Literary L.A. - A Feature Documentary
Literary L.A. - A Feature Documentary
Literary LA is a feature documentary on the literary history and culture of Los Angeles.
Literary LA is a feature documentary on the literary history and culture of Los Angeles. Read more
About this project
Literary LA is the first feature-length documentary to attempt to capture the city’s literary soul and history in all of its complexity, from its beginnings to the present day.
To do so, we have interviewed a wide range of LA literary notables, from such acclaimed novelists, short story writers, and poets as Michael Tolkin (The Player), Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight), Juan Felipe Herrera (Poet Laureate of California), Janet Fitch (White Oleander), Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake), Steve Erickson (Days Between Stations), Laila Lalami (Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits), Kem Nunn (Tapping the Source, John from Cincinnati), Dan Fante (Point Doom), Hector Tobar (Barbarian Nurseries), Judith Freeman (The Long Embrace), Matthew Specktor (American Dream Machine), Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers), Denise Hamilton (Damage Control), and Walter Mosley (Devil in a Blue Dress), to critics and historians like Lionel Rolfe (Literary LA), Richard Schickel (Time), David Ulin (Writing Los Angeles), Tom Lutz (Los Angeles Review of Books), David Kipen (Libros Schmibros), Scott Timberg (The Misread City), Carolyn Kellogg (Jacket Copy) Leo Braudy (The Hollywood Sign), Richard Schave (LA Visionaries Association), and Mike Davis (City of Quartz). We will also interview Wanda Coleman, Nina Revoyr, Gar Anthony Haywood, John Rechy, Chris Rice, Aimee Liu, Kate Gale, and others.
We have captured many of the various literary perspectives about this most diverse and in many ways still undefinable American city. Those who are native to the city, those who have come here from elsewhere in the country, and those who have immigrated from elsewhere in the world, who bring an even fresher perspective and who offer a window into this constantly shifting, ethnically diverse city. We cover a wide range of genres, including crime fiction (Raymond Chandler through Steph Cha), Hollywood fiction (Nathanael West through Bruce Wagner), street realism (John Fante, Charles Bukowski) and, of course, the ever-present literature of the LA Apocalypse (too much to mention, unless you just say “all of it”).
Los Angeles has a central place in the popular imagination, and is in many ways deeply misunderstood. While looking at a very specific subject – the experience of the working writer, past and present, in Los Angeles – Literary LA hopes to reveal what this very unusual, yet very representative city has to say about all of us.
We have assembled dozens of hours of interviews recorded with high quality equipment. We now are trying to raise funds to shoot B-roll footage, conduct further interviews, edit and score the film, and purchase rights to the archival footage and photographs so necessary to telling a story that deals with LA literature from the early, “booster” period through the present day.
Your contributions will help us complete a passion project that has been three years in the making and help us celebrate and preserve for posterity the contributions of Los Angeles writing to the literary canon. And, as a thank you, we’re offering backers of Literary LA some excellent and exclusive rewards.
Risks and challenges
Literary L.A. is a passion project we hope you can help us share with the world. Although we have conducted interviews with over 25 critics and writers, the story of literature in Los Angeles, with its myriad points of view, is as complex as the city itself. One of the biggest challenges moving forward will be how to actually define the history of literature in L.A. We plan to tackle this task with a linear, historical approach and also by looking at Los Angeles in terms of era and genre.
We feel the team assembled, along with the diverse perspectives of our participants, will be able to meet this challenge and deliver an entertaining look at the literature of this city.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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