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Mike Davis

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  • 'L.A. Plays Itself,' but do films get it right?

    'L.A. Plays Itself,' but do films get it right?
    After years as an influential but rarely screen cult classic, Thom Andersen's 2003 documentary, "Los Angeles Plays Itself," will finally be released on DVD this week. Andersen, a professor of film studies at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, made the movie to protest what he saw as Hollywood's repeated, willful misrepresentations of Los Angeles and its architecture — and to rescue from obscurity some worthy films about the city, like Kent MacKenzie's 1961 "The Exiles." But because Andersen's 169-minute movie is strung together entirely from film clips, there were always questions about getting clearances for all that material, and it became obscure itself.
  • California vs. Texas in fight to attract and retain businesses

    California vs. Texas in fight to attract and retain businesses
    When California rolled out a $750-million plan this year to attract and retain businesses, many aspects mirrored longtime perks used by Texas — where officials love nothing more than stealing jobs from the Golden State. For more than a decade,...

    How a SCI-Arc design spoof predicted New York's 'poor doors'

    My mom likes to say that she left South America for the Land of Opportunity, only to have South America follow her here. It's our bit of gallows humor for talking about rising economic inequity here in the United States — an inequity that appears to...

    Getting a read on the city with Edward W. Soja's 'My Los Angeles'

    When people say that Los Angeles is hard to read, as they often do, they're usually not talking about books. They're talking about the city itself or rather the megalopolis, made up of dozens of cities. It is this sprawling, tangled, confusing,...

    Candidates line up to succeed L.A. Councilmen Parks, LaBonge

    Candidates line up to succeed L.A. Councilmen Parks, LaBonge
    With the next Los Angeles municipal election more than a year away, more than a dozen people have already stepped forward to compete for seats held by two of City Hall's most prominent political veterans: Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Tom LaBonge....