Using clips from well-known movies to more obscure gems, Thom Andersen explores the realities and mysticism surrounding Los Angeles, a city which was produced by Hollywood itself. Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself is divided into three segments: "The City as Background", "The City as Character" and "The City as Subject", with each providing a fascinating commentary on how Los Angeles was shaped and molded through the years by the industry of filmmaking. Los Angeles Plays Itself is a film told with passion, as Andersen somewhat exhaustively looks at the various political and social issues which shaped the city we know as L.A. Andersen's commentary about how Hollywood played a major part in shaping Los Angeles is somewhat seething at times, blaming the movie machine's aura for the city's lack of identity. The connections Andersen makes are intriguing, fascinating and opinionated but one cannot help but fine themselves engaged in this man's tour of the city he loves. Running nearly 3 hours in length, Los Angeles Plays Itself is a little bit of an endurance test that the average viewer may find monotonous or tiresome but for individuals passionate about filmmaking or really Los Angeles in general, Andersen's film should not be missed.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.