[The 90’s raw: Venice Beach #3]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Maxi Cohen tours California's Venice Beach, showing us some of its usual characters (mostly various street musicians). The first part of tape covers the Whole Life Expo, where she shoots some sales pitches for nutritional products, a man who takes pictures of a person's aura, and other New Age-type products .

00:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Maxi Cohen visits the Whole Life Expo. The tape opens with a woman claiming the people advertising the products are merely satisfied customers. She talks about “network marketing,” and wears a shirt that says “Omnitrition.” She shows a picture of herself in 1990, and says she has lost 40 pounds even though she has not been dieting. She says the product is a nutritional substitute for coffee, called Wow, and also mentions another one called Focus. She says she got involved in the business 6 months ago, and makes over five thousand dollars a month. She shows the camera her t-shirt.

07:22Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to a man who has had a picture of his aura taken. He introduces himself as Mark Becker, and talks about different types of healing and yoga. He talks about the various organizations he is involved with, including a magazine and a center in New York. Someone asks a question that is inaudible, and Becker starts to talk about the nineties. He talks about trends in recent decades and how the nineties will be “like the sixties but on a much higher level.” “People really want to learn how to take care of themselves.” He talks about New Life magazine, and how he made it glossy in order to appeal to more people.

12:58Copy video clip URL The camera goes to a man who talks about a magazine (Sadhna) about mantras for prosperity. Cohen then pans out to look at the whole expo.

14:21Copy video clip URL Camera cuts to the “Elixir bar,” and the man at the table tells us they are made from a combination of ginseng, royal jelly, and some animal extracts (which act as an aphrodisiac). He doesn’t want to talk on tape.

15:46Copy video clip URL Cuts to two men doing yoga, and then a man with a massaging device. Cohen wanders around the expo, looking at different stands, with incense, mediation, psychic readings, and algae. A man shows her a device that exercises every muscle in the upper body. He introduces Cohen to the inventor, who says he did not have muscles before he worked out with his device, called the V-toner. He says their main spokesman is Suzanne Somers.

21:55Copy video clip URL The tape cuts back to wandering around the show, and looking at various health food products, and rain sticks. A man talks about the Johrei Fellowship, which grows organic vegetables and does Japanese flower arranging. Then, the camera turns to people sitting in chairs with dark glasses and headphones. A man just waking up says he feels “really mellow.” A woman explains that the product is a relaxation system that has “light pulsations and sound pulsations” to imitate brain waves just before sleep. Another man says it “synchronizes the left and right sides of the brain” and describes the machine’s different programs. There is a shot of people getting massages on a special kind of chair, and then of various booths.

36:41Copy video clip URL Cohen visits a health food store, where a woman recommends products to help her deal with smog’s effects on the body. She talks about antioxidants to put oxygen back into the body, and she recommends selenium (?), and B-vitamins or antioxidant mixes. She says that this is a common problem, and typically asks people about their other susceptibilities like a weak liver. She also says aerobics help, and goes on to discuss smog. The woman stands against shelves with all kinds of bottles of health products.

43:16Copy video clip URL Shots of the interior of the health food store, and of the exterior with cars driving by.

44:54Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to Venice Beach, and Cohen interviews a man who has made an amazingly lifelike sand sculpture of a reclining woman. He asks for donations from the crowd, and he says he also does paintings and murals, as well as sculpture, and sand sculptures for films. He says he does many murals, and introduces himself as Scott B. Dosch.

48:20Copy video clip URL Cut to a man getting his palm read briefly, and then a poster that describes the meaning of different lines on the palm. Some street musicians and general shots of the area are taped. One man is doing an intricate drawing which he says has taken him months. He asks people walking by, “Anyone be willing to tip a struggling artist?” Then Cohen watches a vendor who plays reggae music and displays his brightly colored paintings.

55:25Copy video clip URL The camera approaches a clown, who then talks about the ’90s, while shaping a balloon bird. He says the ’90s will see the coming of the Messiah: “You can hear his footsteps.”

58:00Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to the Echo Man, a man who has the ability to make his unaided voice sound as if it is echoing. He sings the Star Spangled Banner. Cohen asks him about the origin of his skill, and he says, “My mother said everything to me twice.” Then he begins to perform again, saying “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” He sings the national anthem again, and the flag flies behind him.

01:01:36Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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