Category Archives: CONVERSATION


COLCOA—the annual French film festival in Los Angeles—gets off to a dynamic start this week with the local premiere of Ladj Ly’s acclaimed banlieue drama LES MISÉRABLES, which won the Prix du jury at the 2019 Festival de Cannes and will represent France at the Academy Awards in February.

Inspired by the work of Spike Lee, Jacques Audiard, Raymond Depardon, and Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine, Ly’s debut feature tracks the power games and unchecked aggression between the gangs of Clichy-Montfermeil and three of the cops—played by Djebril Zonga, Alexis Manenti, and Damien Bonnard—attached to the district. Jeanne Balibar co-stars as the police chief.

It’s easy to live with each other when you have money. When you don’t, it’s a lot more complicated: you need compromises, arrangements, little deals… It’s a matter of survival. For the cops too, they are in survival mode. [With] LES MISÉRABLES, I’ve tried to be as fair as possible… I was ten years old when I was first stopped and searched by the police, which tells you how well I know cops, how long I’ve lived close by them.Ladj Ly

On opening night, the director will be joined by cast members Zonga and Bonnard for a post-screening conversation. Bonnard will return on Friday for the encore presentation.


Monday, September 23, at 7:30 pm.

Friday, September 27, at 5 pm.

Directors Guild of America

7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Ladj Ly, Les Misérables (2019), stills, from top: 2018 World Cup victory celebration in Paris, which opens the film; Damien Bonnard (left), Alexis Manenti, and Djebril Zonga; banlieue residents; Zonga, in front of wall mural by JR—part of the artist’s 28 Millimètres, Portrait of a Generation series—depicting Ladj Ly holding video camera; confrontation between Manenti and banlieue resident; young actors; film scene. Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the actors, the producers, Wild Bunch, and Amazon Studios.


I’m getting closer to the coast and realize how much I hate arriving at a destination. Transition is always a relief. Destination means death to me. If I could figure out a way to remain forever in transition, in the disconnected and unfamiliar, I could remain in a state of perpetual freedom. David Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives

The passage from Wojnarowicz’s “memoir of disintegration”—inscribed onscreen two-thirds of the way through END OF THE CENTURY, the remarkable debut by writer and director Lucio Castro—suggests a directive for both the film’s characters and its audience as we parse distinctions between imagination and reality, dream reunions and deathless regret.

Marked by a fluidity that sets the present against a non-objective past, the film is a mysterious evocation of a passionate fling and its possible reminiscence—Ocho (Juan Barberini) and Javi (Ramón Pujol), both traveling for work, meet as strangers in Barcelona… but what happens next? Javi’s “Kiss” T-shirt—which functions, in a Lacanian sense, not unlike the small blue box in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive—may offer a clue.

END OF THE CENTURY / FIN DE SIGLO (2019, Argentina)—co-starring Mía Maestro as Sonia—won Best Film at the Buenos Aires Film Festival and Best First Film at Frameline in San Francisco.

Join the director for opening weekend Q & A’s at the Nuart. (See link below for details.)


Now playing.


Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, at 7:30 pm.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

Lucio Castro, Fin de siglo / End of the Century, from top: Juan Barberini (foreground) and Ramón Pujol; Barberini (2); Barberini (left) and Pujol; Barberini (2). Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the actors, the Cinema Guild, and Cinema Tropical.


“Memento stella” is a original phrase I coined to remind me to “remember the stars” and “never forget that we too reside among the stars.”

For several years I’ve travelled the world, screening my work. And throughout this dark, sad world, amid war and terrorism—countless lives lost to natural cataclysms and caused by humans—and there hasn’t been a single day that death hasn’t been in my thoughts.

At the same time, I do realize that it is not only death that binds us. We are also born and raised and living on this little planet, among the stars. I pursue my work with the idea that if each day, we might be conscious of this truth for even a moment, then maybe perhaps somewhere deep in our hearts, we might find shared artistic expressions, keys to a place beyond the religions, politics, borders, languages, and personal desires which tear us apart.
Makino Takashi

Join Makino for the Los Angeles and San Francisco premieres of his new 60-minute feature MEMENTO STELLA.


Thursday, September 19, at 7 pm.

MOCA Grand Avenue

250 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.

Like news reports of wartime Japan, films with stories or a precise structure throw images at an audience with their meanings already intact. Rather than making films with my own imposed structure, my method is to abandon structure altogether or, in other words, layer images that once embodied meaning on top of one another until they become unintelligible. I aim for the resulting composite “image” to be like a nameless animate being with a limitless capacity for meanings so that my films become triggers for an audience to venture into their own imagination. — Makino Takashi*

Thursday, September 26, at 7:30 pm.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts*

701 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Makino Takashi, Memento Stella (2018), DCP (4K video), color, 5.1 sound, 60 minutes, stills. Images courtesy and © the artist. Photograph of Makino Takashi courtesy and © Nippon Connection.


In conjunction with the Munich exhibition MIRIAM CAHN—I AS HUMAN, Guerrilla Girls co-founder Käthe Kollwitz will give a lecture-performance.


Thursday, September 19, at 7 pm.

Haus der Kunst

Prinzregentenstrasse 1, Munich.

Images courtesy and © the Guerrilla Girls.


Printed Matter’s NY ART BOOK FAIR returns to MOMA PS1 this week.

Among the over 350 international exhibitors are Sébastien Girard, Ooga Booga, Sternberg Press, Chose Commune, Dale Zine, Mörel, Candor Arts, The Free Black Women’s Library, Noah Lyon, Phile Magazine, Hauser & Wirth Publishers, and Dancing Foxes Press.


Opening night: Thursday, September 19, from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Preview: Friday, September 20, from 11 am to 1 pm.

Public hours:

Friday, September 20, from 1 pm to 7 pm.

Saturday, September 21, from 11 am to 8 pm.

Sunday, September 22, from 11 am to 7 pm.


22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens.

Printed Matter is indebted to Shannon Michael Cane (1974-2017), Curator of Fairs and Editions, for his significant contributions to the NY and LA Art Book Fairs. His impact on the artists’ book community was immense. He is remembered with admiration and affection.

From top: Moyra Davey, Burn the Diaries, Dancing Foxes Press, co-published with MuMOK, Vienna, and ICA, Philadelphia; Queer Archive Work 2, 2019; Vasantha Yogananthan, Exile, Chose Commune; Nevena Aleksovski, Linger On, Zavod P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E.; Some Writers Can Give You Two Heartbeats, 2019, Black Chalk & Co.; Flint Magazine, issue 1; Variations on Cerulean Phthaloand Ice Blue, 2018, Emma Kohlmann; artwork by Rubanee, The Bettys; Barbara Jones-Hogu, Resist, Relate, Unite, 2018 monograph, Candor Arts; Phile magazine; Sébastien Girard, My Tv Girls, 2017; Sory Sanlé, Studio Volta Photo, 2018, editorial concept, design, and printing by Sébastien Girard, published by Yossi Milo Gallery and Tezeta; Sarah Mattes, Eye, Dale Zine; David Armstrong, Night and Day, Mörel Books; Alix Marie, Bleu, Mörel Books; Many of Them, vol. V, The Future of Fiction, Ooga Booga; Philip Guston, Nixon Drawings, 1971 & 1975, Hauser & Wirth Publishers; artwork by Noah Lyon. Images courtesy and © the artists, authors, photographers, and publishers.