After some 11 years of being only sporadically viewable at special venues, Thom Andersen‘s Los Angeles Plays Itself will soon be distributed by Cinema Guild, presumably via VOD and (one hopes) Bluray. I missed an American Cinematheque showing of an updated, remastered version last September. Will there be hassles from rights holders about unlicensed clips from God knows how many Los Angeles-based films of the last 70 years? Fair use should offer protection, right?
“Andersen’s new and improved version of his influential, paradigm-shifting and pretty damn funny essay film, Los Angeles Plays Itself, [is about] how the city has been used as both backdrop/stand-in location and as literally itself,” Robert Koehler wrote on 9.20.13.
“The remastered version includes a replacement of nearly all of the film’s hundreds of sourced clips (switching out from videotape and laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray), plus a few changes in the movie selected to illustrate Andersen’s ideas. Andersen has retouched a few other things, like the aspect ratio (it’s 16:9 now, rather than 4:3), shifting the intermission to the 92-minute mark, trimming and expanding a few scenes.
“At a new 170-minute running time, Andersen says ‘the whole thing is two or three minutes longer, but I hope it will seem shorter.’”