So, here it is. Up and running.
I really hope you enjoy it.
I have not written this diary properly for a few days. A great deal is going on. Traveling East.
It seemed like I said yes to far too many dinner invitations and ended up cancelling all of them.
I am talking to sales reps about The Picture of Dorian Gray. Finally. It is time. David Gallagher is the breakout star in Super 8 so we may very well sell it. With David looking so amazingly fit and grown up and Aleksa in Boardwalk Empire…perhaps we can sell it for what it is worth. Anyway, I’m talking again to sales agents so let’s see. I just want what it is worth. Not selling it for anything less.
I am still not happy with the edit.
The desert. We drive into the night. The Freeway. Homogenous America. The same 6 restaurant chains, the same names…again and again. Nothing to differentiate state by state. The desert is beautiful. Desolate, hot, 110 degrees yesterday.
I am now in Willcox Arizona, sitting in the Safeway Starbucks where coffee is twenty cents more than The Palisades. To prove that people must be BORED beyond reason living out here I have been recognized more in the past ten minutes than the past ten months.
So, we left LA yesterday morning. The previous day we spent dozing on the beach then had dinner at the rancid Taverna Tony’s. Flayed shrimp. The Beautiful Dane’s Swedish friend arrived and we all stayed in Malibu that night leaving early the following morning with Robby.
The Swedish friend (whose name I refuse to remember) is a clumsy idiot and I don’t expect revising my opinion any time soon. They call each other Bagel. Within ten minutes of meeting me he had knocked my phone out of my hand.
Robby and Miles returned from their wedding weekend, apparently the bride and groom washed each other’s feet in the Christian ceremony. Robby looked great. They are such sweet boys.
Very clean feet.
The Dane sings Riders in The Storm in Danish which is funny.
Picked up a huge SUV at The Dane’s insistence. Expensive, gas consuming behemoth.
We drove to Glendale Station where we picked up another Dane, a girl called Lucie who used to work in the fashion and textile department at the Met in NYC. We had a great deal to talk about.
It seemed like a good idea to fill the car with friends but as it turns out the idiot friend and the Dane have a very specific sort of relationship and Lucie is his ex gf who he took two years to get over.
I began to reassess. My farts stink.
We drove from LA to Phoenix. Dinner at The Royal Palm Resort which is incredibly beautiful. Taco Tuesday. Luxury on a budget. The Swede nipped off with his good-looking friend and bought two dresses from H and M for him and the Dane which they changed into in the parking lot.
We stopped in a gas station and a man told his friend very loudly that the dress wearing men should be arrested. As we drove deeper into Arizona the dresses caused me some panic as I really did not want either of them to get shot.
As you can tell from my voice. I am trying a little too hard.
Stayed in a small motel with wi-fi and a big black dog. The room cost us $60.
If you want to see all of the videos from this trip…go to my YouTube channel.
We are off soon. Long journey ahead. They are playing Joe Jackson’s Stepping Out. The Starbucks girl is blending caramel frapaccino and I will never see Willcox Arizona ever again.
Oscar Wilde enjoyed the extravagant promises of the Victorian Age, capturing the imagination of London’s aesthetic elite. However, beyond the enlightened few, everything about the man provoked consternation to the prudish, hypocritical Victorians—from the green carnation in his buttonhole to his sensational novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Like his suits, Wilde, a tireless self-promoter and purveyor of the unforgettable bon mot, was exquisitely tailored. While young, he was best dressed in bold plaid, plus fours, starched shirts with high, tight collars or gabardine suits cut short above the hip. Wilde traded his own slender, youthful visage (French
pleated hair and Cupid lips) for a bloated middle age rife with extravagant capes and voluminous fur-lined coats.
In his revisionist biography of Oscar Wilde, Who Was That Man?, Neil Bartlett describes how Wilde became a huge man with a penchant for young, willowy boys. He was an intriguing mass of contradictions: The love letters he sent to his wife, Constance, are as beautiful as the letters he sent to the dark-hearted “Bosie,” his lover. The innocent stories he wrote for his beloved children were a counterpoint to the pornographic tales he created from his forays into London’s dank underworld.
The pornography attributed to Wilde in the British Library, under the pseudonym “Teleny,” reveals his sado-pedophilic fantasies. Young boys figure highly in these violent, disturbing texts. The virginal youths are deflowered by older, cruel men, their innocence torn from them.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is the reworking of these same themes that lead Wilde to his pessimistic and wholly modern conclusions about our shared horror of the loss of youth and how we might reclaim it.
When casting for a perfect Dorian, I was not interested in hiring a great beauty, but rather, a young boy. After all, beauty is subjective, youth indisputable.
For the movie’s Dorian Gray, it was imperative that our actor, David Gallagher, look effortlessly chic. David is very much the stick-thin look of right now and Dior Homme (as reinvented by our costume designer, Hedi Slimane). Dressing the literary youth icon of our age was a perfect solution for us and Dior: Slimane set his homoerotic boy-man aesthetic against the new Puritanism of American mainstream culture.
It is Lord Henry Wotton who appeals to the youthful Dorian Gray and speaks for the moisturized 40-plus generation, when he says to Dorian: “I wish that I could change places with you. To get back my youth; I’d do anything in the world. You are the type that the age is searching for and is afraid that it has already found. The world has always worshipped you—and it always will.”
If Wilde’s sensational sodomy trial had happened today, would the acclaimed wit have ended up in prison? Given that we find it hard to throw celebrities in jail, perhaps not. But Wilde’s predilection for sex with underage boys? I am sure that his hard drive would have been littered with unsavory images of children.
Once in prison, Wilde was given a thin gray cotton shirt and pants. Issey Miyake—or Kim Jong Il—might have gotten a kick out of this minimal Bauhaus look, but Wilde loathed it and woefully described his prison uniform in the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. A couple of years later, he was dead. (“It’s either me or the wallpaper.”) But as hard as I look, I cannot discover what he was buried in. Except, of course, shame.
This article was edited by Black Book for whom the piece was originally written. It has been pointed out to me that Hedi lent us the clothes for Dorian rather than designing them for the film. I have also been asked what happened to the film. How did it do? Well, in my own estimation it did OK. It closed the London Lesbian and Gay film Festival, opened the Miami G&L film festival and opened the New York G&L film festival amongst others. It had a small life and then vanished.