Montoya’s “Water & Power” and Polanski’s “Chinatown” Highlight
“An Evening of Los Angeles Film, Los Angeles Myth”
At 2nd Annual Lummis Day Film Benefit
Saturday, April 21, 7:00 PM at Highland Park Ebell Club
LOS ANGELES– A first-look excerpt from the in-progress film adaptation of the prize winning Chicano noir play, “Water & Power” and a screening of the classic quasi-historical L.A. film, “Chinatown” will be presented at the second annual Lummis Day film benefit event at 7:00 pm, Saturday, April 21 at the historic Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 Avenue 57 in Los Angeles.
Author, filmmaker and Culture Clash co-founder Richard Montoya, who is currently adapting his acclaimed “Water & Power” for the screen, will introduce a rough-cut excerpt from the project and will offer a rare opportunity for the pubic to watch the creative process behind this adaption unfold.
Tickets for the event are $15 and may be purchased via Paypal at www.LummisDay.org, at the door or at local businesses Antigua Coffee House, 3400 North Figueroa Street and Galco’s Old World Grocery, 5702 York Boulevard. All proceeds will benefit the 7th annual Lummis Day: The Festival of Northeast Los Angeles. For more information, call 818-535-9178.
The event is presented by public radio station KPFK 90.7 and the Lummis Day Community Foundation.
“Water & Power,” a modern noir in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Walter Mosely, presents the tale of twin brothers nicknamed “Water” and “Power” who rise from L.A.’s hardscrabble Eastside streets and break through the city’s political and police ranks to become players in a complex, dangerous web of the powerful and corrupt. One brother, a decorated cop, the other a state senator, find themselves together in a seedy motel room on the eastern edge of Sunset Boulevard on a dark and rainy night. Something has gone very wrong. Can Power exist without Water? The story, says author Montoya, is about “Latino demons, ambitions and desires, our very American ideals… about us wanting the same things, the same brass rings as everybody else… Water & Power came from L.A., from the films of L.A., the bridges, the East Side and the West Side, listening to the city talk to me.”
The play, “Water & Power,” premiered in 2006 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and won the Los Angeles Theatre Critics’ Circle and Ovation Awards for Best New Play. The project was subsequently developed at the Sundance Writer Lab in January 2007 Written and directed by Richard Montoya, the film was shot on L.A. locations in late 2011.
“Chinatown,” ranked by American Film Institute a #2 on its list of the best mystery films of all time was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning in the category of Best Original Screenplay for Robert Towne. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Film, Best Director (Roman Polanski), Best Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Screenplay. In 1991, Chinatown was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
The story, set in Los Angeles in 1937, was inspired by the California Water Wars, the historical disputes over land and water rights that had raged in southern California during the 1910s and 1920s, in which William Mulholland acted on behalf of Los Angeles interests to secure water rights in the Owens Valley. Like Montoya’s “Water & Power,” “Chinatown depicts a city of shadows that no amount of sunshine can fully illuminate.
Lummis Day takes its name from Charles Fletcher Lummis, who joined the L.A. Times as the newspaper’s first city editor in 1876. A prolific writer and photographer, Lummis was also one of the city’s first librarians, founded the Southwest Museum and helped introduce the concept of multi-culturalism to Southern California.
The 7th Annual Lummis Day: The Festival of Northeast Los Angeles will be presented on Sunday, June 3 by the Lummis Day Community Foundation and sponsors including the neighborhood councils of Northeast Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information and updates, visit www.LummisDay.org