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Film of the Month: Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles

The architectural historian Reyner Banham takes the viewer on a tour of what he describes as the “four ecologies” of the city of Los Angeles: Surfurbia, Foothills, The Plains of Id, and Autopia (beach, basin, foothills, freeways). See his book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies published in 1972.

An Englishman in L.A., Banham exudes an almost giddy enthusiasm for the energy of the highway and celebrates qualities of the city often derided by critics of architecture and urbanism. The combination of his formal eye and knowledge of cities as a historian combined with Banham’s passion for pop culture and the film’s period footage, music, and cameos with local personalities makes for an entertaining and insightful tour through 1970s Los Angeles.

like earlier generations of English intellectuals who taught themselves Italian in order to read Dante in the original, I learned to drive to read Los Angeles in the original.” - Reyner Banham

Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles
Directed by Julian Cooper, USA/UK, 1972, 52mins

Watch the full film here

Posted in: Film Of The Month
Date: July 27, 2015