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Pat Saperstein

-Silver Lake Life: The View from Here (documentary, 1993)
-Malibu (hilarious TV movie from 1983)
-Venice Beach (2001 feature, don't know if it got released)

Dennis Smith

-"Los Angeles Plays Itself" Documentary (2003) Thom Andersen: Dir.

If you have not seen this film, make a point of searching it out. At just under three hours, it is long winded but brilliant.

LA MapNerd

You said:

>I may have placed number 12––"Who Framed Roger Rabbit"–– in the top ten just for creating Judge Doom of Cloverleaf Industries, a Los Angeles villain who rivals a thirsty Noah Cross in "Chinatown"


Interesting to hear Noah Cross compared to Judge Doom. :-)

They do have some very compelling resemblances, not the least of which is that they're both the pivotal villains in fictional accounts of crucial chapters in the development of Los Angeles - bringing the water that enabled LA to become a world-class metropolis, and the replacement of the interurban electric railways with freeways and automobiles, respectively - that substitute melodramatic Hollywood morality fables - noble little guys vs. powerful, corrupt evil - for any semblance of real history.

They both end up obscuring, rather than illuminating, the actual history of those events.

Don't get me wrong - I think Chinatown is an absolutely brilliant film - a cinematic landmark that virtually invented the "sun-blasted LA noir" genre; and Roger Rabbit is a thoroughly entertaining comic romp - but they should never be regarded as actual history.

It's a bit odd to see them in a list of films that convey some "inherent truth about the L.A. experience", when, in fact, both of them will leave viewers coming out knowing less about the real history of LA than when they went in.

The politics of water and the demise of the interurbans are both fascinating and complicated episodes in the history of LA, but you won't learn anything particularly true or useful about that history from watching those movies.

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