Video: See What Sunset Boulevard Looked Like In 1984, Gloriously Shot On A Borrowed 16mm Camera
It's 1984. You have the keys to a polished and eager Ford Mustang. The sky is shimmering with with a cocktail of smog and sunlight. Duran Duran and the Pretenders are blasting from the speakers. Even if you've never lived through this moment, there's something about the collage of sights and sounds that make you feel a pang of nostalgia (did we mention that "When Doves Cry" was the number one single on Billboard that year?).
If you're looking to re-enter that very specific bubble of history, you're in luck, because L.A. resident Richard Segal documented the scene one day on a borrowed 16mm camera. In the video above we coast down the Sunset Strip (the Roxy, Tower Records, etc.), and venture elsewhere to hit up major L.A. landmarks that include City Hall and Canter's. Our favorite cameo, however, might have to be that of Madame Wong's (R.I.P.).
As Segal explained to LAist, he was a 25-year-old grad student at the time, and he shot the video in one day with little attention to scripting. "I had been living in LA for sometime so I knew most of the area so didn't need to do much planning. I knew I want to catch the sunrise and sunset and stop at Tommy's and Tower Records. That's about it. The key idea was to cover the whole road from east LA to the beach and do it without any editing," Segal said to LAist in a message.
We've seen vintage footage of L.A. before. But what really sets Segal's apart is the sense of narrative; we're driving east to west, and we experience the passing of time as the setting sun acts as a coda. The result is a picture that denotes how ephemeral the moment is. For some viewers, it'll dig up a treasure trove of memories. For others, it'll remind you of a foreign place that you're vaguely familiar with.