A Movie Worth Thinking About
The other day, The New York Times' Manohla Dargis wrote a lovely review of "The Exiles", a movie about a Los Angeles that few remember. The film has been languishing in some godforsaken corner, but recently opened in Manhattan. I don't know if there are plans to show the movie in Los Angeles - one would think that there must be - but it sounds fascinating:
Writers like Nathanael West, John Fante and Chester Himes, among others, had each mapped out their version of outsider Los Angeles by the time Mr. Mackenzie began making “The Exiles.” During the Depression, Fante lived on Bunker Hill on a sustenance diet of literary dreams, and wrote eloquently about the divide between the city’s promise and its reality, its sunshine days and enveloping nights. (“The hot semitropical nights will reek of romance you’ll never have.”) The American Indians in “The Exiles” may be more real than most movie subjects. But, steeped in what Mr. Klein calls “postcolonial noir,” they are also in the grip of a durable Los Angeles nightmare. It’s impossible to know where their reality ends and Mr. Mackenzie’s begins.Again, echoes of the Solnit I've been reading, her insistence on the deep history of the American West. Also, one even earlier article about the history of the movie is here.