seen that is comparable to this would be On The Bowery. Filmed in a similar way using real people and candid cameras in real places. On The Bowery documents the life of day laborers living to drink and drinking to live.
I never actually understood that alcoholism is a serious problem until I saw this movie. It was like the crack epidemic of it's day. The scenes are littered with faces contorted by drinking which, is another thing both films have in common. I saw this at Anthology as well. Fascinating shots of down town in the early 60's. Including landmarks like The Bowery Mission and the train over Bowery (also no longer in existence).

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