Saw Touch of Pink the night before. Better than I'd thought it'd be---with stuff to think about, even if the main schtick of the picture wasn't terribly well done. I was just talking to E. tonight about it, and, though like her I'm cautious not to give it too much credit, it was complicated enough that there's something there to wrangle with. The catch is that you have to ignore/avoid the main plot to get at it. Could be you can't, or shouldn't try to, make this particular light-hearted half-assed pseudo-queer comedy without a better post-colonial savvy. And no, I don't like Kyle MacLaughlin a lick more after seeing an hour of his Cary Grant---the character, ironically enough, that the film could have most easily done without.
The movie that's been with me most the past few days, though, is The Long Goodbye, which I finally saw last week. The library seems to have lots of films from the 70's that I missed, probably cuz I was too young to see them when they came out, yet they were too new to get rerun during the heydey of me and old films in reruns on TV. I've read the Philip Marlowe adventure on which the film is based, and I did like the updated yet anachronistic feel of the movie, and the L.A. that it depicts.
I like L.A. in some movies a lot----it's a little like how New York is in movies (a separate character; a rich sense of place, of world-in-itself); plus a little kitchy, like how Las Vegas is in movies; and then nostalgic, when done well, for a time and place that seems really appealing. (Okay, Short Cuts is fun in an L.A. setting way that isn't nostalgic for the imagined L.A. past...) Ya'll know the L.A. I mean? like in, even, Roger Rabbit? Well maybe I get a lot of it from one of my favorites, Dead Again. Probably.
The thing about The Long Goodbye that sent me to the computer was wanting to find out about the tower elevator, which I recognized instantly from Dead Again, where, it turns out, Kenneth was paying tribute to the earlier Altman. Here it is:
In the Altman, it's the elevator to Marlowe's place, next door to the topless stoned hippie yoga women; in Dead Again it's the elevator to Emma Thompson's insane apartment, setting for the hilariously thrilling climax to the film. And I want to go there. Hell, I want to need to go up it to get to my place, and that means it's made me want to live in Hollywood.
Here's some more on the stairways in the Hollywood Hills. Sadly, Los Angeles is not high on the list of cities I want to get back to soon. But I'm all into checking out those hills. Hey, I wonder if Frances McD. lives near some of these stairways in that picture I saw last year... what the hell was it... [off to IMDb and...]: Laurel Canyon. Hmmm.
Now I'm thinking of all the stairs around the Tales of the City apartment house, which is also hidden in trees and on hills---sheesh I love that feel for a movie setting. Nestled away in the middle of a major city.
But I was just telling somebody the other day about the romantic feeling I have about where this friend of my grandmother's, Adelaide, used to live in Lawrence, on a hill in the middle of town, among trees, with a big drop-off into woods right behind her house.
Yeah, I digress. What's it to ya.? And, no, I'm completely sober. Just a little tired.