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June 19, 2009

Three million people in the City of Angels according to the last census, easily half them up to something they don’t want the other half to know.

Ever seen City of Angels?  Not the movie; the musical.  If not, it’s worth your time — I’ve never understood how it’s managed to remain so obscure.   (Won a Tony in 1989, incidentally.)  It’s a 1940s noir piece about screenwriters, murderers, heiresses, producers, prostitutes and private eyes; and about all the hidden sleaze and grit of Hollywood.

We all get sucked in by the lobby. Palm trees finger the sky, and there’s enough sunshine to lay some off on Pittsburgh.  But that’s all on top.  L.A., truth to tell, is not much different than a pretty girl with the clap.

Both of the lines above belong to Stone, the hard-boiled detective at the center of the story.  They are a myth I don’t want to perpetuate — as far as I can tell, L.A. has about as much substance, or lack thereof, as any other big city — but given that Stone is being seduced by a married woman who later turns out to be a murderess, and threatened or beaten every few scenes by fedora-wearing thugs, you can forgive him the opinion.

Eventually you realize that you’re watching two plays instead of one:  Stone is a character in a screenplay being written by Stine, a bestselling author from New York who is now haplessly trying to make his way through the world of motion pictures.  He is not coping particularly well, and he’s taking it out on his fictional counterpart.  Chaos ensues, while the audience tries to figure out whether art is imitating life or vice versa.  Buddy Fidler, the evil producer, sums things up nicely in the meantime.

Everybody’s in a movie.  Sometimes we just turn the camera on.

It strikes me that blogging is much the same.  I read three or four blogs regularly, and they’re all written by people who are either distant acquaintances or total strangers.  They would all (with one exception) be startled to know that I follow them.  But for me, their lives are movies, novels, stories happening somewhere outside of my universe — and sometimes they fire up their laptops and let me in for a few minutes.

So.  According to the last census, there are now 10,174,823 people in the City of Angels.  The June gloom seems to be vanishing and we’re heading into summer, by far this town’s best season.  Let’s turn the camera on, shall we?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2009 10:34 pm

    my movie’s opening scene is my commute to work to a soundtrack of simon and garfunkel’s “i am a rock”.

    lovely to meet you, kate.

    • Kate permalink*
      July 2, 2009 3:19 am

      Beatrix! I’m a longtime stalker on your blog, but I’m shy about commenting. Delighted you’re reading and that you said hello.

  2. July 27, 2009 6:36 am

    I think I recognize some of these lines 🙂

    • Kate permalink*
      July 27, 2009 6:23 pm

      I was waiting for a Chaminade Player to find this one!

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