Los Angeles Plays Itself

2003, Documentary, 2h 49m

45 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

A treat for cinephiles, this documentary is a comprehensive, academic, and enlightening film essay concerning Los Angeles and its depiction in the movies. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Consisting mostly of shots from other films, this documentary discusses the many representations of the city of Los Angeles in film and on television. Professor Thom Andersen compares the city as it exists in real life with its depictions on screen to examine how L.A. and its massive community have been misrepresented over the years. In addition to critical analysis, Andersen explains how directors portray the city itself as a character, and he also delves into L.A.'s dark history.

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Critic Reviews for Los Angeles Plays Itself

Audience Reviews for Los Angeles Plays Itself

  • Nov 19, 2011
    highly entertaining and full of fascinating information about films set in and around los angeles, it's a documentary made entirely from clips of other films (roughly 200 of them)! of course, this caused some licensing issues and so it's never been properly released, only playing festivals here and there, but guess what? it's on youtube in 12 parts, starting here: http://youtu.be/7SNc41zyLJ0
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2005
    [font=Century Gothic][color=darkorange]"Los Angeles Plays Itself" was a great documentary that was released last year. It was on the surface an examination of how the city of Los Angeles has been portrayed in films over the years. But it's also a lesson in history, politics, geography and architecture.[/color][/font] [color=#ff8c00]The reason I'm bringing up this film now is that the filmmaker was wondering why Los Angeles' Union Station has been the scene of so many kidnappings in movies, most notably in Nick of Time(1995). (I was in Union Station in September and I didn't notice any sort of nefarious activity going on.) Which brings me to...[/color][color=#ff8c00]Sunday night's season premiere of "24" which did also feature a kidnapping at Union Station.(And don't even get me started on the detour through Three Days of the Condor which led up to that...)[/color] [color=#ff8c00](I won't try to bring up television in this journal unless it has some connection to movies.) [/color]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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