We are excited to reprise the much-lauded Los Angeles Plays Itself this Sunday, March 27 at 7pm (with director Thom Andersen in attendance). I first saw this a few years back when the Film Forum first played it, and have been trying to get my paws on a long-unavailable dvd copy ever since. (Rumors that the film would never be released due to the sheer amount of copyrighted footage in it have gone unfounded, but are not unrealistic in my opinion.) Friends, family, fellow cineastes who have long heard me talk about this fabled documentary, now is your chance to see it for real — don’t miss it.
“Four Stars (Masterpiece rating): Compulsively watchable, endlessly quotable…It lies outside the mainstream because it lacks studio backing and distribution, yet it’s far too plainspoken and witty to qualify as esoteric or marginal. It’s an essay that qualifies as social history, as film theory, as personal reverie, as architectural history and criticism, as a bittersweet meditation on automotive transport, as a critical history of mass transit in southern California, as a wisecracking compilation of local folklore, as “a city symphony in reverse,” and as a song of nostalgia for lost neighborhoods such as Bunker Hill and unchronicled lifestyles such as locals who walk or take buses.”
Update! Seattle Post Globe’s Bill White agrees: Los Angeles Plays Itself is “the most rambunctiously entertaining journey through the movies as we are ever likely to embark upon. It also plays like a history of Twentieth Century America as refracted through the movies.”