Last Supper in Hollywood – 2013

The Annual Event at El Coyote Restaurant in Hollywood. The Place that was the Beginning of the Journey for Sharon Tate and Friends; the saga of the Manson Family; Class War, Cultural Rejection and the Mythology of Hollywood.

 

Check out John Nihil’s website:  www.Aes-Nihil.com

Also – Ed Murray’s analysis under comments.

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2 Responses to Last Supper in Hollywood – 2013

  1. Ed Murray says:

    Comment on The Last Supper 2013
    by Ed Murray

    Saw your interesting video on the Last Supper and Hollywood mythology. I decided to break it down a little, both for myself and for those not familiar with the events and the context of the film, as well as explore some of its mysteries.

    It definitely had three acts. Act one is the long narration, Act two is inside El Coyote at the very table where the original “journey” began, and Act three are the events that happened when the group left the restaurant.

    The first act is narration. The video has many similar, but not always exactly the same shots, of El Coyote Restaurant. Seeing these similar shots, zooming in and out over and over is much like a subliminal technique. The visual brain gets quickly bored with the video and some people may go into a simple trance-like state. The visual brain is frozen, so to speak, and so the audio becomes paramount. The understated, drone-like performance of the narration becomes mildly hypnotic. The narrator is not identified.

    The message itself is of paramount interest, not the repetitive zooms of El Coyote, over and over. The narrator says that El Coyote was the starting point back in 1969 of a “journey” by Sharon Tate and her 3 friends, that led them down into Hollywood’s deepest rabbit hole. This rings of a mythological journey that we are all familiar with. Each year, on August 8th at 8pm, people meet at the El Coyote to “remember” the journey. Thousands of people drive by the restaurant without realizing the significance of it as a cultural icon.

    The narrator makes the point that the “journey” of Sharon Tate and the others was the beginning of a saga, a huge cultural saga, one of mystery, death, murder, and possibly many other things that still must be discovered. This is the saga of the Manson Family. The culture of “Hollywood” plays large in this saga, this epic series of events that span the years. The saga is still not totally understood, so we must meet every year to discuss and explore it. We must remember this important epic and try to find answers to it. If we fail to do this, if we do not remember our own culture, both the good and the bad; if we discard it, then our culture will of certainly die. It will cease to exist through lack of collective memory. This may be akin to many other things the average person would be familiar with. Take some of the Native American tribes. There may still be ethnically connected persons and descendants of the tribe, but they may have lost their ability to speak and understand the unique language of the tribe and since the only traditions are oral ones, then once forgotten, they are probably gone forever. Language, religion, traditions make up culture. If there is no one around that can speak the language, practice the religion, or remember the traditions, then that culture, that society, is “dead”.

    In the Last Supper film, that very point is made. It is stated that past years have seen large groups meeting at the restaurant, but this year only six people showed up. If it comes to pass that nobody shows some future year, then “the record spins around the turntable for the last time,” possibly a reference to the music industry that played a part in the story of the Manson Family. The first act makes sure that you know that these six who showed up are important because they “remember”.

    The second act takes place inside the El Coyote. The video here is totally different. Restaurants are noisy and dark, horrible places to film. So the filmmaker has long black fades, and then sudden focused splashes of dialogue. The talk at the table is about the occult, the forces that possibly “drove” Sharon Tate to her fate in this saga. The first scene, though, establishes that the six who met are “special”, because they were quite by chance seated at the very same booth that Sharon and her friends were at in 1969. Making the six “special” is a recurring theme in this short film. We want to hear more of the table talk because it is fascinating with coincidences, connections to Disney, to Anton Levay, to occult matters. But alas, only a few snippets are given to us. We wish we had been there that night, sitting at the table, listening to the stories, of which there were probably many. Maybe the point of the spare dialogue blurbs is to entice the viewer. “If you want more, then join us next year.” A few spots of camera flashes of the six taking pictures of each other, and the photos of Sharon and other movie stars that adorn the lobby of El Coyote, and Act 2 ends.

    The narration begins again, announcing Act 3. It is interesting that the narration begins just before the end of a long fade, letting the viewer know that the fades were there on purpose, not by accident. Then follows a very short sequence whose only purpose is to convince the viewer that the six people following the “journey” of the original four in the Tate party in 1969, are indeed “special”. They walk down the street to a coffee house. It is closed, “but for some reason” the “nice Lady” beckons them in and serves them coffee. Now really, imagine yourself and friends going to a Starbucks that’s closed. Are they going to let you in? Of course not, the chances are slim to none. You can bang on the door and shout and scream, they’ll tell you to come back tomorrow. But these six are “special”. They don’t even ask to come in. The “nice Lady” beckons them in, and serves them coffee. This happens with very few words. In fact, you do not ever see the coffee house, all you see is traffic, a night scene. Think about this, because if you wanted to make the statement in a film, to show how “special” these people were, how could it be done? Incredibly, the narrator does it with just a few lines, a few seconds of video. We of course, do not know if this really happened, because it is not shown; we are only told about it through narration. We must trust the narrator.

    The six chat, and then leave the coffee house. When they get outside, they are confronted by a glaring movie theater marquee across the street. The theater is showing not one, but two sleazy films, Jailbait Babysitter, and Teenage Tramp. We see the front of the theater, but once again it is close to the same type of video shot in Act 1: zoom in, zoom out. Back to the trance effect. We are told that most of the party crossed the street and went inside the theater for free to see the end of one of the films. So once again, they are special! How many times have you and a bunch of friends been let into a movie theater for free? Probably never. It’s 10 bucks a head. We don’t really see the people go into the theater, we only see the video of the marquee.

    We are then told that this marquee, showing two “Grindhouse” movies, is the metaphor of the dark soul of Hollywood. These sleazy films are the dark side, and the dark side even has a name, given by Hollywood historian Ken Anger. The name of the beast is “Hollywood Babylon”. So some of the party gets sucked into the dark side, into the beast. How many? The narrator does not tell you that, do the math yourself. The narrator stands outside as an observer to all this, along with filmmaker John Nihil. So two are outside, that means four went into the “beast”. The symbolism of this could be that four people from the Sharon Tate party in 1969 went into the deepest Hollywood rabbit hole, and now in 2013 four more were once again claimed as victims. The culture was saved once more in 2013, because six people “remembered” and showed up to talk about it. But this did not go without sacrifice, because the “beast”, Hollywood Babylon, claimed four of them as victims. Only the observer/narrator and the filmmaker survive the “journey” in 2013.

    The narrator and the filmmaker know they “lost” four of their party to the dark side of Hollywood. This is again symbolic, they were hopefully not brutally murdered like the first four. There is nothing to be said about this; Hollywood Babylon is powerful, enticing, inescapable for most who come too close, and it claimed its pound of flesh in 2013. So the only hope is for the future: to keep the culture alive for one more year. The filmmaker sums it up, “Tomorrow is another day.” A trite statement, but in this case it seems to work – that we can try again next year. They have bought some time for the culture. The film then treats us to a cheap, tawdry carnival for the credits. Because Hollywood is itself a carnival of the banal.

  2. Ed: Very interesting analysis. The complete Last Supper Video which I shot is available and does have the conversations you mentioned.

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