Coming Soon: The LA Movie Project

Inspired by a recent trip to Los Angeles (and the fact that I work for that city’s leading newspaper), I’m going to take a stab at listing some of my favorite films set in the City of Angels–along with a few that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see.

LA is arguably America’s largest and most diverse canvas upon which a story can be drawn. So, it’s no surprise that’s it’s given us noir toughguys, cheeky detectives, porn-industry potboilers, absurdist comedies, and urban melodramas. Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to count down 30 quintessential LA movies, film that have something to say about this region of sun-splashed starlets and dark souls.

We’ll do it in pure Casey Kasem-style, another son of Southern California.

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BP Quick Hitter: Bob le Flambeur (1956)

Paris, as it was–or as we want it to have been.

Directed by John-Pierre Melville

Written by Auguste Le Breton

Starring Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy

Imagine Ocean’s Eleven if the heist to rob the three Las Vegas casinos ended up as an afterthought (and, okay, you’d end up with Ocean’s Twleve–but that’s another story.)

Bob le Flambeur is nominally a heist movie: there are all the requisite scenes of gathering the gang with its mix of specialized skills, the familiarizing with the layout of the target, the practice sequences. But if it is possible for such a film to plan its central crime elliptically, this French noir does just that.

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