City of Angles


In LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF, Thom Andersen’s magisterial essay film, he cites Jacques Demy’s underrated MODEL SHOP as perhaps the best evocation of LA light and life and look. Starring 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY’s Gary Lockwood as an architect who loves LA (“People say it’s ugly but I think it’s beautiful) and Anouk Aimee reprising her LOLA role, it’s an addition to the Demy universe, tying together several of his movies — Lola’s photo album connects her to Jeanne Moreau in LA BAIE DES ANGES and maybe even the sailor chap in Agnes Varda’s CLEO FROM 5 TO 7.

Anyhow, the movie isn’t quite as compelling as it should be, but it’s lovely to look at and Andersen is right — that strange beauty of LA sprawl is captured precisely.

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything yesterday — Shadowplay’s first empty day in five and a half years of existence, I think. That was because something important happened which I’m not allowed to tell you about, yet. But I will soon.

6 Responses to “City of Angles”

  1. Model Shop is one of the great L.A. movies — right alongside The Long Goodbye, Shampoo and Agnes’ Lions Love — which was made right at the same time. Jacques Hoped to have a career in the U.S. but he was far too special for Hollywood.

    Or anywhere for that matter.

  2. They’d make a great double bill. Lion’s Love actually documents the impossibility of someone like Demy working in Hollywood, with Shirley Clarke as stand-in for Varda & Demy. There’s even a moment when Varda takes her place.

    Model Shop is also very gay, in a sublimated way: you’d have to be pretty square and straight to find the plausible deniability convincing.

    Lockwood is quite good, but his low-affect approach exacerbates the film’s sluggishness, and suggests that his unemotional astronaut perf in 2001 was his only MO.

  3. City of Angels, Bay of Angels…I’m STILL waiting to see this Demy film on screen.

  4. Memory does not serve: I finally saw Model Shop (and not that long ago). It’s Une chambre en ville that I’m still waiting to see on screen, where I want to all of Demy.

  5. Yes Gary Lockwood s quite fetching and definitely Jacques’ “type.” As for Une Chambre en Ville it’s THE Masterpiece, clearly ripped off by Les Miz as you can see here:

  6. david wingrove Says:

    I think I’ve just guessed what that ‘something important’ is!

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