Los Angles Plays Itself: Thom Andersen’s Massive Video Essay

Thom Andersen’s massive undertaking, the video essay Los Angles Plays Itself, depicts the way that the City of the Future has been presented in Hollywood movies.

Consisting almost entirely of clips from other films with narration, initially, the video was only seen in screenings presented by Andersen, and some presentations at the American Cinematheque.

In 2014, the film was finally released theatrically by Cinema Guild

The movie consists of three parts: the City as Background, the City as Character, and the City as Subject.

.The idea for the film occurred after a lecture he gave at the California Institute of the Arts, where he discussed his criticism of Curtis Hanson’s 1997 Oscar nominated film noir, L. A. Confidential.