Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo: The Locations
April 13, 2021 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Jared Cowan is a photographer and cameraman who also writes and podcasts specifically about film locations for a variety of publications. His latest traces how East L.A. became the unheralded star of the classic hip-hop movie Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. Previously Cowan has covered the locations of: Falling Down, The Big Lebowski, Heat, Jackie Brown, L.A. Story, and many more.

Cowan doesn't just match up stills from the movies with the locations, he revisits the area to see how the city has changed since it served as the background of a particular film, exposing a changing city with every post. His website has a list of some of his best work and includes many films that were shot but not set in L.A.

If you're a film location nerd, that page will give you hours and hours of entertainment.
posted by chaz (9 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
That article is a lot of fun, not just the locations but remembering the film (Ice-T! Shabba-Doo! Boogaloo Shrimp!). And Cowan's site is a wonder. Many thanks for posting!
posted by chavenet at 1:38 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]

Just in case you didn't know, we just lost Shabba-Doo a few months ago. Go rewatch Breakin'/Breakin' 2 if you have a chance.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:51 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]

Aw, booooo. The Breakin' movies were a wonderful nostalgic part of my childhood.
posted by Kitteh at 2:02 PM on April 13

Off to find Cowan's podcast. The Jackie Brown piece is also fascinating. (I love L.A.)
posted by Sheydem-tants at 2:31 PM on April 13

A cultural touchstone at the very least for bequeathing to popular culture the tongue-in-cheek title formula for a sequel: “INSERT_NAME 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
posted by darkstar at 9:32 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]

I love to read stories like this - just finished the piece on Jackie Brown (one of my top 5 favorite movies).

Great post - thanks!!
posted by sundrop at 6:18 AM on April 14

This is really great. For a while there maybe ten years ago when I really wanted to move to California, I got really into movies starring L.A.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:44 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]

These stories all remind me how 'static' LA is, even though my family who live there are always super wistful about what it 'used to be'. Only one location from the Heat description is actually gone, which is an old drive-in, and they had to fake a downtown LA grocery store in 1995!

Only two from The Big Lebowski have changed - both for schools.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:21 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Fixed up small typo with Cowan's name, continue boogalooing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:24 PM on April 14

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