CineSavant Column

Tuesday March 29, 2022

 

Hello!

Today we’ve got a super fun link purloined from the generous David J. Schow.

It’s an 11-minute drive down Sunset Boulevard, from near Gower street all the way until about two or three blocks into the official Sunset strip. The view faces backwards and the pace is nice and slow, with the car stopping at several lights. The very stable, sharp image may have been intended as rear-projection for a car interior scene, and would certainly work as one now. It’s billed as ‘colorized, enhanced, frame interpolated and upscaled.’ You can zoom on the image above to see how sharp it is — reading street signs is no problem.

Because we can read those street signs, Angelenos familiar with the district will encounter a great many items of interest. Not a whole lot is in place yet but prominently on view are The Hollywood Athletic Club, Crossroads of the World, Hollywood High and the old Oriental Theater (pictured). Amazingly enough, the attraction on the marquee happens to be Singin’ in the Rain. That movie debuted in March of ’52 (a few weeks after I was born…) and went wide in April. The Oriental was a small ‘nabe house so this was some time later in the year.

Looking at the cars & trucks, pedestrians and advertising signs is a real Time Machine event, that’s for sure. I see a house at Genessee where I worked as an editor in 1989. Long-gone residential buildings are everywhere along the route. Billboards show up as we get close to the Sunset Strip, but not the glitzy kind that soon took over. Every intersection is now completely developed. We can see the spaces later occupied by the Hollywood In ‘n Out Burger, the Director’s Guild, etc.. Schwab’s Drugstore is plainly visible. It’s just an ordinary building; I never paid attention to it and it closed in 1983.

Here’s the link: Gower to the Sunset Strip – in 1952, posted on February 17 by Vivid History.

If you’re really hooked on Sunset Blvd., an additional two-minute video continues the trip from where the Vivid History take left off, only facing forward, and 12 years later in 1964. It’s nowhere near as sharp. We can’t read street signs as well, but if you know The Strip you’ll see some famed clubs and eateries. It begins right where Tower Records and Tower Video appeared several years later, looking straight at the building that is now the bookstore ‘Book Soup,’ at 8818 West Sunset. The shot almost ends in an accident, with our camera car runnng a red light. That’s too soon: Dead Man’s Curve is a couple of miles further on, on the other side of Beverly Hills.

The video is called Lost Los Angeles – Sunset Strip 1964 and it was posted in 2012 by ‘Pamela Greyson’s Lost Los Angeles Channel.’

 


 

I stumbled across this teaser for a Brit TV movie and include it because I had no idea it existed. It’s a 2010 version of H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon.

I’m not offended by a new take on a book already adapted rather well by Schneer & Harryhausen, but offhand this version seems more than a little derivative. The story is told by a codger in Little Big Man– type age makeup, reportedly at the time of Apollo 11. Is that fair? ┬áThat exact flashback wrinkle was reportedly dreamed up by the famed writer Nigel Kneale.

The few effects shots in the teaser trailer look familiar too. Otherwise the teaser isn’t much more than a pair of talking heads, with no good view of a Selenite or anything found on the Moon. A fuzzy Selenite photo I saw online doesn’t look too shabby, but it also isn’t very insect-like. Has anybody seen the show? ┬áThe only consistent impression left by the reviews on the IMDB is that it’s very talky.

 


 

And finally, here’s a Focus 20th Anniversary Reel of clips of films they’re proud of, perhaps cut too fast to recognize too many. Some quality work is there but I’d like to see all the smaller pictures identified. I’ll need to look again to see if Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning The Pianist is represented. Perhaps that’s because Focus just distributed it . . .

 


If you haven’t heard, the Oscars were two days ago. I spent Sunday night avoiding the Oscars and haven’t a single thing to say about them. How’s that for up-to-date coverage of show business events?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson