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If there is any location in the collective American imagination that evokes an Edenic paradise, it would be Los Angeles in the 1960s. To think of it is to dream of it: The sound of Beach Boys harmonies filling the air, the plentiful highways providing traffic-free roadbeds for mammoth convertibles and Woodie station wagons with gas tanks filled up for 22 cents a gallon in a land where oil wells pumped on public high-school campuses, the weather always 72 and sunny, fresh-picked fruit coming down the 101, and money raining down on Californians new and old from aerospace and defense-sector spending… And, of course, all those movies and all those TV shows selling us on the dream.
Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is the latest and greatest evocation of that place and time. About two-thirds of the way into the movie, at the beginning of what promises to be a historically terrible evening in the history of the city and the country, Tarantino shows us the twilight moment at which storefronts all over town begin to illuminate their signs—from a Taco Bell to the legendary Hollywood hangout Musso and Frank's to a downtown chili joint to a Mexican restaurant in the valley. The montage lasts all of 30 seconds, and it's quiet and beautiful and funny and iconic all at the same time.
Set - Once - Time…in - Hollywood - Tale
Set in 1969, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is a fairy tale of a kind, as its title suggests—but it is also one of the most remarkable acts of historical re-creation in the history of the movies. More important, it is suffused with an unironic love for very nearly every aspect of L.A. it depicts. Tarantino loves the light. He loves the neon. He loves the red-leather banquettes in restaurants. He loves the Beverly Hills houses of...
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