Despite my recent (well over five years now) lack of movie theatre outings, I love movies. Although, since I am slightly snobby about it all, I should note I love film. I love old school screwball comedies such as Bringing Up Baby and old film noirs such as Lady from Shanghai and, of course, the best science fiction film noir movie called Blade Runner. If you haven’t watched any of these please do as they are a delight in the dog days of August. One film I have always loved because it resonated with my South Bronx upbringing is that of Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock.
Where I grew up windows were essential to understanding the small world in which we lived. You needed to be vigilant. You needed to be in the know. You needed to be a witness. Everyone, who had a street facing window, would set themselves up on their window sill at some point during the day to catch our version of reality television. One late night, locked up in my bedroom, I caught the PBS airing of Rear Window and I was mesmerized. I felt I had a momentary insight into the world around me. Well, as deep an insight as I could have at the age of 13. I watched the movie believing Jimmy Stewart’s paranoia. While the movie going audiences were led to wonder about his mental state and whether his reality was real, I didn’t question it. Viewing the world through a paranoid glass filter was in my life experience. The movie stayed with me throughout all my different living-space arrangements.
Since that time, I have loved the parodies on the Simpsons and on Psych. I even watched and liked Disturbia (2007 starring annoying Shia Lebouf ). Watching the world in a paranoid (or hyper vigilant state) is a classic universal experience. Which brings me to today.
Today I am in Los Angeles with a beautiful set of floor to ceiling windows. I see the downtown skyscraper skyline both in the morning sunset and in the moonlight shine. I love it. I don’t get to be nosy though as there is no neighborhood to closely watch. And as such, I am a bit sad as I am a bit homebound and I have two knee muscle tears. I have always been an overachiever. Now, as I can’t readily leave, what do I watch? Television fall schedule hasn’t started yet. News shows are all about Trump. My son wants to play his Xbox on the television and that just is not good television for me.
I can look out my window. My beautiful window. I can create stories of the street passerbyers way down below. In particular at 4am, there are some weird Los Angeles sounds to catch one’s attention.
The other morning I heard a woman crying out loud as she kept walking. She sounded like the La Llorona. Have you heard of that urban myth? Los Angeles is the perfect place for these stories to take root. At 4am, you also hear the cars racing done the avenues. You look out and you see an emptiness that doesn’t exist in New York city where atv4am people are already hitting the streets. Getting on trains and heading into work. The construction workers are all getting their coffee and getting a good laugh on. That’s New York. Here in Los Angeles it’s just eerie trailing cries for help and cars going past each other as quickly as possible. It makes you wonder what’s happening. If at any point I see anybody running I know something bad has happened as no one runs down here purposefully.
Later in the morning, I heard some sounds and looked out my window and there was a big trailer teetering very closely to my window 18 stories up. It’s like I have my own Disney Ride outside my window.