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Fake ruins

Oh, this simply rocks. I'll try to explain why:

Los Angeles for years had a fake Babylon within it. In 1916, director D.W. Griffith followed up his both brilliant and horrifying movie Birth of a Nation -- a movie I once described as feeling like "a collaboration between Spielberg and Hitler" -- with the even more epic, and thank God not as horrifyingly racist, movie Intolerance. An episode of the movie took place in ancient Babylon, represented by a set that was four blocks long:

After filming, in this part of L.A., Griffith claimed he didn't have the money to tear down the set. No one else stepped forward to do so. Thus, for years, a crumbling version of Ancient Babylon sat in L.A. I once saw a picture of the pillars looming above homes in the rapidly developing city. What a backyard feature.

I always hoped that some filmmaker would learn or remember that, and make a period film, something like the film version of The Rocketeer, with a sequence set in the ruins of the Intolerance set. Maybe an action sequence that would demolish the set, more dramatically than how the set really was taken down, eventually, by the city. (Like what happens to the HOLLYWOOLAND sign in The Rocketeer, not at all what really happened. But it looked cool.)

It's not a movie, but the new computer game L.A. Noire had a programmer or two (or more) who, like me, remembered that set and said You know what? We should include it!

See? This idea had to happen sometime. I'm not the only one who thought so.

A Wiki for the game - http://lanoire.wikia.com/wiki/The_set_of_%22Intolerance%22 - admits that it's anachronistic, as the game is set in the 1940s and the set was demolished decades earlier, but coolness still happens, man.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
forgive busted shift kety
that is indeed amazing, and makes me think of de mille leaving his karnak set for the '22 ten commandments to be buried in the mexican sands- and of peter jackson sneakily referencing that in forgotten silver.
May. 23rd, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't even realize it was an anachrom. I just thought it was fun and exciting.

They use it twice in story... not sure if you can just visit it or not in free roam. The two story sequences take a lot of it down to the ground.
May. 24th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
Heck, I thought it stood a lot longer than it actually did in reality. Maybe I wanted it to have been around for a long time.

And hey, it gets used in an action way, and I approve. Seems right.
May. 23rd, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
I had thought the real set was buried somewhere ... I've got to see that film someday.
May. 23rd, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
You may be thinking of de Mille's 10 Commandments (the silent version from '22, not the Heston '56 version); the Karnak set from that was buried in the desert sands.
May. 23rd, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Ah, you're right ... got those mixed up!
May. 23rd, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
May. 24th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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