LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF Thom Andersen (US, 2014, 173mins, HDvideo)
Los Angeles. Angel City. Celluloid City. A city where films and dreams and architecture collide and mutate in endless new combinations.
Andersen’s epic and masterfully narrated collage is a massive tapestry of over 200 film clips exploring facets of the city as captured through the lenses of Hollywood movie cameras from the last 100 years.
In this film made of films, Andersen plays detective – revisiting the scenes of cinematic crimes and triumphs and unraveling the tangled relationship between the movies and a great Californian metropolis.
One of cinema’s most intelligent and mesmerising film essays, it charts Hollywood’s ‘war against modern architecture’, alongside an examination of the starring roles certain buildings have played across multiple movies.
From Blade Runner to Laurel and Hardy, Chinatown to Who Framed Roger Rabbit to L.A. Confidential and many, many more; this is a forensic examination of the truths and fictions that the movies have woven into LA’s urban fabric.
The title is taken from a gay porno classic also called Los Angeles Plays Itself.