Tag Archives: Oscars

The El Toro Y and Other Things The Simpsons Taught Me

If you were to visit a city, who would you trust to be your tour guide: Lonely Planet or The Simpsons?  Based on the screencap below, my tip money would go to The Simpsons.

This was from last week’s episode: Bart is nominated for an Oscar (Best Animated Short, natch) and the Simpsons go to Hollywood.  Wary of Homer hogging all the credit for the movie on his big night, Bart sends him on a, er, special tour of LA-area landmarks.  The Watts Towers is one of our greatest landmarks that no one visits, and naming the Cerritos Auto Square as a “must-see attraction” is very funny, very cruel joke to would-be tourists — but what struck me the most was that certain locations actually are named!  Take, for example, the El Toro Y: this would be the official name of the freeway clusterfuck where the 5 and 405 merge.  The California Incline is what I always, always miss when I’m trying to get off PCH and back into Santa Monica.  And Chatsworth is, as the local residents helpfully explain to Homer, where “the 118 meets Topanga Canyon, fool.”

Me, I would have added Worthington Ford, Tito’s Tacos, and the WTF that is where Virgil turns into Hillhurst as it meets Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., and Sunset Dr. Oh, and donuts: despite Homer’s penchant for donuts, none of LA’s donut icons made it onto the list.  Too bad, as a donut crawl definitely would have kept everyone infinitely more entertained than the “Dead. In. The. Water.” ceremony that was Sunday. Actually, doing anything on that list, including the sad atrocity that is The Beverly Connection, would have been far, far more satisfying than watching that ceremony.  Next year around this time, you’ll know where to find me.

British Noir at the Nuart

This is not a post about Betty Blue, but this was the only shot of the Nuart I have. Forgive me French film fans.
This is not a post about Betty Blue, but this was the only shot of the Nuart I have. Forgive me French film fans.

Not to be outdone by the Hammer, the Nuart starts its own British noir series tomorrow. If you missed seeing The Third Man at the Hammer, you’re in luck. Thanks to the Nuart, you have another chance. It’s playing tomorrow and Saturday in a double feature with Brighton Rock, a Graham Greene thriller starring Richard Attenborough as a “psycho teenage gang leader.” 

Me, I’ll be hitting the Sunday double feature of Peeping Tom and It Always Rains on Sunday because I can’t resist a film described as “a masterpiece full of dread, raw with vulgarity.” Other films in the series include the Red Riding trilogy and The Fallen Idol (which screens in a double feature with The Third Man on the 10th).

And then, if that doesn’t already secure the Nuart as your favorite theater (with apologies to Kevin), they are screening the Oscar nominated short films beginning on the 19th of February. (The screening at the Academy is sold out.)