Sequenzgespräch | IKKM, Seminarraum (EG), Cranachstr. 47, 99423 Weimar
28. Juni | 19:00 | IKKM Sequenzgespräch *Spezial*: John Caldwell (Los Angeles, CA)
»Media Production and/as Media Studies: Uneasy Neighbors?«
This session will examine issues related to the long-standing split between »theory« and »production« as modes of inquiry, and to more recent attempts to work productively through those distinctions (in the form of »practice-based PhDs,« »essay films,« etc.). Caldwell will show 45 minutes of clips from two of the feature-length documentaries he has directed. The first, from »Rancho California« (about indigenous Oaxaca migrant workers that comprise part of »suburban plantation culture« in contemporary Southern California, a 60min. film that premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2002); the second, rough-cut clips from his current »work-in-progress,« a film entitled: »Lost Highway: Boron to Buttonwillow« (organized as a media archaeology, but which functions as a sort of »cultural studies road movie«). The 90 minute session will include 5-10 minutes of introductory remarks, with 30-40 minutes of discussion following the screened material. A more complete description of the 2nd film is included below.
»Lost Highway: Boron to Buttonwilow«
The mediated research in this feature documentary examines the complex ways that outsiders have used images, films, and narratives to map and culturally »dislocate« a 112-mile stretch of a single rural highway in California. Retracing the last leg of the 1930s Oakie migrations, Caldwell re-photographs FSA photographer sites and excavates locations from Hollywood’s Grapes of Wrath. Caldwell’s documentary-in-progress details how Daryl Zanuck, John Ford, Robert Flaherty, Ronald Reagan, transnational Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, and Nazi German representations of this remote highway have cultivated a »collective rural imaginary.« Something that still haunts the three remote locations featured as case studies here: the desert mining town of Boron, the migrant farm community of Weedpatch, and slowly-dying Buttonwillow, California.