On March, 7, at 6.30 pm, welcome to the film screening Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003). It is the second film screening from the series "Cinematic Visions. American Cities and Architecture in Documentaries".
"Los Angeles is the most beautiful city in the world, provided it’s seen at night and from a distance."—Roman Polanski
Luxury. Violence. Sunshine. Smog. Fantasy. Reality. How is the City of Angels, "the most photographed city in the world," represented—and misrepresented—in contemporary American cinema? Art professor and Los Angeles native Thom Andersen presents a cranky and quirky homage to his hometown in what has long been an underground classic that has attracted cult audiences. When this documentary was originally made it was rarely screened publicly and almost treated as contraband as the footage from the Hollywood movies analyzed was unlicensed.
But now this fascinating collage of movie clips has been rescued from obscurity and made available to a wider viewership. Depiction is often manipulation. Come see for yourself as the director challenges the viewer with the question, "What if we watch with our voluntary detection, instead of letting the movies direct us?"
"Cinematic Visions. American Cities and Architecture in Documentaries" is a series of film screenings which will be held from February to June. We will view films and discuss architecture through the lens of American movies. The American experience in shaping architectural trends, urban planning, and design in the Modern and post-Modern eras has been celebrated and vilified through the cinematic lens. Our newly launched film series Cinematic Visions explores, celebrates, and deplores the visual legacies of American society. Monthly screenings will offer interpretations of American efforts in contemporary architecture, urban construction (and deconstruction), as well as related topics.