The Original No-Stop City: Los Angeles in Jacques Demy’s 1969 “Model Shop”

French movie director Jacques Demy’s 1969 movie “Model Shop” is a declaration of love to Los Angeles, fifty years before “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. The movie masterfully portrays LA as an urban utopia precisely as imagined in the 1960s by the design groups “Archizoom” and “Superstudio”. For Europeans such as Jacques Demy, Michelangelo Antonioni, Reyner Banham, Giovanni Brino (in his 1978 “La città capitalista: Los Angeles”), Agnes Varda, and Claude Lelouch, Los Angeles represented a city far removed from their native Europe as a testament to attainable freedom and happiness, a utopian ideal, an urban infinity where one wanders in and out at will: the true definition of individual freedom.  

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