Friday, 18 December 2009

Los Angeles Plays Itself, Thom Andersen, 2003

Thom Andersen’s documentary uses clips from over 100 film sets in Los Angeles to examine the way the city has been portrayed through cinematography. As the most photographed city in the world, few other cities are depicted more through film than Los Angeles. Andersen examines ‘The City as Background’ and ‘The City as Subject’, in cases where it is presented as it stands in reality and in cases where it is used for representation.

The documentary includes cases where pieces of architecture, such as the Bradbury building, have been used in numerous films to represent different purposes.

“One of the glories of Los Angeles is its Modernist residential architecture, but Hollywood movies have almost systematically demograted this heritage by casting many of these houses as the residences of movie villains....Hollywoods war against Hollywood architecture.”

“The ultimate insult to Lautner’s work came from Lethal Weapon II, the Garcia House on Mulholland is the home office of a drug ring organised by a South African Consulate. Enraged by the diplomatic community, Mel Gibson pulls down their house with his pick-up truck.” Not only is Lautner slick and superficial, he’s incompetant.”

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