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.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece that portrays the Los Angeles of the 1970’s San Fernando Valley as a city of big dreams, big parties, and big hangovers. A fond remembrance of things past with a lot of heart. I was the costume designer of the film and many of Dirk’s fashion choices were autobiographical. But ONLY the fashion….
Like Greenberg, the film explores the idea of the Los Angeles home as a haven and the culture of the swimming pool. The stunning visuals are like a Hockney painting come to life.
Director Stephen Frears’ Los Angeles reads as a slightly seedy metropolis with busy people with business to do and people to scam. When the characters do come out of their holes there is sunshine, but not a beach, bathing suit or Hawaiian shirt in sight. (This film is special to me because it brought me to Hollywood from New York twenty years ago to be Assistant Costume Designer to Designer Richard Hornung.)
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Not readily available but nonetheless fascinating, this documentary from scholar/film fanatic Thom Andersen is about Los Angeles as “the most photographed city in the world” and how that has been used in film. Sometimes shown at the Egyptian just getting a taste of it on YouTube will leave you begging for more.
An unusual film with Anouk Aimée, this 1969 film from French director Jacques Demy is fun to watch to see how far this town has come in the last forty years. Los Angeles comes off as another planet; it is a one-story-high town with pumping oil derricks, pool halls, hippies and a trippy place called a model shop where guys pay to take pictures of girls with their clothes ON! Look for a brief shot of a rural Beverly Blvd. and La Cienega before the Beverly Center.