This Friday if you’re staying in Los Angeles for this extended holiday weekend you need to drop all your plans and run to The Egyptian Theater to see Thom Andersen’s film essay, Los Angeles Plays Itself.
For those who love Los Angeles history its a must see, every film in the documentary uncovers a secret that the streets of Los Angeles have been keeping from you all these years. This treat comes once every once in a while to the American Cinematheque. Seeing this film in the theater is the only way to experience it, sadly it’ll never make its way to DVD due to all the licensing hurdles the tiny film would have to endure.
The first time I saw this film was when I first got to Los Angeles. As a transplant I was confused by Los Angeles and I set out to make myself love this city and part of my journey was taking in this film at the Egyptian Theater. As I sat in the balcony for this 3+ hour documentary, I increasingly became more and more glued to each film showcased. My list of films to see grew for that coming year.
The best film find was learning about The Exiles, a film by Kent Mackenzie. This film showcases the once dingy downtown neighborhood of Bunker Hill. Getting to see the Angels Flight in action was a treat. In a later viewing of the entire film, it was great to see a gas station in Silver Lake that now is a $1 car wash that lives at the end of my street.
Make plans now and get tickets soon, this event will sell out. Stick around after for a rare chat with Director Thom Andersen. The screening will be at 7:30PM this Friday and the Egyptian Theater is located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028.