Flying A actors and crew, La Mesa, c. 1911 (Alan Dwan, standing third from left). “One thing I don’t quite understand,” Jim Harwood says while carefully (and fruitlessly) threading film for about the tenth time. “What were Dwan and these other directors doing all the way out here in the first place?”

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Disappointingly, the movie shows no scenes of recognizable Lakeside streets or structures that I can compare with the town as I’ve known it during my lifetime. But it does show something more evocative: vistas of wild grass and brush…

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