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.
Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice
This movie is painful, sexy and funny. These are three things I look for in movies. It's a great portrait of marriage – of transition both personal and cultural. Paul Mazursky made some great ones.
The Long Goodbye
A mumbling Elliott Gould tries to trick his cat into eating a new brand of cat food and fails. He has to go to an all night supermarket to buy the cat his preferred brand. Half-naked girls do yoga across the courtyard and request brownie mix. "Mr. Marlowe!" I associated this movie with LA before I knew LA. It was even more accurate than I knew.
Play it as it Lays
Joan Didion's novel is great, the movie not so much. But it's genuinely odd and beautifully shot by Jordan Croneweth, there's great driving at night.
E.T.: The Extraterrestrial
I love the aerial views of California when E.T. flies – all those swimming pools. As a kid, I remember thinking, "What a great touch." Now I realize the swimming pools were already there. I got a stye the first time I saw this movie from crying too hard.
The Anniversary Party
Among other things this movie is about balancing one's identity with marriage. It captures both the comfort and isolation in community, the notion of public and private lives. It's also buoyant and hilarious.