The late Mark D. Schumaker and I shared notes on obscure downtown film locations. I recalled this scene and brought it up to him. It was no surprise he already knew about it. More so because the doorway is known by anyone who has entered Old Bank DVD.This Downtown Vid Pic is for Mark. His memorial is Saturday.
Duquesne Whistle (2012) Bob Dylan. Directed by Nash Edgerton.
Downtown's constant revival is a miracle that has been a surprise discovery by someone each month during the last decade. In this video for "Duquesne Whistle," the late Charles Bukowski would almost crack a smile if he saw Bob Dylan make downtown street's mean and filled with ordinary madness again. Is there some kind of wicked subtext to see a potential hipster romance turn out bad? The black skinny jeaned male is harrassed by cops, then kidnapped. It gets darker. But the visual treat is seeing Dylan walking up Broadway like a rolling stone with his posse.
can’t pass up October 31st without this clip of City Hall getting whacked
by out of town guests from "War Of The Worlds" (1953), the first in a long
line of regional alien invasions. With the film shifting to Los
Angeles in the early 1950s, George Pal had the Orson Welles tale work on
nerves frayed by the Cold War. Looking back, the scenes of streets
emptied of civilization, switching back and forth from a studio to on
location near 8th and Hill, the sci-fi classic is an accidential commentary on downtown being
abandoned in the mid-20th Century, an evacuation during a crisis.
Next year will mark the 60th year since the release of this gem. Grand Park would be a great place for a screening next Halloween.
Progress (2011) Booker T. Jones / Directed by Aaron Hymes
Pop & Hiss takes a look at Booker T. Jones clip for "Progress." Set in Downtown L.A.. the video doesn't stray from downtown expect for few moments in Long Beach. "Hymes said 90% of the clip is Los Angeles. The neighborhood is still one marked by contrasts, at least on the surface, as upper-class lofts sit adjacent to Skid Row" writes Todd Martens at the LAT music blog.
Today is Charlie Chaplin's birthday, so its appropriate to dust off one of my favorite downtown film locations; 1921's "The Kid" with Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan. The climatic chase and rescue was filmed around Olvera Street, nine years before it was cleaned up for tourism.
In a brief 1964 interview with cinematographer Roland Totheroh, who did most of Chaplin's films, recalls filming "The Kid" on downtown rooftops and the "Mexican" alley. Totheroh adds "Nothin' on it but the backs of some old buildings." The final scene was filmed at what is now the front of Casa California (de Sousa) and Casa Flores Imports.
The footage makes it understandable why city fathers and Christine Sterling were determined to clean up the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles by the 1930s. It was the perfect location for any slient film needing slums.
Charlie Chaplin was born in London 122 years ago today, on April 16, 1889. It is the 90th year of Coogan as "The Kid" and Chaplin as "A Tramp" tugging tears out of your eyes.
Interstate Love Song (1994) Stone Temple Pilots / Directed by Kevin Kerslake
Stone Temple Pilot's "Interstate Love Song" is one of those cases of "Hey, I don't recall that being filmed Downtown." This may or may not be an accidental nod to the Historic Core being a location for many silent films.
Blood and Glory (2011) Midnight Radio / Directed by Dalit Diva
The Museum of Neon Art is the backdrop for “Blood and Glory,” a new single by Midnight Radio, an indie band who have performed at the treasured neon museum during Art Walk.
The song and location was a good pick. It almost comes across as MONA's goodbye note to Downtown Los Angeles.
Lead singer Dalit Diva (Thenmozhi Soundararajan) comes out of USC, and directed the Bolly-Noir music vid. The lyrics, subtitled in Hindi and English, help move you through a song about moving forward after a relationship: "I want more. I want more. I want love. That's the point."
You can almost hear Downtown Los Angeles, a long-time partner to MONA, say "Ouch."
MONA just signed a 15 year lease with the City of Glendale and expected to inhabit new space in spring of 2012. “Glendale is rapidly becoming the regional leader in arts development,” brayed Glendale Councilmember John Drayman in a press release about the lease and move.
As for the single, Soundararajan––or Diva if you prefer––told Buzzline Bollywood: “It’s exciting to have been one of the first Indian artists to have a 3D video. At the time, I didn’t realize how historic it was, but as a desi woman who is a rock and roll artist and a 3D film director, it is inevitable that some records get broken.”
That's right. Records and hearts were made to be broken. Put on your 3D glasses and move on.