Mulholland Drive is an iconic road to anyone growing up in Los Angeles combining the properties of a Lover's Lane and a Mille Miglia-style road course. It overlooks the San Fernando Valley on one side and Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Hollywood on the other. It represents a sort of carefree abandon that cuts across and through the serious nature of a sprawling city. It is escapism from an enforced reality and the reality of those who have escaped, if only for the duration of an exciting drive.
In my youth, I enjoyed such a reality when Peter Helm, his friend Rick and I took our Ferraris onto Mulholland for some fun which Peter captured with his 8mm camera. Yesterday, at the instigation of Elysée Wednesday regular Richard Mitchell of Black Horse Motors, we took a literal and figurative trip down memory lane and drove a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 along the same stretch of Mulholland between Beverly Glen and Laurel Canyon.
We were accompanied by Jeanette Dumouchel, a producer with me on the Carrera Panamericana documentary, and Chad Glass who rendered the poster for the doc. We all took a turn at the wheel of the Ferrari and while the vintage handling of this thoroughbred was a new experience for a couple in our group, it was a strong dose of déjà vu for me. The familiar sound of the free-revving 4-litre V12, the feel of the big Nardi steering wheel and the action of the 5-speed transmission (it was a late series model) conjured an era that is long gone but no less exciting for its passing.
We documented the entire drive with the Panasonic P2 HD camera and, at one point, we stopped along the side of the road to shoot static shots and stills of the car. The 330 2+2 is much more compelling in life than in any photos I've ever seen. This one, originally sold by a wily Enzo Ferrari to Pat Boone who had really wanted to buy a Superamerica--no one ever made a success of saying no to Il Drake--is in beautiful condition and attracted the attention of one the ubiquitous tourist vans that cruise the city which stopped in the middle of the road to gawk at us.
Though I felt at home in the 330, I told Richard I would need at least an hour with the car to be comfortable finding its limits. As a 2+2, it is not the Lusso and far removed from the GTO in which I enjoyed this road in the past but it was great fun to drive and was really intended as a comfortable, high-speed touring car for the Friday night rush from Paris to Toulon for a weekend of sailing.
My thanks to Carl Steuer of Black Horse Motors and, of course, Richard Mitchell for a most enjoyable morning!
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...