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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dead Meat

You've seen slasher flicks and sensitive gay dramas. But have you seen a movie about hot young gay German zombies who crawl out from their graves, eat roadkill and have bloody orgies in abandoned buildings—all while hungering for true love? After premiering at Sundance earlier this year, Bruce LaBruce's OTTO; Or, Up With Dead People will screen at MoMA on October 27, followed by a reception, then followed by an after-party at Amalia (204 W. 55th St, next to Dream Hotel), hosted by members of the bands The Homophones, Misty Roses and Gio Black Peter...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Berlinnocence Lost, Part II

The second installment of Cyril Duval's German adventure...

Two days later ended up being totally different from the Bang Bang bar. Beating the cold snap with my Abominable Snowman fur coat, I went with Hanayo to HAU 2 theater for Bruce LaBruce's premiere of his first play, Cheap Blacky. The place was packed and it became obvious that it was already a success. Here's what Bruce told me about his experimental concept: "The idea for Cheap Blacky originated from the moment it dawned on me that there is a black servant named Whity in Fassbinder’s film “Whity” and a white servant named Blacky in Joseph Losey’s film Boom! As for this production, after one day rehearsing in the space, I realized we would have to have major lighting, so we requested and got the best lighting guy in the house, a Marxist intellectual lighting technician! So we lit it like a rock show!”

The lights went down, then up, followed by ninety minutes of flamboyance. I knew right away that I was watching a reinterpretation of the film Theorema by Pier Paolo Pasolini. (Quickly, for those who haven't seen it, it's about the beautiful and young Terence Stamp as a mysterious guest in the house of a bourgeois Milanese family. His velvet eyes and magnetic sex appeal seduce all members of the family, including the teenage kids, both parents and the maid, who is the other central character). Thrilled that I was watching a recreation of one of the most influential movies I've ever seen, I was all eyes and forgot to breath at times. The best moment for me was when the maid, played by Vaginal Davis, first entered, descending into the crowd and singing the blues, à la Billie Holiday, in a distorted but vocally perfect way.

Later, at the afterparty, where Peaches and others were DJing, I learned that Bruce and Vag have known each other for more than fifteen years, since Vag lived in California (she just relocated to Berlin), and that Bruce introduced her work to the Butt guys, who awarded her with their latest cover. Such family stories! As the play is going on tour, starting with Zurich, I urge everyone to see it.

I then had to leave for Miami, where my mongolian lamb fur coat would not be necessary, though I was sure it would still fit in. But I can't wait to be back in Berlin, if for nothing more than the mystical toe worship that Vaginal Davis promised me. My French feet will never be cold again. Oh, I almost forgot! Terence Koh would like to tell Hintsters that asianpunkboy is back.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Berlinnocence Lost, Part I

We asked Cyril Duval—aka item idem—to tell us all about his first trip to Berlin...

On my way to the Netherlands to accept a Great Indoors Award for my design of Bernhard Willhelm's Tokyo flagship [see Hint's store report, April '06], I decided to stop over in Berlin to take in two art shows by friends Terence Koh and Bruce LaBruce. I wasn't prepared, however, to be welcomed by snow and a 20-degree temperature drop from what I'm used to in my home of Tokyo. Shame on me for bringing nothing heavier than a simple jacket. So I borrowed an Abominable Snowman coat to weather the weather.

Having missed the September opening of "Blame Canada," a gallery show by Terence and Bruce inspired by Twin Peaks, I wouldn't miss the closing party at Bang Bang, a well-named bar and large-scale installation at Peres Projects Berlin, in the Kreutzberg area. As neither Terence (out of town) nor Bruce (in town, but uber-busy on something else—see below) could make it, I went with Hanayo, the ultimate German goddess-guide. Hanayo and I became very good friends in Tokyo a while back and we have many friends in common, such as Michel Gaubert, who discovered her when she famously covered "Joe le Taxi." Hanayo and I even have our own invisible band. She knows all about Berlin and who's in town at any given moment. And she has that little extra je ne sais quoi that makes everyone go totally crazy for her.

Hanayo [left] and I arrived to a dark space with black-latex-covered walls (a Terence trademark? It did remind me of "God," his antichrist installation at de Pury & Luxembourg in Zurich) and I was struck by how insane the place was, anchored by a giant metal dance floor recalling Michael Jackson's sidewalk-tapping Billie Jean video. But here the tiles were all black, conveying pure darkness—no lights or smoke, just a ladder leading up to the second floor on the ceiling. For a long time I've known about Bruce and Terence's idea of a backroom with glory holes placed horizontally—imagine manhoods in stalagmite/stalactite formation—and here it was right in front of me, but without the flesh of opening night.

With people dancing maniacally around me, I managed to make it to the bar, where I got a Twin Peaks flash. Suddenly I was in Laura Palmer's worst nightmare, except there was no red-velvet curtain from which Bob, her killer, might pop out, just a bar heavily decorated with trophy animal heads, upside-down oil paintings, weapons and other fetish hunting curiosities. To me, the bar became the core piece, or at least the one directing the overall concept. And then, someone whispered to me, "Terence Koh—he is Armageddon!"

To Be Continued...

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