A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles in the 1940s

Extraordinary and crystal clear film of L.A.’s old Bunker Hill neighborhood. The entire area up the hill was blown out completely and basically strip-mined to make way for L.A.’s skyscraper district. On the one hand, it is a damn good thing the city isolated the destruction to the hill and left much of old downtown intact. But neighborhoods are always better than corporate complexes because people can actually do things in them. You can’t do anything in a corporate complex except hold a fake job that nobody needs anyway. You can’t even go for a walk on Bunker Hill anymore. Not really. You may think you can but you’re really just sneaking along next to a cement wall that’s meant to keep you out. Watching this film also makes it clear just how right they got 1948 Los Angeles in the recent L.A. Noir game.

Hansel and Gretel Animated by Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen, the great stop-motion animator of dinosaurs, sea creatures and dancing skeletons made this version of Hansel and Gretel in 1951. The dolls are a bit off-putting if I must be honest about it. But it’s got some great movement and settings.  This is one of a series of films he made for children after World War II.

Film Taken From Streetcar in 1908 Barcelona

Here’s an absolutely fascinating film shot from the front of a streetcar in Barcelona, Spain.  Look at the way the people in the city of 1908 run along with the streetcar trying to see and be seen by the camera.  They seem to be full of joy and excitement.  They run along and ride bikes and wave.  Can you imagine people acting this openly today?  There’s something profound in this little film.  It just goes on along the tracks and through the crowds of happy onlookers without trying to make a point of any kind, but it makes a strong impression.  Wonderful film.  Watch it through to the end.  It will make you feel inexplicably happy.