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Amanda Glam
home : features : amanda glam
June 28, 2022


6/16/2022 4:36:00 PM
Amanda's Picks
George Clooney's star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
George Clooney's star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.
TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

Amanda Glam
Entertainment Writer


Emma Goes to Hollywood
Note: My daughter Emma Glam, who is even more devoted and schooled in film than yours truly, agreed to write this guest column on our recent trip to Hollywood.
When I was a kid, my dream was to go to Hollywood, be in movies (better ones than my mother Amanda), and possibly win an Oscar. Well, I finally got to Hollywood and got my Oscar (sort of). My main objective was to visit the long-awaited Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, an entire museum dedicated to filmmaking, the Oscars and filled with memorabilia. I prepared for my visit by researching all the exhibits online and had received membership in the museum for my birthday, resulting in discounts during my visit. I could barely contain my excitement as I saw the beautiful five-story building that just opened in September 2021. Walking in I was instantly overwhelmed. My self-guided tour officially began with a well-edited multi-screen movie montage depicting the dawn and evolution of cinema. Then I saw the massive Mt. Rushmore backdrop used in the 1959 classic North By Northwest, as part of an exhibit on the art of backdrops. I enjoyed an exhibit on classic films like Citizen Kane (yes, I saw Rosebud) and The Wizard of Oz, as well as trailblazers like Bruce Lee and Martin Scorsese’s film editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
Things got even more exciting when I entered the Oscar Room of wall-to-wall statuettes, including the first Oscar for Best Animated Feature for Shrek and Best Visual Effects for the original Star Wars. Next were clips of Oscar speeches throughout the years, and I noticed that with the exception of Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg, nearly all the winners represented minorities in Hollywood.
As I walked through the museum I felt that the Academy was attempting to go out of its way to make up for decades of underrepresentation. It was less “We love movies’’ and more “We’re sorry.” The most glaring omission was the almost complete lack of acknowledgment on how immigrant Jews basically founded Hollywood and the movie industry. (This actually has bothered so many people that according to the New York Times, next spring the museum will open a permanent exhibit devoted to the contribution of Jewish studio founders like Samuel Goldwyn, Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer.)
More treasures awaited. I was surprised to learn that writer/director Spike Lee is as big a movie buff as I am, as I took in his collection of vintage signed movie posters including The French Connection and Dog Day Afternoon. In the costumes exhibit I saw many outfits that I recognized from movies, including the yellow dress Emma Stone wore in La La Land. Two days later while watching the film on the train, I thought “I saw that dress.”
One of the best parts of the museum was The Oscar Experience (free to members, but extra with general admission). I got to live my dream and actually hold a real Oscar, and boy is it heavy. The finale was an amazing exhibit dedicated to Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, known worldwide as the Walt Disney of Japan. I have been a fan since I saw Princess Mononoke when I was eight. I was incredibly lucky as the exhibit was closing just days after my visit. It was as extraordinarily beautiful as his movies.
My next adventure was the Legends of Hollywood bus tour. My guide Mark was very informed and amusing. I saw a number of celebrities’ houses, well, what I could see that wasn’t hidden by trees and gates. Still, I can say I saw the homes of Quentin Tarantino and Al Pacino and former homes of Elvis and Madonna. We saw the sordid side of Hollywood as we passed by The Viper Room, where River Phoenix met his tragic end, and a hotel nicknamed “Riot at The Hyatt’’ due to its association with wild rock groups. It was cool to see places where famous scenes from films were set, like the fire escape where Richard Gere romanced Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and the house from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Then it was on to the legendary TCL Chinese Theater, (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater) and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I was on a mission to get a picture of George Clooney’s signature for my mom and I found it! This tour was a lot of fun, and provided insight into places that for years I’ve only seen in movies and TV.
Finally, I went to the Hollywood Museum, which heavily emphasized classic Hollywood, highlighting legends like Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball. It is in the old Max Factor building, so there are make-up rooms and original make-up and wigs from many Hollywood stars. I also saw exhibits on Back to the Future and Ghostbusters and even the old Batman TV show with many toys, magazines and other items. For someone who worships Turner Classic Movies, seeing so many stars’ photos and autographs and props from Gone With The Wind and The Godfather was sheer joy. There is also a horror room in the basement, but I chose not to visit there.
For a life-long movie buff, this trip was everything I could’ve asked for and more. Having accomplished pretty much all I set out to see and do was enormously satisfying and I wouldn’t change a thing.





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