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caliphony   Adjective, e.g., The movie is riddled with caliphony shots.

Definition: Supposedly outside California but obvioiusly not, or vice versa.

History: The term became popular as color in motion pictures made California exteriors easier to identify.  It was used in a 1955 article titled “It Never Rains In Sherwood Forest” by critic Richard Weiss discussing “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938). “Thanks to caliphony exteriors,” wrote Weiss, “we can believe Robin and his men, basking as they did in golden California sunshine, were merry.” 

santa barbaraA less heralded caliphony exterior is found in the finale of “Se7en” (1995). Before the finale, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are detectives pursuing a serial killer in an East Coast city that is deluged by rain day after day. In the finale, our heroes and killer Kevin Spacey drive out of town into a sunny countryside covered with golden brush typical of California's arid summers. 

Recently caliphony has been used to label television shows such as USA’s “Psyche,” albeit the original definition is turned on its head. “Psyche’s” setting is supposedly Santa Barbara, California, but take away six seconds of aerial shots, and all exteriors are shot in Vancouver, Canada. The California Riviera of a blue sea foaming upon palm-lined beaches becomes waves lapping on a misty shore of gray rocks lined by fir trees. If an actor is in the same shot with a palm tree, the palm is planted in a pot.


Related Terms:    nickpick   richardloo   spats at an Iowa picnic   wart

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