Jesse Jarnow

los angeles plays itself

Coming nowhere near a Netflix queue near you is Los Angeles Plays Itself, Thom Andersen’s three-hour docu-ode to the City of Angels. Made entirely from footage from other movies and narrated with omniscient nonchalance by Encke King, the film is a veritable geography of Los Angeles real, Los Angeles imagined, and — most intriguingly — the Los Angeles created between the two. Given the copyrights on the footage (which probably comes from at least 100 pictures, if not far more), there is no way this film will ever see widespread commercial release. So — both because it’s great & ’cause the Mang doesn’t want you to have it — here is a torrent of it.

1 Comment

  1. gardner says: - reply

    Still haven’t watched this, but I love the idea of that liminal space between the tangible and the fabricated. I’m reading Barry Lopez’ Winter Count where he says of a man he encounters sweeping a patch of the desert, “Occasionally he would go on to Tuscon, where he had grown up but had not been in a while. I understood him to mean that the town had lost its heart, as a place that is photographed too much ceases to seem real.” No surprise to see Lopez playing with the idea of the soul-stealing camera, but I don’t know if I’d ever thought about the soul of a city being siphoned off in that way before.