Los Angeles Plays Itself 

This brilliant and often hilarious 2003 essay film by Thom Andersen (Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer) assembles clips from 191 movies set in Los Angeles, juxtaposing their fantasies with the real city as seen by a loyal and well-informed native. That might sound like a slender premise for 169 minutes, but after five viewings I still feel I've only scratched the surface of this epic meditation. Andersen focuses on the city's people and architecture, but his wisecracking discourse is broad enough to encompass a wealth of local folklore, a bittersweet tribute to car culture, a critical history of mass transit in southern California, and a song of nostalgia for lost neighborhoods and lifestyles. Absorbing and revelatory, this is film criticism of the highest order. To be projected from Beta SP video, with a ten-minute intermission. Gene Siskel Film Center.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Drunk Science The Comedy Bar
July 29
Galleries & Museums
The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg Museum of Contemporary Art
June 06

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories

Follow Us

Sign up for newsletters »

 Early Warnings
 Food & Drink
 Reader Recommends
 Reader Events and Offers