Thursday, June 13, 2019

Episode #115 - Joshua Gleich (Days of Wine and Roses)

"I think one of the reasons I work on location shooting is not because I understand it completely but because I have a question I still can't answer."

For anyone whose lived in Los Angeles or New York, it's easy to see when a film cheats its its locales. Just watch John Wick 3 and see the eponymous character seemingly make the trip from Midtown to Chinatown in a matter of minutes—and all by foot. But why has location shooting evolved such as it is? Joshua Gleich, a historian making his home at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, explores this by looking at the city of fog, San Francisco. Less an exploration of which films "get it right" or "get it wrong," Gleich's new book explores the evolution of location shooting from the 1940s to the 1970s, and how curiously the films of SF soon diverted from its actual life, attempting to mimic the urban nightmares that took up the imagination of Hollywood. Josh talks about his new book with Peter, exploring a number of classic films and the production contexts that made them. Finally, the two explore Blake Edwards's alcoholic drama Days of Wine and Roses and how a little location shooting can help pepper an entire film, especially one that breaks many of the molds of the classic Hollywood melodrama. Plus, Peter praises the work of the back-in-action Le Cinema Club and its opener with a rare Claire Denis short made in New York.

0:00–3:28 Opening
3:51–8:37 Establishing Shots — Le Cinema Club and Claire Denis
9:21–59:20 Deep Focus — Joshua Gleich
1:00:23–1:03:49 Sponsorship Section
1:05:44–1:19:21 Double Exposure — Days of Wine and Roses (Blake Edwards)
1:19:27–1:26:52 Close

Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Learn more about Josh and his work, and check out his two books, Hollywood in San Francisco and Hollywood on Location.
Check out Le Cinema Club.
—James Schamus briefly discusses his company Good Machine with Ted Hope on our podcast from 2017.
—Learn more about Matthew Bernstein and read his articles on the exhibition of Song of the South and Imitation of Life (with Dana White) in Atlanta.
—Read Josh's work on NFL turned Hollywood star, Jim Brown
—Learn more about the Urban Studies's group and see their online journal, Mediapolis.
Watch Los Angeles Plays Itself on Kanopy.
—Check out Daniel Steinhart's Runaway Hollywood
—Listen to a 53-minute discussion with DP James Wong Howe from 1974.
—Read a 1997 piece about queer cinema in San Francisco
—Learn more about the underground film movement in Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000
—See Jon Lewis's great book on Francis Ford Coppola
—Walter Murch on Coppola's flatbed editing system.
—Josh on Tuscon and Paul Newman
—Watch Blake Edwards's Days of Wine and Roses
—Watch the original 1958 John Frankenheimer directed teleplay
—Learn more about Maiden Lane

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