Somewhere In Time: Bigger and Uncut

Saw this on twitter:
Q: How do you get 100 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
A: “Can you please get out of the pool?”
Ah, perfect. . .

So one again I’m in the mood to see my favorite movie, although this will be the first time since I viewed it on the big screen. In celebration (?) of that, here’s an entry from my old blog about that very outing, followed tomorrow by a top 15 of moments from the movie. Yum. . .

Today’s public transportation was full of enjoyable little interludes, from the pleasant bus driver to the really tiny gal with two kids who never stopped staring at me to the PCC student who strutted onto the train like she was ten times more attractive than she really was. Despite traveling this route many times, I’m just noticing a sign in Highland Park that screams “Happy Holidays!” {It’s June} I suppose it’s possible they just put it up. . . at least it wasn’t lighted.
Getting off the subway as usual at Hollywood/Vine, I managed to finish my only shoot of the day quickly, which always makes me wonder if it’s my lucky day or things are gonna even out with a vengeance later. Being so early–even after chatting a security guard about tomorrow’s Marina V concert, but that’s another blog–instead of going back down into the subway to train one stop further, I walk through the backstreets of lower Hollywood–seedy hotels, giant post office, YMCA–where the one and only Daniela Ruah filmed a scene–a school, the back end of Crossroads, and so on. The only thing I hadn’t noticed before was a building, almost to Hollywood High, with a huge sign that says Panavision.
I can tell you school is still in session at Hollywood High. . . and it was lunchtime. . . and they were all over In-N-Out. Finally I decided I wasn’t that hungry yet and caught the Sunset bus in stride, though I did have to change seats three times until I finally found a place where the locals had heard of this new concept called bathing. Another pleasant driver on this bus; it’s amazing how people smile when you say “Thank you.”
A sign on the Strip says, “Turn Right at Left Brain.”
Can’t believe it’s been exactly a week since the Hilary Hahn concert! Feels like ages ago!
Still early, I get off the bus on the east side of UCLA instead of Westwood proper, walking through campus–students are also still in class, and it looked like recess, with all the throngs–hoping against hope I might run into Dr. Cooney or one of the volleyball babes. . . though a gymnast would not be amiss either. Longest line I’ve ever seen at Jamba, and this time instead of extra ice cream to make up for the no soy, they gave me extra orange juice, which did not help the flavor. From there it was on to In-N-Out for a burger so good I ate it while walking to the blood and platelet center, though I did take a detour into the bike shop, just for giggles.
The waits seem to be getting longer, so it was a good thing I walked in before my appointment for donating platelets. Finally got intaked–is that another invented word? Don’t like intook–by a new guy, who explained everything that’s been done dozens of times in excruciating detail, plus the finger prick was extra painful. They even needled two people who came in after me before remembering I was waiting, so I was well into Cowboys and Aliens before they stared working on me; for once there were no new Katherine Heigl movies for me to goggle over. As always, I never get to see the ending of a movie when donating platelets. Probably because I was in a hurry to get to the restroom as soon as I was unplugged, I felt a little light-headed and nauseous in recovery, necessitating another liedown, with cold packs on the neck and forehead. . . which led to a little brain freeze from the other direction. Perhaps I would have recovered better if sunshiny Kirsten had been there, but then I have to stop thinking that way about married women, especially newly married ones.
This time the quick stop was at the bank, barely getting in before closing time, where I couldn’t help noticing I took care of all my business much faster than everyone else. From there it was on to the Hammer Museum, probably my least favorite art zoo in El Lay, but that’s not important right now as I’m heading to the Billy Wilder Theater inside it, which tonight is playing SOMEWHERE IN TIME!
As usual I’m the first one there–after some flirting with the security gal, couldn’t help it–so I’m sitting in the courtyard when a gentleman in a suit comes by and immediately starts talking about the movie. A few minutes later he’s given me one of his extra tickets, and we’re joined by a young lady of at-the-moment indeterminate accent who joins in the talk. After that, now that I have my ticket, I toodle off to Subway, just on the next block, where I get my usual pretty quickly for dinner hour and then come back to have it in the courtyard outside the theater, where by the time the two people I’d been conversing with are joined by Isidore Mankofsky, who just happened to the cinematographer on this movie and was tonight’s special guest speaker. In addition to being pretty darn famous in his field, he’s also quite a delightful raconteur, and he told us a bunch of stories, some of which he repeated in the Q&A after the movie but others he didn’t, which makes me feel like I have a secret. . .
Somewhere between 50-100 people in the audience, hard to tell, as Shannon Kelly introduces the movie; I have known four Shannon Kellys in my life, but this was the first male. He speaks really well; I can see how he got this job. I’m talking a bit more with the young lady from earlier, Andressa, who turns out to be Brazilian–not what I was expecting from the accent–and is a UCLA student who happens to be from the same town as the Brazilian on the volleyball team. That was fun.
The theater has a big red curtain covering a big screen, which was as much of the point of coming as Izzy, to be honest. Right away in the first scene, when Elese is looking out the window of her room, for the first time I can see she’s crying, which right away is a win from all the viewings on DVD. . . not that she’s crying, obviously, just that I’m seeing things I couldn’t on the TV.
Not going to do much on the movie–stayed tuned for that tomorah–though there were some new insights. For one thing, it occurred to me that Benedict Cumberbatch–the new Sherlock Holmes, actor in just about every movie in the past year, if you’ve been in a cave–looks a lot like a young Christopher Reeve, except for the eye color. If I’d been at home, I woulda turned the sound down–way too loud. I did enjoy noticing in the scene where he plays the music box how lovely the side lighting was from the window. I’ve probably noticed before unconsciously, but when he’s in the attic looking for his name in the guest register, the John Barry music is eerily similar to what he’d do a few years later in The Living Daylights, my favorite of his James Bond soundtracks.
It still amazes me, but even great movies have places where I’d like to fast forward, and this is no exception. But finally we get to the famous scene where they finally meet, and from then on the humor gets me a little more this time, as he has no idea she thinks he’s a stalkerish fanboy. As he drops from the world’s longest porch onto the driveway, I notice the flags flying above and wonder if they bothered to get time- and star-appropriate pennants; gonna havta check the DVD soon. {According to the date when he signs the register, Arizona and New Mexico have just been admitted a few months earlier, so there should by 48, but I can see where a hotel in 1912 might not have gotten the new flag yet.}
Is my eye still blurry or did Izzy film Jane Seymour in soft focus during the romantic scene at the end? And when Richard is dying, all pasty and gaunt, he looks even more like Cumberbatch at the beginning of the Sherlock series.
As always l look carefully through the credits, but the only thing that caught my attention was the Panavision logo, since I’d seen the building earlier.
Izzy repeated the story we’d heard earlier about his meeting with the director at Cantor’s, where back in the late 70s the waiters were all imported Noo Yawkahs–in the courtyard he’d stood up, grabbed a thick envelope he had, and tossed it on the table–“Yoo want anything else?”–to show how those waiters would deliver the food. He also repeated the answer to my question about using different film stock–Kodak for present, Fuji for past–to get those pastel vistas, adding that he also used some warm color gels, which as a photographer I get, even though I don’t personally use them. He also mentioned the film played for a year in Hong Kong, which for some reason doesn’t surprise me.
I would have liked to ask him if the light beam when Richard first sees Elese is analogous to the huge light at the end of the movie, but that probably would have been a question for the director or the writer, Mr. Matheson. Izzy is asked what his favorite scene is, and he promptly replies that it’s the love scene near the end, making it beautiful and obvious without it being a porn, as he put it. When he was asked if he was part of location scouting when they tried to find a place to film–in the original novel it was the Del Coronado, but besides everything else there are always airplanes in the distance–he talks about the department heads going to Mackinac in winter, where someone asks “Where’s the lake?” only to be told, “You’re standing on it.” Someone else asks about Titanic, which I’ve still never seen, and how it has a few scenes that, in the words of the questioner, are “direct copies” from this. Izzy called Cameron out on his huge ego–which is like hitting the broadside of a barn, really, or standing somewhere near a barrel of fish–but didn’t go that far; on the other hand, Cameron has been caught stealing before, ask Harlan Ellison.
Then someone–who I think came for Izzy rather than Somewhere in Time–asks him about Werewolves on Wheels, and there’s really nothing I can tell you that would do justice to the crowd reaction on hearing that title; the one vivid image I have of that story is how at the end of the movie, a stunt featuring a motorcycle jump with the rider on fire went awry when the wind blew out the flames. From there it segued into the first Muppet movie, where Izzy mentions how great it was to work with actors who never complained and were always on time. He also said Jim Henson would react in character voice whenever given a direction, like Izzy asking Kermit to move a little to the side. He closes by saying SIT and the Muppets were his faves. . .
But all that was really icing on the cupcake; can’t help but think that every time I watch this movie from now on I’ll be disappointed, after finally viewing it two stories large. . . but damn, I hope not. . .


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