Silver Platters, a historic bar in downtown Los Angles that doubles as a “safe space” for the city’s immigrant LGBT population, becomes the central character in artist Wu Tsang’s playful and poignant meditation on the nature of community in the urban environment. The film documents the life of Wildness, the weekly performance art party started by Tsang and his DJ friends at Silver Platters in 2008 for queer kids of color, and the social consequences brought about when mainstream attention begins to threaten the unique ecology of the bar and its patrons. In the process, we witness on a micro scale the mechanisms that spur gentrification—and also the mechanisms we might employ to avert it.
Directed by Wu Tsang, 2012
Runtime: 74 minutes
Part of the urban film series Cinematic Sites, selected by Paul Dallas and presented in conjunction with Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab.