Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, 1972 (and so should you)
02/05/2011 § 1 Comment
“…Los Angeles, which makes nonsense of history and breaks all the rules…”
As an Angeleno living in New York, I frequently find myself advocating in defense of my fair home city. Now, I will be the first to admit that Los Angeles is a fickle mistress. She is incredibly large and incredibly small at the same time, and she isn’t the type of city that welcomes you with open arms. But with a bit of effort, the right car and a knowledgeable guide, Los Angeles will slowly reveal her incredible beauty to you.
Reyner Banham, noted architectural critic and owner of a rather awesome beard, took up the torch for Los Angeles in his 1971 book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. The BBC went along with Banham to Los Angeles in 1972 to shoot the accompanying documentary, which was brought to my attention by a dear friend, and luckily, I was able to find it in its entirety. Follow Banham as he arrives to LAX, tours the mansions of Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip, drive-in lunches at now-extinct Tiny Naylor’s with Ed Ruscha, and views the waves of Hermosa Beach. Not one to highlight only the gentrified and picturesque, Banham also does a bit of freeway driving and drops by the Watts Towers. This love letter to Los Angeles in the early seventies is a special treat, indeed — Banham’s sunglasses and the amazing soundtrack are just the icing on the cake. J’adore!