You Weren't There: Paris 1929

A series of bi-monthly events that conjure powerful moments in history.

Our Story

YOU WEREN’T THERE is a curated cabaret of film, music, literature, and performance that celebrates transitory moments of cultural brilliance. The event is neither a concert, nor a reading, nor a film festival but a multimedia séance that conjures up another time and another place. We are based in Los Angeles.

Each edition of this ongoing series assumes a micro-historical focus upon a specific era, location, and aesthetic.
Starting from this precise temporal and spatial vector, YOU WEREN’T THERE explores a broad scope of fashions, sensibilities, and ideas of the period through anything from an archival newsreel to a reading of a poem to a musical number as well as contemporary interpretations and perspectives on the past. 

Our Premiere

10.1.11 8pm
Paris 1929: La Révolution Surréaliste

In its Fall 2011 debut, YOU WEREN'T THERE takes you a sentimental journey to Gay Paree. Marvel to the sounds of Django Reinhardt! See the restored print of Luis Bunuel’s “Un Chien Andalou” in all of its eye-slashing glory! Thrill to the sensual undulations of the Parisian burlesque that has caused shock and scandal in the salons of Europe! Enjoy the chic sensibility of Jazz Age fashion that has revolutionized the very notion of clothing!

The Future

Upcoming shows of YOU WEREN'T THERE include such themes as “Dallas 1963: The Carousel Club,” and “New York 1977: Punk Vs. Disco," and ”Saigon 1969: All Along The Watchtower." Check out our trailer for details.

The Impact

Everyone dreams of living in another era: to dance with Edie Sedgwick as the Velvet Underground jams at Warhol’s Factory; to swing a sledgehammer against the crumbling façade of the Berlin Wall; to discuss existentialism with Camus over espresso at Les Deux Magots. Through art, entertainment, guerilla theatrics, and a scholarly attention to detail, we re-imagine that moment.

What We Need & What You Get

We need funding to compensate our performers, build "historical" sets, advertise the event, as well as lots of glamorous things like pay for security and garbage collection. To put on the first event, our accounting department estimates we will need about $4000. Hopefully, the profits from our first show will be sufficient to fund the next show and so on.

For those who donate, we offer a variety of cool prizes in keeping with the theme of Paris in the Twenties. You can purchase anything from a Luis Bunuel DVD to your own surrealist dinner party!

Other Ways You Can Help

If you live in the Los Angeles area, we'd love for you to volunteer. Money cannot buy creative and enthusiastic people to make the magic happen. We will need assistance before, during, and after our first event so step on up!

Also, we would be most grateful if you could share this campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or your favorite social medium of the month. 

Donor and Press Inquiries


Created By:

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    Noel Lawrence

    Noel Lawrence has founded and guided film ventures in home video, online media, and festival environments. He has done solo shows at The Slamdance Film Festival, George Eastman House, Pacific Film Archives, Anthology Film Archives, Cork Film Festival, La Casa Escendida (Madrid), Nashville Film Festival, and other museums and cinemas worldwide. Noel’s first book, J.X. Williams: Les Dossiers Interdits (Paris: Camion Blanc) was published in Summer 2010.