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Although the tradition of the ‘city symphony’ film is generally tied to silent movies of the 1920’s, filmmakers never really stopped making them or creatively re-imagining the form. As a result, we have countless ways to think about movies as ‘ode’ to a city, explorations of a city as a character.

So we take closer look at film’s cinematic odes to Los Angeles, from silent films of the past to musicals of the present to visions of the future (both bright and bleak). LA’s rhythms also emerge through the rock doc chronicles of its music history and in such a fresh way through Carlos Lopez Estrada’s fabulous upcoming film and accompanying book, Summertime, a formally free-styling ode to every corner of Los Angeles through the vibrant, evocative spoken-word poetry of its young cast.

Lost & Found at the Movies is generously supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

John Nein

John Nein is a Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and deals primarily with U.S. and international feature films. He also plans the festival’s panels and runs the Institute’s film preservation initiative. John grew up in Europe and the U.S., studied history at Carleton College, and earned his MFA from UCLA’s Film Directing program, where he made several award-winning shorts and lobbied tirelessly for better coffee in the vending machines.


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