From "Double Indemnity" to "Collateral," L.A. has inspired our most gifted directors. But I have a personal reason for choosing John Boorman's 1967 thriller. I saw the film just before moving to Los Angeles from the Midwest, and the movie helped to solidify my decision to relocate. While the San Francisco of "Vertigo" has a languorous, 19th century flavor, the Los Angeles of "Point Blank" comes across as the quintessential city of the late 20th century: sprawling, spankingly clean and sunlit, yet always threatening to explode in violence. Both Boorman and screenwriter Alexander Jacobs were British, and that may help to explain why they managed to see the city with fresh eyes. The ranch houses, car lots, cemeteries on sylvan hillsides, and vast storm drains may not compare to the architectural wonders of Paris, London or Rome, but the City of Angels emerges as an eerily beautiful Tomorrowland.
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