a feature-length documentary film
  about Simon Rodia and the Watts
    Towers of South Central Los Angeles

by Edward Landler and Brad Byer

Image Gallery

“Research is truly awesome, as are a series of graceful crane shots that allow the camera to track the Towers in detail from base to spire.”
  --  Robert Koehler, Variety

“I no need to come in America.  That's my mother's, my father's fault.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Rodia's Towers, 1765 East 107th Street, Los Angeles

“I was one of the bad men in the United States... drunken, all the time a drinkin’.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Rodia speaks at U.C. Berkeley
Art Museum, 1960

“That's why I built the tower for, I quit the drinkin'.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Center and East Towers

“Abraham Lincoln, he want to free the colored people.  They shot him on the back.  We all makin' mistakes, you know.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Octahedron Spire

“Poorer class of people, today, they blind.  When the man lookin' for a job, he's no free and they thinkin' they free.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Outer Wall Panel Mosaic

“Woman, too.  Woman no free.  Woman get a job in the store.  You got to do what the boss want, wrong or no wrong.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Wall Ornamentation

Wall Panel Arches under West Tower

“I work in the night, midnight, sleep five hours a night, work two hours in the morning, Sunday, Christmas day.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Rodia's House, West Fountain and Gazebo, 1940's

Towers threatened by demolition, 1959

“I fall down, down there with that tower.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Scaffolding on Towers for Stress Test, 1959  

Stress Test on Towers, October 10, 1959

Rodia in his Martinez, California, apartment, 1960

“I don't want anything to do anymore with that.  That's done.  Excuse me.”
  --  Sam Rodia

Outer Wall Panel

Rodia at U.C. Berkeley Art Museum, 1960

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Copyright © 2006-2011 by Edward Landler and Brad Byer, all rights reserved