So sick with the flu, it hurts to move my eyes but I did manage to watch a few movies and am currently binge-watching Black Mirror season 4, which is consistently amazing.

Irma Vep, 1996, is about the making of a movie, complete with dramatic personalities, quirky and difficult artistes, people dancing wildly in striped t-shirts to Serge Gainsbourg, and of course, Maggie Cheung looking insanely hot in a latex cat-suit.  It’s not that deep but fun to watch.

Radio Mary, 2017 This film is mostly mega-closeups of the leading lady’s pained face, then her wandering around in a nightgown, still looking pained. It’s not clear what happened, we just know that something did because for some reason everyone is concerned. Then there’s this guy that is real/not real? Well, somehow he floats around in the sky and then comes down again. He’s also a serial killer? And if he touches you, you become infected? Oh, and Mary: there’s music in her head and she is telepathic? See all these question marks? That’s how I feel about this movie. It made no sense.

La Fidelite, 2000 directed by Andrzej Zulawski. I have seen this one before but I still enjoy it. This move is so classically French, it is almost as if they are making fun of themselves. It has everything: budding romance in Parisian flower shops, torrid affairs, magazine industry hijinks, bougie mansions, creepy organized crime, and the incredibly chic Sophie Marceau. Just when you think it’s wrapping up it takes you down another road with more story. This film is the equivalent of eating an entire box of eclairs in one sitting, and it’s not terrible.

Bunker Hill

Many times I’ve walked around Downtown LA trying to imagine and visualize Bunker Hill. The photos are amazing but what’s better is seeing the streets of Bunker Hill in old noir movies. The movement of cinema really captures the loftiness of heights and allows us to have glimpses inside the beautiful spindly works of art that sadly were all torn down. If you have watched enough movies you have probably seen a lot of the buildings below. These two screen shots are from one of my favorites from 1949: Criss Cross with Burt Lancaster, Yvonne DeCarlo, Dan Duryea, and a handful of other magnificent character actors : 13466411_10154216076939590_2654473009393708316_n.jpg

Up at Sunshine Apts. on 3rd St.

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Yvonne DeCarlo  looking out towards Angel’s Flight.

Here’s the movie, the 2nd nightclub scene is mesmerizing. Watching the extras’ faces and the shots of the band make it very intimate and special.

http://putlocker.io/watch/zGWq33vP-criss-cross.html

 

post by Messy Nessy:

This is a picture of a Los Angeles that no longer exists. Affectionately knick-named “the Castle”, this elegant Victorian house was one of many in the once prestigious neighbourhood of Los Angeles, known as Bunker Hill. Downtown LA does have history, it’s just buried under gleaming high-rise office blocks and strip malls…

Despite once attracting high-income residents with its fashionable apartment buildings, Bunker Hill had become a working class lodging district by the 1920s. The once thriving leafy hilltop suburb was a symbol of urban decay that discouraged new investments. After the Great Depression, the grand old Victorian mansions were run-down and being used as cheap apartment hotels.

In the 1950s, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency came up with a drastic redevelopment plan for the entire Bunker Hill area and by 1968, every last Victorian home of Bunker Hill Avenue had been demolished.

These pictures show the last surviving houses, the Castle and another Victorian home, the Salt Box, being relocated by preservationists to another site in the 1960s, only to end up getting torched by vandals soon after.

Pre-1950s downtown Los Angeles: 

 

Downtown Los Angeles today: 

 

With the future looming in the background, the Castle is pictured above, fenced off, awaiting its fate. Behind is Downtown’s first skyscraper, the Union Bank Building.

The controversial redevelopment destroyed and displaced a community of almost 22,000 working-class families who renting rooms in the architecturally significant but ill-maintained buildings.

In 1966, The Los Angeles Times wrote of Bunker Hill: “Nowhere else in Los Angeles was the architecture so ornate. The mansions were wooden-frame Victorian with Gothic gingerbread touches applied with a heavy hand to simulate masonry.”

The original Angel’s Flight, a landmark funicular railway at Bunker Hill, once stood half a block north of where it stands today. But in 1969, the railway was closed as the area underwent total redevelopment and all its components were placed in storage for nearly thirty years. You can see here how it looked amidst its Victorian backdrop, looking almost European even.

Circa 1890 view of the Bradbury Mansion on the corner of Hill Street and Court Street

Pictured: The Lima apartments, an example of the residential ‘hotels’ of the early 20th century in Bunker Hill, formerly desirable apartment buildings before the area’s decline.

The Melrose Hotel, built in 1882 and Hotel Richelieu at Grand Avenue and Second Street in the late 1950s.

And after “progress” moved in to the neighbourhood in 1957…

Just to get your bearings here, if you could stand on the front porch of the Melrose Hotel today, you’d be looking at this building across the street, the Disney concert hall.

If you have a good enough imagination walking around downtown LA, perhaps you might be able to visualise the ghost of Bunker Hill.

In honor of George Romero

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An interesting fact: One of George Romero’s favorite movies, which he said changed his life, was The Tales of Hoffmann from 1951. He said it made him want to make movies. I love it as well and always felt more connected to Romero having known that.

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This is for George, to make him happy and to remember who he was, not just his adventurous films. The full version of Hoffmann was hard to find, so here’s a trailer. If anyone finds it please post in the comments?

 

In addition to GR’s better-known zombie films, Creepshow was another childhood favorite, such a good one from the tween memory collection.