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                                                            Pirate Cinema Bombay
                                             The City Is Big, The Image is Small
                                                              Sunday, January 18
                                                                    7 pm - 10 pm

                                                        Los Angeles Plays Itself
                                                                   Thom Andersen
                                                                        USA 2003
                                                                169 mins, 1.4 GB

                                                                    CAMP Rooftop
                                                             301 Alif Apartments
                                                               34A Chuim Village
                                                                       Khar West


This is the city: Los Angeles, California. They make movies here. I live here.

Sometimes I think that gives me the right to criticize the way movies depict my

I know it's not easy. The city is big. The image is small. Movies are vertical.
At least when they're projected on a screen. The city is horizontal, except for
what we call downtown. Maybe that's why the movies love downtown more than we
do. If it isn't the site of the action, they try to stick its high-rise towers
in the back of the shot.

But movies have some advantages over us.

They can fly through the air. We must travel by land.

They exist in space. We live and die in time.

So why should I be generous?

Of course, I know movies aren't about places, they're about stories. If we
notice the location, we are not really watching the movie. It's what's up front
that counts. Movies bury their traces, choosing for us what to watch, then
moving on to something else.

They do the work of our voluntary attention, and so we must suppress that
faculty as we watch. Our involuntary attention must come to the fore.

But what if we watch with our voluntary attention, instead of letting the movies
direct us?

If we can appreciate documentaries for their dramatic qualities, perhaps we can
appreciate fiction films for their documentary revelations.

And what if suspense is just another alienation effect. Isn't that what
Hitchcock taught? For him, suspense was a means of enlivening his touristy
travelogues. Then maybe I can find another way to animate this city symphony in
reverse. Maybe this effort to see how movies depict Los Angeles may seem more
than wrong-headed or mean-spirited.

Full script:
List of references:
Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum:


                                                            pirate cinema bombay
                                                            sundays from 7 to 10

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