John Thornton Caldwell presents 'Land Hacks: Masculine Media Anxiety Disorder (or 55 Film Locations Near Bakersfield)' | Fall 2019
September 27, 2019
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027
Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Sep. 27th, 2019
7:30 pm -
A free screening of the documentary Land Hacks: Masculine Media Anxiety Disorder (or 55 Film Locations Near Bakersfield). John Thornton Caldwell, the director, introduced the film. Following the screening there was a Q&A with Caldwell moderated by Rob King, Film and Media Studies.
This event was free and open to the public but tickets can be reserved in advance.
Land Hacks: Masculine Media Anxiety Disorder (or 55 Film Locations Near Bakersfield) retraces the migration of the Oakies to rural California and visits 55 Hollywood film locations spanning the southeastern corridor of the state. Kern County, in California’s Central Valley, promotes itself as the “most red-state county in blue-state California” and ‘the Texas of California”; the county’s labor wars, land extraction economies, and media stereotypes combine to reveal rural folks and urban elites uneasily attempting to “hack” each other when they “partner” to make films. During production, director John Caldwell suffered three heart attacks, and he uses the attacks as lenses to explore white male victimization in the Trump era. Caldwell isolates a series of 11 masculine anxieties—including muscle, stupidity, white, God and order—that fuel current mediascapes of resentment and disinformation.
John Caldwell, an ethnographer, video artist, and filmmaker, is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. His books include Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television (2008) and Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in American Television (1995), Electronic Media and Technoculture (2000) Caldwell’s other feature documentaries include Rancho California (por favor) (2002) and Freak Street to Goa: Immigrants on the Rajpath (1988).