Friday, December 30, 2011

Miracle Mile Movie Memories

Sometime in 1997 Dylan came down to LA to hang out when I was in town to work on a writing project (at that time I was actually living in Chapel Hill, NC and I believe Dylan was living in Olympia, WA). For maybe a week, we were both crashing on the floor of a movie producer’s apartment in Miracle Mile. One interesting thing I remember vividly from that week was on one of our walks around the neighborhood, we stumbled upon a small, mystery bookstore. What was amazing about this bookstore, was that they apparently also screened prints of rare film noir and mystery films after hours. We went back there later in the week to catch something, I don’t remember what - nothing special, but what was great was just the experience. Being in a little bookstore after hours, with shelves pushed away and watching some extremely obscure film with 20-30 strangers. It felt like being part of a secret world, a very unique experience.

A decade or more later, when Dylan opened his own store in Portland, Oregon with Tim Goodyear, The Bad Apple, he apparently ended up doing the same thing, showing movies, mostly to his friends, after hours in the store. I know he really enjoyed that, because when I saw him this July, he especially mentioned to me how much he missed doing the screenings (while he had been sick in the first half of 2011), and now that he was getting better (he was supposedly on the road to recovery when I saw him in July), he was really looking forward to being able to start up his screenings again. Being able to share his love of all kinds of movies with others was something that seemed to be a very pure pleasure. I thought it was really great, how he was able to take that weird experience we’d had in Miracle Mile all those years ago, and duplicate it, improve upon it (maybe), and share it with others. He was good at making things others just dreamed about, actually happen. I wish I’d been around Portland for some of those screenings too.


  1. I got to one of his screenings at the Bad Apple. We watched W. C. Fields in The Bank Dick. Coincidentally, that movie was on TCM this morning and I was just watching it and remembering how much Dylan loved that movie.

    Similarly, my wife and I do backyard movie screenings in the summer Jeff. You should join us sometime.

  2. Back when I worked at the U.C. Theater, a projectionist who worked there invited Dylan and I to his house to see a screening of "The French Connection." The guy and his wife had made a theater in his basement in Alameda, and he projected a beautiful print with good sound. That's when we learned about this whole underground lending library network of 16 & 35mm prints that these home theater guys would pass around. There were only 4 of us, and it was something special I've never forgotten.

  3. Dylan had amazing taste & he showed what he liked, so movie night was for me always a huge blast. He had a completely unique gage for what makes a movie good. He would ask friends for suggestions & once asked me to select a film to accompany another (which escapes my memory, maybe Witchfinder General?). I gave him a list but warned him that a film on the list is offensive and boring for most people, with it's intense gore munching sequences and extremely slow zombies. He said boring = awesome in so many words and picked that film. It was Bianchi's Burial Ground. Dylan was so awesome.