The L.A. Movie Project: Elimination Round 1

So you set out to identify 25 films that, to your mind, provide the definitive Los Angeles experience. That means you have to watch a lot of movies that don’t make the grade.

Here’s a progress report on those so far that have fallen short:

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BP Double Feature: Changeling (2008)/High and Low (1963)

I don’t believe they made lips like these in 1928

Both films center on the kidnapping of sons. Both films deal with power and its mirror image, helplessness.

Christine Collins, the heroine of Changeling, the more recent Eastwood film, has almost no station in society. A single mother in 1928 Los Angeles, she is effectively a non-person. Indeed, as has been in the case with many films about L.A., it’s the institutions, specifically the LAPD, that holds the power. The department, as personified by a squirrelly Capt. J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), blocks Collins at every turn, first by refusing to believe her son is gone, then by “substituting” one boy for another.

Kingo Gondo, a Yokohama corporate titan, on the other hand, literally stands above the citizenry, in a house that overlooks the city. When it appears his son has been kidnapped, the police move heaven and earth to solve the case, devoting massive resources to the investigation.

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