Written and directed by Thom Andersen
It comes as no surprise that film sets and locations have been reused throughout the history of the movies. The fact that many of these locations are within or around Los Angeles, a city whose very ontology includes Hollywood and film business, is equally predictable. Yet these locations, distorted to us through the magic of movie production and narrative engagement, hold significant value to the residents of Los Angeles, particularly California Institute of the Arts film instructor Thom Andersen, using what he saw as the denigration of his beloved city on screen to begin a lecture and, ultimately, a film: Los Angeles Plays Itself. “I live here,” he begins his narration through Encke King over a series of establishing shots of the city from various films. “Sometimes I think this gives me the right to criticize the ways movies depict my city.
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