The Long Goodbye ★★★★½

Until tax incentives made it cheaper to shoot elsewhere, a majority of America's film output was shot in Los Angeles. There's even a great documentary called Los Angeles Plays Itself about all the various ways the city has been used in film over the decades. That being said, there are really only a handful of films that have really been able to capture this odd, sprawling city of streets and freeways. One of the most difficult aspects to capture is the light. When smog and the sun combine they make this wonderful haze that is uniquely Los Angeles. And thanks to a technique called "flashing", director Robert Altman and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond were able to capture that special haze giving us the perfect melding of theme, location and photography. Can you really think of a more appropriate visual metaphor than bright healthy sunshine filtered through a layer of thick sleaze?

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