This is not a question and answer type documentary. It is Ellroy, in his own words, guiding us, often from behind the steering wheel of his car, through the LA of his childhood and early adulthood up to '93, when the film was made. We see the settings for many of his early books and explore those areas of LA poignant to his own personal life: places he lived in growing up, the scene of his mother's death ( where Ellroy elaborates on what he thought happened pre My Dark Places), the Dahlia murder scene, the parks where Ellroy slept rough in his early adult years, the dosshouses he stayed in, the villas in Hancock Park which Ellroy broke into to indulge his dark curiosities and Ellroy in his writing studio, talking about his motivations and writing ambitions. The film has a wonderful 'roving eye' feel to it. 'It's grey, it's overcast; it feels good. It might not look like it, but it has the feel of an old LA day,' says Ellroy, from behind the wheel. Palm trees blow in the breeze, hookers walk by, montages of cheap motel signs and the milieu of LA by night, played out to jazz; there is echoes of Travis Bickle's journey through the underside of New York in this film. I found it both illuminating and stimulating to watch and would thoroughly recommend it to any Ellroy fans out there.
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