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Monday, October 29, 2007

Lost Angels Part II: The Million Dollar Rose & The Venus FLY trap!

Sci-fi writer and physician Alan E. Nourse wrote "The Bladerunner" back in 1974...

the plot of Nourse's novel: The novel's protagonist, a man with a club foot, lives in a society where free comprehensive medical treatment is available for anyone who has been sterilized, and no medical care whatsoever is available for anyone else (including children).

In 1979 William S. Burroughs writes a treatment for a proposed film adaptation of the novel. Burroughs' treatment is set in early 21st century and involves mutated viruses and what the back cover of the 1990 edition describes as "a medical-care apocalypse". The term "blade runner" referred to a smuggler of medical supplies, e.g. scalpels. [see also PKD's "The Imposter" (quite a bit of "bladerunning" going on there or the real-life "imposter" Wilhelm Voigt
(least we forget the Voigt-Kampf test of Bladerunner].

No film is ever made, and in 1982 film director Ridley Scott buys the rights to the name "Bladerunner" which will become the title for his adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's 1968 novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

One of the features of "Bladerunner" is the role of The Bradbury Building (which serves as home to Toymaker/Replicant designer J.F. Sebastien), and eerily acts as a character in the film...directly across the street in downtown Los Angeles is the Million Dollar Theater
which is also featured prominently in the film.

And now, we take a detour down "The Street With No Name" or 5th and Main St. downtown Los Angeles to be precise...just around the corner from "Bladerunner" central we find the curious Rosslyn "Million Dollar" Hotel. Those of you up on your Templar lore will surely be tempted by the significance of Rosslyn (or Rose Line).

Although the exact location of the video was Republic Liquor Store, The Rosslyn Hotel sign is clearly visible behind Bono and the Band intrigued was Bono that he dubbed the Rosslyn "The Million Dollar Hotel"??

The story is recounted on The International Cinematographers Guild website:
"The Million Dollar Hotel took a rather circuitous route to the screen, one spanning more than a decade. In the late Eighties, mega rock band U2, while prepping to shoot a music video for "Where the Streets Have No Name," selected the roof of an ancient hotel as its location. Built four-score and some-odd
years ago, the hotel, now known as the Rosslyn (located in downtown Los Angeles at 5th and Main Street) was once among the tallest edifices in Southern California, and played host to several visiting U.S. presidents before falling into disrepair. The U2 video was shot during the Reagan era, when many social programs had been cut-to-the-bone or eliminated. To the socially conscious band members, the results were quite visible in this area, with its mainly disenfranchised inhabitants, and the whole area overflowing with citizens attempting to carry on in spite of NO HEALTHCARE. Fascinated by the rooftop sign, U2 lead vocalist Bono declared this edifice to be 'The Million Dollar Hotel,' (the edifice's longest-lasting and best known moniker) and began developing a notion for a script to take place there."

The Rosslyn (built in and owned by the Hart Brothers) was once the largest building in downtown L.A., and had
a rather odd actually consisted of two buildings joined only by an underground tunnel which connected the two.

Enter Wim Wenders, the German film director of the 1987 poetic masterpiece "Wings of Desire", a story of Angels observing mankind in Berlin while one longs to become mortal and live among human beings. [In 1998, Hollywood in it's infantile wisdom would remake it as "City of Angels" starring our old pal Nicolas Cage] Bono and Wim Wenders would team up to co-write an interesting little gem called "Million Dollar Hotel" in 2000. The film stars...Mel Gibson (who co-produced via his I-CON Pictures), and Milla Jovovich (Synchromystic sirens are popping off everywhere) two names that have been bantered about much of late. I will return to them later.

Here is a passage from Wim Wender's [see also 2004's "Land of Plenty" and 1991's "Until the End of the
World"] website which I found interesting:

Once upon a time there was an enchanted hotel...

... built many, many years ago,
at the beginning of the last century
on the corner of 5th Street and Main,
in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
For a while it was the tallest and most splendid building
in the city.
And it carried the euphemistic name
The Rosslyn Million Dollar Hotel.

On the other side of the street
stood its sister building, the Rosslyn.
The two hotels were linked by corridors underground.
Each portal mirrored the other.
Round about, business was brisk.
The Million Dollar Theater and the Million Dollar
were both just round the corner.
The area was certainly worth a few millions.
This was the headquarters
of the American entertainment industry;
Griffith and Chaplin had their offices here...

That was once upon a time.
When the movie industry moved to
Hollywood and Burbank,
the decline of downtown Los Angeles began.

the two sisters still

stare at each other in silence.

But no more wild, flamboyant parties are celebrated here.
Millionaires no longer cross the doorsteps.
The huge iron scaffolding on the roofs
still carries the same signs,

But the light bulbs in those letters
went out seventy years ago,

The Million Dollar Hotel is now called the Frontier Hotel,
It's a flop-house
where you can get a place to sleep
for eight dollars a night;
that is if you don't have to spend the night on the streets,
like the throngs of homeless people
who stake out their cardboard huts
in the streets round about
night after night,
only to lose their homes the next morning
to the garbage collectors.

By day,
a different kind of popularion hurried past the hotel:
bankers clutching briefcases,

yuppies wielding mobile phones,
tourists carrying digital cameras.
At dusk they all seem to vanish into thin air,
leaving the field once again
to the outcasts.

In this other America,
the Million Dollar Hotel
stands as a fortress,
the last bastion of the hopeless,
but also a stronghold,
of drug-dealing and of prostitution.

This is where our film had its beginning
more than ten years ago,
when Bono, in search of a location for the U2 video
Where the Streets Have no Name,
stumbled upon the hotel.
No song came about from his discovery, for once,

but a story, from that story came a script, and from the script a film - which never wanted to conceal that it might just as well have become a song: a song about a different America
beyond that great big Dream, where truly everyone is equal.

The story is a quirky whodunit which see's Gibson (in full neck brace) playing a hard-ass FBI agent named Skinner (Similar to Bladerunner's "Skin-Job" or B.F. Skinner) investigating the death of the son of a billionaire media magnate. The suicide/murder takes place at the Million Dollar Hotel (actor Tim Roth's character takes a dive from the location just behind U2 in the video) which is occupied by a motley collection of outcasts and misfits. The inhabitants and hotel resemble patients/Mental Institution and all become the focus of a police investigation. Some of the interesting asides from the movie are: The media magnate and his son are portrayed as Jewish which presents some interesting flux given Mel's antisemitism, Mel's character is revealed to have been born with a third arm that was surgically removed from his back, and actor Jeremy Davies' character spends much of the film wearing a WWII German Officer's jacket...

from "The Bladerunner" to Bono's epiphany on the rooftop of The Rosslyn Hotel...we see a an odd blend of medical apocalypse/good genetics bad genetics strung throughout this truly dystopian thread.

Milla's exchange with a reporter at the Berlin Film Festival for the screening of "Million Dollar Hotel: "Are you an alien?" "That's what they say. The people that know me best say I am."


Venus becomes the Ultraviolet Fly

BELIEVE becomes BE-LIE-VE...if you take out the LIE see how easy it becomes BE-E HI-VE...

Also of note, U2's "The Fly" from the album "Achtung Baby" [as well as a few other U2 songs frequently references stars falling from the sky] when released as a single had the following title as it's flip or BEE-side: "Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk / Korova 1" a DIRECT reference to "A Clockwork ORANGE". And accroding to wikipedia the song: "is a music piece by Bono and The Edge, taken from the score for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "A Clockwork Orange" [2]. This was the only part of the score which was officially released. The author of the original book, Anthony Burgess was reportedly very unsatisfied with the soundtrack.[citation needed] This song was also featured on the soundtrack to the Johnny Mnemonic movie.

"The Fly" was track number 7 from the album, and if you slide down a couple more tracks to track 10 what do we find but? "Ultraviolet:Light My Way"

Until Next time...

Milla as Leeloo the 5th Element...Orange anyone?


JB said...

About "orange", check out the Orange Order, one of the Vatican's most deadly pawns.

I know a fellow synchro-mystic named "true-lilly" (she used to be on THE UNHIVED MIND, and now she's on the David Icke forum under a new name, she's quite mad and believes that Australia is the Promised Land, the Garden of Eden, Atlantis, etc.) who was used as a sex slave as a child by members of the Orange Order in Australia, and she says that the ruling elite of this world (the Illuminati/Jesuits/Orange Order) is moving their center of power to Oz, and that Oz secretly has 60-80% of the world's Uranium, Petroleum, Gold, etc.

I know that there are a hell of a lot of underground bases over there, even whole underground cities.

Milla Jovovich is an absolute goddess. It makes me sad that I can't be with her. :( ;)

Michael said...

Holy hotel Batman! This is outstanding detective work.

U2 - high altitude spy plane - a Watcher?

hoi polloi said...

Hermes winged sneaker?

Unknown said...

Winged modern footwear for Hermes as seen also in The Eyeball Kid.

And Batman the Dark Knight Detective is a sharp allusion as Bono's 'The Fly" character reappears in the video for "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me" from "Batman Forever" along w/ Bono's Joker-like Mephisto:

Anonymous said...


This is great stuff, as was your Bladerunner article about the California fires. I'm a huge fan of the movie, at one time my fave.

That said, after reading your post on the Cali fires I came across an article on the Blackwater scandal currently unraveling in the State Department. Here's a link:

Please note name of Blackwater's spokeman, Anne Tyrrell.

A connection? Also black water as a metaphor for smoke?



Vapo said...

Nice piece of work & effort Todd!


Unknown said...

Black Water is disturbingly a reference to the River Styx.