May 17, 2018 | By Taryn Tavella
Experience Lifestyle & Interiors on WGSN.
A surreal, documentary film by former music-video director Alma Har’el, Bombay Beach captures the individual lives of a group of wandering souls who have made their home in the abandoned, former vacation resort on the Salton Sea in Southern California.
Once a vibrant enclave for tourists during the 1950s and 60s – attracting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin among others – Bombay Beach was left abandoned and forgotten when water levels rose. Now a major draw for photographers who are keen to document the decaying architecture, this post-apocalyptic landscape is an example of the failed development boom and so-called “American Dream” of the post-war period.
Rather than solely piecing together interviews and camera footage, Har’el also incorporates her music video skills into the film by choreographing dreamlike, dance sequences of the protagonists to a soundtrack of Bob Dylan and Beirut. The outcome is part realist and part fantasy and encapsulates the tragic beauty of this area.
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