Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A "Drive" Tour of Los Angeles


The recent exploration of real, gritty Los Angeles in film and TV -- as popularized by everything from "Collateral" and "Southland" to "(500) Days of Summer" -- expands again in the new Ryan Gosling feature "Drive." Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls the movie "one of the most perceptive recent attempts to understand the peculiarly standoffish personality of L.A.'s built environment."


Don't expect glamour shots of Walt Disney Concert Hall, Griffith Observatory and other postcard landmarks; what you see through the windshield of the cars in "Drive" is largely the drab, closed-off and forgettable cityscape of the Southern California commercial strip.

Whenever any building in the movie shimmers or gleams, it is because it is being seen from an impossible distance, shot from a helicopter gliding over Bunker Hill at night or hovering Oz-like way off on the horizon. Otherwise, the characters in "Drive" spend most of their time in elevators, cheap apartments, greasy spoons and parking garages, grimly navigating a downmarket version of the anonymous urban interiors that the architect Rem Koolhaas once dubbed "junkspace."
The L.A. Times film blog 24 Frames takes us on a tour of "Drive" locations here. Some highlights:

MacArthur Park
Real place: corner of W. 6th Street and S. Park View Street, Los Angeles

Echo Park market

Real place: Big 6 Market, 500 block of S. Rampart Boulevard, Los Angeles

Shannon’s Garage

Real place: Picture Car Warehouse, 8400 block of Reseda Boulevard, Northridge

L.A. River
Real place: L.A. River near Reseda and Victory boulevards, Reseda

Ninos Pizzeria
Real place: Vincenzo’s Pizza, 11000 block of Balboa Boulevard, Granada Hills

Pawn Shop
Real Place: Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, 17700 block of Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita

Point Mugu
Real Place: Point Mugu State Park and beaches

1 comment:

Used Cars Los Angeles said...

Looks like the movie will give viewers a more authentic and raw version of the grittiness of real life in Los Angeles for most of its citizens and not the glammed up version.

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