Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire
Sunday, August 4 – 5:45 PM
TCL Chinese 6 Theatres
CARLOS ALMARAZ WAS ONE OF LOS ANGELES’ LEADING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS WHEN HE MET HIS UNTIMELY DEATH TO AIDS IN 1989. BORN IN MEXICO CITY HE MOVED TO CHICAGO THEN LOS ANGELES AS A YOUNG BOY WHERE HOLLYWOOD AND WALT DISNEY SPARKED THE WONDER, THE QUALITY OF LIGHT AND COLOR PALLET THAT WOULD LATER DEFINE HIS ARTISTIC VISION.
THIS FILM OFFERS AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF A PRECOCIOUS EAST LOS ANGELES YOUTH, STRUGGLING NEW YORK ARTIST, SPIRITUAL SEEKER, INTELLECTUAL, CULTURAL WORKER, ACTIVIST, CHARISMATIC LEADER OF THE CHICANO ART MOVEMENT, COMRADE TO CESAR CHAVEZ AND THE UNITED FARM WORKERS UNION AND ARTIST PURSUING HIS DREAMS. WE WILL ALSO SHINE A LIGHT UPON THE INSIDIOUS DIMENSIONS OF THE AIDS EPIDEMIC DURING THE 80’S.
WITH FULL ACCESS TO THE ALMARAZ ESTATE, MUCH OF THE NARRATIVE IS TOLD THROUGH ALMARAZ’ OWN VOICE UTILIZING VINTAGE FOOTAGE, POETRY, INTERVIEWS AND JOURNAL READINGS BY ICONIC VOICES LIKE ZACK DE LA ROCHA (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) AND EDWARD JAMES OLMOS. ARTIST LOUIE PEREZ (LOS LOBOS) COMPOSES THE MUSIC
Includes a post screening Q&A with the director(s)
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR(S)
Elsa Flores Almaraz – (DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) is a Los Angeles based multi media fine artist. Elsa studied at Art Center College of Design and is a painter, fine art photographer, public artist, musician and filmmaker. Elsa has exhibited her works internationally and most recently has been committed to producing and co-directing a documentary film on her late husband, the Los Angeles based artist Carlos Almaraz. The two met as activists and cultural workers in the 70’s during the cultural renaissance of the Chicano Art movement. Both artists evolved into mainstream gallery artists and shared a studio in downtown Los Angeles. After a 7 year friendship they married and had a daughter Maya. Carlos died of AIDS in 1989 and Elsa has continued her commitment to his legacy by managing his estate and promoting and nurturing his continued career while creating her own art daily. Elsa lives part-time on the island of Kauai and keeps a studio in LA.
RICHARD MONTOYA – (WRITER/DIRECTOR) is a triple threat: writer, director, actor for theater, television and now film. Sundance Alumni of both the Writers and Directors labs of the prodigious institution where Water & Power was developed, Montoya is an established American playwright of several award- winning plays including commissioned works for Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was the Executive Producer, co-creator and star of the FOX sketch show Culture Clash and most recently was a staff writer of the gritty hit “”Southland.”A two time Annenberg Fellow, Montoya co-founded Culture Clash in 1984 in San Francisco’s historic Mission District and is the son of one of the influential Chicano poets and artists, Jose Montoya.