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Los Angeles, the City in Cinema: Night of the Comet (Thom Eberhardt, 1984)

Pitched between comedy, horror, and disaster, those reliable Los Angeles genres, Night of the Comet manages, in its thoroughly 1980s sensibility, to be at once the parody and the thing parodied. In it, two Valley-girl sisters who happen to survive the passing of a nearly humanity-extincting comet must contend with zombies, thugs, survivalist scientists, and one another — mostly in the already half-apocalyptic setting of downtown Los Angeles thirty years ago.

The video essays of “Los Angeles, the City in Cinema” examine the variety of Los Angeleses revealed in the films set there, both those new and old, mainstream and obscure, respectable and schlocky, appealing and unappealing — just like the city itself.

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