Purple Television presents a homage to Downtown L.A., featuring the newly reopened United Artists Theatre and the L.A. Dance Project, cofounded by Benjamin Millepied and which recently took up residency there. Part I of the film documents Downtown L.A. where it's roots lay firmly in the Golden Age of the 1920's, an area where the theatre and hotel industry once thrived. Director Samantha Casolari captures the revived United Artists Theatre gothic architecture, inspired by the Segovia cathedrals in Spain, in a dreamy, visionary and otherworldly way. The soundtrack of Part I features a cylinder recording of "Love Boat" played by Earl Burtnett and his Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orchestra (the Biltmore was one of the biggest and fancier hotels in Downtown L.A. during the 1920-30's). Part II poetically captures the 3 performances of the L.A. Dance project which inaugurated the theatre on the 20th of February: "Reflections" choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, "Pheripheral Stream" choreographed by Hiroki Umeda, and "Murder Ballads" choreographed by Justin Peck. The goal of Millepied's project is to establish a solid dance tradition working on multilevel media platforms in L.A. To accompany this segment is the fantastic soundtrack produced by Bryce Dessner of The National for the "Murder Ballads." To coincide with the choreography and music are the featured visual concepts by artists Barbara Kruger and Sterling Ruby. The opening and ending footage is 35mm footage from street scenes in Downtown Los Angeles shot in 1946, filmed by Columbia for the Rita Hayworth vehicle "Down to Earth". You can now see L.A. Dance Project perform at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris until March 9th, where after it will tour France and China. more info
Directed, shot and edited - Samantha Casolari
Music - Love Boat by Earl Burtnett and his Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orchestra
Bryce Dessner by "Murder Ballads"
Downtown Los Angeles 1946 street scene courtesy of the Internet Archive's 35mm stock footage collection.
Downtown Los Angeles was filmed by Columbia for the Rita Hayworth vehicle "Down to Earth"