This stunning documentary explores the brief, rich, and contradictory life of the artist Carlos Almaraz: a Chicano activist, sexual outlaw, and visionary painter whose images of his longtime home, Los Angeles, are as iconic as those of David Hockney and Edward Ruscha. Almaraz was just 48 when he died of complications of AIDS, but he packed many lifetimes of accomplishments into those intense years. In the 1960s, Almaraz lost himself in New York, exploring the outer limits of his homoerotic desires and nearly drinking himself to death. After returning to L.A. in the 1970s, he reinvented himself as an activist Chicano artist, working alongside Cesar Chavez and joining the heralded artist collective Los Four. In his final transformation, as a married man and father, Almaraz turned to more personal, visionary art, his canvases exploding with color and a near mystical energy. Playing With Fire is an intimate portrait that pays tribute to Almaraz’s genius without glossing over his demons and contradictions.
In competition for the Schlesinger Documentary Award.
|Running Time:||85 minutes|
|Premiere Status:||World Premiere|
|Director:||Elsa Flores Almaraz, Richard Montoya|
|Principal Cast:||Edward Olmos, Cheech Marin, Shepard Fairey|
|Primary Company:||Bunny Boy Productions LLC.|
|Cinematographers:||Angelo Rosati Costa|
guests in attendance
Directors Elsa Flores Almaraz and Richard Montoya, Special Guests Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin and Producers Max Velez and Max Frauchiger are expected to attend the screening on the 4th. Directors will also be present at the screening on the 6th.