The LA Diaries 2019 #1: I Have Arrived

 

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Morning view

I’ve toyed with how to structure these posts.  I don’t want to bore you with minor irrelevant details, but I want to give you the fun stuff: the cool theatres, exhibitions, glorious sunshine, beautiful costumes, all the movies, and the fun times. So, here’s a diary of sorts: a potted day-by-day — or even a few days combined — that will give the highlights where needed and cut the rubbish. (Ok, so there may be some information that was excellent at the time that you may read thinking, “wow, so dull”). Some entries will be extended, like during the festival, but the shorter ones will be illustrated. So. let’s track this from the beginning…

I arrived in LA the Saturday before TCMFF. After my first couple of years arriving two days before the festival, the last two visits have been all about the pre-festival built up, seeing local friends and then welcoming the Tuesday crowd. The festival is only fours days of movies, but all the days spent in the City are lovely.

 

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Hey, Miss Fanny!

 

I spent all of Sunday with Marya — and finally met Miss Fanny Brawne, her super sweet cat. The weather was glorious, and it was a perfect excuse to wander around and take in the city on foot. A lovely Bellini brunch was followed by books, records, the Hollywood Museum of Death and Pet Semetary. Death takes a Sunday if you will. 

The museum has been on my must-do list for some time, and this was a very different experience to what I had expected. Having lectured on death from an art history perspective and written for magazines on real crime, I was astounded at the wealth of memorabilia on display, which consists of everything from William H. Gacy’s clown shoes to Charles Manson’s guitar and crime scene photographs of the Manson Murders (the Sharon Tates images are A LOT). Recently, there has been much discussion of the glamorization of serial killers but, in this situation, being in such a confined space with all these artifacts belonging or created by some of history’s most grotesque personalities, this is as raw as it gets and there is no hint of glamour. The small museum will certainly not appeal to those of a more sensitive disposition, but, if you have a non-frills interest in true crime, you will find the place well-curated, a little overwhelming, and intensely fascinating.

 

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Hollywood Museum of Death

 

Stepping out into the fresh air and sunshine, we decidedly to continue with the mortality theme by heading to a screening of Pet Semetary at Los Feliz 3, a beautiful small theatre with stunning art deco detail and carpeting. One of the most excellent parts of repeated and extended stays in Los Angeles is visiting a variety of non-multiplexes and independent movie theatres in the non-Hollywood area. This cinema is gorgeous.

As first days in town go it lovely start, and, as you shall see, set the tone for this trip, which was to be followed by a Monday evening drinks a beautiful Art Deco neighbourhood bar and the most glorious sky I had seen for some time.

Yep, LA and TCMFF week certianly got off to a good start…

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