1. See Richard Brody, “The Best Movies of 2017,” The New Yorker, December 8 2017, accessed December 11 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/2017-in-review/the-best-movies-of-2017. [return to page 1]
2. Yannis Tzioumakis, Hollywood’s Indies: Classics Divisions, Specialty Labels and the American Film Market (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), 194. See also Chuck Tryon, Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009), 116-119.
3. David Church, “‘Propane is the Pussies’: Bellflower’s bromance of retro technology and hip masculinity,” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 55 (Fall 2013), accessed December 11 2017, https://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc55.2013/ChurchBellflower/.
4. Aymar Jean Christian, “Joe Swanberg, Intimacy, and the Digital Aesthetic,” Cinema Journal, 50, no. 4 (Summer 2011): 135.
5. Maria San Filippo, “A Cinema of Recession: Micro-Budgeting, Micro-Drama, and the ‘Mumblecore’ Movement,” Cineaction, 85 (2011), accessed July 27 2015, http://www.cineaction.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/issue85sample1.pdf.
6. Church, “‘Propane is the Pussies.’”
7. Anna Backman Rogers, American Independent Cinema: Rites of Passage and the Crisis Image (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), 122.
8. See Jonathan Beller, The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle (Lebanon, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2006).
9. For more on the concept of non-cinema, including in relation to Giuseppe Andrews, see William Brown, “Non-Cinema: Digital, Ethics, Multitude,” Film-Philosophy 20, no. 1 (2016): 104-130.
10. Mike Ott (n.d.) “Analog Days (2006) Plot Summary,” Internet Movie Database, accessed August 10 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0801819/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl.
11. See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, translated by Dana Polan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986).
12. The phrase “pushing carts” cannot help but recall—even if inadvertently—Ramin Bahrani’s seering critique of immigrant labor in Man Push Cart (2005). In some senses, Bahrani is a filmmaker with whom Ott has a lot in common, not least their concern for labor. [return to page 2]
13. Vilém Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography (Göttingen: European Photography, 1984), 10.
14. Mike Hale, “Young Tourists Marooned in a California Town,” The New York Times, August 11 2011, accessed August 10 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/movies/littlerock-directed-by-mike-ott-review.html?_r=0.
15. The casting of Dillon in this small role as a seeming homosexual runs counter to his masculine image as Brody in LiTTLEROCK. Perhaps Ott is pointing gently towards the unstable sexuality of even the most “masculine” characters in his cinematic universe. [return to page 3]
16. For a classic study of chicano cinema, see Chon A. Noriega, Chicanos and Film: Essays on Chicano Representation and Resistance (New York: Garland, 1992).
17. I first became aware of Mike Ott’s films at the 2011 CPH PIX Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, where there was a retrospective of Ott’s first three films (Analog Days, Kid Icarus and LiTTLEROCK). Also showing at that festival was Afterimages (2010), a micro-budget film directed by William Brown—also the author of the essay on non-cinema referenced above. Afterimages, which tells the story of a Guatemalan baker living in Scotland (Dennis Chua) and who develops an uneasy relationship with a much younger woman (Flossie Topping), also features Jeanette’s “¿Por qué te vas?” at various points on the soundtrack. Perhaps Lake Los Angeles is channelling both Saura’s and Brown’s films as Ott explores how Cecilia and Francisco both exist outside of cinema, or “after images.” Although this insight is somewhat speculative, it is supported by the fact that both filmmakers were present at the festival and thus quite possibly met. [return to page 4]
18. The inclusion of Burdge in Actor Martinez perhaps makes the film the most “mumblecore” of Ott’s work, in that Burdge is associated with the movement via parts in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (2012) and Joe Swanberg’s All the Light in the Sky (2012) and Digging for Fire (2015).
19. See Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (London: Continuum, 2005).