This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

These Amazing Shadows Are Worthy Of Attention

It's only in recent history that we've understood the culture importance of film preservation. In the early years of cinema, studios churned out film after film like factories. Once a film had finished its theatrical run and made its money, however, it was considered a has-been-- just another film collecting dust in a long forgotten studio vault. Films weren't particularly respected or admired as an art form, they were products. And products are disposable.

It's estimated that 50% of films before 1950 and 80-90% of all silent films are gone forever.

They've either disintegrated into dust (as seen in the photo at left) or burned to ash. To me, it's heartbreaking to think about. All that history, all the images forever gone...

Recently, I saw the documentary These Amazing Shadows which celebrates the history of film and the establishment of the National Film Registry via the National Film Preservation Act of 1988. It's a very well done documentary that succeeds in reminding us how important film preservation is to our culture. Films on the National Film Registry are guaranteed to be preserved for all time through the Library of Congress film preservation program and collaborative efforts with other organizations.

What I didn't know:
Public nominations play a key role when the Librarian of Congress and Film Board are conside
ring their final selections.

In other words, anyone can nominate films to the National Film Registry. Anyone.

To be eligible for the Registry, a film must be at least 10 years old and be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Send your nominations to Donna Ross:

(Email preferred)

To submit via regular mail, send nominations to:
National Film Registry
Library of Congress
Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation
19053 Mt. Pony Road
Culpeper, VA 22701
Attn: Donna Ross

Here are my nominations:


Pleasantville (1999)

About Schmidt (2002)

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Office Space (1999)

Almost Famous (2000)

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

The Matrix (1999)

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Ghost (1990)

American Beauty (1999)

For the complete list of films currently included in the National Film Registry, click here.

© 2012 by KLiedle

Monday, March 5, 2012

L.A. Oddities Observed

Los Angeles is a city of unusual pairings.

By that, I don't mean ugly rock stars dating tanned, gorgeous supermodels. I mean things like the classic ROSCOE'S Chicken & Waffles. Or the first time I saw a sign in my neighborhood that said, CHINESE FOOD. DONUTS. I could walk there, but I don't.

When I have a craving for donuts (which is almost never) I don't think of the Chinese Place and vice-versa.

Initially, I thought this was a stand-alone Chinese Food Donut Shop. I couldn't imagine there would be demand for more than one, but no-- there are several in the Los Angeles area and no one really knows why. It too shall remain a mystery.

Another oddity that almost-sorta-makes-sense-in-some-strange-way is the All-Nude Strip Club that stood next door to AIDS Project/LA. I'll admit, they are related to each other, but--

I would think if you're going to a strip club, AIDS and STD reminders would be a turn-off.

Maybe that was the point. I walked by there today to discover the strip club went under, so to speak. Now they're renovating it into a banquet hall. So, you can have your wedding and birthday and/or bar/bat mitvah and treat everyone to an AIDS test next door. Sounds like a party!
In the world of movies, many things don't make sense--especially if they're directed by David Lynch or increasingly, Steven Soderbergh.

This time though, I'm talking about Project X. Released this week, it's a comedy about three teenagers that throw a birthday party that spirals out of control. What's ironic is: it's a movie about teenagers yet it's rated R so most teenagers (under 17 years of age) can't see it unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The tagline is: The party you've only dreamed about.

All those teenagers still dreaming... as they're being turned away. Hollywood must enjoy teasing them like that.

Oh, look-- it's a movie about people like you BUT you can't join the party. Not yet-- unless you bring your Mom and Dad with you. Ha, ha.
~Love, Hollywood.

In fact, most of the underage cast can't legally see their own movie. This all makes about as much sense as Chinese Food Donuts. Who is the audience for Project X, I wonder? My only guess is that it's for high school seniors (over 17) and horny old men who, having been turned away from the (aforementioned) CLOSED strip club, deposit themselves in the back row of a darkened theater. Ewww... That's L.A. for you.

Tip the world and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
~Frank Lloyd Wright

©2012 by KLiedle