Los Angeles Plays Itself

Release July 28, 2004 (Limited)
Narrator Encke King
Director Thom Andersen
Writer Thom Andersen
Genres Documentary
Length 169 mins.


Los Angeles Plays Itself is an essay on how the movies have depicted Los Angeles "a city symphony in reverse" – a symphony with many directions and speeds. It is essentially a critical history – and counter-history – of Los Angeles via clips from an eclectic list of movies. Many of them are well known (Chinatown, Blade Runner, L.A. Confidential); others are rarer finds (The Exiles, Bush Mama, Killer of Sheep).

The film tracks the various roles that specific landmarks and districts like the Bradbury Building, Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis house, and Bunker Hill have played through the years – with insights on movies, architecture, transportation, racism, class, and public space.

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