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News Archive - August 2015

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August 31, 2015: The PopART study that begun in South Africa and Zambia in 2013 continues until 2017. No, it's not an exhibition - it stands for Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to reduce HIV Transmission. Details here.

Bob Dylan denies Edie Sedgwick relationship

August 30, 2015: This isn't exactly news but I've just found on the net the interview with Bob Dylan from Spin magazine in which Dylan denies having a relationship with Edie Sedgwick.

Bob Dylan:

I never had that much to do with Edie Sedgwick. I've seen where I have had, and read that I have had, but I don't remember Edie that well. I remember she was around, but I know other people who, as far as I know, might have been involved with Edie. Uh, she was a great girl. An exciting girl, very enthusiastic. She was around the Andy Warhol scene, and I drifted in and out of that scene, but then I moved out of the Chelsea Hotel. We, me and my wife, lived in the Chelsea Hotel on the third floor in 1965 or '66, when our first baby was born. We moved out of that hotel maybe a year before Chelsea Girls, and when Chelsea Girls came out, it was all over for the Chelsea Hotel. You might as well have burned it down. The notoriety it had gotten from that movie pretty much destroyed it. I think Edie was in Chelsea Girls. I had lost total touch with her by that time, anyway. It may just have been a time when there was just a lot of stuff happening. Ondine, Steve Paul's Scene, Cheetah. That's when I would have known Edie if I would have known her, and I did know her, but I don't recall any type of relationship. If I did have one, I think I'd remember. (Scott Cohen, "Bob Dylan Revisited," Spin magazine, Volume 1, No. 8, December 1985) and Spin Staff, "Bob Dylan: Our 1985 Cover Story," Spin, accessed September 8, 2022)

James Bidgood needs an escort

August 29, 2015: The Anthology Film Archives will be showing James Bidgood's Pink Narcissus on September 1st and 2nd. Bidgood will be attending the screening on the 1st.

Bidgood has left the following message on his Facebook page:

I MAY NEED AN ESCORT for the Tuesday Evening screening at the Anthology Film Archives and wouldn't you know it.... Rent a Boy is closed temporarily. Isn't that always the way. Never-the-less... I am too old to flag down or hail a cab ...flashing one of my swollen old lady ankles hardly helps and holding my one arm out throws me off balance and I have on occasion tumbled into the gutter and no matter how acquianted I may or may not be with that particular cavity.... it is a great nuisance getting back on my feet again ….never mind the embarassment cowering there whimpering about having fallen and not being able to get up! If there are any strong young men out there that might be able to help Granny Bidgood to and from the showhouse...let me know.

Bidgood's facebook page is here.

Pink Narcissus

Donald L. Brooks of Caffe Cino fame (L), Andrew Starr and Don Stephens (in phone booth) in James Bidgood's Pink Narcissus

Andy Warhol, The Connection and The Brig

August 28, 2015: I've revised the essay on "Andy Warhol, The Connection and The Brig."

Andy Warhol and The Connection Heaven or Hell sign

Sign on the wall of the junkies' apartment in The Connection

The revised essay is here.

Danny Says adds second show tonight

August 27, 2015: The 7:30 screening of Danny Says (see below) in Los Angeles has sold out. A second screening has been added for 10:30 pm TONIGHT, Thursday, August 27th. For tickets go here.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei Exhibition Catalogue

August 26, 2015: The exhibition catalogue for the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition (see below) will come in three versions - a deluxe one that includes an original limited-edition print by Ai Weiwei, a hardback edition and a paperback version. Included in the volume are essays by Eric Shiner, Max Delany, Caroline A. Jones, John Tancock, Jay Curley, Gao Minglu, Anna Poletti, Kathryn Weir, Matt Wrbican and Larry Walsh.

The exhibition is at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia from December 11, 2015 to April 24, 2016, and at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh from June 4 – August 28, 2016.

Boredom and Art and Andy Warhol

August 25, 2015: The author of Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés, Julian Jason Haladyn, has a book coming out in October - Boredom and Art - that has a chapter examining the "boredom" of Andy Warhol's films.

Julian Jason Haladyn (Boredom and Art):

Avant-garde strategies have, especially in the 20th century, increasingly opposed the everyday desire for art to be entertaining or 'interesting,' yet there has been a reluctance to fully embrace the 'boring' due to the perceived negative qualities of the affective state. In her text 'The Issue of Boredom: Is It Interesting?' Frances Colpitt, specifically in relation to the repetitiveness of Warhol's work, states: "Boredom necessarily describes the spectator's state of mind rather than any characteristic of the object..." By not entertaining viewers, Warhol's films insightfully question the role and position of the spectator in the apparatus of cinema, specifically in relation to the production of personal meaning.

The book is being published by Zero Books here.

One of the first essays to deal with Warhol, repetition and "boredom" was William S. Wilson's "Prince of Boredom: The Repetitions and Passivities of Andy Warhol," which was first published in March 1968 - see: "Prince of Boredom: The Repetitions and Passivities of Andy Warhol."

Viva, Gerome Ragni and James Rado

August 24, 2015: Agnès Varda's film Lion's Love (later renamed Lion's Love (...and Lies)), starring Warhol star Viva, is included on the Criterion Collection 3 DVD box set released earlier this month. The cast also includes James Rado and Gerome Ragni of Hair fame, Shirley Clarke who directed The Connection, Eddie Constantine and Peter Bogdanovich. According to the New York Times the film is "bracketed by performances of 'The Beard,' Michael McClure’s scandalous dialogue between Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid, and features a number of transplanted New Yorkers as movie-land hopefuls." (More on The Beard here.)

Justin Remer gives a more detailed description in DVD Talk:

... Three-way lovers Viva, Jim, and Gerry waste away a morning in bed trying to get one of the others to get up and make coffee. Later, they try parenting other people's children to see if they would be good at it, and end up giving the rambunctious brats sedatives. Fellow New Yorker Shirley Clarke (director of the recently reissued Portrait of Jason and The Connection) comes to stay, while she preps for a meeting with a studio about doing a Hollywood project. If Clarke's status as a Varda stand-in isn't clear enough from the get-go, in a later fourth-wall-breaking moment, Clarke can't bring herself to do the action as prescribed, so Varda finishes the scene for her. After Robert Kennedy and Andy Warhol are both shot, our three leads find themselves glued to the TV for days on end. A side-trip to a movie memorabilia store is punctuated by a Peter Bogdanovich cameo in which he "hides" his face from the camera with a copy of his book on John Ford. Eddie Constantine bungles a romantic improvisation with Viva, and Varda shows two takes of it. The whole crazy thing ends with a shot of Viva facing down the lens and breathing while Varda asks assistants offscreen how long the shot has been going on.

"Eclipse Series 43: Agnes Varda in California" is available from Amazon or Criterion.

Brigid Berlin Polaroids

August 23, 2015: A book of more than 250 Polaroids by Warhol star and confidante, Brigid Berlin, is going to be published in October 2015.

Brigid Berlin Polaroids cover

Front cover of Brigid Berlin Polaroids

Brigid was often the "B" (but not always) in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) and the person who probably got Warhol interested in using a tape recorder and a Polaroid camera in the first place. She was also the daughter of socialite Honey Berlin and Richard E. Berlin (chairman of the Hearst publishing empire). The Warhol films she appeared in include The Chelsea Girls, Imitation of Christ, Loves of Ondine, Bike Boy, Tub Girls, and numerous videos - Phoney, Fight, etc...

Brigid's Polaroids are nothing short of amazing. In addition to being a fly-on-the-wall record of the whole Warhol period, they are artworks in themselves. She's the first person I know of who was able to get double exposures from a Polaroid camera. In addition to Warhol, the subjects include Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Marden, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Diana Vreeland, Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed, Nico, Patti Smith, Viva, Ultra Violet, Gerard Malanga and numerous others.

The book also includes a foreword by John Waters and and an introduction by Bob Colacello. Edited by Anastasia Rygle and Dagon James. Rygle previously curated the excellent "13 Most Wanted Men" exhibition. The publisher is Reel Art Press.

Danny Says in L.A.

August 22, 2015: Cinefamily in L.A. is showing the 35mm restored version of The Connection TODAY at 2:00 pm in the afternoon. The Connection is Shirley Clarke's film adapted from the jazz-fueled stage play that featured real heroin addicts playing junkies waiting for the man. Details here.

On Thursday of next week - August 27, 2015 - the same cinema will be hosting the L.A. premiere of Danny Says, the new documentary about Danny Fields directed by Brendan Toller (who will be at the screening). Previous screenings of the film in other cities have been sold out - so I wouldn't wait too long before getting a ticket.

Brendan Toller

Brendan Toller at a showing of his earlier film, I Need That Record!
The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store

Details of the L.A. screening of Danny Says are here.

Andy Warhol's Man on the Moon

August 21, 2015: The Complete Book of 1970s Musicals by Dan Dietz will be published in September 2015. What does it have to do with Andy Warhol? One of the entries is for the Warhol-produced musical, Man on the Moon. Dietz writes, "Andy Warhol produced the musical, and one or two critics noted that the minutes preceding the first act curtain (which was delayed by a half-hour) provided the best entertainment of the evening because the opening night audience included Warhol and all the beautiful 'in' people... Kevin Sanders on WABCTV7 said the audience was replete with 'the renowned and the obscure,' including Pat Ast, Peggy Cass, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Peter Boyle, and thus 'the throng of the beautiful, the bizarre and the glamorous' was a haven for autograph hunters (others in the audience were Warren Beatty Geraldo Rivera, Rex Harrison, Yoko Ono, Jules Feiffer and Diana Vreeland." (p. 238)

Unfortunately the opening night audience was more exciting than the show. It opened on January 29, 1975 and closed on February 1, 1975 for a total of five performances.

Books, lyrics and music were by John Phillips, previously of the Mamas and the Papas. A few years earlier, Mama Cass from the same band had sung the theme song for Andy Warhol's film, L'Amour. (The theme song appears in the "rarities" section of the Mama Cass CD, "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities - Her Final Recordings.") More about L'Amour here.

The pages of the Broadway book with the Man in the Moon listing can be found here.

Below picture sold as a Warhol painting for over $200,000

Chanel - not by Andy Warhol

August 20, 2015: Stevens Auction Company in Aberdeen, Mississippi claims to have sold the above amateurish depiction of Coco Chanel for $247,000 after declaring it to be a work of Andy Warhol. The painting does not match Warhol's style and the signature at the top does not match Warhol's signature.

According to Artnet.com, "the work is said to bear the authenticating stamp of the artist's estate." Artdaily.org notes that the picture has "the original stamp from the artist to gallery on the reverse." But there is no suggestion that the Warhol Foundation's Authentication Board stamped it as authentic when the board was active. The dealer has not provided an image of the stamp and it has been described as a stamp "from the artist to gallery" and the "stamp of the artist's estate." If the work had received a legitimate authentication stamp, it would have been in the catalogue raisonné, which it is not. The auction house owner has said, "It's all a guess if you don't have proof," but that is incorrect. The onus of responsibility is on the seller of the work to provide evidence that it is a Warhol if they are going to sell it as a Warhol.

Under the "terms and conditions" on their website, the auction house has published a disclaimer about their sales:

All lots are sold as shown, with all faults, imperfections and errors of description. Stevens Auction are not responsible for errors of description or authenticity of any lot or for any defect of it. Stevens Auction gives no warranty whatsoever to any buyer in respect to any lot. No credits or refunds shall be given.

The auction house may think that such a disclaimer protects them from complaints by dissatisfied customers, but it doesn't. Legally, the auction house is still responsible for not making fallacious claims about what they are selling and, by law, they are required to give a refund if it is merited. They would not, for instance, be able to sell a child's drawing as a Picasso. Or a Volkswagen as a Cadillac.

If there really is a buyer of the work, can they contact me? I'd like to see the alleged stamp on the work. My email address is garycom.now@gmail.com. Are there any other customers of this auction house who bought something which they later found out was wrongly described or attributed? Email me.

According to Artdaily, the auction house will be selling a Marilyn Monroe painting by Warhol at another auction in mid-October. As with all auctions - buyer beware.

The Artnet article can be found here.

Gretchen Berg, Joe Dallesandro and Valerie Solanas

August 19, 2015: A number of interesting articles have been added to the Warhol Film Ads website - including the often quoted interview with the artist that appeared in the East Village Other in which he is quoted as saying "If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface: of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it." But, as the chief archivist for The Warhol museum, Matt Wrbican, has pointed out in his 2008 article, "The True Story of 'My True Story,'" what actually happened was that Gretchen said "It's all there on the surface... if we want to know Andy Warhol, we just look at your paintings and your films and... There's nothing profound underneath...." And Warhol agreed. But it was Berg who said the actual words.

Andy Warhol - The True Story - by Gretchen Berg

Also added is the January 1969 issue of After Dark with Joe Dallesandro on the cover and an interview with Warhol by Mario Amaya that appeared in the December 1969 issue of Nova. Amaya was the other person shot by Valerie Solanas when she shot Warhol. (He later died of cancer in London in 1986 at the age of 52.)

Mario Amaya (from the Nova article):

Well, I'm here at The Factory over a year after the shooting and I don't quite know what I'm doing here, except that Nova has asked me to interview Andy and I'm curious anyhow to know what he feels about it all. For instance, what did he think, if anything that moment last June when he was lying on the floor covered in blood, a bullet though his gut, and I was running around like a fiend trying to get policemen, and ambulances and hospitals; and I think to myself it doesn't seem like one year ago but more like 2,000 and life has changed so completely for me and I wonder if it is the same with him.

The Warhol Film Ads website is here.

More about Valerie Solanas here.

The Reloaded Plastic Inevitable at the Art Sanctuary

Andy Warhol event at the Art Sanctuary

August 18, 2015: The Chelsea Girls will be shown at an Art Sanctuary fundraising event - "The Reloaded Plastic Inevitable" - when "Louisville turns into Manhattan, 1965." In addition to The Chelsea Girls, the evening will also include an exhibition of work by Billy Name, performance art, the Va Va Vixens, drag shows, live music and a multimedia show featuring a tribute to the Velvet Underground called "The Velveteen Underground." DJ for the evening will be Matt Anthony. Guests are encouraged to "Come dressed for 1965."

The Art Sanctuary is a non-profit arts collective housed in a brilliantly industrial-looking building in Louisville, founded on the the premise that "art is an integral part of life."

Andy Warhol in Montauk

August 17, 2015: An interesting account of life at Andy Warhol's Montauk property - including photos by Peter Beard and quotes from Bob Colacello and Lee Radziwell - has been posted here.

Andy Warhol Portfolios

August 16, 2015: "Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life and Legends" will open at the Frederick R. Wiseman Museum of Art on January 16, 2016 and run until April 3, 2016. Details here.

Patti Smith's mini-series

August 15, 2015: In case you hadn't heard, Patti Smith's autobiographical account of the time she spent with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids, is being made into a mini-series by Showtime. Smith will co-write and produce the series. Although she has made a career singing about things like drugs, homosexual sex and sadomasochism, Smith was never actually a drug addict or a homosexual and was considerably disturbed by and judgemental of Robert Mapplethorpe's forays into the gay S & M scene - at least according to the autobiography that the mini-series is based on. In the book she even regrets being photographed with a cigarette - what would her kids think? Smith has become socially acceptable - a sort of sanitized counter-culture hero for the middle class. Hopefully she isn't quite as bad as the Velvet's Moe Tucker who joined the American "Tea Party" movement.

Apparently, Smith isn't even a woman's liberationist. An interview that appeared in the Guardian in 2013 quotes her as saying that she would "be happy to have the man as the king" in any new relationship.

from Simon Hattenstone ("Patti Smith: punk poet queen," The Guardian, 25 May 2013):

These days, she has as much time to dedicate to her work as she could wish – her children are grown up and she has no partner. Would she like a new Mr Patti Smith? She looks shocked. "I would never have a Mr Patti Smith. To me, I'm happy to have the man as king. I would never consider a man in that position."

Now it's my turn to be shocked. After all, this is Patti Smith, rocker extraordinaire and feminist icon. "I wouldn't care if he was a gardener or plumber or physicist, he wouldn't be in second place in our household." She'd happily be subservient? "I don't mind. I have no problem with a man being in first place. I know who I am. If a man would need to be in first place, what of it?"

Although Smith was never a friend of Warhol, she does mention him as an idol in her book and he will appear in the film - although it's unknown who will be playing him. In 2012 she paid homage to him at a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition, "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years."

Was Andy Warhol anti-semitic?

August 14, 2015: Gioa Diliberto, who apparently has "contributed" articles to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Smithsonian and Vanity Fair, has characterised Andy Warhol's attitude toward Diane von Furstenberg as "resentful to the point of hostile" in her new biography of the clothing designer - Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped. Diliberto also quotes Bob Colacello in the book as allegedly saying that Warhol "could be a little anti-Semitic." Von Furstenberg commissioned Warhol to do her portrait in the 1970s at a cost of $25,000 for the first one and $5,000 for additional portraits.

Gioa Diliberto (Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped, 2015):

The commission, though, did nothing to soften Warhol's attitude toward Diane, which was resentful to the point of hostile. Though Warhol was fascinated by fashion, "Diane's style wasn't Andy's style," recalls Bob Colacello. "Diane has mass taste. Andy liked Saint Laurent and Halston. Also, Andy could be a little anti-Semitic, to tell you the truth." (p. 114)

Warhol was a confirmed Catholic, but there is no documentary evidence to suggest that he was "anti-Semitic." His first major superstar was Jewish - Baby Jane Holzer - and Colacello, himself, has (probably incorrectly) claimed that Warhol's mother had a Jewish grandmother in his book Holy Terror. Warhol's prints and paintings of Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century have been characterised by the Jewish Museum as "iconic portraits" which "attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures." (See here.)

Holly Woodlawn update

August 13, 2015: Holly Woodlawn has finished the course of radiation on her brain tumours and is in an assisted-living home. After she recovers from the radiotherapy, her doctors will assess her ability to tolerate chemotherapy for her lung tumours.

Food bank donations at "Pop Art: The Andy Warhol Studio"

August 13, 2015: Food bank donations will be accepted at the “POP Art: The Andy Warhol Studio" exhibition at the Hardin Center which runs from August 15 to November 15, 2015. The exhbition features screen prints from Warhol's "Myths" series. Anyone donating a food item at the exhibition (for the Etowah Community Food Bank) will be entitled to make a free screen print. The idea came about as a result of Warhol's Soup Can paintings although Warhol also helped to feed the hungry at a church in New York (see below).

Details of the exhibition here.

Bob Colacello on Andy Warhol's Polaroids

August 11, 2015: Vanity Fair has published Bob Colacello's comments about the subjects of some of Warhol's Polaroids and what Warhol thought of them - including Jean-Michel Basquiat, William Burroughs (and Victor Bockris), Candy Darling, Audrey Hepburn, Divine, and Jack Nicholson. Also includes a slide show featuring Liza Minnelli, Donna Jordan from L'Amour, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Warhol with large format Polaroid camera, Lee Radziwill and John Kennedy Jr. in Montauk.

Article and slideshow here.

Fashion's Homage to Andy Warhol

August 10, 2015: Style.com has put together a slideshow of "16 of Fashion's Best Homages to Andy Warhol" here. Includes shot of Terry Toye and Debbie Harry in Stephen Sprouse.

John Giorno to appear at the Centre Pompidou-Metz

August 9, 2015: John Giorno - underground poet and star of Andy Warhol's film, Sleep - will be interviewed onstage at the Centre Pompidou-Metz on November 23, 2015 in conjunction with their "Warhol Underground" exhibition. Details here.

More about Sleep here.

Skateboarding to be banned in Kettering, U.K.

Andy Warhol skateboard decks

August 8, 2015: Skateboarding is about to be made illegal in a town called Kettering in the U.K. The Kettering town council seems to be unaware of how important the sport has been not only as a sport but as a catalyst for ideas in fashion and art, including, of course, the work of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 2010 a series of Andy Warhol skateboard decks were brought out with the endorsement of the Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Arts. The International Olympic Committee announced in June that "roller sports," which includes skateboarding, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Olympics. Despite skateboarding being shortlisted by the Olympics Committee, the city of Kettering has included skateboarding as an anti-social activity with the likes of public drinking and begging.

A petition has been started online to convince the local council of Kettering that their proposed law is unfair. You can sign the petition here.

"An Unknown Side of Andy Warhol"

August 8, 2015: One of the most interesting tributes to Andy Warhol during his birthday week, is Sotheby's video, "Sotheby's On... An Unknown Side of Andy Warhol." The video is about Warhol helping to feed the homeless at a church in New York - something which most people are already aware of. But what makes this video interesting is that the Episcopal priest who ran the parish is now the Executive Vice-President of Sotheby's - C. Hugh Hildesley. It's also interesting that the church was Episcopal while Warhol was a confirmed, practicing Catholic. Click on the photo or the link below to go to the video.

Andy Warhol feeds the poor at the Church of the Heavenly Rest

The Church of the Heavenly Rest - Where Warhol helped to feed the homeless
Video here.

Danceteria co-founder slags off new Stonewall trailer

August 7, 2015: The new Stonewall movie hasn't even been released yet and it is already causing a controversy. The director of the film, Roland Emmerich, was forced to defend the trailer after the co-founder of Danceteria, Jim Fouratt, slagged it off on his Facebook page.

Fouratt announced "So there is this new movie that just popped up with the advance hype machine at play .. It is called Stonewall the Movie. Directed by an established Hollywood director and written by an award wining Broadway (serious plays) writer. Most people know I was at the first night starting at 10:30 when it actually began and the three nights after that included the founding of the Gay Liberation Front a multi-issue political group that rejected single issue politics and made up of women and men reflecting a needlepoint of diversity (race, gender, age and what we use to say was class) / So a few friends have already asked me directly and here on FB. what did I think of it. I have not seen the film , just the trailer... But please the same old bull: bricks or stones on Christopher Street., Oh please! Neither Sylvia Rivera, nor Bob Kohler were there that first night, (did you hear that David France ????) The dreadful David Carter fantasy book (Stonewall Riot) of a young white runaway boy, the non-vetted ramblings of John O'Brien who no one I know who was there ever saw (it was not a large crowd that first night), confabulates a false narrative starring his butch f .the lies of the cops that Carter believed and the lack of any independent research ...I have not changed my story since 1969. Told it in Martin Duberman's STONEWALL,I have alway s rejected the idea of a riot .. I have used the word rebellion on Charlie Rose and Stephen Colbert and in books and documentaries . Does the truth matter, I ask myself? I answer yes but seem very alone in the beautiful room of truth. Jon Robin Baitz, the writer, is a good playwright. Did he talked [sic] to me ? No.. Putting a straight template on the night diminished what actually happened. I was there. I know what happened from personal experience... what really makes me sad... and [I] see the same thing happening with same sex civil marriage.. our stories and insights are covered over with heterosexual expectations rather that [sic] discovering what is unique in our contribution to changing history. .. the one thing I do know it could not be as terrible given the talent involved as that dreadful STONEWALL movie the BBC and Christine Vachon produced years ago .. the one that paid Martin Duberman $70,000 for the rights to his book (in violation of his agreement with the participants) .and than the director and writer threw it out the window as they only wanted to use the the title,..but that is another story tbc...,"

Emmerich, whose previous films include Godzilla and Independence Day, responded, "The courageous actions of everyone who fought against injustice in 1969 inspired me to tell a compelling, fictionalized drama of those days centering on homeless LGBT youth, specifically a young midwestern gay man [played by a straight, white, English heartthrob] who is kicked out of his home for his sexuality and comes to New York... I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character's involvement is portrayed, but when this film - which is truly a labor of love for me - finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there - including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro - all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day. We are all the same in our struggle for acceptance."

Are we? Is Emmerich's "struggle for acceptance" the same as the struggle of a Puerto Rican drag queen who could be arrested for just walking out on the street in drag? Not that there are many Puerto Rican drag queens in the film. His statement "We are all the same in struggle for acceptance" roughly translates in Hollywood terms to "this movie will appeal to everyone and make a lot of money." Stonewall did not "spark" the Civil Rights movement. The Civil Rights movement started long before Stonewall.

Emmerich is right about "initial concerns" about the trailer. The comments on the IMDB page (where you can see the trailer) aren't exactly positive. Jake Mayes writes, "Seriously?!." Another person asks "Um...where are the trans characters in this?" Another asks "where are the trans women of colour in the film?" They have a point. There were a lot of black and Puerto Rican queens who hung out at the Stonewall and the trailer does seem a bit, um, bleached. (And the music absolutely dreadful!) What makes the story of a good-looking white midwesterner (a gay man's dream?) a more interesting story than, say, a black kid from the slums of New York who went to the bar because it meant freedom?

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol

August 6, 2015: Happy Birthday Andy Warhol. You would have been 87 years old today.


August 5, 2015: Lutz Graf-Ulbrich has translated the sections of his German biography which dealt with his friendship with Nico into English and has published them as a separate Kindle book, Nico - In the Shadow of the Moon Goddess. Lutz was a musician and songwriter who played with a number of European bands including 17 Hippies, Agitation Free and Ash Ra. He made an album in 1981 which featured Nico, and organized her last concert, "Fata Morgana - Desert Sounds" at the Berlin Planetarium shortly before she died.

luul album cover

Album cover of Lüül (aka Lutz Ulbrich) which includes songs
such as "Disco Diva," "Junkie," and "Baby Baby Baby"

Lutz Graf-Ulbrich (Nico - In the Shadow of the Moon Goddess):

"When we arrived in Paris, she [Nico] invited me to her home. She was living together with filmmaker Philippe Garrel, who was not really pleased that I appeared with her. The dreary four-room-apartment on the fifth floor had black walls and almost no furniture. The flat had been given to him by his father the renowned actor Maurice Garrel. There was a fridge, a piano, two beds and a mattress. The whole flat was covered by a layer of dust, the kitchen seemed rarely been used. Dusty, old dishes were piling up in the sink. It was a junkie cave and from now on my home for awhile..."

Nico - Moon Goddess

How Nico sunbathed - One of the photos in Nico - In the Shadow of the Moon Goddess
Lutz is the one wearing a hat and reading Le Figaro
(Photo: Manuel Göttsching)

The book can be downloaded from the Kindle store of Amazon in your country.

Happy Birthday Donald L. Brooks

August 4, 2015: Happy birthday to Donald L. Brooks of Caffe Cino fame. More about the Cino on Brooks' website here. His Facebook page can be found here.

Andy Warhol's "Homosexual Action Movies"

August 4, 2015: Have you ever wondered what the actual article said about "Homosexual Action Movies" that was emblazoned on the often reproduced cover of this magazine?

Andy Warhol on cover of Confidential magazine

Now you can read the actual article. Magazine collector, Alfredo Garcia, has added it to his Warhol Film Ads site here.

Also added is a rare article from Fling magazine featuring an appearance by Andy Warhol's 'boyfriend' Rod La Rod:

From Fling magazine, July 1967:

The handsome, sandy-haired- youth smiled politely, wiped his palms nervously on his blue velvet dungarees. "Hi!" Rod La Rod said, the Alabama twang as clear as a freshly plucked guitar. He threw a quick glance at his mentor as if to say, "How did I do?"

Andy patted the boy's shoulder.

"Superstar Rod La Rod is working on his second picture already. Right, Rod?"

Rod grinned sheepishly. "I sure am - thanks to Andy."

"How long have you been a Superstar?" I asked.

"Four weeks."

"And you're working on your second film already?

"Oh, yes. They don't take long. We just finished Tiger Morse and now we're doing - " He hesitated, looked anxiously at Andy.

There was an affirmative blink from behind the tinted lenses.

"Well," Rod breathed, "the picture I'm working on now is called Since The Assassination - and it's just great!

Without giving me a chance to ask about the nature of the film, Rod declared it was "swell" meeting me, and hurried off.

Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger do Max's Kansas City for HBO

August 3, 2015: Max's Kansas City has been temporarily rebuilt in New York for a new HBO series which is currently in production with the title of Vinyl. Eight episodes are planned with at least four different directors, including Martin Scorcese. Mick Jagger is listed as one of the producers. His son (with Jerry Hall), James Jagger, will also be in the cast.

The four announced directors are: Martin Scorcese, Mark Romanek, S.J. Clarkson and Allen Coulter. Romanek is mostly known for his music promos, having directed videos for Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael and Janet Jackson and Taylor Swift. S.J. Clarkson previously directed one episode of Orange is the New Black and several episodes of the EastEnders. Martin Scorcese doesn't need an introduction - my personal favourite Scorcese films are Taxi Driver, New York, New York and The Wolf of Wall Street. (He's currently also working on a film about Frank Sinatra.)

In April of this year, Grant Wilfley Casting put out a call for extras for the film, including "Warhol Factory types:"


Grant Wilfley Casting is seeking the following:

People to portray psychedelic rock fans, punk rock fans, disco club-goers, early hip-hop fans, 1970s NYC pedestrians and Connecticut residents (men with shaggy hair/side burns/long hair, women without highlights), people with 1970s cars, and ‘60s Warhol Factory types.
Filming Summer/Fall 2015 in NYC.

Open Call will be held on Tuesday, April 21, from 10:00am-12:00pm for SAG-AFTRA members and 1:00pm-4:00pm for Non-Union at Church of St Paul the Apostle, 405 W 59 St at 9th Ave. Attendees should be prepared to have a digital picture taken.

No experience necessary.

Ai Weiwei to attend Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei

August 2, 2015: Ai Weiwei has confirmed that he will attend the "Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei" exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. The exhibition runs December 11, 2015 to April 24, 2016 before it travels to The Andy Warhol Museum in June.

U.K. reverses its decision on Ai Weiwei visa

August 1, 2015: The U.K. government has reversed its decision on not granting Ai Weiwei a 6 month visa. He will now be granted a full 6 month visa for his stay in the country.

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