Los Angeles’s Les Blanks released In Country, their second full-length, earlier this year. Continuing in the vein of their debut the record is another solid slice of rock & roll that eschews trends opting for the classic. In May Blanks’ vocalist/keys-man Josh Caldwell ran down some of his favorite L.A. film moments over at the Echo Park Patch. Too good not to share here…

“When I moved to LA from Austin, I originally wanted to make films. I first settled on the Eastside, but had no idea that’s where movies started in Los Angeles. Before there was Hollywood, there was Echo Park and Silverlake. Many of the first studios were based in and around the area. Here are five films that are shot in Echo Park:”

The Rounders (1914) – If you haven’t seen any Charlie Chaplin flicks, don’t stop with this one. They don’t make performers like him anymore. In this film, Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle get drunk, then get into a rowboat on Echo Park Lake. The park and the lake look almost exactly the same then as they do today. Watch (@ 8:34)

Chinatown (1974) – It’s hard to beat a film directed by Roman Polanski, written by Robert Towne and starring Jack Nicholson / Faye Dunaway. I love films about old LA and this one is at the top of the list. There’s a great scene shot in Echo Park Lake with Jack doing some snooping around. Watch

Echo Park (1986) – This movie is wacky…as only an 80’s film can be. A lot of the locations I didn’t recognize, but the pizza joint where Tom Hulce works was shot at Pizza Buona on Sunset (@ Alvarado). Great cameo by the infamous Timothy Carey as the pizza shop owner. Watch

Mi Vida Loca (1993) – I first saw this film in college and really liked it. I knew then that I was bound for LA and it was kinda scary knowing that’s where I was headed. It’s a great view of Echo Park before the major gentrification. Lots of familiar spots like House of Spirits are seen throughout the film. Definitely worth checking out. Watch

Pulp Fiction (1994) – How can you not like this film? Classic characters and great writing. I have always heard this film was shot all over the Eastside. From what I’ve read, the house that Eric Stoltz’s character lives in is somewhere in Echo Park. Watch

MP3: Les Blanks :: Straw Man
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