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Louie Schwartzberg: Gratitude Revealed
November 23, 2022

Louie Schwartzberg is the filmmaker behind Fantastic Fungi — he's back now with a follow up film: Gratitude Revealed. Louie has created and worked on a score of films in his life, including his own features like Mysteries of the Unseen World and Wings of Life, as well as the Netflix series Moving Art. Over the process of his career, it's fair to say that he’s revolutionized the field of time-lapse photography. Louie has also been a contributing cinematographer or visual effects artist to many idiosyncratic Hollywood movies, including Men in Black 2, Erin Brockovich, Vice Versa, The Heavenly Kid, Xanadu, Altered States, and the 1982 masterpiece Koyanisqatsi. His inventive TED talks have garnered more than 60 million views. Together we talked about how he balances a love of documentary footage shot in the wild with his continuing dedication to time-lapse footage that's shot in studio, how he sees making work as a spiritual practice, how social justice photography gave him his start in film, what Los Angeles was like in the early 1970’s, why he split town after graduation from UCLA and moved to a tiny town in Northern California, where he started retrofitting 35mm movie cameras to enable them to take high-resolution time-lapse photos. Louie also talks about how he lent his own take on psychedelic iconography to the film Altered States in the early stages of a film career that has always existed in a fiercely independent realm. And I couldn't let him leave without talking a bit about how Esalen continues to inspire a sense of wonder in him.

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