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The Definitive Movie for Any City

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The Definitive Movie for Any City

#1

Post by blocho » July 21st, 2020, 2:48 am

I'm starting this new topic to continue a discussion that started in the rankdown topic about La La Land, which has been called the definite or consummate Los Angeles movie by some critics, an evaluation that at least three people participating in the rankdown (me included) disagree with.

So, perhaps people can discuss here what movie they think best depicts or expresses the spirit of a city they have lived in. Please comment only on cities you have actually lived in, not just visited.

For myself, I have only lived in three cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Edinburgh. I'm not going to discuss Edinburgh because I was only there six months, and I've only seen maybe 5-10 movies set there.

For Los Angeles, La La Land simply doesn't work for me because it presents a fantasy of LA. It reminded me of 500 Days of Summer in the sense that it presented some cute aspects of LA as scenic backdrop for a focus on romantic comedy. There's nothing wrong with that approach in terms of filmmaking, but I can hardly say the resulting product is the definitive LA movie. So what is? I'll have to think on that for a bit. There have been so many great movies set in Los Angeles, movies in which LA is an essential part of the story. Many of those, however, depict a Los Angeles I never knew. Falling Down is a very LA movie, but it's about an LA much different from the one I knew from 2011 to 2015. In some ways, I think The Big Lebowski (even though it was filmed in 1998), in its evocation of all of LA's tawdry weirdness and randomness, was much more familiar to my own experience in Los Angeles.

As for New York, gosh where do I even begin? New Jack City, even though it's a ridiculous movie, feels true to the New York of my early years. 25th Hour feels very true to the New York of my college years. I can name many movies that depicted a certain slice of New York very accurately (Frances Ha is one that I saw recently), but it's hard to think of a movie that provides a very good, wide view of New York.

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#2

Post by blocho » July 21st, 2020, 2:49 am

I invite everyone to discuss the definitive movie(s) for any city they have lived in.

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#3

Post by Lammetje » July 21st, 2020, 9:32 am

I've lived in just as many cities as you, but I cannot think of a single movie I've seen that is set in one of them. :/
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#4

Post by xianjiro » July 21st, 2020, 10:02 am

but shouldn't LA Plays (with) Itself be the right answer?

I'm thinking about some others: Ferris Beuller or Blues Brothers are probably leading contenders for Chicago; I want to mention Free Willy for Portland even though it was only partially filmed here but set on the coast - Seattle? - and also Astoria, Oregon. While I haven't lived in Astoria, I know it pretty well and Short Circuit and Goonies are very closely tied with Astoria - mostly Goonies though. You used to be able to tour the Goonies house, but it sold.

The Kill Bill duopoly, while set in El Paso didn't feel anything like El Paso to me. Oddly enough, probably nothing will because while movies like to reference El Paso or are set there, it's often nominally. I know of two films made there - Monos: Hands of Fate is even less El Paso than Kill Bill. My ex was an extra in one made around 1980: know I checked it, but can't think of the name. The Border probably works reasonably well though since that is largely the city's defining feature (though there are people who go to El Paso - military especially - who never experience that, especially now that Juarez is so scary dangerious). El Paso is so out back of beyond in movie parlance just as Portland has become synonymous with hipsters and leftist trendy.

Tokyo? Where to start ... even though I lived in another city just to the east but I can't really think of any Chiba movie. Both Ôdishon and Cure had scenes filmed there, but nothing that I recognized. For Tokyo, it rather depends which Tokyo one talks about. Tokyo is even more diverse than NYC with each of the 23 Ku (special wards or "cities") having it's own personality. Lots of films feature that youth culture/counter culture/anti culture vibe that happens in Harajuku for instance, which is a district in Shibuya which was sometimes referred to as "youth city" (city for/of young people). Don't think many accuse Taito or Bunkyo of being a "youth city". For these super big cities, it's hard work: so many films, so many versions of the city. (Things like Wolf of Wall Street feel very NY to outsiders, but I wonder how they would feel to those inhabiting the brokerage houses.)

Well, and then there is the time factor. Portland Story is pretty authentic from what I understand of the city around 1950 and was partially filmed here.

Absolute blank on Cape Town: seen films shot or set there, but not sure anything has captured the essence for me. It's such a unique mixture and definitely it's own place, different from other South African cities like Durban (coastal like Cape Town but more tropical) and Johannesburg (big, financial center but way more so).

Hmm, tough one.

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#5

Post by Onderhond » July 21st, 2020, 10:25 am

I've pretty much lived in and around Antwerp all my life, not really a city that features heavily in most films (some local films are shot here, but the city is usually just a background). There's only on that would fit the bill, which is Any Way the Wind Blows. Directed by Tom Barman (frontman of dEUS, for those who are into rock music), who also did the soundtrack with CJ Bolland (under the Magnus alias). It really captures the spirit of the city, though clearly in a more cinematic way.

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#6

Post by Teproc » July 21st, 2020, 11:53 am

I think the idea of a city having a definite film is pretty silly, but it can make for interesting discussion I suppose.

I spent most of my life in Le Havre, and the first film that comes to mind would be Le quai des brumes/Port of Shadows, but it's a pre WWII film, and Le Havre was almost entirely destroyed in WWII, so... an obvious post-war film would be Kaurismäki's, and that's probably the film that showcases the city the most, but I'm not a huge fan, so I'll go with Réparer les vivants/Heal the Living, mostly for one long sequence in the begining where we follow a character through the city.

As for Paris, which I've live in and/or close to for quite a while, there are obviously countless examples. Les quatre cent coups/The 400 Blows's opening sequence comes to mind, as does the lengthy chase through multiple types of vehicles in Peur sur la ville/Fear Over the City. Amélie is there for a fantasy version of Paris, one that is often reviled by Parisians tbh, similar quandary as with La La Land I suppose. But really, Paris is so dominant over the country and especially its film industry that it's quite inescapable, without even accounting for the countless foreign films that use it as a backdrop.

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#7

Post by peeptoad » July 21st, 2020, 12:27 pm

Aside from growing up in and around Providence, Boston (and surrounding small NE towns) I've lived in noting but cities as an adult-

Boston (8 years) Mystic River actually gives a pretty good "feel" for some areas of Boston (and its occupants), but not so much others. Maybe for Good Will Hunting I could say similar...but it only catches two or three smaller demographics. GWH is actually quite accurate in some regards regarding a subset of the blue collar New England, male laborer. I have friends who would have blended right in with Will and his friends.

Providence (7 and counting) can't think of a film that exemplifies Providence. And I haven't seen Federal Hill. It's a small, ever-shifting, progressive, weird kind of a city with few similarities compared to other areas I've lived in.

Los Angeles (15 years) haven't seen La La Land so can't comment on that one. I agree with the Big Lebowksi somewhat since it was filmed when I lived there and in some of the neighborhoods I directly occupied (Venice Beach, etc.). Jackie Brown has some of this as well... per some of the locations and timeframe. I'd have to think about this since there are just so many films made in and around LA.

Philadelphia (5 years) some of M. Knight's stuff I think gives a decent feel for the city itself, but maybe not so much other aspects outside physicality of the region. Natives to this city might say Rocky? IDK...

Portland, OR (1 year) I got nothing. I was only there for one year in the mid-90s.

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#8

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 12:54 pm

What makes a film (TV show, etc) "representative" of a city? What elements do we want to see that together constitute something like a picture of the whole? I think you could group them into four large categories:

1 - the physical city - it's architecture, it's topography, it's green spaces, it's climate
2 - the people of the city - not just all of the ethnic or national origins present, but the jobs - a definitive Nashville movie is going to have reference to the music industry for example - and something of the feel of how the people live, the economics
3 - the history of the city
4 - the way the city is perceived by the world, and by itself.

I don't think any movie can do all of these things together for a huge, diverse, and centuries-old metropolis, as I intimated in the other thread. I do think a film could be "definitive" in one area, and I'll go back a little bit on what I said there and suggest that La La Land probably is a good representation of #4 - it's representing the dreams and aspirations of young people in the industries - movies and music - that the city is world-famous for. And it does a decent job in area #1, but it doesn't really hit 3 & 4 at all.

Anyway the only city of any size I've lived in was Chicago, from birth to 7, and from 17 to just before my 35th birthday. I mostly lived in Evanston or the north side, and the north side and north suburbs are the areas I knew best. It's really hard for me to come up with any films that feel close to definitive and range widely over many areas of exploration. My favorite Chicago film is definitely Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, made by a Chicago native and representing a lot of the gritty working-class environments pretty well; but I think the very nature of the film sort of precludes it from being any kind of statement about the city as a whole. I've never been a fan of John Hughes, but I have to admit he gets certain elements of the north suburbs right - both the physical and the people. Andrew Davis is a another Chicago director and several of his films, mostly action-oriented, were shot there. The three I'm most familiar with - Code of Silence, Above the Law and The Fugitive - all have a good feel for the cityscapes, and all have a few real Chicago accents on display, mostly courtesy of character actors in support of the non-Chicagoan leads; Fugitive star Harrison Ford is a native and grew up there but at this point doesn't seem very midwestern to me. Robert Redford's Ordinary People also has a good feel for the northern suburbs.

Sad to say Chicago, for being the 2nd largest city in the US during most of movie history, just hasn't been used that well or often in movies compared to it's peers. Some of that's not surprising - it doesn't have the physical diversity of San Francisco or L.A., it doesn't have quite the history or importance of New York, Boston or Washington, and it was only the movie capital of the country for a few months around WWI when Chaplin was working there - Los Angeles took over right afterwards and never looked back. Apart from Henry there are no Chicago films I'd call "great" and nearly all of the films I know that use the city well are comedies or action films that don't really make much effort to get at what Chicago really is or represents to the world. All that said, I'd propose that if there is a definitive Chicago film, it has to be The Blues Brothers, co-written by two natives (John Landis and John Belushi) who also directed and starred in the film, filmed on location in a great many places that do showcase the look of the city pretty well, and also showcasing one of the city's great contributions to the world - the blues. I'm not a huge fan of the movie but when somebody says "Chicago movie" to me, it's my first thought.

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#9

Post by Harco » July 21st, 2020, 1:39 pm

xianjiro wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 10:02 am
but shouldn't LA Plays (with) Itself be the right answer?

Tokyo? Where to start ... even though I lived in another city just to the east but I can't really think of any Chiba movie. Both Ôdishon and Cure had scenes filmed there, but nothing that I recognized. For Tokyo, it rather depends which Tokyo one talks about. Tokyo is even more diverse than NYC with each of the 23 Ku (special wards or "cities") having it's own personality. Lots of films feature that youth culture/counter culture/anti culture vibe that happens in Harajuku for instance, which is a district in Shibuya which was sometimes referred to as "youth city" (city for/of young people). Don't think many accuse Taito or Bunkyo of being a "youth city". For these super big cities, it's hard work: so many films, so many versions of the city. (Things like Wolf of Wall Street feel very NY to outsiders, but I wonder how they would feel to those inhabiting the brokerage houses.)
Lived in Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki for five months and for Ôdishon, I recall several outdoor scenes that were shot on Omotesando.

EDIT: Oh, sorry, you were talking about Chiba. :D
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#10

Post by blocho » July 21st, 2020, 2:43 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 12:54 pm
What makes a film (TV show, etc) "representative" of a city? What elements do we want to see that together constitute something like a picture of the whole? I think you could group them into four large categories:

1 - the physical city - it's architecture, it's topography, it's green spaces, it's climate
2 - the people of the city - not just all of the ethnic or national origins present, but the jobs - a definitive Nashville movie is going to have reference to the music industry for example - and something of the feel of how the people live, the economics
3 - the history of the city
4 - the way the city is perceived by the world, and by itself.

I don't think any movie can do all of these things together for a huge, diverse, and centuries-old metropolis, as I intimated in the other thread.
Excellent analysis. I agree -- it's too much for any single move to do all of these things.

For Chicago (which I've visited only once), I often think of Adventures in Babysitting. Do you have any thoughts on that one?

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#11

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 2:58 pm

blocho wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 2:43 pm
OldAle1 wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 12:54 pm
What makes a film (TV show, etc) "representative" of a city? What elements do we want to see that together constitute something like a picture of the whole? I think you could group them into four large categories:

1 - the physical city - it's architecture, it's topography, it's green spaces, it's climate
2 - the people of the city - not just all of the ethnic or national origins present, but the jobs - a definitive Nashville movie is going to have reference to the music industry for example - and something of the feel of how the people live, the economics
3 - the history of the city
4 - the way the city is perceived by the world, and by itself.

I don't think any movie can do all of these things together for a huge, diverse, and centuries-old metropolis, as I intimated in the other thread.
Excellent analysis. I agree -- it's too much for any single move to do all of these things.

For Chicago (which I've visited only once), I often think of Adventures in Babysitting. Do you have any thoughts on that one?
I'd have to see it again - probably been 10 years - but at the moment, mixed. Much of it was shot in Toronto and I seem to remember at least a couple of scenes that were obviously not Chicago, but again, I can't be sure after a decade. But I don't think it communicated anything of what makes Chicago unique - any film that's a good representation of a city should tell you a little bit about why this city is this city - why is New York not the same as Philadelphia, even though they both got started in the 17th city, both were (briefly) the capital, they're very close to each other physically, have broadly similar demographics, etc. Why is Chicago different from Milwaukee or St. Louis? A lot of the broad comedies from the 80s that I grew up with have that "adventure in the big city" vibe but many of them could be in any big city. The ones that aren't - After Hours could only be New York (and hey, it deserves consideration as "definitive" doesn't it?), Into the Night could only be Los Angeles - stand out. I don't remember Babysitting having that distinctive Chicago vibe the way Ferris Bueller does. Though I should say that John Hughes' films, even the ones that take place partly in the city itself, always feel very White Suburban.

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#12

Post by peeptoad » July 21st, 2020, 3:55 pm

Chicago = Ferris Bueller
Last edited by peeptoad on July 21st, 2020, 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#13

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 21st, 2020, 4:15 pm

I've lived in mostly suburbs/mid-size towns, but most of them in the Philadelphia area so I have a pretty solid familiarity with the city. Though it's basically become cliche to choose this one, I'd say Rocky (which I only saw for the first time recently) does a great job in shooting Philly locations/working class neighborhoods, and Philly-raised Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981) as well. Trying to think of more recent Philly-shot films that do a good job of depicting a more contemporary view of the city, but I'm drawing a blank.
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#14

Post by blocho » July 21st, 2020, 4:36 pm

For LA, how could I forget? LA Story. It's broad satire, so it's ridiculous, but it gets a lot of Los Angeles right. Enjoy:


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#15

Post by beavis » July 21st, 2020, 5:30 pm

Amsterdam for me.

Hard to name something definitive. Don't make the mistake of seeking out Amsterdamned because a lot of that one was actually filmed in Utrecht. I love seeing my city in movies through the decades, seeing how it has changed. Amsterdam has been used as a location for Hollywood movies, Kungfu movies, I think I also saw a Bollywood and/or a Korean one once that was supposed to feature Amsterdam, but was actually filmed in Haarlem. I'd like to mention two Italian genre movies: Hanna D. - La Ragazza del Vondel Park (1984) and La Ragazza in Vetrina (1961), because they are cool. When it comes to our local productions however, there isn't much that I could recommend / that could translate well... Makkers Staakt Uw Wild Geraas (1960) is one, and when you then feel the need to go for a "Sinterklaas double bill" also check out the more experimental After the Tone (2014). That one certainly gives a very Dutch view of our country and culture, so it is interesting, but it is all in the text, and I wonder how it comes across for "outsiders". Finally I think the low budget underground movies from Pim de la Parra, Wim Verstappen and Paul Ruven (his early work) feature the city often prominently, so they come to my mind at least when thinking of something definitive for Amsterdam, but again they are very hard to recommend...

EDIT: I'll add De Inbreker (1972) and Naakt over de Schutting (1973) for a very 70's view of Amsterdam, including a chase done with trams. Both by Frans Weisz, both very pulpy comedies that probably won't be watchable for a current audience, but I saw the charm of them. De Inbreker is slightly better, but Naakt is slightly crazier, so I could not choose between the two.

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#16

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 5:42 pm

Montréal is a city I never lived in, but besides Chicago and maybe Minneapolis/St. Paul, it's the large city I've spent the most time - quite a few nights and weekends between 2002-2013 or so. So what's the definitive Montréal film? Certainly I'd have to say that Xavier Dolan is the director of the city at this point - while Claude Jutra and Michel Brault were also from the city, neither focused as much on it as Dolan has (so far). Brault's Les ordres would be a contender, though it's narrow political focus makes it a film definitely more for locals than for anyone outside who wants to understand the spirit of the city. But Dolan's first feature, J'ai tué ma mère is exactly the Longueuil (large, mostly lower-middle class suburb) I knew, and the feel of Laurence Anyways for the city is palpable.

This brings up another question: what director(s) do you associate most, or best, with a particular city? I've already mentioned some names for Chicago - Hughes, Davis, Landis. Some large-ish cities only have one or a handful of filmmakers who anybody outside the city is going to think of - Guy Maddin IS Winnipeg in the cinematic imagination. But who represents L.A. or New York? Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are the three biggest names calling the latter home over the past several decades, though all of them have made a significant percentage of their later films elsewhere. I tend to think of Paris as Jacques Rivette's Paris, but I've never been there and of course there are innumerable filmmakers who made many or most of their films there. Austin is Richard Linkater territory. Munich belongs to Fassbinder. Who else is the ambassador of where else?

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#17

Post by beavis » July 21st, 2020, 5:56 pm

Glasgow seems to belong to Bill Forsyth, Hamburg maybe Fatih Akin... it's easy to think of some for all big cities I guess, but I'd also rather hear from local people about local flavors ;)

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#18

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 6:05 pm

beavis wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 5:56 pm
Glasgow seems to belong to Bill Forsyth, Hamburg maybe Fatih Akin... it's easy to think of some for all big cities I guess, but I'd also rather hear from local people about local flavors ;)
Yeah, while I think the tourist's POV is important - and one of the things I really like about Los Angels Plays Itself is that Andersen devotes a whole section to L.A. "tourists" - you do get a very different sense of a place if you've lived there for some time.

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#19

Post by prodigalgodson » July 21st, 2020, 6:14 pm

Definitely Vertigo for SF, probably Short Cuts for LA.

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#20

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 6:27 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 6:14 pm
Definitely Vertigo for SF, probably Short Cuts for LA.
Yeah S.F. has the easiest top pick probably for any city. Even if one doesn't like Vertigo it's hard to deny that it uses the city well, and it's particular vertical nature. But the city is blessed with a lot of films that make good use of it - the Dirty Harry films, especially the first, Bullitt, and quite a few classic era noir - Dark Passage I think might make the best use of the city before Vertigo. And Ida Lupino does a great job of drawing contrasts between SF and LA in The Bigamist.

Funny I just never think of Short Cuts, probably because I didn't like it much. Ought to watch it again I suppose, I've gotten to like Altman much more over the past 20+ years.

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#21

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 21st, 2020, 7:20 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 5:42 pm
This brings up another question: what director(s) do you associate most, or best, with a particular city? I've already mentioned some names for Chicago - Hughes, Davis, Landis. Some large-ish cities only have one or a handful of filmmakers who anybody outside the city is going to think of - Guy Maddin IS Winnipeg in the cinematic imagination. But who represents L.A. or New York? Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are the three biggest names calling the latter home over the past several decades, though all of them have made a significant percentage of their later films elsewhere. I tend to think of Paris as Jacques Rivette's Paris, but I've never been there and of course there are innumerable filmmakers who made many or most of their films there. Austin is Richard Linkater territory. Munich belongs to Fassbinder. Who else is the ambassador of where else?
This could be an interesting thread all its own, I like it. I'm trying to think of American, NON-New York/LA/Chicago filmmakers who are strongly tied to a particular U.S. city. You mentioned Linklater in Austin of course...and there's John Waters for Baltimore. Interested in seeing others come up with ones that I can't think of.
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#22

Post by blocho » July 21st, 2020, 7:34 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 7:20 pm
This could be an interesting thread all its own, I like it. I'm trying to think of American, NON-New York/LA/Chicago filmmakers who are strongly tied to a particular U.S. city. You mentioned Linklater in Austin of course...and there's John Waters for Baltimore. Interested in seeing others come up with ones that I can't think of.
Shyamalan for Philly. The Farrelly Brothers are very Rhode Island-centric.

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#23

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 21st, 2020, 7:47 pm

blocho wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 7:34 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 7:20 pm
This could be an interesting thread all its own, I like it. I'm trying to think of American, NON-New York/LA/Chicago filmmakers who are strongly tied to a particular U.S. city. You mentioned Linklater in Austin of course...and there's John Waters for Baltimore. Interested in seeing others come up with ones that I can't think of.
Shyamalan for Philly. The Farrelly Brothers are very Rhode Island-centric.
Yeah I was thinking about mentioning Shyamalan for Philly, I guess he's the best option available, though I don’t think many of movies scream “Philly” all that much, IMO. Unbreakable comes to mind though as probably his best location work in the city.
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#24

Post by prodigalgodson » July 21st, 2020, 9:28 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 6:27 pm
prodigalgodson wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 6:14 pm
Definitely Vertigo for SF, probably Short Cuts for LA.
Yeah S.F. has the easiest top pick probably for any city. Even if one doesn't like Vertigo it's hard to deny that it uses the city well, and it's particular vertical nature. But the city is blessed with a lot of films that make good use of it - the Dirty Harry films, especially the first, Bullitt, and quite a few classic era noir - Dark Passage I think might make the best use of the city before Vertigo. And Ida Lupino does a great job of drawing contrasts between SF and LA in The Bigamist.

Funny I just never think of Short Cuts, probably because I didn't like it much. Ought to watch it again I suppose, I've gotten to like Altman much more over the past 20+ years.
Dark Passage was actually the first one that came to mind for me (it's an incredibly cinematic city and well-suited to noir), but yeah Vertigo just nails SF in so many ways. Ah yeah, I remember loving the Echo Park footage in The Bigamist.

I saw Short Cuts recently; it's not my favorite Altman or my favorite LA-set film, but in terms of capturing the feel and the aesthetic of LA, it's pretty on the nose. As a child of the 90s, it probably has a particular nostalgic resonance for me. Same goes for Lebowski (the lazy stoner experience of LA, my post-college experience), Repo Man (the punk rock experience of LA, my early teen years), Mulholland Dr. (the haunted nightmarish experience of LA, my mid-20s years). LA Story and La La Land capture some details well for sure, but are a little too pastichey to reflect this native's experience of the city. There are too many good ones to name in noir alone...Chinatown, In a Lonely Place, Kiss Me Deadly, To Live and Die in LA, Sunset Blvd., and oh shit, I forgot about The Long Goodbye speaking of Altman, that's way up there too!

EDIT: Oh, and Inherent Vice for sure!

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#25

Post by OldAle1 » July 21st, 2020, 9:39 pm

I love the way To Live and Die in L.A. looks and some of the stuff it shows - the absolutely bonkers wrong-way chase scene for example - the music; it's one of my favorite not-favorite films actually, in that I find it really irritating on some levels - it's hard to watch 2 hours of assholes that you don't care about at all, when clearly you're supposed to on some level care what happens. I just wanted pretty much every single person in that film to die, and thankfully it comes pretty close to doing that. It's a film that works purely as sound + image, with the plot and characters mostly detracting rather than adding to it. Certainly agree with most of your other picks, though my memories of both Repo Man and L.A. Story are dim. Another favorite from the noir era that isn't as well known as it should be is the 1952 Without Warning! which is cool for it's early views of the freeways and what we would now call exurbs, mingled with a little bit of the more urban night-time experience. In terms of the way it looks at the city it reminds me of Elevator to the Gallows and it's similar portrait of a suburban-izing Paris.

What did you think of Under the Silver Lake, if you saw it? There's a case where the city really is a character and I'm not sure I can think of another film in recent years with so many different L.A. locations used in interesting ways. I have mixed feelings about a lot of elements in the film but certainly as a modern weird noir in bright colors it stands out.

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#26

Post by xianjiro » July 21st, 2020, 10:17 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 12:54 pm
Apart from Henry there are no Chicago films I'd call "great" and nearly all of the films I know that use the city well are comedies or action films that don't really make much effort to get at what Chicago really is or represents to the world. All that said, I'd propose that if there is a definitive Chicago film, it has to be The Blues Brothers, co-written by two natives (John Landis and John Belushi) who also directed and starred in the film, filmed on location in a great many places that do showcase the look of the city pretty well, and also showcasing one of the city's great contributions to the world - the blues. I'm not a huge fan of the movie but when somebody says "Chicago movie" to me, it's my first thought.
Thought about it some more, and decided would have to add Risky Business to the Chicago list: there is just something about it that feels very, very Chicago to me.
Last edited by xianjiro on July 21st, 2020, 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#27

Post by xianjiro » July 21st, 2020, 10:18 pm

Harco wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 1:39 pm
xianjiro wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 10:02 am
but shouldn't LA Plays (with) Itself be the right answer?

Tokyo? Where to start ... even though I lived in another city just to the east but I can't really think of any Chiba movie. Both Ôdishon and Cure had scenes filmed there, but nothing that I recognized. For Tokyo, it rather depends which Tokyo one talks about. Tokyo is even more diverse than NYC with each of the 23 Ku (special wards or "cities") having it's own personality. Lots of films feature that youth culture/counter culture/anti culture vibe that happens in Harajuku for instance, which is a district in Shibuya which was sometimes referred to as "youth city" (city for/of young people). Don't think many accuse Taito or Bunkyo of being a "youth city". For these super big cities, it's hard work: so many films, so many versions of the city. (Things like Wolf of Wall Street feel very NY to outsiders, but I wonder how they would feel to those inhabiting the brokerage houses.)
Lived in Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki for five months and for Ôdishon, I recall several outdoor scenes that were shot on Omotesando.

EDIT: Oh, sorry, you were talking about Chiba. :D
Thanks for making my point :lol: IMDb says there was a connection to Chiba, but nothing in the movie said that to me.

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#28

Post by xianjiro » July 21st, 2020, 10:31 pm

So, I was looking at IMDb and suddenly came across a number of films that feel very Portland: My Own Private Idaho, I Tonya (how could I miss that gem?!?), Paranoia Park, and What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? actually used Portland locations quite well. Wendy and Lucy also struck me as feeling very Portland, especially for someone who isn't in yet.

For director: Gus van Sant (who else?) though Kelly Reichardt comes second

I also avoided listing that way too obvious TV show since the OP was about movies. ;)

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#29

Post by Nathan Treadway » July 21st, 2020, 11:08 pm

As far as Cincinnati is concerned, I'd guess Killing of a Sacred Deer, Rain Man or Anomalisa. Although I'm not sure how well any of those fit the defined criteria, represent the city, or use cultural icons within the region. I haven't really looked too far into films that take place there, to make a definitive list.

There's also WKRP in Cincinnati, that I've never watched any episodes of.

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#30

Post by burneyfan » July 25th, 2020, 10:54 pm

Portland, OR: I would have picked My Own Private Idaho, but I like xianjiro's other ideas, too.

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