LA: the combination of beach and hilltops, ocean and mountain, excellence and mediocrity, glitz and poverty, aspiration and degeneration, and the short but wonderful history of Hollywood, from the days when David Niven was an extra in the big movies in the late thirties to the classical glamor of the forties, when the stories of Bogie and Bacall on their sailing boat Santana inspired romance, to the technicolor innovation of the fifties and the cultural eruption of the sixties, when the richness of our world permeated the screen, to the rawness of the seventies and the quirkiness of the eighties, when lines like ‘I’ll be back’ were etched in our memories alongside quotes like “It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes,” and the technological orgasm of the nineties onwards, with its ever glitzier extravaganza of all that is great and ridiculous in human nature, pitting thespian against celebrity and man against CGI, I have to say that LA is a damn fine example of the conflicts and dramas, trip-ups and comedies that constitute humanity, which Charles Bukowski so eloquently displayed from a grimy point of view, and which Californication has popularized on cable, and which Hollywood, as a new medium of expression, has captured on the silver screen in all its dazzling glory, with films like Crash, Shortcuts,and The Bad and the Beautiful, not to mention countless others, like Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Beautiful Mind, The French Connection, And Justice For All, Father of the Bride, The Odd Couple, which are not about LA per se, but which tell incredible stories all the same. This is Total Literature, a bonanza of expression that combines the written, the recorded, and the acted, both on- and off-screen, in one helluva show. A show that is ongoing, and which will go down in history as one of the best ever staged.
The original article first appeared in Urban Times.