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Saturday July 21st 2018

The Net | 1995

The Net location: Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena
The Net location: The ‘US Embassy’ in ‘Mexico’: Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena

Shut-in computer geek Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is so modern, she orders pizza online! How cool is that? 1995 seems so long ago.

She finds her identity disturbingly vulnerable to electronic manipulation in this Hitchcockian thriller, set mainly in Los Angeles, though it opens in Washington DC, where the homophobic politician offs himself at Haines Point, DC, at the southernmost tip of West Potomac Park on the Tidal Basin.

The rather creepy sculpture rising out of the ground is Seward Johnson’s The Awakening, which was moved in 2007 to National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Bennett’s home is alongside the cosily hippy-chic canals of Venice on the coast of Los Angeles, but her holiday in ‘Mexico’ isn’t really such a getaway: She meets too-charming Jack Devlin (Jeremy Northam), not in ‘Cozumel’ but at Frenchman’s Cove, Palos Verdes, south of Los Angeles, while the beach bar, where she gets her purse stolen, was built at Paradise Cove, north of Malibu (the scarf is the first of several Hitchcock allusions – this one to Notorious).

The ‘US Embassy’, where Bennett unwisely takes on the I.D. of ‘Ruth Marx’ to get back into the States, is the central fountain court of Pasadena City Hall, 100 North Garfield Avenue. The building has been used in loads of films, dating back to Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator in 1941, where it became the palace of Adenoid Hynkel. It stood in for 'Beverly Hills City Hall' (which looks nothing like it) in Beverly Hills Cop II.

Bennett's car disappears from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as life just gets worse.

The Net location: the Looff Carousel, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, Los Angeles
The Net location: Bennett evades Devlin on the Looff Carousel, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

A couple more Hitch references: attempting to meet up with fellow computer nerd Cyberbob on Santa Monica Pier, Bennett evades the devilish Devlin on the Santa Monica Pier Carousel (famous from The Sting), in a sequence shamelessly lifted from the climax of Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train.

Sleeping in her car, on Santa Monica Boulevard at 12th Street she’s woken, just as was Janet Leigh in Psycho, by a sinister cop in shades.

The succeeding rainswept car chase is along Templin Highway, north of Los Angeles. Bennett finally tracks down the net conspiracy to San Francisco, where the HQ of the ‘Cathedral’ corporation is 1 Post Street at Market Street.

The climactic ‘Pan-Pacific Computer Convention’ used a real Apple convention at the Moscone Center, Howard Street between Third and Fourth Streets in San Francisco, though the final chase through the aerial walkways (this time inspired, not by Hitchcock, but by Alan J Pakula’s The Parallax View) is back in Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Figueroa Street, downtown Los Angeles (where, yes, The Parallax View’s climax was filmed).