Just Above Sunset
June 18, 2006 - Hollywood Murals Old and New













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Grauman's Chinese Theater - opened May 18, 1927

Wednesday, June 14, Flag Day 2006, blazing hot in Hollywood, and up on the boulevard there's this odd mural in a parking lot, inviting you into the darkness of Grauman's Chinese Theater. It opened May 18, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's "The King of Kings." It's still going strong. And now it's air-conditioned.

 

And she's smiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, on the same west wall of the theater, there's a reminder of the old days - when the world was back and white, and cute or glamorous, or both, side by side. Yep, that's Shirley Temple on the left, leaving her prints in the concrete out in front of the theater. When that second level movie star from the forties, Ronald Reagan, became president, he appointed her, now Shirley Temple Black, our ambassador to the United Nations. She was not angry and self-righteous and blustering like that John Bolton fellow the younger Bush sent up to the big blue building on the East River. She was fine. Things go better when run by movie people from Hollywood, and not by Texans? Perhaps.

The mural is a bit ratty these days, and in the upper right there's the real world intruding again - the painfully and impossibly blue sky. Who's the blond? Someone from long gone.  Jean Harlow.

Mural - Grauman's Chinese Theater

Across the street, the new movies get their own wall. Superman Returns - on June 30th as a matter of fact.

Note this -

As the hype machine shifts into high gear for the upcoming release of "Superman Returns," some are reading deeply into the film whose hero returns from a deathlike absence to play savior to the world.

"It is so on the nose that anyone who has not caught on that Superman is a Christ figure, you think, 'Who else could it be referring to?' " said Steve Skelton, who wrote a book examining parallels between Superman and Christ.

As the hype machine shifts into high gear for the upcoming release of "Superman Returns," some are reading deeply into the film whose hero returns from a deathlike absence to play savior to the world.

... Some have also seen the hero as a gay icon, forced to live a double life with his super-self in the closet. A recent edition of the gay magazine "The Advocate" even asked on its cover, "How gay is Superman?"

But the comparison to Jesus is one that's been made almost since the character's origin in 1938, said Skelton, author of "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero."

 

Whatever.

Superman Returns promo on office building wall...

Superman Returns promo on office building wall...

 

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.































 
 
 
 
Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
 
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