Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

San Diego Noir

One of my favorite things about David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, along with that crease at one corner of Naomi Watts's mouth and the passage from the bedroom scene to the theater scene, is the way that it mobilizes the thoroughly film-founded strangeness of between-the-wars Los Angeles architecture. Buildings put up too fast seem to acquire depth by virtue of their very shallowness. They inhabit a negative space of history which is more overtly historical than a centuries-old home that has become a museum for its original-owner furniture. Interestingly, when the shock of the new wears off, these rapidly completed structures seem to retain the profundity of their initial anti-history even as they settle into the pages of conventional history. I love traversing the backstreets of older Southern California neighborhoods at night because they exude this quality with incommensurable force. Tonight, as I was strolling back to my car after seeing the newly reissued Jean-Luc Godard film Masculin Feminin at Landmark's Ken Theater on Adams Street, I was delighted to run across a series of homes that express the essence of California noir.

Given his fondness for that genre of American cinema, I'm sure Jean-Luc would have approved of the spectacle. Don't you just want to stealthily climb those steps and peer inside?
Tags: photography, travel

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