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Sunday, September 25, 2005

MAGICAL NIGHT IN LOS ANGELES,
SCREENING IN CEMETERY IMPOSSIBLY COOL

One more reason Los Angeles is an amazing city:

Last night I had without a doubt one of the most spectacular movie-going experiences of my life. Along with several hundred Angelinos, I sat on the grounds of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and watched "The Shining." For those of you unfamiliar with it, this is a cemetery in the heart of Hollywood where many, many Hollywood movie and television people are interred. The gates to the cemetery opened at 6:30. Cindy and I met up with friend Julia and friend Chris and a couple other kids. The crowd spread out on the large lawn in front of a white building that served as movie screen. Classic movie posters were projected on the side of the building while good, strange music played loudly. Speakers stands dotted the lawn.

We enjoyed about an hour of picnic time (wine and delicious rolls from Chris) and watched twilight turn into darkness. Julia suddenly noticed that none other than Johnny Ramone, dramatically lit from below stood watching over us from his grave 100 feet away. Seeing his figure, in classic Ramone stance – impossibly leaning backward and forward at the same time, straight black hair framing his narrow features, leather jacket crinkled and guitar jutting – gave me un unexpected feeling of warmth and security, like nothing bad could happen to any of us sharing his company.

"The Shining" continues to outclass all other horror movies. Enough said.

A particularly L.A. moment occured during the scene in which Shelley Duvall's character Wendy and her son Doc are watching television. The theme to the Roadrunner cartoon blares from the box. As the scene played, a helicopter approached the space over the cemetery. Low-flying helicopters are a part of everyday life in Los Angeles so this wasn't out of the ordinary except that this chopper was unusually large and had a dummy in a jumpsuit strapped to the landing gear. Spotlights followed its path through the sky indicating that it was being filmed for something, a movie perhaps. So at that moment, I sat in a cemetery surrounded by the graves of moviemakers, watching a scene in a movie in which the characters were watching a cartoon produced very possibly by some of those very people buried around me, while a film production of some sort took place directly over my head. My mind swirled at the confluence of tenses.

"How could this be?" I wondered.

When you live in Los Angeles, you never know what magical moment is waiting for you around the next corner. That's why I love it here.

What these photos lack detail, they capture in atmosphere of the evening.

1 Comments:

At 9/27/2005 11:59 AM, Anonymous said...

an AMAZING experience - we've had so many lately...

what you failed to mention, and likely for good reason, was the unfortunate group of quotes etched for all eternity into the marble pedastal upon which Johnny's torso sits. what was so awesome from afar became quite the head-scratcher up close. i mean Lisa Marie Presley? Rob Zombie? Eddie Vedder? Lisa Marie Presley? ugh.

- julia (not yet ready to open a "blogger" account/technologically hesitant)

 

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