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.
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!
LAPI has great purpose but many problems. It starts strong with Andersen examining how LA transitioned from a filming location that could represent anywhere to a city that "plays itself" in movies. Though he remains insightful throughout, Andersen adopts a whiny & bitter tone in the second half. His use of indies & pornos as evidence that "Hollywood" misrepresents LA is unconvincing. Still worth a watch though.
The film itself is a surprisingly powerful meditation on the differences between art and reality & whether cinema has obligations to represent the truth. It obviously does this by contrasting how the city of Los Angeles plays itself in fictional films and documentaries but I also think that this film outlines the power of the medium itself and its ability to influence and shape public perspectives.
A hypnotic visual essay that made me want to see all the films immediately instead of tomorrow (eclectic choices!). Several serpentine offshoots go to places you wouldn't necessarily imagine, but that's why this is so fascinating. Almost three hours of mere film clips could get monotonic, but the commendable editing work has created cohesion and a really nice rhythm, complementing the interesting views on cinema.
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.