Quick trip to LA last weekend, which included (as it usually does) a visit to LACMA. Picasso-Rivera, check (great and revelatory).
But the unexpected bonus, one of my favorite painters for decades: John McLaughlin (in, surprisingly, his first major posthumous retrospective). To get all art-theory (from the LA Times): “[his] negative space allows consciousness to blossom and manifest itself.”
So, my first attendance at the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) conference and it was a privilege, of course, interacting with my professional colleagues (many of whom, like myself, have 2-3 decades of experience as screenwriters in the entertainment industry — and a good number of whom were fellow UCLA Film School graduates), and quite illuminating touring the state-of-the-art Marion Knott Studios, the home of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (7th best film school in the country, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
People ask me sometimes if I liked living in Los Angeles. The snapshot here contains part of the answer. It’s not just a view, it’s an interior landscape.
Outside the frame, the illuminated silhouette of the downtown skyline pries through the June gloom. In the blackness — unilluminated (except for those times when the fires burn) — the Santa Monicas, Verdugos and San Gabriels ring the basin. The Pacific Ocean lies a mile or so behind camera.
Inside the frame (hard to see, but to the left above the iconic pylon installation, scattered like fireflies), approach lights from a dozen commercial aircraft hone in on the beckoning tarmacs. And yes, that’s the moon to the right, unretouched. (JFK concocted the moon race during one of his frequent trips to L.A.: little known fact.)
I was in western New York recently: Finger Lakes, waterfalls, riesling, sailing. Very nice (in June, not in January).
But this is perennial. Electric and tectonic. A Rorschach.
After a two-week sojourn to L.A. (indulging in awards screenings, caviar at Petrossian’s, schmoozing at Dan Tana’s, New Year’s Day wine-tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, and all-around warmer weather), I’m back in Santa Fe — very excited to be teaching a new slate of undergraduate screenwriting courses and looking forward to shepherding the next outing of the annual Outdoor Vision Fest happening April 26.