As part of Movie City Los Angeles, key members of the creative team behind Focus Features’ forthcoming film Greenberg select their favorite movies set in the City of Angels.
I accidentally walked into the Bradbury Building one day, and was reminded of the importance of the place in the history of Production Design. Between this film and 2001, futuristic movies are going to have one foot in the past for another 25 years. Syd Mead is a genius, and Los Angeles has never simultaneously looked so spectacularly good and bad.
I am a sucker for a good period piece, and this one does a great job of showing LA as it is growing up and becoming the modern city we know today. Visually, this movie gives us the tension between the lush and the squalid that makes Los Angeles architecturally diverse and endlessly fascinating.
Classic studio bungalows, caricature-ish executive offices, walls on fire, a terrifying creaky elevator, Chet, and melting wallpaper. What's not to like? I feel Barton's pain. Sequels, remakes, prequels, sequels to remakes. It can be a little maddening... but I listen to people.
This was my first job on a big budget film. While I was a PA in the Art Department I learned how to get around Los Angeles, how different people perceive different parts of the city, and how locations become characters in a film's visual storytelling. This film really gets around LA, and almost entirely at night. Plus, it's Tom Cruise's only role as a bad guy.
Rebel Without a Cause
The intensity of feeling in the film makes those kids from Twilight seem like characters out of a Saturday morning cartoon. Natalie Wood and the Griffith Observatory never looked so good. On a daily basis, Los Angeles doesn't give you the same chills that some other cities do, but if you don't get excited about the jetliner views on a clear night in the Hollywood Hills you are dead inside.