HOLLYWOOD seems to be Allen’s love letter to the title city, and in many ways, the chosen pictures made me feel like I was there. Having lived in Los Angeles for a period of time, the imagery made me nostalgic, but also reminded me why I left. Allen’s Hollywood is the real Hollywood, not the one we’re used to seeing in the movies. I’m impressed by his ability to capture both the allure of the town, as well as the air of desperation. Yet, though his lens is honest, it’s not brutal. There is a certain level of hope and we’re-all-in-this-together atmosphere to his work.
What makes HOLLYWOOD especially poignant is that Allen grew up there and then joined the ranks of the dreamers. The entire book focuses on these dreamers and where they pursue said dream. Even though the book has minimal text, all the poetry, anonymous stories, and photo captions revolve around this theme. Some stories are positive, some are negative, but they all are human and relatable. My favorite piece is “This Foreverland.” It’s the best summation of many people’s relationship with Hollywood; “Looking for this foreverland. Lost in this foreverland.”
Allen has many photographs near and around the famous Hollywood sign, as well as other iconic locations, such as the Walk of Fame, Chateau Marmont, Paramount Pictures Studio, and more. He doesn’t leave many stones unturned.
Anyone who’s ever been to Hollywood or has wanted to go will enjoy this book. It’s visually appropriate for all ages and perfect decoration for a coffee table.