Los Angeles Plays Itself

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Los Angeles Plays Itself
Directed by Thom Andersen
Written by Thom Andersen
Starring Encke King (narrator)
Cinematography Deborah Stratman
Edited by Seung-Hyun Yoo
Release date
  • 2004 (2004)
Running time
169 minutes
Country USA
Language English

Los Angeles Plays Itself is a video essay by Thom Andersen, finished in 2003, exploring the way Los Angeles has been presented in movies. Consisting almost entirely of clips from other films with narration, the film was not initially released commercially. The film was only seen in screenings presented by Andersen, occasional presentations at American Cinematheque and copies distributed via filesharing and other person-to-person methods. In 2014, it was announced that the film would finally be released officially by Cinema Guild.[1]

Andersen stated that the film idea occurred to him after a lecture he gave at the California Institute of the Arts, where he talked about his objections to L.A. Confidential, the 1997 Curtis Hanson film adapted from James Ellroy's novel.[2]

In the film, Andersen argues that the influence of Hollywood overshadows Los Angeles and is one of the reasons the city's name is frequently abbreviated.[2] He makes the case that directors have a distaste for modernist architecture, which is regularly used for villain's homes.[2]


  1. ^ http://thedissolve.com/news/2681-thom-andersens-los-angeles-plays-itself-is-finally
  2. ^ a b c SCOTT FOUNDAS (July 25, 2004). "FILM; L.A. Residential". NY Times. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 

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