Of the cities in the world, few are depicted in and mythologized more in film and television than the city of Los Angeles. In this documentary, Thom Andersen examines in detail the ways the city has been depicted, both when it is meant to be anonymous and when itself is the focus.
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WoW, what a treat for cinema fans. I don't live in L.A., I live in NorCal and only visited L.A. for a day in the 70's, but these clips, lovingly assembled, make me feel like I know the town through these great films. Some of my favorite LA. films are here: The Long Goodbye, Killer of Sheep, Bush Mama, Criss Cross, along with many great images from otherwise forgettable films... and great iconic architecture, too!
Admirable film -- fascinating collection of clips and thoughts on the relation of Los Angeles to the film it features in. Andersen is especially interesting on the factual bases for CHINATOWN and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
Starting to get into a little loved by yanks genre: the visual essay. I've loved all the ones like this or certain films by Chris Marker or Mark Rappaport I've seen. Maybe it's not "film'' or pretentious to film an essay but I like it. If this was just an cinefile mag or online article, I'd still dig it. This is an awesomely dense and meandering (a sincere compliment-my fave writing) "meditation" on film and a city.
i wanna see all those los angeles-based films now. for real. super interesting documentary one of the best i've seen. did not like the woody allen and antonioni bashing tho. pretentious low-tourist? blow me. like new york has his woody allen? like it's a plague. please. still. a landmark in documentary. and really interesting. made my top 10 of need to be seen before one's death. that big of a deal!
The reel/reel history on display here is admittedly astonishing. The second act does drag and falter somewhat, as Andersen goes after specific films for too long -- his critiques of "Chinatown" and "Blade Runner" also mistake noir's inherent post-war cynicism and ambiguity for a denouncement of LA specifically. Regardless, well-worth the 169 minutes.