Screening: Thom Andersen, LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF
1 December 2016, 19:00
Los Angeles Plays Itself is a three hours long journey through the ways Los Angeles has been presented in movies. Made almost entirely from clips from other films, Thom Andersen’s outset for the film was initially a lecture he gave at the California Institute of the Arts, where he taught film since 1987, and his objections to director Curtis Hanson’s Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Amongst his complaints was the representation of modernist architecture in Hollywood films, such as Richard Neutra’s 1929 Lovell Health House in Hansen’s movie, which regularly connects to evil characters.
More than an exercise in what’s what of film locations, Los Angeles Plays Itself is a fiercely political attempt to reconcile the multiple cinematic identities of Los Angeles, the myths and realities of the city as a subject and urban reality. It has also helped to spur the restoration and revival of several films cited by Andersen at length, most importantly Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1979) and Kent MacKenzie’s The Exiles (1961), a docudrama about a day in the life of Native Americans living on Bunker Hill that had entirely fallen out of circulation.
For years Los Angeles Plays Itself was the best known secret among “cinephiles” and Los Angeles aficionados. It travelled hand-to-hand on home-copied DVDs and was rarely shown in cinemas. Since he was unable to gain the rights for the over 200 Hollywood films that are part of Los Angeles Plays Itself, Andersen could only screen the film while he was attending after its premiere in 2003. It was made available in wider distribution only recently through the “fair use” project. This will be the first public screening of the film in Stockholm.
The screening is part of the exhibition program Mad Horizon by John Skoog and Emanuel Röhss.
Thom Andersen: Los Angeles Plays Itself, HD-Video, 2003, 169 min.
Location: Biografen Zita, Birger Jarlsgatan 37
Tickets: 80 SEK, concs: 40 SEK
In collaboration with Film i Samtidskonsten.