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Ready for my close up: The evolution of Los Angeles as a character in film and TV




Snow blankets the mountains behind the downtown skyline in the Greater Los Angeles Area January 7, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Snow blankets the mountains behind the downtown skyline in the Greater Los Angeles Area January 7, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Los Angeles is often referred to as the most photographed city in the world.

It’s the birthplace and home of the film industry and its sprawling landscape, sunny weather, and diverse neighborhoods make it a near perfect backdrop for a movie or TV show.

Yet, maybe more so than any other city, Los Angeles plays a role in film and TV, and sometimes is even the star.

HBO’s original series ‘True Detective,’ features Los Angeles this way, using it not only as a backdrop for a gritty series about crime and corruption, but also as a character in the way the different counties, suburbs, and L.A. neighborhoods interact and coexist. Plenty of films throughout history have featured L.A. in a supporting or starring role...think L.A. Confidential, Double Indemnity, Blade Runner, or even The Big Lebowski.

How has Los Angeles evolved as a character over the course of film and TV history? What are some examples of movies or shows that have best utilized L.A. as a character? What makes L.A. better characterizations or personifications than other cities like New York, Chicago, or Miami?

Guests:

Andy Klein, film critic for KPCC and L.A. Times Community Paper Chain

Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and USA today

Kevin Ferguson, host and creator of Welcome To Vinci, a podcast exploring Southern California with the HBO original series ‘True Detective.’ He’s also a producer and reporter for KPCC’s ‘Off-Ramp’