Monday, December 27, 2010

A traveller's Christmas.

"Yeah? Well we're not birds - we're a jug band!"

So what do a couple of Melbournians do when far away from home town, and when Hollywood vacates for the holiday season...?

Well, eat! And eat we did. At the Chateau Marmont too, the "great castle on the hill". And what a great time to visit this establishment, when there is space to lounge and soak up the ambiance, and the little fragments of winter LA sun. A couple of proseccos, some olives and nuts, and we are on our way, journeying through the "melt-in-your-mouth" crispy little calamari served with a rich puttanesca, through black truffle arancini with wild mushrooms, a lush salad, and finishing with sticky toffee pudding, warm and sweet, paired with a double espresso. Bellissimo!

The Chateau is one of my favourite places in all of LA. Many words have been written about this place, so I won't bang on here, but I do want to mention the romance of those stone walls, the feeling that hundreds of Hollywood ghosts are sharing in your conversation with you, and that life exists on a completely different frequency here. And hey, I can't be the only one that feels this - Sofia Coppola has filmed the majority of her new film "Somewhere" in the Chateau, plus Janelle Brown has a soft spot for it too, amongst others (click here for her NY Times piece.)

Your faithful correspondent would love to be able to post photos of this delightful meal and surrounds, but, alas, cameras are a little unwelcome at The Chateau - which is fine by me. So here are a couple that other people took:

How could I not put this photo up? Led Zeppelin, who partook of much rock n' roll debauchery while staying here in the 1970's - this photo of them hanging out of a Chateau window is so innocent!!

So after a merry lunch it was off to the Cinefamily's screening of the Jim Henson production "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas", originally filmed in 1977. What a trip down memory lane, when puppets were hand-operated, the best tv host was a green frog, and it didn't matter that you could see the strings! As expected, despite the screening being advertised as a "kid's matinee", the cinema was full of us Generation Xers who grew up on this stuff. Plus, Cinefamily made a real event of it with the best Christmas DJ ever, and eggnog and cookies aplenty to help us get into the spirit. 

And it's such a cute film! I vaguely remembered it as a kid, but what a trip seeing now how simple the technology was back then, before CGI and the age of Pixar!!! There is a great "behind-the-scenes" clip of some bloopers that cracks me up - watch here and enjoy.

The Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax.
Christmas shorts and spinning tunes before the screening.
Getting ready!!
The stars of the show.
Nogging it eggnog style.
To see more of what Cinefamily do, like organising other awesome screenings and events, check out their website. A good place to check out if you are in town. 

Then it was off home to try and watch the first day of the Boxing Day test on the internet. I found a link to stream, I think from a feed from India - but boy, what a waste of time and bandwidth that was. Hello!!! Compete, you dingbats! So, it was hours of catching up with Graham Norton episodes instead, which was FAR MORE entertaining. Comedy gold is when Johnny Knoxville is speechless sitting next to Joan Rivers - watch this!

A good day all 'round really. Here's hoping everyone had a great weekend, whatever you did! Bring on 2011!!