Jun 19 2012
David Goldblatt: Los Angeles for Beginners
No one who arrives in Los Angeles comes without baggage. I came with a whole lifetime of seeing the city through the filter of its culture industries and the region's relentless self-promotion. This did not prepare me for the real thing. Watching Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself—a brilliant documentary composed entirely of clips of the city in other movies—would have disabused me of at least some of the worst inaccuracies and illusions spun by Hollywood, but I didn't see it until it was too late. I did come with the standard roster of guides: Time Out, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide. They're all reasonably helpful, but if you want a vision of the city that extends beyond Grumman's Chinese theatre, Disneyland, and the mean streets of Beverly Hills (all of which you should visit) other books are in order.
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