A Scouting Life: Brothels and Blackjack

March 30, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

We got back to the Hotel Nevada just in time to wash up and have a nice dinner. The rooms were smallish, as could be expected of such an old hotel, and the furnishings looked like they came from your grandmother’s garage sale. Everything was mismatched and cheaply ...


A Scouting Life: Basin and Range

March 25, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

Kar Wai had been reaching out to his network of contacts, asking for any ideas on smaller, down-at-the-heels casinos. I was in no position to discourage him, but in my experience getting tips from anyone other than a fellow location scout/manager is a waste of your time. There ...


A Scouting Life: Hotel Nevada

March 23, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

The process always plays out differently no matter how long you do it. Each film is a living, breathing entity that has its own quirks and wrinkles. This is true of every show you are on, but even more so with a creatively chaotic fellow like Kar Wai ...


Best Movies by Farr: Under Surveillance

March 22, 2010 | John Farr

Three films about voyeurism and suspicion. The Conversation (1974) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Detached and distrustful of others, surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is a deeply private, virtually friendless man whose life is consumed by his special brand of freelance intelligence work. Hired by corporate director Martin Stett (Harrison Ford) to monitor the ...


Best Movies by Farr: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

March 22, 2010 | John Farr

A salute to three of Rodgers & Hammerstein's great ones. Oklahoma! (1955) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Fox introduced the new singing team of MacRae and Jones in this buoyant musical, adapted from the hit play that launched Rodgers and Hammerstein as a songwriting team .The movie follows the round-about romance of a young couple ...


A Scouting Life: Marlboro Man at the Liberty Club

March 18, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

Ely, Nevada is a town of roughly 4,000 people in White Pine County, close to the geographic center of the state of Nevada. It exists largely due to the now-defunct Kennecot Copper Mine, once a major source of the metal in this country. Tourists visit for the abundant ...


A Scouting Life: Ma Ma

March 16, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

The liquor store looked like a possible Kar Wai location. It was a gas station built for the original blue line highways that predated the interstate system. Better, it had been sloppily and gaudily repurposed with no historical regard, and even had its own fleabag motel out back. ...


Best Movies by Farr: Diner Movies

March 15, 2010 | John Farr

Movies set in diners. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Drifter Frank Chambers (John Garfield) rolls into a roadside diner and meets portly, good-natured owner Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), who offers him a job as a fix-it man. Frank's not too interested until he gets a look at Nick's white-hot ...


A Scouting Life: Wrong Way

March 11, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

We wrapped things up at Majors Station with the promise of returning. I knew that we would. It was too great and weird a place not too. The owner had pointed us in the direction of Ely, a town further up the road. Apparently it featured ...


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