8.0/10
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37 user 54 critic

Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | January 2004 (USA)
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A documentary on how Los Angeles has been used and depicted in the movies.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Encke King ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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. Along the way, he illustrates his concerns of how the real city and its people are misrepresented and distorted through the prism of popular film culture. Furthermore, he also chronicles the real stories of the city's modern history behind the notorious accounts of the great conspiracies that ravaged his city that reveal a more open and yet darker past than the casual viewer would suspect. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Angeles Por Ela Mesma  »

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Goofs

The narration describes architect John Lautner's famous Chemosphere house as "a hexagon of wood, steel, and glass." The Chemosphere is octagonal. See more »

Connections

Features The Street with No Name (1948) See more »

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Long, but worth watching if you have any interest in the history of Los Angeles and how it was portrayed in film.
10 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Thom Andersen uses hundreds of scenes from a multitude of movies throughout the past century, to express his opinions about the true Los Angeles in this cinematic essay. He takes the common opinion that Los Angeles has no discernible culture, and presents two basic reasons why this opinion is so prevalent.

1. Los Angeles used to be a culture rich city until the richer, more affluent, citizens decided that it's more profitable to have apartment complexes, high rises, and strip malls.

2. There is quite a bit of culture remaining in Los Angeles, but because everyone is too busy driving themselves from point A to point B as fast as possible, they don't see it.

Whether you agree with his opinions or not, the film is worth a look (although nearly three hours long) to see all of the footage of Los Angeles over the years, and how it portrayed LA at the time.


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