Tuesday, August 20

Manipulated Reality

Radiant Daffodils

Purple Cabbage

Aubergine Tulips
I just saw the movie, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." This cinema marathon (2 hrs 40 min) went by pretty fast - probably because so much of the film was in a fast car careening through familiar neighborhoods. I lived in Los Angeles in the mid-70s  and recognized many of the film's locations.  The ultra hippie vibe was just waning when I arrived from neighboring Arizona. A few Hari Krishnas still worked the airports and Hollywood Boulevard. Hippie coms had degenerated into runaways, druggies, winos, hucksters all melded into a seamy, grasping entity full of jive talkers and rip off artists.  Despite the glaring obstacles to settling in this maelstrom, I met other migrants to the city and even some locals that became life-long friends and unlike childhood friends I made, these friends became battle hardened  buddies. We helped each other make homes and careers in this sprawling megalopolis.

The movie presents a narrow view of the Hollywood scene, just two and a half days during the week of  August 3, 1969.  He-who-shall-not-be-named and his cult of bloodthirsty acolytes cast a twitchy pall over the candy-colored dreamscape of Hullaballoo Hollywood delivering the grit expected of every Quintan Tarantino film. Gratuitous violence was born on August 8 & 9, 1969, and continues to breed like a cancer in America's psyche.

The relationship between fading actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth presents the battle hardened buddy concept  pretty well. Each man is a pro and clings to years of  experience which bring them enough work to pay the bills. Dalton more than Booth critically examine all of the mistakes and wrong turns they made to end up on this dead end road leading to nowhere jobs in Italy and back to guest appearances on a few TV shows.  In the short time frame of this movie, Dalton meets an 8 year old, "Little House on the Prairie" actress who is so amazing and wise, Dalton is moved to tears when she compliments his acting. The movie is full of well-placed cameo performances that bring vivid color and spice to what could be a really grimy and dark tale.

The casting and acting is terrific. OUT in Hollywood has a surprising ending which propels us further down the road of  Tarantino's meticulous creation of a fantastic town of good and evil with a heavy wallop of evil.