The Reyner Banham Experience

Reader Evan let us know last week that the documentary Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles is now on Google Video. Reyner, and his beard, explore Los Angeles architecture in a full 52 minutes of early-70s BBC glory.

Who was Reyner Banham and why should you care? Well, he was “the first critic who loved Los Angeles for what she was,” and a major influence on the tour guides from Esotouric. Kim, Nathan and Richard all studied under Professor Banham at UCSC, and he became a profound influence for them. In turn, they have gone on to start a tour company that continues that love affair with the city. Reyner Banham is still with us – or rather, he will be in September when the Esotouric bus rolls out the Architecture Tour.

I was lucky enough to be on the first Esotouric press run, and experience a “sampler” of what’s to come on the bus. I still owe you, my loyal b.la readers, a writeup. But this post is about watching fifty-two minutes of Los Angeles in some of its most confused years. Go forth, and check out the Reyner Banham Experience

4 Replies to “The Reyner Banham Experience”

  1. Thanks for letting us know about this. Banham’s book “The Architecture of Four Ecologies” was a big influence on my appreciation of Los Angeles when I first moved here in ’73. I still have it somewhere in my bookcase. The video looks to be a real treat, I’ll watch it when I can spare an hour.

  2. Cool, I’m glad I wasn’t ignored!

    Ed Ruscha fans will be interested in his interview with Banham (as well as him checking out a carhop at Tiny Naylor’s).

  3. Glad to see this is getting some love! I saw it as an undergrad in my senior history seminar on LA architecture and culture at UCLA. I’ve taught LA history classes before, and wanted to show this, but the only tapes in the entire state of California were at UCLA and UC Berkeley, and they were non-circulating.

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