Los Angeles and Cinema Project


" 1781. The American Revolution was winding down. Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered tungsten. Immanuel Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason. A twenty-five-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his thirteenth opera; he would write ten more before he died a decade later. And forty-four Spanish settlers founded a pueblo alongside a roaring river flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Two hundred years later, the city that resulted would rival New York City as an economic powerhouse of the U.S.A, though little of the river would remain." 

From pueblo to metropolis, the story of Los Angeles is a tale of street cars, the oil industry, and motion picture pioneers bringing to life an ocean city on the edge of a desert. Los Angeles has always tried to be something exterior to America, an ideal environment for film to thrive.  Filmmaker Thom Andersen argues that Hollywood made Los Angeles a very self-aware city, as it is one of the most photographed cities on the planet. How could it not be self-conscious?  This book takes Hollywood history and Los Angeles history hand-in-hand, showing how the story of film and the City of Angels grew along side one another. This project seeks to further the work of other film historians, Thom Andersen's groundbreaking film Los Angeles Plays Itself, and the work of social critic Mike Davis, a project that bridges film history with architectural history, California history, and other disciplines in order to paint a fuller picture of Hollywood and how it shaped the region.