Co-presented by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library as part of the month-long citywide initiative, What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?
A groundbreaking, immersive portrait of the contemporary commercial fishing industry, Leviathan was filmed off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts—at one time the whaling capital of the world as well as Melville’s inspiration for Moby Dick. Today, New Bedford is the country’s largest fishing port with over 500 ships sailing from its harbor every month.
Leviathan follows one such vessel, a hulking groundfish trawler, into the surrounding murky black waters on a weeks-long fishing expedition. But instead of romanticizing the labor or partaking in the longstanding tradition of turning fisherfolk into images, filmmakers Lucien Castiang-Taylor (Sweetgrass) and Verena Paravel (Foreign Parts) present a vivid, almost-kaleidoscopic representation of the work, the sea, the machinery and the players, both human and marine.
Employing an arsenal of cameras that passed freely from film crew to ship crew; that swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views, the film that emerges is unlike anything that has been seen before. Entirely dialogue-free, but mesmerizing and gripping throughout, it is a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors. (2013, Dirs. L. Castaing-Taylor, V. Paravel, 87 min.)
Filmmaker Lucien Castaing-Taylor received the 2013 Alpert Award in the Arts: http://alpertawards.org/artist/2013/lucien-castaing-taylor.
Trailer for Leviathan
All Hammer public programs are free and made possible by a major gift from the Dream Fund at UCLA.
Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, The Brotman Foundation of California, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, and all Hammer members.