As the Library Foundation kicks-off its celebration of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Lost and Found at the Movies will explore the breadth and diversity of Latino film culture in Los Angeles. On Friday, September 15, special guest Edward James Olmos will take the stage to share stories from his own life of growing up in L.A. and how his work as an actor and director was deeply embedded in the emergence of a new Latino cinema—one of rich, complex characters and narratives, including films like Zoot Suit, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, Stand and Deliver, and American Me.
As Lost and Found always likes to dig up untold stories of cinema history, this program will take a look at the fascinating history of Spanish language films created by the Hollywood studios in the early 1930s as well as films imported from Mexico and other Latin American countries. These films make up an underappreciated aspect of film culture that fostered a vibrant, Latin cinema community which thrived for decades in Los Angeles, sustaining a number of first-run Spanish-language movie theaters downtown, instigating the Hollywood studio system during the early days of talkies, and producing Spanish language products for both the burgeoning domestic market and international export, particularly Latin America. We’ll take a closer look at one of these most famous surviving films: the Spanish version of Universal’s 1931 Dracula—Drácula.
There are hundreds of other films, each with their distinctive qualities that feature actors who went on to have remarkable careers like José Bohr, Carlos Gardel, Dolores del Río, Antonio Moreno, Lupita Tovar, and more. The actors who starred in these films were a core part of the Spanish-language film culture of downtown Los Angeles that thrived for several decades from the 1920s to well into the 1960s. We’ll discuss these along with film archivist Alejandra Espasande-Bouza from the Academy Film Archive. L.A. audiences will be able to view many of these films this fall as part of PST through programming at the Academy as well as at UCLA.
Learn more about this upcoming program and make your free reservation for Lost and Found.