Partycrashers: L.A. Takedown

Our festival video dispatchers head to the sun-raked City of Angels for a discussion about the American Documentary Film Festival.
Michael Pattison, Neil Young

Partycrashers is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.

From a sun-raked rooftop in Downtown, Los Angeles (capital-D and comma deliberate) we survey the scene: bluntly domineering skyscrapers of the 'Business Improvement District' behind us in space; Palm Springs' genial American Documentary Film Festival a few days behind us in time; Michael Mann's Heat (1995) neon-fresh in our memories, the ultimate Los Angeles film (discuss) having pre-loaded the mega-metropolis into our impressionable cinema-contoured consciousnesses before either of us had ever set foot in the place.

The city plays itself: concrete intersections of memories, films, architecture, roads, people. A place to ponder and (though you have been assured myriad times to the contrary) to walk: the day before recording, we'd clocked 22 miles on foot between Downtown and the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica. A trek rounding off a week's semi-haphazard perambulations that had encompassed not one but two pedestrian trips to Vernon, the "phantom" industrial city (pop.112) which adjoins Downtown and inspired the much-maligned second season of True Detective.

Remember those face-to-faces between Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell in the 'Black Rose' (tame quasi-simulacrum of Vernon's only bar, the San Antonio Rose)? Echoes of the epochal restaurant meet-up between De Niro's Neil and Pacino's Vincent were—one presumes—entirely intentional on the part of series writer/showrunner Nic Pizzolato.

Our man-to-man discussions are, we hope, less charged and more chit-chatty, all the better to pick over some highlights of Palm Springs' 5th 'AmDocs' event out there in the Californian desert. So we hope. It is what it is. It's that, or we both better go do something else. —Neil Young

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PartycrashersFestival CoverageAmerican Documentary Film FestivalAmerican Documentary Film Festival 2016VideosColumns
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