Imagine trying to make such a film today! The attempt to capture an area with a broad overview actually strikes me as an amusingly naive effort – except for the film’s witless touch of that casual Hollywood racism in part 2. Yes, come to Hollywood! Land of eternal sunshine and myth making. But whites only please!
The film eventually tries to justify its title with a few shots of Christmas decorations and clubs where New Years could be properly celebrated.
Here’s an interesting 5-part documentary on the early days of Hollywood. It’s narrated by English actor James Mason.
Mark Twain, who wrote what I think might be the single greatest book ever written by an American – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – appears in a Thomas Edison film from 1909. He appears to be a natural-born performer who enjoys playing for the camera during his off-time.
Moon is a new science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones. It stars Sam Rockwell as a man administering a lonely moon base for a shift that lasts several years. The trailer looks pretty good, but I’m not sold on it. I do like to see a serious science fiction film getting projected in theaters after the horrific damage that’s been done to the genre by clever little men like George Lucas. In fact, I blame Lucas more than Tolkien for the fact that every bookstore loads its science fiction shelves with sword fantasy books. As soon as the idiotic Obi Wan Kenobi pulled out a lightsaber, the sci-fi film genre was doomed. But this thing looks from its trailer to be a mashup of homages to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running and Solaris. I just don’t get into ‘homage’ movies. A little subtle homage is fine. But this trailer is just packed to the gills with barely altered rips right out of these classic films. No serious science fiction director makes a movie that’s an homage to other movies. Stanley Kubrick would have choked on a chess piece if someone had suggested such a thing to him. So, I’m sure I’ll give this movie a chance and go see it, but I fear that it will be exactly the movie it appears to be in its trailer. The effects do have that wonderful super-reality quality to them that 2001 and television show Space 1999 had.