Beautiful Losers and other Swerve Appeal

Despite the good people watching, cultural festivals usually leave me flat. Either the brazen corporate message gets in the way of the art or the execution is too unimaginative. But this weekend's Swerve Fest has us pining for next year's installment. Yes, the behemoth gassing festival host Fuel TV is none other than Fox. But the folks at the digital station know the board culture inside and out, and they offered a program of music and visual arts with an underlying green theme that made for a gorgeous afternoon. Granted, the crisp view of the Hollywood Hills and all of the pine trees atop Barnsdale Art Park just contributed to the wonderful vibes. There were a group of mad trash bins decorated by artists; new music sampling from cd players rigged to trees, and a station to sand and color your own skateboard plank.

But what really sealed it for my sister Blanca and I was the viewing of "Beautiful Losers," the documentary on the recent international museum show of the same name which came out of the groundbreaking Alleged Gallery in New York during the '90s. Mike Mills, Harmony Korine, Geoff McFetridge and Thomas Campbell are among the pioneers of this happenstance happening that became a kind of accidental art movement. The doc, which was five years in the making and premiered Saturday afternoon at Swerve, captures the headaches, heartaches and risks and rewards of these misfits. And it sent everyone out of the theater primed to create.

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