While Nathaniel is away the guest bloggers are at play. Here's Beau from California.
I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop in Southern California today, enjoying the atmosphere, trying to bottle it for when I may need it again. It will be one of my last moments at this particular location, because as of Friday, I am leaving the Los Angeles area indefinitely.
King City, California (indeed, Monterey County), is best known for being right smack dab in the middle of Steinbeck Country. (Of Mice and Men takes place in Soledad, CA - a mere twenty miles north). It’s been immortalized as such, but hasn’t received much treatment onscreen aside from one noteworthy moment, in an ever-evolving film whose reputation is elevating itself by the day.
Which film is that? See for yourself after the jump.
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) has just discovered the man posing as his brother, Henry, is an imposter bent on obtaining money from him. Brands explains that he is, in fact, not of the same bloodline as Plainview but that he met someone in King City who was, and who had mentioned a 'brother' that had recently come into a substantial amount of money. Shortly thereafter the brother died, leaving a diary with numerous insights into his personal life. Brands takes this and memorizes it so as to inhabit the role of the brother, and swindle Plainview out of his newfound wealth. Plainview, in a demonic rage, shoots Brands and scans through the diary, where a brief description of King City and the surrounding areas can be glimpsed.
It’s not as memorable a sequence as others in the film, (not even in the top five, or ten to my mind) but it’s the only one that I’ve ever encountered. And I’m grateful that it was in a film I deeply, deeply admire.
I am returning back to my hometown of King City, California in an (admittedly daft) effort to refocus on what I want my life to be about. I feel as though I’ve done so much and yet so (so!) little in my seven years here, and there’s this overwhelming sense of stagnation and sadness that just permeates through me when I’m here. Friends from school have all moved on to their own respective destinations, and the prevailing sense of loneliness and aloneness has led me to a point where I had to accept one of two outcomes:
- Maintain course and pray for a break in the waves, or
- Make a sharp turn and aim towards the unknown.
I chose the latter.
And as I resign myself to the fact that I will be back where it all started, the old stomping grounds, I feel a strange sense of comfort. The familiarity (and even slightly foreign nature of it now) is a warm welcome; I may not know yet where I’m going to in my boat, but I’ll know where I am.
And that is certainly something.
- What films have taken place in / around your hometown?
- If you live in a large urban city, your neighborhood?
- Has the onscreen depiction matched your perception of it?
- Or is it made to be something entirely different?
Tell me, readers. What does your town look like on film?