8. Hockney Goes to the Movies | KCET
8. Hockney Goes to the Movies
(The Flemish poet Paul van Ostaijen, writing in 1918 in Occupied City - “You will be forgiven much because you have seen many movies.”)
Sound changed that and the city changed (and you couldn’t set up a camera on a street corner, give the actors the rudiments of a scenario, and have them go at it in the everyday traffic of Colorado Boulevard).The movies had changed, and we changed and saw L.A. in a different light. William Faulkner, bitter about being in Hollywood (which he mistook for Los Angeles, which he mistook for L.A.) found the light ironic, perverse. From Golden Land, a short story from 1935 when Faulkner returned the second time (and then again and again until his death) to write for the movies and for money: “He emerged onto the terrace; the voices ceased. The sun, strained by the vague high soft almost nebulous haze, fell upon the terrace with a kind of treacherous unbrightness.” That’s daylight, but it’s noir already. It’s the light in Glendale turning to murderous night in Phyllis Dietrichson’s house in Double Indemnity. What had seemed clear in our light, had seemed particular, now seemed merely pitiless. The light that bears down on the clueless Jake Gittes in Chinatown, the film image slightly overexposed. We learned at the movies to distrust that light. We learned to distrust L.A.
hoto by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
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