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Los Angeles Plays Itself


Los Angeles Plays Itself
Thom Andersen, 2003

New Documentary

Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.

Fri, Apr 9, 2004 7 PM
Sat, Apr 10, 2004 7 PM

"Los Angeles may be the most photographed city in the world, but it may never have been captured with such complex layers of meaning and fascination as in...Los Angeles Plays Itself."--Variety

Thom Andersen's epic Los Angeles Plays Itself is a video essay about how movies have portrayed this chronically misrepresented metropolis, using evocative film clips from titles both celebrated and obscure.

A distinguished documentarian (Red Hollywood) and former Ohio State film studies professor, Andersen (now on the faculty of Cal Arts) has lived in Los Angeles since childhood. He began Los Angeles Plays Itself, he says, "as a lecture intended for locals only," but broader social issues emerged as the project grew in scope.

Viewing Los Angeles as a background, as well as a character and a subject in itself, Andersen's startling essay concludes with how the "real" history of the city is variously embedded in such films as Chinatown, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and L.A. Confidential. (169 mins.)

Man with a Movie Camera

Be here Monday, September 14 as Alloy Orchestra takes the stage in our Film/Video Theater to accompany a restoration of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera.


Join us Thursday, September 10 for a Next@Wex double bill featuring Tyondai Braxton and Clark, two innovators in the experimental electronica scene.