The Lie of Cinema: Los Angeles Plays Itself

01/01/2014 4:00 AM |

Los Angeles Plays Itself
Directed by Thom Andersen

It doesn’t put it in these terms exactly, but Andersen’s 2003 film, getting a weeklong run at IFC for its 10th-anniversary remaster, is about the foundational paradox of cinema—how the cinematic image is both a record of the truth and the birth of a lie. It fixes time and place and makes them fiction. Old films offer us a glimpse of the world as it used to be, a keyhole view of history, but the vision is incomplete. The cinema, Andersen reminds us, is a medium of cheats and shortcuts, tricks to make reality more appealing. Los Angeles may play itself, but it’s still just acting.

Opens January 3