Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Rabe on LAPD parking garage at night, Moby, Tex Avery, Surrealist Film Fest, and editing.

Julian, George, and I attended the International Surrealist Film Festival Sunday night.

We saw some good films – including Jerzy Rose’s “All Ghost Women Play The Theremin,” which took first prize – and an old Tex Avery cartoon that blew all other films out of the water for sheer audacity and purity of surreal form.

And some bad ones.

I won’t single any out, but in general: People, please edit. Cut. Show it to somebody who will honestly tell you when they’re bored. Otherwise, you’re going to wind up with a film that isn’t as good as it could be. You might think it’s art and you can go on as long as you like with a scene, and you’re right. You can. But trust me, your friends who tell you they love love love your film are holding back. And I’m not just saying this because my film, “The Vigil,” is only a minute and a half. As my news director at WHYY, Neil Tickner, told me years ago, “Always leave your audience hungry for more.” It may have been the best advice I’ve ever received. (Or at least the best advice I've followed.)

The festival organizer, Paul Yates, went to school with Moby, who appears with Yates in Paul’s (not too long) film, "Geranium." “That was back when I had hair,” the now mostly bald Moby told me. I met him at the Downtown Independent Theatre box office, where he BOUGHT HIS OWN TICKET ($10), not knowing he was on the list. “It’s for a good cause,” he said. I told him I work for KPCC and thanked him for playing Not My Job on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” a couple years ago.

The theatre has a very cool roof patio – with bar – and a view of a building I hadn’t seen before:


(Credit: John Rabe)

This is the parking structure for the new LAPD headquarters. Yes, it’s a big concrete structure, and the public isn’t allowed to park there, but it’s a lot better, for instance, than any of the buildings on The LA Downtown News’ bottom-ten list of LA eyesores.

Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.

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