LA Plays WIth Itself

10 Dec

This movie.

I watched it on Netflix Instant. Apparently it was only available at screenings because of its heavy reliance on clips from other movies, but it’s now available on DVD and just about everywhere because the use of clips is all fair use, peachy keen, all legals and whatnot.

It’s a 3 hour spectacle of a guy practically droning on and on about how Los Angeles is depicted in movies and I kinda…liked every single second of it? Once you hear the narrator talk about the how the homes of villains are depicted vs the homes of heroes, then maybe you’ll realize what sort of delicious gold mine of nerdery you’ve hit.

Here is the thing: Unlike the narrator of the movie, I have lived in LA longer than he has (since birth) and I hate the city. One of the penultimate revelations is that of the walkers of the city (see: colored folks who can’t afford cars) and how it is they who truly know the city, and it is they whose image has been shunned by Hollywood.

Well I am a walker of LA. I walked from Hawthorne to the LAX bus station to catch a bus to school, and before that from Inglewood to Lennox. When you see a bus station in LA it’s usually abandoned so you sit down with a hope and a prayer that a bus will eventually show up. Hours later one might fulfill your wish. I offer all this up because I’d love for you to watch this movie, but I also need you to have a healthy cynicism over this idea that the noble poor brown people have all the answers that you seek. I am trying to figure it out, to my credit, but I only made a few bits of headway in my thinking of LA. On one of my commuter walks–as a little boy–I encountered the carcass of an abandoned and disemboweled dog, and I realized I lived in hell.

What I mean by that is: Hey, you like LA? Cool I guess.


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