Movies that employ Los Angeles as a setting, backdrop, or theme? There've been two or three, give or take, over the last century. At least.
Joshin'? Yeah, we're doing it. The moviedom capital of all movie things that are movie tends to point the camera at itself with unstartling regularity, meaning that many, many films have Melrose and Santa Monica Pier and Encino in every third frame.
But few flicks can be described as locally iconic standouts. The '80s saw a few seminal cinematic popcorners that embraced LA (or were memorably repelled by it), and a pair of them are marking anniversaries in 2013.
And Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is celebrating those movie milestones. First up is "Valley Girl," which is turning 30. The film came after the Moon Unit Zappa chart-topper, which followed the rise of the Valley Girl as a concept and lifestyle, but we can agree that A) all three phenomenons dovetailed to create a particular dialect and milieu distinct to the SFV and B) Nicolas Cage with spiky hair is suh-weet.
(Yeah, we used "milieu" when talking about Valley Girls and we're not backing down. Same with our spike hair-based affections.)
The second '80s LA-set movie set to unspool at the historic Fairfax Theatre? "They Live," the John Carpenter sunglasses-wearing scarer. The movie, which made great use of downtown LA, marks its quarter-century this year, and it remains chilling, full of fiesty fisticuffs, and fraught with a creeping paranoia.
Honest, even the commercials were frights; remember the faceless guy turning suddenly and staring at the camera? You screamed, a little.