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The Lighted Life

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Monday 30 April 2012: The Diner

With one hour left on the clock until midnite and no chance to use my camera earlier in the day, I snapped this image for its connection to George Lucas, a man I consider to be the Shakespeare of modern day American film. Much like Shakespeare, Lucas masters to convey the full range of human emotions in each and every production he has produced

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lucas today after a meeting at the Milken Institute Global Conference. The man was as laid back as could be but his genius subtlety punctuated each and every sentence. His cinematic vitae is unequaled in American film and I dare say the he and Coppola, Scorcese and Spielberg have shaped American cinema over the last several decades more than any other American film makers in the history of the art.

It is hard for me to pick THE ONE scene from THE ONE Lucas movie which stands above all others. It is tantamount to picking the best dish you have ever tasted or the happiest moment you have ever had or the most beautiful flower you have ever seen. It is simply not possible to make these bold declarations with absolute resolution. But if forced under duress, which I am by the direction of my meandering discourse, to pick THE ONE Lucas moment which ran through my head when I spoke to him today, it was the scene filmed in the diner in American Graffiti. I can repeat every word of it, backwards and forwards and, with a glass of wine or two, I can even mimic the facial expressions.

This is the Mel's Drive In on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. This Mel's is not to be confused with that which was used in the making of American Graffiti. That one was in San Francisco and had been closed long before the production of the movie. It was reopened for filming and, sadly, destroyed shortly thereafter. The Mel's name was purchased in the mid 1980s and this one was built in 1987 but it was constructed to mirror the design of the original Mel's

If you have not seen the film and you like American cinema, please rent it. And should you ever visit LA, do put this place on your list.

Thank you for your comments on my flare experiment. You were way to kind but you all have a habit of that and it is a wonderful habit to have in my opinion.

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