Lost Angels

i always thought that i was a “diep seun” (a serious kind of guy).

but first time a came to L.A. i was surprised to find myself liking the place – perhaps best of all the places I saw in the States. why? so superficial, so sprawled, so Hollywood. but i am bitten by this bug, man! this bug that smites so many and make them crawl on its streets for the crumbles of the rich and famous.. i am sorry, but even so the disease got hold of me! even long before i came there first (remember David how you said you’ll bring the first Oscar to SA? and i would get it for the music score? damn Charlize!)

but it all remained behind the screens of the real for me. untill three days ago.

i happened to bump into a shoot for “Elizabeth Town” (coming to a screen near you at some point in the future). they transformed a room at a university – they, the army of big trucks, huge cranes..


scores of helpers, assistants, security and all the rest.

we sneeked into a lift to check out the scene. and my friend asked a friendly, engaging-looking man who the director was.

“it’s me.i am the director. Hi, Cameron’s the name. Cameron Crewe.”

shot. look at the man. smell him. feel his air. this is it. this is Hollywood first time for me. first hand.

we took position as to snatch a view of the actors. everybody was wating for them. a scene is about to be shot. how can i describe it? i have seen movie sets before, and i can imagine that the Hollywood glory days have faded. but still, be it empty hype, be it naive transfixturation, no matter. the effect is religious. something about the evident opulence of resources, the air of a dominant tradition these people carry about them, and the snazziness of almost everybody involved creates an overall effetc of holiness. like, this is the heart of it, bru.

so Jessica Biehl arrives and all Hollywood shines through her body (tone me down, tone me down!). and then Alec Baldwin. But stretching as i could, i could only see his elbow. Not his alec nor his baldwin. and we waited. and waited for the big one. Orlando. from Lord of the Rings, of course.

but alas, time ran out. and they quietly made it clear to us that we’re a bit in the way there.

but i saw Cameron taking Jessica through the emotions of the scene. i spoke a gaffer who is a third generation Hollywood operative. i shook Cameron’s hand. i babbled with students who, even though they live so close to it are as star-struck as can be. and for the first time, after hundreds of movies watched over 20 years and all the life-affecting influences they had on me, i came behind the screen. The Screen. into the lost reality of the First Movie Business.

the disease has now worsened, of course, and the only remedy seems to be to come back for more.

i could not take any pictures, so in stead, these friends who babbled with me have to do:


(looks like a famous cast, anyway!)

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