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Hollywood Boulevard

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S: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD W h e r e E v e r y o n e ' s a S t a r LARRY BROWNSTEIN

FC: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD | LARRY BROWNSTEIN | W h e r e E v e r y o n e ' s a S t a r

1: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD W h e r e E v e r y o n e ' s a S t a r by Larry Brownstein Copyright © 2015 by Larry Brownstein Larry Brownstein Photography larryb@larybrownstein.com www.brownsteinimages.com All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author. Revision No. 2

2: Foreword Weegee, photographer of the night, was able to summarize his Hollywood experience quite succinctly: “I had to have a lens out of this world to do full justice to the strange sights and people which are Hollywood.” In contrast, I find myself drawn to Hollywood over and over again with no simple explanation of why that is. Is it the similarity to my native New York City? Is it the vibrant street life? Is it the zany, anything-goes vibe? Is it the feeling of adventure, knowing that every day will bring something new? Is it identifying with the wide-eyed, star-struck tourists posing with Superman, Marilyn Monroe and Sponge Bob? All this, and more. On Hollywood Boulevard references to the past abound. Think of the handprints and footprints at the Chinese Theater or, the ubiquitous presence of Marilyn on T-shirts, coffee mugs and you name it. Words have little currency in Hollywood. It’s the image that matters and Hollywood is drowning in the very imagery that it creates. Hollywood’s dense imagery calls to mind the movie Blade Runner. There are the brass stars embedded in The Walk of Fame; lingerie-clad, magenta-wigged manikins in shop windows; gigantic billboard ads with larger-than-life figures suspended above the fray; tattooed, hipster, wannabe stars parading down the boulevard; and trendy bars with a phalanx of screens suspended from the ceilings projecting gyrating pop stars and steroid-pumped athletes. The prophetic sci-fi movie’s neon-drenched billboards flying overhead may only be a few short years away. Thinking of my photographs of Hollywood and the experiences I’ve had, what can I conclude? Hollywood is the focal point of popular culture at a point in time when our culture is sputtering on the fumes of past glories. What also comes to mind is the meme Boulevard of Broken Dreams, which is also the title of a documentary TV series, a famous painting, a James Dean biography, and a half-dozen songs, all, no doubt, references to Hollywood Boulevard. In this age where the term post-industrial pops up with increasing frequency, it should be no surprise that a fair number of images in this book are consistent with the idea of broken dreams. But I don’t apologize for that. Rather, I’ll point out that from broken dreams new dreams emerge. I’ll let Marilyn have the last word on the subject. She mused, “I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night, ‘There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of being a movie star.’ But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.” -- Larry Brownstein

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  • By: Larry B.
  • Joined: almost 4 years ago
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  • Title: Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hollywood Boulevard. A boulevard of broken dreams or a place where dreams come true? Photographer Larry Brownstein takes a close look at Hollywood to see what it can tell us about ourselves.
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  • Published: over 2 years ago

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