Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Musing on LA's Film Cameos



As you know, we regularly chronicle appearances by Los Angeles in TV shows (either playing itself or another part of the country). In his Monday KCRW commentary, LA Observed's Kevin Roderick talked about seeing the new Sofia Coppola movie "Somewhere" at the Laemmle Sunset 5 near the Chateau Marmont, where the movie is set:

The film was entertaining enough. But what my wife and I really enjoyed was the only-in-LA moment that came as we left the theater.

Our eyes were immediately drawn across the street to the main location of the movie we’d just seen. The cozy old Chateau Marmont Hotel.

Like anybody who lives in LA, it's not news for us to spot familiar locations in movies. "Somewhere" makes use of a street in Laurel Canyon that we know well. The Pickwick ice rink in Burbank also makes an appearance.

That reminded me of the time I caught "The Godfather" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the 1997 (when it was given a 25th anniversary re-release). When Robert Duvall's character, Tom Hagen, comes to Hollywood, there's a big establishing shot of the Chinese Theatre.

Yes, it's kind of trippy to be watching a movie featuring a scene at the very place where you're watching the movie. The crowd cheered at the shot -- sort of a cool, communal acknowledgement that, hey, we're all sharing an only-in-LA moment.

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