Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

This really hit the spot for me. I really want to spend as much time as possible just running around L.A. with Pitt and DiCaprio's characters. This worked in a different way for me than Inglorious Basterds when it came to the alternate history of events. I felt that Basterds kind of resorts to the brutality of the Nazi's while living out a revenge fantasy that is more horrifying than cathartic. I kind of feel like the alternate history in Once Upon a Time is oddly necessary to respecting the dead and treats the revision of reality more like a trip to heaven allegory than an episode of "wouldn't it be nice."

It's pretty funny to see the references to porno theater culture in the '60's with the song DiCaprio's character sings about Behind the Green Door and the reference to opening night for an adult film at a porno theater down the street. Oddly, there's a family story of mine that strongly relates to that line and to a one-time Charles Manson friend.

My dad had some cousins that were a bit older and decided to burn through their inheritances in far crazier ways than my dad could imagine. He had one cousin that got in with a guy trying to be a concert promoter and they organized a show at Yankee Stadium with Stevie Wonder (when he was "Little Stevie Wonder") and the headliner, The Beach Boys (the six degrees of separation to Charles Manson). I think my dad was right out of college at the time so his cousin gave him the job of telling the acts that they would be next to the stage. My dad had a friend with him for the experience. That friend came to visit decades later and I asked them about what the event was like. My dad said "oh the Beach Boys were really cool, they were hanging out in the Yankees locker room before going out to the stage being driven in a convertible." His friend added, "yeah, they were all so high." My dad turned to him, "what?" He had no idea and was so far from any kind of alternative culture at the time to pick up on those things. The show was a big success... until my dad's cousin learned that his partner ran away with the profits and never paid the acts. My great grandmother was getting calls from creditors looking for money from him long after his death.

My dad had another cousin, Brud Talbot (they all had weird nicknames), who used his inheritance in a bit of a different way. He wanted to get into movies, writing, producing and directing a couple of his very own movies in the late '60's and early '70's. He was really proud of his movies and even invited the whole family including my parents and my grandparents to the premier of one of his movies. So, they went into New York City and I think the movie they saw was "Case of the Full Moon Murders." It is described at 75 minutes of a comedy, horror, adult film.

My mom only remembers that it was either "pretty much a porno" or "absolutely a porno." There was no indication of what kind of a movie it would be before the projector started for my family. The reactions were that my grandfather found it to be a lot of fun and was riveted and that my grandmother, a very old money lady from Hartford, CT whose childhood babysitter was Katherine Hepburn (and she had the transatlantic accent to match), was mortified. Apparently the real entertainment for my parents was watching the reactions of those two.

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