Yet the city’s cultural transformation
has gone largely overlooked by the media,
the movies, and even by the many of the
city’s residents themselves.
The entertainment industry continues to
churn out counterfeit and outmoded
images of L.A. while ignoring the many new
stories emerging from the city's increasingly
Los Angeles Now
looks beyond Baywatch
and Blade Runner
to create a fresh and candid portrait of
America’s second largest city.
The film uses creative visuals and computer-generated
imagery to evoke the city’s vast array
of moods and rhythms. And it abandons
the polite P.C. language of 90s multiculturalism
to explore challenging questions and provocative
points of view. Among the issues raised
in the film:
Now that L.A.’s Anglo century
is over, how will the new Latino/Asian
majority work with other ethnic groups
to create a cultural consensus?
Will the new coalitions manage to sustain
the high productivity that the Anglos
What is the future of L.A.’s unprecedented
multiculturalism? Is this the beginning
of a more harmonious race relations
or increased racial tensions? Will
L.A.’s many ethnic neighborhoods
balkanize or coalesce?
Is Los Angeles impermanent by nature?
Can it retain a sense of history despite
its earthquakes and its seemingly insatiable
desire to rebuild? And why does
the city set fire to itself every generation
What effects does the city’s sprawl
-- its freeways, diffuse borders, lack
of center -- have on its citizens?
To what extent do Angelenos, in the words
of William McClung, “construct
their own Los Angeles out of the areas
that are meaningful to them”?
Or struggle against anomie?
The issues explored in Los Angeles Now
are relevant well beyond the borders of
the city. Many agree that Los Angeles
serves as a diagnostic for other urban centers.
Cities from Hartford to Las Vegas inevitably
face the influx of immigrants, the cultural
confrontations, and the urban sprawl. If
the future were a place, Los Angeles would
be it. Los
Angeles Now provides a much-needed
starting point for imagining our American