169 minutes| U.S.A.| 2003| Colour & Black and White| Digibeta

This is a rare opportunity to see Thom Andersen’s intriguing video essay on the depiction of Los Angeles on film, of which Philip French said, ‘no film this year has given me more pleasure.’ Considering representations of the city as background, as character, and as subject, consisting entirely of clips from almost 200 films covering the medium’s entire history, Andersen’s erudite, witty and fascinatingly digressive narration provides wonderful insights into changing tastes in architecture, and how styles have become associated with specific genres and character types. As well as being a fascinating document of one city’s architectural history, this is also a work of film criticism at the highest level.

Plus short: Set to Duke Ellington’s track of the same name, D.A. Pennebaker’s first short film Daybreak Express takes the audience from end to end of a New York subway route, propelling us through the mid-20th century metropolis. Directed by D.A. Pennebaker. 5 minutes, U.S.A., 1953, Colour, Digibeta.

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