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I Love LA - Dwayne Moser's Photographs From Behind The Hollywood Sign

Give me an H - Los Angeles photographed from behind the Hollywood Sign by Dwayne Moser.

For some reason, I can't post a reply to a comment to a post from Peter Delaunay regarding the High Tower Apartments piece below, so I am publishing his comment and my reply here. 

The photograph above is one of a series of spectacular large-scale photographs taken (mostly) from behind the highly iconic Hollywood Sign by our friend and artist Dwayne Moser. All of them are remarkable - not least in the fresh perspective they give on both the sign and the city it has come to represent.

First, here is the comment from Peter Delaunay:

Great post, Alexander. Very interesting, and so good to know that it's still there! I was briefly in LA in 1980 and have always thought that the Long Goodbye is the film that most pictures the city as I remember it. Obviously it's not the whole of LA - but its a picture that I remember. Is that still the case ?

I posted the following on the TLG facebook wall - but it doesn't always show up when I visit it, so if you haven't seen it, here it is again: An interview with Vilmos Zsigmond on the cinematography of TLG and McCabe & Mrs Miller, and working with Altman in general.  [The video will be embedded separately below this post.]

The O of it all - photograph by Dwayne Moser.
Here is my reply:

Thanks very much, Peter. I, too, have always felt that The Long Goodbye captures LA better than any other movie - and having lived in Topanga Canyon (just south of Malibu Canyon) and also Laurel Canyon, near the Sunset Strip, I still feel that The Long Goodbye has more of a sense of LA - heavily influenced by the 1970s, but still present in many ways - than any other movie.

I think, just as with Chandler, who made me fall in love with Los Angeles in the first place when I read him as a 17-18 year old schoolboy in England, Altman's film is both a love affair with the city and a critique of it, which is what LA invites, perhaps more than any other metropolis.

LA is still utterly unique - an agglomeration of distinct and incredibly self-defined neighborhoods (Hollywood, Downtown, the Valley, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, the canyons, West Hollywood, Malibu, Topanga, Burbank, Century City, Culver City, Compton, Inglewood; the whole division between East Side and West Side - never the twain shall meet) that somehow function remarkably well as a "centerless" city, connected by the freeways that LA pioneered in the 1930s and 1940s.

LA is one of the most topographically beautiful cities in the world - with the Hollywood Hills, the astonishing Mulholland Drive that runs along the top of them; Griffith Park, right in the middle of the city, with the beautiful, marvelously restored Observatory (made famous by Rebel Without A Cause); the often snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains; the Santa Susanna Mountains; the wild open and thankfully heavily protected (as State Parks and under other legislation) vast wild areas of Malibu and Topanga; the incredible beaches (Point Dume and Zuma especially, but also Topanga, Santa Monica and Venice) some astonishing architecture: the Deco Hollywood Bowl, the breathtaking Frank Gehry Walt Disney Music Hall, the Getty Museum, etc.

I love LA with a passion and I hope to die one day on a beach in Malibu at a very great age - I have that set in my contract: in this, I get the Final Cut.

Thanks for the Zsigmond interview. I'm a huge fan of his, too. I'll embed it in the blog.

A section of the Hollywood Sign from the front, photographed by Dwayne Moser.
All photographs Copyright © Dwayne Moser.


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