3/24/16

WEST LA GETAWAY--VIA 60s HOME MOVIES?



As I'm in New York, it somehow makes perfect sense for me to be sitting around looking at footage of Los Angeles--after all, that's mostly what I do when in LA only then it's footage of New York.

The above reel shows a traffic free LA sometime in the mid 1960s (guessing by the cars). Why does it exist? Who shot it? My theory is that someone took a trip there with their 8mm camera and decided to drive around, shooting the city through their windshield as a way to prove that they actually were there once they returned to Minnesota. We see pieces of Century City--then relatively new--as well as Wilshire Blvd in Westwood. There's also a brief glimpse of the distant UCLA campus but apparently they bailed and headed in a different direction.

Our visitors spent an inordinate of time on the freeway--though I guess it could be argued that everyone in LA does--and we get glimpses of the vast and mostly empty 405 including a nice bit where they take the Wilshire Blvd. exit. The day concludes in Downtown LA with more passing views of the then newish Music Center. If this sounds kind of boring then you're right--it is. But so is a day driving around LA so the cameraman can't really be blamed. On the other hand, the reels soaring dullness is quite mesmerizing and the accompanying music--who the hell is it?--fits the images quite perfectly.

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