I owe it all to little chocolate donuts.
John Belushi – January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982.
Anouk Aimée was so stunningly beautiful that when Fellini cast her as the long-suffering Luisa in 8½, he famously cut her long eyelashes, added freckles, and clothed her in unglamorous, de-sexualized costumes.
I do not think it worked.
One of the great treasures of Los Angeles is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and its summer film series Cinespia.
Yes, it sounds creepy, like the opening scene of a zombie movie. Everyone assumes that you will have to walk over graves in the dark, lean against headstones to watch the movies as your friends slowly disappear in the night, one by one. This is not the case at all. There is a great lawn near one of the buildings where you can spread your blankets and pillows and picnic under those perfect summer nights in Los Angeles.
The selection of flicks is eclectic, alternating between classics and cult movies. Beware of the really popular films because the line at the entrance and parking will be horrendous. Each night features a guest DJ before and after the movie and it is a great festive evening. Go grab your wine and pesto pasta and throw pillows and get in line. You will not be disappointed.
Hollywood Forever is also well worth checking out in the daytime as many celebrities reside within its fences and there are many tragic stories to be stumbled upon and discovered.
These dolls were arranged in the hedges next to a series of children’s graves.
I do not know if this is still the case as I have not been there in a couple of years, but near Johnny Ramone’s statue, a gang of extremely territorial ducks and geese reside in the reflecting pond. Since there are no other graves or markers nearby, they really appear to be Johnny’s guardians and they are mean fuckers. In this image, you can see that they waddled all the way over from the water just to come chase me off.
And yes, they did chase me off. Fuckers.
There are two quotes on the side of the statue:
Please come back.
-love, Vincent Gallo
As good a friend as there ever was.
This series from Life Magazine in 1952 sums up just one of the many contradictions and facets that made up Gordon Parks. Filmmaker, poet, writer, photographer, movie producer, cinematographer, magazine publisher, novelist, activist, choreographer, semi-pro basketball player, and composer. And those are the accomplishments of his that I can list just off the top of my head.
He was an amazing man and perhaps his greatest work of art was his life itself. Read his works, watch his movies, read about his life, view his images. He was truly an iconoclast.
Someone once described him as the “elegant photojournalist.” This may be true, but it is also a sadly narrow and tiny taste of his expansive talents.
What is truly remarkable is how he could compartmentalize his talents. The eyes and the mind behind these images were also behind Shaft, The Learning Tree, “American Gothic” and “The Emerging Man”.
You know, the camera is not meant just to show misery.
There’s another horizon out there, one more horizon that you have to make for yourself and let other people discover it, and someone else will take it further on, you know.
I bought my first camera in Seattle, Washington. Only paid about seven dollars and fifty cents for it.
I haven’t even learned how to spell Renaissance yet.
But all I know, it was a constant effort, a constant feeling that I must not fail, and I still have that. And now, I feel at 85, I really feel that I’m just ready to start.
In New York growing up, you never saw a black person on the street, you never saw a black person in the store, you never saw them in a restaurant. It just didn’t exist. So when Gordon and I met, it was really without any boundaries. First of all, he was drop-dead good-looking. We just looked into each other’s eyes, and we were friends.
Many times I wondered whether my achievement was worth the loneliness I experienced, but now I realize the price was small.
From the Magnum Photos archive:
LONDON—The police restrain fans who line the railway bank in hopes of seeing the Beatles as their train passes through on its daily trip, during the filming of A Hard Day’s Night, 1964.
Leica camera owners are the worst of the gear fetishists in the photography world. I count myself among them…to a certain extent. Obsessing over serial numbers, special alligator skin models and collapsible lens hoods is small talk for us.
The use of Leicas in movies is something I count as a geeky guilty pleasure, though nothing will take me out of a movie quicker than when I spot an M8 or a screw mount lens.
What has to be the coolest movie sighting of a Leica so far is the appearance of one in the stop-motion animated film of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Only a camera fetishist would go to the lengths required to construct a miniature M3. And a true Leica fetishist would make sure that when Coraline looks through the viewfinder, the POV through the viewfinder had the single M3 50mm frame line exactly where it should be.
I cannot take credit for the identification of the model nor of the frame lines’ accuracy. That came from the Leica Users Group.
See, rent or buy Coraline now. It is a wonderful film and is so far the closest Neil Gaiman has come to having a film successfully convey his singular magic and imagination.