Movies and TV, Sweet Nothings

California Cowgirl

Cat-walk-ready cowgirl in front of the Hollywood sign from Elle Spain, March 2011

Did you know that the Hollywood sign originally spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND? This is because the sign started as an advertisement for a 1920s real estate development by the same name, but it has since ditched its last four letters to become an icon of this movie-making city. I love learning these tidbits of history about Los Angeles, because it makes this plastic-surgery-laden land feel more real and rich with stories. I also recently delighted in stumbling upon this image of a cowgirl by the Hollywood sign for similar reasons – this is to say, the image reminds me of the way I quickly transitioned from being a snow-shoveling New Englander to a two-stepping Texan, and it gives me a boost of confidence that I’ll be able to tackle the transition from Southwestern gal to LA lady with the same ease. Each of us pieces together bits of our past and our city’s history in order to create a legacy of our own, after all, and I can’t wait to start unpacking boxes while learning more about my new landscape’s lore…

To get into the spirit of soaking up more Hollywood history, I think I’ll watch two of my favorite LA-based movies this weekend: “L.A. Confidential” (1997) and “The Player” (1992). I adore the way these films immerse the viewer in different aspects (and decades) of show business, and I can practically taste the movie-theater popcorn now…Do you have any other favorite flicks set in old or new Hollywood? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Photo from Elle Spain March 2011 via Knight Cat.

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  • Reply Hollywood, Babble On June 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Can’t think of any films (“Sunset Blvd.” aside) off the top of my head, but you should check out “Hollywood Babylon,” the book by Kenneth Anger. It’s filled with juicy details of Tinseltown’s sordid past. It’s a trashy, fun read that mythologizes Hollywood’s legend more than it tears it apart (although I don’t think that was the intent). Reading it is the only thing that’s ever made me want to visit. Also, “Day of the Locust” by Nathaniel West is great fiction account of the same subject.

    • Reply Jennifer R. Coté June 22, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks for this recommendation, sir! I love learning about old Hollywood, and I suppose it’s worth dusting off my reading glasses and doing this via a book for a change. 😉

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