[Ed. note– The following piece, written by Signal Tribune intern Andrea Ciccolini, was only lightly edited in an effort to preserve his “voice” and writing style, as he makes his transition into learning English. Ciccolini is a native of Rome, Italy.]
I love movies. And mostly I love American movies. Maybe this passion is one of the reasons which pulled me to Los Angeles. It is impossible for me to not dedicate a column to the movies living in the county where there is Hollywood and the Studios. It is impossible for me to not dedicate a column to the movies during the period between Golden Globes and Oscars.
A lot of people criticize Hollywood and usually they have good points but, like Quentin Tarantino says, “I’m not a Hollywood basher because enough good movies come out of the Hollywood system every year to justify its existence, without any apologies.”
So I went to Hollywood, the cradle of the western movie culture, the place where some of the best and the worst movies of our history have been made.
With a lot of expectations I visited the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with the marks of the men and women which made the first fortune of Hollywood.
I walked with the head bended and the eyes focused only on the sidewalk most famous of the world looking for the stars of my favorite actors, directors and singers. But I didn’t found the names of my favorite directors.
I took the tour in the Studios, to see where the wizardry of movies happen.
I went to the Kodak Theater, where there is the most famous movie prize ceremony in the world.
Amazing, interesting and important places.
But I didn’t felt the magic of art in those places. I’m not saying this because I didn’t find my stars on the walk of fame. I’m saying this because I had the impression that in Hollywood and in the Studios the largest part of attractions were just sugar for tourists.
But this city has something special– I feel it on my skin. The magic of this place about movies is that this area lives with and for the movies. This city is famous all over the world for the movie industry. The cities of Los Angeles County have been and still are the locations of a lot of great movies. In this area there is the largest concentration of people who live for and because of the movie industry.
I felt the magic when I went to see Django Unchained, the last movie of Quentin Tarantino, in the historical theater owned by him. In that place I felt the magic atmosphere.
In the bookshop which sells screenplays. In that place I felt the magic of movies I was looking for when I arrived in Los Angeles.
Driving to go somewhere and stop the car for the surprise, because that place was in the movie I saw the night before. In that place I felt the magic of living here.
Watching a movie at home with some friends and jump on the couch saying: “I know that place, it is (for example) Santa Monica Pier. Let’s go!” Movie paused. Everybody in the car just to drink a beer and to live some moment in the place we have seen 30 minutes before in a movie. This is magic.
I live in Rome, a city that is the location of a lot of movies. The city where there is Cinecittà, the Italian studios, very important and known during the period of Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni– the golden age of Italian movies. But it is not the same feeling. In Los Angeles there is something different in the people, in the air. I don’t know what it is, but here I can breathe, feel and smell movies. Movies are the oxygen of this land.
In this land the movies are so important no matter the genre or the quality.
This is the land of the biggest movie industry in the world. This means also the biggest porno movie industry in the world. Here the citizens had to vote for a law that wants to oblige the porno actors to wear condoms during the sex scenes. Amazing. Only here something like that can happen.
In this land the movies are so important no matter if you are a good actor or not. Just because you are an actor you are important. The best thing is to be an action-movie actor and an ex professional body-builder. If this happens the synchrony with this place is so perfect that you can become the Governor of California.
Here the important thing is to have a video-camera, an actor, a director and the clapboard, and the magic can happen. Here is Los Angeles. Here is Hollywood. Everything can happen.