I Smell Emmy
When the Emmy for Cinematography was announced, longtime Zero Point Zero cameraman, Morgan Fallon was up and out of his seat like a shot. He’s a strapping guy of well over six feet, and he took off down that aisle like a wide receiver going out for the long one. He bounded up the stairs — only slightly ahead of his colleagues, Todd Liebler and Zach Zamboni — and grabbed hold of that statue like it was it was the neck of a chicken, the last one on earth, and he was hungry. Very, very hungry. Shortly afterwards, he was followed up on stage by Chris Collins, Tom Vitale, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandy Zweig, Sally Freeman, Josh Ferrell, Diane Schutz — and me. We were, all of us, very, very happy. I have, even now, no idea what I said up there. I’m pretty sure that at very least, my fly wasn’t open.
Afterwards, there was the Governor’s ball, followed by many, many drinks, followed by the consumption of more beverages in Mr. Vitale’s room at the Chateau Marmont. I have no recollection of anything untoward occurring from that point on. In fact, I have no recollection of anything at all. Any suggestion that I had anything to do with the dead rodeo clown found in Mr. Vitale’s bathtub is spurious speculation. He was still alive when I left.
“It’s an honor simply to be nominated” is, I think, what you’re supposed to say at such awards ceremonies. But we wanted those fucking things.
We wanted to win. We wanted trophies—tangible, physical, heavy metal objects—that we could fondle and gaze at admiringly, later, in private moments.
I slept with mine. I say that without shame. I propped it up on the pillow next to me in bed, and slipped, happily into unconsciousness, rising the next morning to feelings of validation and general well being. Also a sizable room charge for assorted power tools and take-out sushi that I’m pretty sure I didn’t order.
This week on PARTS UNKNOWN, we examine the question of what it might be like to live a dream. Many of us, no doubt, perhaps after reading Hemingway or other romantic accounts of expat Americans who find themselves in a Europe of fantasy—of old buildings, delicious foods, omnipresent wine, unfamiliar but elaborately beautiful rituals, traditional music, incredible scenery. What that might be like?
My veteran cinematographer, EMMY award winning Zach Zamboni grew up in rural Maine and lived, until recently in New York City. But not too long ago, he met the woman of his dreams and relocated to Granada in Spain, marrying into a Spanish family, learning Spanish, and immersing himself in the daily life of his adopted new home.
It is, as far as I can tell, an enviable situation. Everything—from breakfast through amazing (and substantial) lunches, accompanied by much wine, long afternoon naps, promenades through ancient streets, has a magical quality. A feeling of otherworldliness, only enhanced by the fact that it takes place in the shadows of the absolutely awe inspiring castle complex, The Alhambra. Nights are often spent bouncing from bar to bar, sampling the extraordinary variety of tapas—again accompanied by much wine. Later, on certain nights, one can listen to flamenco in the gypsy dwellings carved into the hills.
What’s that like? A second act like that?
Zach explains—as we take a look at Granada and the surrounding area through his eyes. We always like to be able to look at places through an individual’s perspective. What makes this episode very special, is that with Zach, we are not only looking at a very old, very beautiful world through fresh eyes—but that we are looking at it through the eyes of a particularly gifted cinematographer. Zach’s visual poem to the mysterious Alhambra is a uniquely wonderful bit of filmmaking we are all very proud of.