The 11th annual DTLA Film Festival took place Oct. 23-27. According to the Festival’s website: “Our programming reflects downtown L.A.’s vibrant new urbanism, the unique ethnic and cultural diversity of its neighborhoods, its burgeoning independent film community, its singular blend of late 19th and 20th century architecture, and the seminal role it played in the early days of American cinema (epitomized by the world’s largest group of vintage movie palaces located in the Broadway Theater District).”

DTLAFF screened features, shorts, documentaries etc., at two primary locations: Regal L.A. LIVE1000 West Olympic Blvd., L.A., CA 90015 while the Dome Series is at the Wisdome Immersive Art Park in DTLA’s Arts District, 1147 Palmetto St., L.A. or the Vortex Dome Theater at L.A. Center Studios.Panels, parties, etc., were presented at various Downtown L.A. locations. For info on the DTLA Film Festival see:


The Head of Her Comic Class: Doc Mocks Trump

When the Founders framed the First Amendment and Sigmund Freud wrote “humor is rebellious,” they must have had individuals like Kathy Griffin in mind. And the court jester of the Resistance is still at it. A day before Trump was booed and heckled at a World Series game I attended a screening of Kathy Griffin, A Hell of a Storyat the Downtown LA Film Festival with the irrepressible Trump mocker there in person.

Griffin’s hilarious documentary tells the saga of how her photo shoot with what looked like Trump's bloody severed head ("It was just a mask and ketchup!" she keeps trying to explain to stoopid Trumpistas who don’t seem to understand that his actual head couldn’t just be sewn back onto his neck) landed her on the no-fly list, under FBI surveillance, losing most of her gigs from CNN to live shows, etc. Not only does the offensive Trump have no sense of humor but the serial insulter-in-chief is the ultimate poster boy for people who can-dish-it-out-but-can’t-take-it.

The doc also chronicles Griffin’s courageous, cunning campaign to rehabilitate her career and herself. She did the latter by launching an international stand-up tour in venues such as the Sydney Opera House in "countries that hate Trump" (aka “Planet Earth”). Much of her up to three hour-long act is in the concert film portion of this 106 minute “docu-comedy”, which is now available for download at venues such as Amazon Prime and You Tube.

After the screening at Regal L.A. LIVE Griffin did an in-person Q&A with actress/comic Aubrey Plaza (of the Parks and Recreation TV sitcom) and took audience questions. Asked “what stays with her” from her ordeal of being surveilled, interrogated, repeatedly detained at airports with her passport confiscated, etc., Griffin replied: “The feeling of being hunted.” Of course the cowardly Trump had her singled out for harassment by his secret police and international flunkies as a lesson for other would-be dissenters.

Nevertheless, she persisted - and the redheaded comic remains undaunted. To the question what she’d do if she encountered Trump (whom Griffin had known for years on the celebrity circuit and describes as being preternaturally stupid), without missing a beat the defiant comedian joked she’d tell him to:

“Eat out my asshole while I’m shitting. I’d get diarrhea first and shit in his mouth. I’d do it for free because I’m a patriot.”

Talk about “dump Trump!” Kathy Griffin epitomizes the trend of comedy mobilized to resist Trump and is a helluva gal.

For more info see:    

L.A.-based film historian/criticEd Rampell is co-author/author of four movie film history books, including “The Hawaii Movie and Television Book” (see: