One of the promotions for Criterion’s recently released Bluray of Stanley Kramer‘s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (’63) is a then-and-now location reel. Shot and assembled by George Ann Muller and Paul Scrabo, it conveys how numerous desert locations haven’t changed much over the last 50 years, and how the areas around some commercial outpost locations (remote gas stations, etc.) have been developed and are now greener. The descriptive term, no offense, is “underwhelming.” Which isn’t to say location pieces can’t be interesting. You just have to choose films that weren’t largely shot in the desert. Downer: The “big W” (i.e., the crossed palm trees over the buried loot) has been cut down.
An exceptional location doc was posted by Daniel Ammeter almost two years ago. It looks at the various London locations used for Michelangelo Antonioni‘s Blow-Up (1966) with choice camera placement, split-screen comparisons and smooth professionalism. The only error is that the piece was shot in November 2011 (wintry dampness, no leaves on trees) and Blow-Up was shot sometime in the late spring or summer, to go by the robust flora.