HOME The Film Air Dates Merchandise Special Features Resources Feedback
Los Angeles Now is told from a variety of people with many different ideas, thoughts, and viewpoints.  These people make up the voices of Los Angeles today and contribute to the evolution of the city.
Renán Almendárez Coello
Mark Bradford
Eli Broad
Wanda Coleman
Mike Davis
Harry Gamboa Jr
Dr. Fernando Guerra
Jessica Hall-Valdés
Salma Hayek

Pico Iyer
Phil Jackson
Norman Klein
Joel Kotkin
Helie Lee
Cardinal Roger Mahony
Gerald Matchin
William Alexander McClung

Yxta Maya Murray
Luis Orellana
Richard Rodriguez
Yuval Rotem
Kevin Starr
Uptown 3000
Michael Ventura
D.J. Waldie

Offscreen Interviews (in order of appearance)
Marian Botey

Dov Charney

Majid Naficy

Renán Almendárez Coello, Radio PersonalityRenán Almendárez Coello, RADIO PERSONALITY.
The number one radio personality in all of the U.S. speaks Spanish and has 2 million viewers a day. For five years, Renan Almendarez Coello - "
El Cucuy de la Mañana" or "Morning Boogeyman" to his radio audience, has ruled morning radio in Los Angeles. Back to Top

Mark Bradford, ArtistMark Bradford, ARTIST.
Investigating the mixed, contradictory space of the popular, Bradford's paintings probe the relation between class, culture, and identity. Bradford's works explore the ideological framework in which he participated as an artist and "beauty operator" in South Central Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, including; The Roy and Edna Walt Disney Cal Arts Theatre, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, UCLA Hammer Museum, and the Watts Towers Art Gallery.
Back to Top

Eli Broad, BusinessmanEli Broad, BUSINESSMAN/PHILANTHROPIST.
For a generation, Broad has built more suburban houses than any man in America. Now, this billionaire is on a quest to build a "center" for Los Angeles, a downtown amidst the sprawl with which he is associated. He decries the negative impact of the centerless city on American culture. "It's a paradox, yes. But it isn't penance." Eli Broad’s dedication to Los Angeles ranges from raising funds to build the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles to improving the system of education. "Several years ago I started looking at K-12 public education. I decided that there is no more important contribution to our nation's future than a determined, long-term commitment to improve public education."
Back to Top

Wanda Coleman, PoetWanda Coleman, POET.
A native of Los Angeles, during the past two decades Wanda Coleman has written two thousand poems, a hundred short stories and given over three hundred dramatic poetry performances. She is the author of
Bathwater Wine (1998), winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. African Sleeping Sickness (1990), A War of Eyes and Other Stories (1988), Heavy Daughter Blues (Poems and Stories 1966-1986), Imagoes (1983), and Mad Dog Black Lady (1979). Back to Top

Mike Davis, AuthorMike Davis, AUTHOR.
Born in Southern California Davis’ works include;
Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster, Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, and City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. "Mega-cities like Los Angeles will never simply collapse and disappear. Rather they will stagger on, with higher body counts and greater distress..."
Back to Top

Harry Gamboa Jr, ArtistHarry Gamboa Jr, ARTIST.
Gamboa has pioneered multimedia formats for nearly three decades. His work is crucial to an understanding not only of Chicano art but also of the post–1968 avant-garde in the United States. He consistently debunks traditional categories, creates innovative alternatives, and reveals a history rendered invisible by the dominant art institutions and media industries. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution, the Whitney Biennial, and the Robert Flaherty Seminar. Back to Top

Dr. Fernando Guerra, ProfessorDr. Fernando Guerra, PROFESSOR.
Director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles since 1996, Guerra is also an associate professor at LMU in the departments of Chicano studies and political science. Guerra has authored numerous publications that focus on politics and ethnicity issues in California including,
Latino Politics in California: The Necessary Conditions for Success, Minority Electoral Representation Patterns During the Pat Brown Years, and Theory, Reality, and Perpetual Potential: Latinos in the 1992 California Elections. Back to Top

Jessica Hall-Valdés, Designer for NORTH EAST TREESJessica Hall-Valdés, DESIGNER FOR NORTH EAST TREES.
An interest in regenerative design principles prompted Ms. Hall to study ecosystematic design and landscape architecture. Hall is an impassioned advocate of watershed, and in particular, stream restoration. Her team Master Thesis, Seeking Streams, outlines a methodology for daylighting creeks in urbanized Los Angeles. Ms. Hall has recently completed the South Gate Riparian Habitat Restoration Project Concept Plan. Other projects at North East Trees include habitat restorations along the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River through the Environmental Enhancement Mitigation Program; Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River Miniparks grants; Reading Gardens at 10th Street and Granada Elementary Schools; and the Whittier Narrows Habitat Restoration Project. Back to Top

Salma Hayek, ActorSalma Hayek, ACTOR.
One of the most glamorous, charismatic women in Hollywood. Born in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico to parents of Lebanese and Spanish heritage, Hayek came to Los Angeles in 1991.

Back to Top

Pico Iyer, AuthorPico Iyer, AUTHOR.
Raised in California to Indian parents. His book,
The Global Soul, begins in LAX, a place he terms the model for future cities. We witness the massive traffic of immigrants toting along dreams and disappointments as they move within the speedy cadence of the 21st Century city. Back to Top

Phil Jackson, Lakers CoachPhil Jackson, LAKERS COACH.
Former basketball player himself, Jackson guided the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in his nine years as head coach, returned to coaching after a one-year sabbatical to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight NBA titles.
Back to Top

Norman Klein, AuthorNorman Klein
Cultural critic, urban and media historian and novelist. His work includes;
The Vatican to Vegas: A History of Special Effects, The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory, and Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-86. Rodriguez’ work centers on the relationship between collective memory and power, from special effects to cinema to digital theory, usually set in urban spaces; and often on the thin line between fact and fiction; about urban erasure, forgetting, scripted spaces, and social imagery. Back to Top

Joel Kotkin, AuthorJoel Kotkin, AUTHOR.
An internationally recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Joel Kotkin is a senior fellow at the Davenport Institute for Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Kotkin has been researching and writing about cities for the better part of two decades. His previous works include;
The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape (2001), Tribes: How Race, Religion, and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy (1993); The Third Century: America's Resurgence in the Asian Era (1988); and California Inc. (1982). Back to Top

Helie Lee, AuthorHelie Lee, AUTHOR.
Lee was born in Seoul and lived there until immigrating with her family to the U.S. at the age of four. In 1996 the Los Angeles resident wrote a best-selling book called
Still Life with Rice. The story speaks of her extended family’s journey from Japanese oppression in Korea, escaping to China and immigrating to the U.S. Lee now speaks on the reality of the North Korean state and the importance of US-Korea relations. Back to Top

Leader of the largest Catholic archdiocese in North America. Mahony takes us on a tour of Our Lady of Angels Cathedral, a controversial new cathedral in a city known for provisional temporary architecture, the cathedral was built to last more than 500 years and to withstand large earthquakes. Back to Top

Gerald Matchin is part of the Los Angeles County Medical Center Administration staff. Founded in 1878, Los Angeles County Medical Center originally established as a 100-bed hospital with 47 patients, it now is licensed for 1,395 beds and budgeted to staff 745 beds. It trains approximately 1,500 medical professionals per day, including more than 870 medical residents in nearly all medical specialties, 160 students of nursing and health professionals such as pharmacists; midwives; physician assistants; physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapists; dieticians; podiatrists; and laboratory and radiologic technologists.
Back to Top

William Alexander McClung, AuthorWilliam Alexander McClung, AUTHOR.
Author of Landscapes of Desire: Anglo Mythologies of Los Angeles. "From one perspective, we might admire the Anglo's will to remake the landscape and the city according to the mentality of their desire; from another, we might deplore their bad faith in appropriating only those parts of the past they found convenient." Back to Top

Medusa, Hip Hop ArtistMedusa, HIP HOP ARTIST.
Medusa’s lyrics, trademark 'fro and Afro-centric essence goes unchallenged. Along with her sisters in a small, underground cadre of female artists, record producers, and concert promoters, she is fighting hard to uphold the revolutionary spirit that has all but disappeared in mainstream hip-hop today.
Back to Top

Yxta Maya Murray, AuthorYxta Maya Murray, AUTHOR.
Currently a professor of Law at Loyola Law School, Murray has written fiction and non-fiction for Buzz, the North American Review, Glamour, and ZYZZYVA. In addition, Prof. Murray was a finalist for the 1996 National Magazine Award for Fiction. Professor Murray’s novels include, The Conquest and Locas, which are both set within the Los Angeles area. Back to Top

Luis Orellana , Taxi DriverLuis Orellana , TAXI DRIVER.
Luis came to this coutry at the age of 18 from El Salvador. Driving the streets of Los Angeles over 20 years now, Luis has experienced many things through the window of his cab from the LA riots to earthquakes to everday life. Luis takes us throughout Los Angeles from a different perspective. He is also a father of a son who dreams to be a movie maker when he grows up.
Back to Top

Richard Rodriguez, AuthorRichard Rodriguez, AUTHOR.
Rodriguez has been compared with literary figures from Albert Camus and James Baldwin to Montaigne and Emerson. He has also written three books: Brown: The Last Discovery of America; Hunger of Memory; and Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father, as well as two BBC documentaries.
Rodriguez is a frequent contributor to the News Hour on PBS and is one of the nation’s finest essayists. Back to Top

Born in Tel-Aviv in 1959 and following his service in the Israel Defense Forces, he studied Political Science and International relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he graduated with honors in 1985. Rotem assumed the position of Consul General at the Consulate of Israel in Los Angles in September 1999. In this role, he is the senior representative of the State of Israel to the southwestern region of the United States. Back to Top

Kevin Starr, HistorianKevin Starr, HISTORIAN.
Starr is the Librarian for the State of California currently researching California history, history of American culture, urban history and government. More than 30 years in the making, his six-volume book series titled Americans and the California Dream captures the enigmatic blend of dreams and hardscrabble reality that loosely defines California. Other works include; The Dream Endures: California Enters the 1940s, Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California, Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920s, and Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era. His works gives us an academically informed yet adventurous take on the potential of Los Angeles. Back to Top

Uptown 3000, Hip Hop ArtistUptown 3000, HIP HOP ARTIST.
"It is Uptown's innovative bi-lingual ability to flip up their flow in Korean to English as well as Spanish and incorporate slang terminology into their crafty hooks and verses from their globetrotting upbringing in culturally diverse cities like New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seoul, Korea that make them revolutionary." Having sold millions of records on the continent of Asia in addition to releasing 6 albums in less than 4 years, making videos for each single, Uptown has been labeled as the Run DMC of Korea. Back to Top

Michael Ventura, AuthorMichael Ventura, AUTHOR.
Ventura is currently the writer of the LA Weekly and the former columnist for LA View's "Letters at 3am," a weekly, award-winning meditation on odd angles of Angeleno life. Also the author of The Zoo where You're Fed to God, The Death of Frank Sinatra, Shadow Dancing in the U.S.A. Letters at 3am: Reports on Endarkenment, and Night Time Losing Time. "The people who've tried hardest to define Los Angeles are writers based here and, for some reason, in New York. (Why New Yorkers should attempt this is a mystery to me, but it may have to do with how many New Yorkers move here and how few Angelinos move there.) People aren't continually trying to define New York, Baltimore or New Orleans – such cities have a character, a personality that no one questions."
Back to Top

D.J. Waldie, AuthorD.J. Waldie, AUTHOR.
Author, Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. Waldie lives in Lakewood, California, California's first major suburban development. He lives in the house in which he was raised and in which his parents died. He works as a Lakewood city administrator and walks to work each day. He is both mad prophet and articulate spokesman for the suburban self. "The streets in my city are a fraction of a larger grid, anchored to one in Los Angeles. That grid was laid out in September 1781. The grid the Spanish colonel carried came from a book. The grid came from God." Back to Top

Offscreen Interviews

Marian Botey, ArtistMarian Botey, ARTIST.
Mexican whose work in film and video installation experiment with ritual, coded and sub-cultural languages as tools for critical resistance. She speaks to us about the increasing influence of Mexico City on the cultural life of Los Angeles.
Back to Top

Dov Charney is the Founder and CEO of American Apparel. American Apparel, the self-proclaimed "Sweatshop Free" T-shirt manufacturer sews and sells clothing with a capitalist-socialist business fusion. American Apparel’s policy is to pay American workers living wages to produce 100% of their product in the United States. Currently, American Apparel is rooted in downtown Los Angeles, where workers help to sustain an efficient and profitable business without being exploited.
Back to Top

Majid Nacify, POET
Majid Naficy was born in Iran in 1953. Naficy was politically active against the Shah’s regime. However, after the 1979 revolution, the new regime began to suppress the oppositions, and many people, including his first wife, Ezzat Taba’eyan and brother Sa’id, were executed. He fled Iran in 1983 and spent a year and a half in Turkey and France. Majid then settled in Los Angeles where he lives with his son, Azad. He has since published three collections of poems,
After the Silence, Sorrow of the Border, and Poems of Venice, as well as a book of essays called In Search of Joy: A Critique of Male-Dominated, Death-Oriented Culture in Iran, all in Persian. Majid is currently a co-editor of Daftarha-ye Shanbeh, a Persian literary journal published in Los Angeles. Back to Top
Back to Top
© 2005 City Projects, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | PBS Privacy Policy | Map | Credits | Press |