Monday, June 30, 2008


Red Chevy Silverado 3500 Truck photo by Lydia Marcus. Photographed June 29, 2008 in Lomita, CA.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


When I was a kid, I could play with these for hours and concoct all kinds of stories for them to live out.

Fisher Price Little People photo by Lydia Marcus. Photographed June 28, 2008 in Encino, CA

Thursday, June 26, 2008


"Edwin Land is here to welcome you and he says you can have all the Polaroid films and cameras you want FOREVER."

My answer to "If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?" - taken from "Inside The Actor's Studio" host James Lipton's question #10, as inspired by Bernard Tivot's questionnaire.

Okay, this is the biggest stockpile of Polaroid film I will ever have. I cashed out a small mutual fund and bought a LOT of Polaroid 600 film. When it's gone, I'm done with shooting Polaroid integral films. I'm not going to pay crazy prices in the future.

Here's a guide to the photo of the my spare fridge packed with film:

The 600 came from Office Depot - 39.99 for a 4 pack with free shipping. Tax was extra. The ID-UV I stocked up from Staples when it was 9.99 for a double pack. The Fuji FP-100C was bought off Craigslist about a year ago for less than retail cost (don't remember how much, but it was a good deal). The 690, 664, and 667 were all bought at Studio City Camera Exchange (before they closed for good) and Samy's. The Time Zero I bought my last batch at Samy's and then a few more packs off of CL. The iZone film I bought new at Target or Longs back when it was available. The Spectra I bought for less than retail from an office supply store that specializes in close out merchandise. The Fuji Sensia slide film was given to me for free by a friend. The small organizer has 120 and 35mm film in it - most of it I got for free from various sources. About 1-2 years ago, pretty much tons of people were unloading film on me, as EVERYONE went digital.

I don't know how much 600 I have exactly, but I think it's around 114 packs or so total. If I had the $, I wish I had 1000 boxes of it or more. This stuff better last me 'til doomsday or 'til it starts turning brown and going bad - whichever comes first. But in all honesty, I know I'm set for the next year...after that, who the hell knows, I guess I'll be shooting packfilm (til they stop making that) and Fuji Instax.


I am dying to go on a summer road trip. Meanwhile, I'm going over old shots from past trips and I'm sure quite a few will appear on this blog over the next few months.

I saw this sculpture, "The Spirit Of Wyoming," in front of the State Capitol Building in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It's one of the most memorable and amazing pieces of art I've ever seen. It looked incredible (and very different) from every angle.

From the web: "Conceived as a symbol to represent Wyoming's people, "The Spirit of Wyoming" depicts a cowboy and his horse at odds against nature and it's elements. This handsome bronze statue stands on the west lawn of the Capitol and is the work of national and international award winning sculptor and artist Edward J. Fraughton. The statue weighs nearly 4500 pounds and stands on a five-foot, pre-cast base for a combined height of over 18 feet."

I've driven through Wyoming on quite a few trips and there's something really special about the place. I always feel some kind of energy that I really just like. They call Montana "Big Sky Country," but when I think of that description, I really think of Wyoming more.

The Spirit of Wyoming photo by Lydia Marcus. Photographed July 31, 2003 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Z28 #1

Chevy Camaro Z28 photo by Lydia Marcus. Photographed November 27, 2006 in Encino, CA.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Chevy Van 10 photo by Lydia Marcus. Photographed March 10, 2007 in San Pedro, CA.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I don't remember why, but for some reason I decided during the 100+ degree mid-day heat that I was going to go out in the front yard and hose down three Tonka cars that have been neglected outside for a few years. I got the Tonka truck and two Jeeps from various garage sales when I was a little kid. They were in beat up condition when I got them. I always took care of my toys when I was a kid and anything that I bought new always looked new forever more and anything I got that was beat up stayed that way and didn't degrade a step further. But while the rest of my childhood toys have been safetly kept inside, somehow these three ended up being stored outside in the elements for the last few years. There was so much dirt and gunk accumulated on the cars that I had to spray them for awhile, which left puddles on the lawn where the cars were standing. When I was a kid, I never would have taken a hose to my cars, let alone let them stand in mud, but now, this seemed like the perfect photographic moment and a fitting environment for these off road vehicles models. I ran inside to grab my Polaroid SLR 680 SE, my Polaroid SX-70 Alpha, my Polaroid 195 (and the close up and portrait lens attachments), plus my Nikon D80 with the f1.8 lens to grab a few digital shots. I wish I had a close up attachment for my 680 - I never feel like I can get close enough. The photos were taken in an area shaded by a big tree, so the SX-70 Time Zero shots turned out mostly fuzzy. I guess they needed more light.

This was my best Polaroid shot, taken with the Polaroid 195 using Fuji FP-100C that was expired in January, 2007

The focus isn't perfect on this but I like the mood.

A total blur but I like the effect. The Fuji colors are so much bolder than the cheapie Polaroid ID-UV that I usually use. I save the Fuji for the good stuff.

I thought this one was my best of the 680 shots.

I love the size comparison between the cars and Lucy.

Lucy was pretty overheated outside. She noticed the water that had collected in the back of the truck so she walked over to it and started lapping it up!

I thought that the truck photographed the best out of the three cars - it looked the most authentic and least toy like. The way the paint is distressed looks just like on a real car.

I like this shot, it looks like the truck is about to drive through a creek.

It's hard to make out because the lettering is rubbed off a bit, but the Jeep is adorned with writing that says U.S.A.F.

Here's a Time Zero shot of Lucy resting in the shade after having enough of the heat.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Last December I was visiting Palm Springs when this seriously distressed Pontiac Le Mans caught my eye. The ick green, primer looking paint, the weird Pontiac angles exaggerated by bashed body work - all set against a rusty red building - of course I had to pull over and photograph it. Although I think these photos are okay, I never really got the shot that I "visualized" from the middle of the road driving by. When I got a closer look at the car, it cracked me up that it was a "Luxury" model. I believe this Le Mans is somewhere between a 1973 - 1975 model. I'm not sure what this Clara Bee place is, but I did some googling and it came up as the Clara Bee Lodge. Aside from the cool architecture and interesting sign fonts, it looked seriously rundown, vacant, and creepy, but who knows, maybe people are actually paying to stay there. Yikes.

Clara Bee and Pontiac Le Mans photos by Lydia Marcus. Photographed December 17, 2007 at the intersection of South Canyon Drive and 300 East Ramon Road, Palm Springs CA.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008



You don't realize how much women's stories are missing from the screen 'til you actually sit through a few and think, "Oh wow, we're actually getting representation here." Especially in the case of all three films ("Sex & The City," "Bonneville" and "Baby Mama") where the perspectives are all late 30's to late 50's.

I know it's probably out of the theaters already, but I really loved "Baby Mama." Sure Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are great, but what really made me laugh out loud was Sigourney Weaver showing up the owner of a Surrogacy clinic who has no problem popping out babies even with her advancing age. A great cameo appearance.

I'm sure no one reading this has heard of "Bonneville" despite the movie starring three of the most amazing actresses on the planet - Jessica Lange, Joan Allen, and Kathy Bates - because this film had zero promotion. Sure I could quibble with little bits of the script but I don't care - three intelligent, mature women on a road trip through the southwest Utah on their way to Santa Barbara in a vintage Pontiac Bonneville convertible - this movie had all the elements I like. As a huge Jessica Lange fan, it was amazing to see a film with her in literally every scene!

And speaking of an intelligent woman who makes me laugh my ass off - I just watched Kathy Griffin host Bravo's A List Awards and she's just getting better and better. I think she's really come into her own this year. The absolutely funniest bit in the entire show was a memorial clip reel not of celebs that have died during the year, but of celebs that Kathy explained, "Are dead to me." PURE F*CKIN' GENIUS! Between her numerous costume changes (including one quick change down to her undies seen on camera), her singing intro, her satirical runway walk, and her quick quips, Kathy OWNED that stage, plus she looked incredible doing it. If you're a fan, definitely look for a rerun. And the awards were super fun - very tongue in cheek and irreverent. If you're a fan of Bravo reality shows (I'm personally addicted to most of them), the show is a must see.

Kathy working the A-List runway

With all this talk of fantastic gals, I must mention the passing of dance legend and silver screen star Cyd Charisse. She was just so timeless and elegant that her death just really took me by shock. When I think of old fogies, I never think of Cyd Charisse, yet how could it be that I read on Tuesday that she was dead at age 86? Cyd Charisse is forever long and lithe and sexy in my mind. Approximately 20 years ago, I went to an AFI tribute to Cyd at the now defunct Plitt Century Plaza Cinemas. My memories of seeing her there are burned into my mind. What a legend!

This month I accidentally stumbled upon Tommy O'Haver's newest film "An American Crime" on cable. It's based on the true story of the most grisly case of child abuse in Indiana in the mid 1960's. Catherine Keener (another one of our finest actresses) plays Gertrude Baniszewski, a poor mother of something like 6 or 7 kids who temporarily takes in two teenage sisters as boarders while their parents work the carnival circuit. The older sister Sylvia Likens (played by Ellen Page of "Juno" fame) ends up becoming the victim of Gertrude's punishments - and each time the punishments turn more vicious and twisted. Eventually Gertrude's children and neighbor kids are abusing Sylvia for their pure amusement. O'Haver leaves a lot of the gruesomeness off-screen, but you get the full idea of the torture Sylvia endured. It's a fascinating case and I found the film both riveting and heartbreaking.

Also, finally caught some popular comedies on my free Video on Demand channels that were surprisingly good and fresh:

I expected "Knocked Up" to be a gross out comedy or something lame and it actually turned out to be a thoughtful meditation on the differences between the sexes, and of course very funny too. I thought it would be completely predictable and it wasn't. Paul Rudd has a very funny supporting role as a p-whipped husband who just wants a little alone time.

And last night, I watched "Blades of Glory" and really enjoyed it too. Of course Will Farrell was great as usual, but Jon Heder (from "Napolean Dynamite") was hilarious as a very femmy ice skating champion. If you don't know the plot, the two guys eventually become the first all male figure skating pair - and their choreographed number is a show stopper. Amy Poehler and Will Arnet play a brother/sister pair who are Farrell and Heder's competition. Their ice skating routine set to Marky Mark and the Funky's Bunch's "Good Vibrations" was my favorite comedic moment in the film.

Perhaps you've heard there's a new documentary on cable about Roman Polanski and his infamous rape trial called "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired." The first professional interview I ever did was Roman Polanski! It was December 1994, I was just 24 years old, and I was at the junket for his film "Death and The Maiden," an excellent film version of the Broadway show starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley and I HIGHLY recommend it. My experience was like trial by fire and the only time I've had an experience like it. All the factors were things I hadn't trained for: the interview was to be done via Satellite with Polanski speaking from France; I had to plug into equipment I'd never used or been trained on; there was a time delay with asking questions and getting answers because of the Satellite hookup; and when it was my turn to ask a question, I introduced myself and said, "I'm Lydia Marcus from the Interview Factory" and Polanski laughed and made some joke about the name of the outlet I was working for but I didn't hear exactly what he said because of the time delay so all I know is that everyone assembled there for the junket (tons of press and pr people) are all laughing right after my introduction! Once I got past that hiccup and realized that they weren't laughing AT me, I continued on with my questions. I was really amazed at how open and honest Polanski was with me and all the other journalists. He really seemed like an open book.

I know that for a lot of people in the U.S., Polanski is considered both a pariah and a pedophile. I knew that he was known for having sex with younger women (including Natasha Kinski), but I also knew that he was European (and with that goes different social morays) and that he had been through the trauma of both the Holocaust and the murder of his wife and unborn child by the Manson Family. So I knew that whatever transpired in that rape case and in his jumping bail and leaving permanently to Europe, there were no easy answers or conclusions to be made. But watching "Wanted and Desired" I now realize there's so much of the story that I didn't know. I always was under the impression that Polanski immediately skipped bail and left for Europe but that's not the case at all. He actually went through the entire trial and some jail time (which was labeled as something like psychological observation but was actually jail time). As far as the documentary goes, I think the filmmakers did a shoddy job in telling the story with bad editing that doesn't tell the story very linearly and they completely omit the details of his wife's murder by the Manson gang and the fact that his unborn baby was cut out of his wife's womb! But, what they do get across, is that the Judge in the trial was so caught up in his own publicity and ego that he really gave Polanski and BOTH the prosecution and defense attorneys a raw deal. Even the girl (now an adult woman) that Polanski allegedly raped is interviewed in the doc. "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" definitely sheds a lot of new light on both the case and Polanski. What the documentary does do well is show how so much of the public's perception of Polanski came not through the actual trial but through the press' (both legitimate and tabloid) representation of the trial and Polanski. It's amazing how even in the late 1970's, the tabloid press in the United States was really out of control. In the end, Polanski didn't really have a trial by Judge but a trial by tabloid.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I spotted this great RV on Sunday and instantly knew it was Polaroid worthy. If Polaroid 600 film wasn't so damn expensive and hard to come by, I would have shot a lot more frames. The graphic on the door is what caught my eye the most. Total 70's cool. When I showed this Polaroid to my friend Paul, he immediately said, "Oh, an Open Road." When I asked him how he knew, he pointed to the door graphic and said that was an Open Road marking. Good eye Paul!

Dodge Sportsman Open Road photos by Lydia Marcus. Photos taken June 15, 2008 in Lake Balboa, CA.