Buenos Dias
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Spanish with Subtitles

TRT: 27.00 min

Super 16mm

USA 2008


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CalArts School of Film / Video Showcase 2008, May 2008, REDCAT Los Angeles, CA, USA (North America Premiere)





Buenos Dias is a 27-minute documentary, a film portrait of a part of Korea Town in Los Angeles, CA with a predominantly Latino population. When I lived there from 2006 until 2009 I was struck by the different rhythms this area had. Every day on my way home I turned from Vermont Ave. onto 3rd street going West and it’s like stepping into a different city, a different country. Here the glamour of the Hollywood film industry seems to be further away than anything else.


Buenos Dias is a promotion for small, independent businesses. It is about the people, their work and their workspace. The neighborhood functions as a microcosm in the way that the stores here serve the people and provide them with comparably inexpensive goods. In that sense, this dependency, or even symbiosis with each other, is what keeps this area alive and makes it unique.


The film is structured as a kind of walk through the neighborhood. Among others we visit a small Indio grocery store, a street newsstand run by the charming Latina Betty, an Armenian tailor and a longer sequence features the busy local Continental Bakery, which poses as the climax of the film. It is an observational piece that occasionally features off-screen monologue of people giving brief insights into their lives.


Among other things the initial inspiration for this film came from my photographical work. I felt an urge to photograph the area but I wanted to make it a cinematic experience. This approach manifests itself in long, static shots and the use of filmed portraits of the owners, the employees, the customers of the businesses and some of the residents of the neighborhood. The portraits structure the film, they give a “voice” to the people and a face to the manual labor that is shown.


The film is shot on Super 16mm Kodak Vision2 color negative film with a Bolex camera; sound was recorded separately on the particular locations. With exclusively non-sync sound the intention was to create an independent, more appropriate counterpart to support the images. The camera has the function to document and portrait the area as it is. A more expressive sound, on the other hand, creates a space that better translates the lively street and work life. Sound has the ultimate power to actually evoke similar emotions to the audience.


– Moritz Rechenberg




Moritz Rechenberg



Moritz Rechenberg



Lisa Schoenberg



Craig Smith




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