Archives for posts with tag: nina hagen

The small screening room on Greenwich Street in Tribeca was packed with worthy NYC based gays.  Sweaty, moustached Gawker hacks.  Vanity Fair worthies.  Fledgling, GQ wet mouthed boys.

A fairly obvious NYC taste making, career determining gay crowd skillfully imported for the screening by Adam Kersh, the eager beaver publicist.

I arrived with Benoit Denizet-Lewis and the Little Dog stuffed into his traveling bag.

I had heard ahead of time that The Weekend by Andrew Haigh was ‘severely flawed’, so not to expect much.

Immediately it started I was drawn (homesick) into the spare, urban, British landscape.  Set in the east Midland town of Nottingham.  The neo-brutalist, ex-council estate provides a gritty working class back drop for this very British film.

The concrete tower blocks and congested ring roads determining the drama as much as the delicious dialogue.

It’s Friday night and Glen and Russell have met for the first time.   They do what so many of us do…pack an entire relationship into one weekend.

Russell, late twenties, is a charming, meticulous man who likes ‘old things’.  He never came out to his parents because, as a foster kid, he never knew them.  Glen, a more experienced, angry man (also in his late twenties) has been severely hurt by a lying, cheating ex lover and is unwilling to let himself believe that he can love again.

They burn through the weekend with passion, drugs and frantic conversation.  They fuck and suck and talk and snort and smoke and gaze.  Like so many gay men they are just trying to work it all out, what it means, where they are going…who they are.  In less adept hands these long, rambling conversations might have seemed pretentious, stilted or boring but Andrew Haigh is a skilled film maker and there is a palpable tension throughout the film that made it compelling and at times…glorious.

Americans have exalted the performances which are indeed pitch perfect but as a Brit I really wouldn’t expect anything less.  These actors are trained at what they do.  It never amazes me when I see a good British actor do his thing.  I expect it.

Americans slaver over the ‘realism’.

When the film ended Benoit introduced me to the nay sayer.

“You thought the film was bad?’  I asked him.  He nodded.  “You’re an idiot.”  I snapped.

The Weekend is an elegant, charming portrait of something many of us do and few of us bother remembering let alone shaping into a work of art.  The film could be defined by the small amount of money that made it.  Static shots, minimal coverage etc. but it shouldn’t.

If you have the inclination, please see this film.

We headed to Spring Street where the after party took place at ex pat Nick Denton‘s (owns Gawker) large Soho loft.

The gays settled into their cocktails.  They talked about the film, were amused by the differences.  “Nobody ever made me a cup of coffee and brought it to me in bed.”  one sneered.

I thought to myself, how sad, I love a cup of tea or coffee in bed after a long night of passion.

The gays noticed the instant coffee.  I noticed the saucers.

They didn’t understand British drug nuance.  Bowl verses rolled joint.  They were a little taken aback by the real bodies of two ordinary men who obviously don’t spend hours in the gym.

Nobody really talked about the conversations these men were having.

I met the director Andrew Haigh who knew my films and was very sweet to me.

We talked about The Film Council, BAFTA etc.  It is a delight to see him doing so well.  Being so well received.  We talked about how they gush over you when you first arrive in America.  Their compliments seem disingenuous.

We laughed that at home in Britain both of us were told that our work wouldn’t ‘mean anything’ to anyone other than ourselves. That’s what they say at home…then suddenly you’re at Sundance and they change their minds.

We both won the Outfest audience award.

I was proud of him.  I know what it feels like to make that first film.  To have it well received.

There is a moment when the two men, in bed facing one another, role-play a ‘coming out’ for Russell who doesn’t have parents.  It is touching and beautiful.

After the after party I took the Little Dog home and then uncharacteristically decided to go out again.

I hung at The Standard with Benoit’s gorgeous friends and drank expensive diet coke.  It was total freak night at The Bain.  Like a Nina Hagen tribute party.   I flirted with the beautiful blond, met a photographer I thought I knew.  Two black boys came up to me and asked if I was ‘Duncan from the ‘A’ List New York’.

The view over Manhattan from that roof top is sublime.

I took a cab home at 2am.

I was glad that I had met Russell and Glen.

I had identified with both of them and had healed for doing so.

22 years old a bottle of whiskey by my side

EVERYTHING I JUDGE I WALK THOUGH.

With all this JB fury and indignation, these health issues swirling around my brain these past few months I seriously overlooked or ignored the way I have treated others in my very own distant past.

The way JB treated me perfectly mirrors the way I have treated others. This is life’s great symmetry!

My indignation has blinded me to my part in all of this.  You know, I am perfectly sure that there are men and women out there who are delighted that I have, at last, been taught a lesson in love.

To you all, to past loves, to those who tried..today I want to make my amends.

To AH who I cheated on.  To JBC who I used.  To CS the NYC photographer who I took advantage of.   TK in Amsterdam I have tried to find you to make my amends.  These people tried so hard to do good for me, reached out selflessly as I did for JB.   And,  just as I was fucked over by JB, I fucked them over each and every one.  Without care or consideration.

Four people who I can remember right now who could and should be outraged by my behaviour.

In each instance I paid the price that needed paying either with my heart or my wallet.  That they still haunt me is testament to my guilt…to something unresolved.

I will add more as and when I can remember them.  If there are any?

To be treated as I have treated others is of course all part of GOD’S BIG PLAN.

There is no excuse for bad behaviour.   Not when you are a grown up.

You may be wondering why JP is not on this list, well..we pretty equally destroyed each other and I long ago owned my part in that sordid affair.

There are many apologies that I need to make in many different ways.  Eventually I will get around to all of you..eventually.  Remembering, forcing myself to remember the way I have treated others has softened my heart even more toward JB.   We all make mistakes, we can all use and abuse.  We can all take advantage.

If I am going one day to die at peace, a smile on my face then I must make these amends.   It is essential.

This was the very last piece of the jigsaw puzzle that needed finding and with great relief it is now in place.  The picture is complete.  My part, my mistakes owned up to.

Of course I still want JB to pay me as I have paid others what was owed.   It is the right thing to do and he must learn the right thing as I have been taught by taking the wrong turn over and over.

Yesterday I went to therapy.  I talked about my anger.  After I did I felt so much better.  JA and I had lunch at SHLA.   After lunch I came home and messed about with the spa.   Sarah and Paul came for dinner and we watched Nina Hagen sing My Own Personal Jesus that Paul produced.  Remember this summer when she was here?  Her daughter is so beautiful..as is her mother.

The sun is shining and I am in a great mood.

Rambla Pacifico, the direct road to the sea has hit a snag and I have no idea if it will ever be finished.  The work continues but there is an easement problem that needs fixing.  Oh dear.

JB, can we just end this absurd fight?  Can you just send what is owed and leave me alone?  Please?  I have this picture of you.  Wearing my hat…now lost.  It is how I want to remember you.  My friend and lover.  Like a mouse set free in the garden.  You HAVE to do the right thing or this will never go away.  I am desperate to remember you fondly and though I can never, ever see you again I want for us to be at peace.  Is this possible?

Jake Bauman

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Interesting day yesterday-after a good twenty four hours of stinking thinking-God delivered to me an old fashioned day of wonder.   Began in Hollywood drinking Turkish coffee.  My mood dramatically shifted from the day before when I felt so utterly wretched.  I could have climbed Runyon but didn’t.   I could have bought a pack of cigarettes but didn’t.

Peter arrived and took 20 works of art and furniture for sale and you know what?  So crowded with stuff is this apartment that as quickly as he removed things I hung stored paintings in their place.   After he left I felt relieved that so much had gone-all part of my less is more project.  I can now walk all the way around my bed!  My bedroom was crammed with too many things.  As well as a queen sized bed there was a huge Jasper Morrison sofa stuffed in there.  Frankly, I hadn’t really liked most of the sold work.  I bought it for all the wrong reasons.  Things were mostly collected to show off my great knowledge of contemporary art.   Yeah right.

Jenny A not Jennie K (we are still avoiding each other) called me from Solar de Cauenga on the corner of Cauenga and Franklin to drink more coffee.  The little dog and I sauntered down Franklin to see her.  The weather has been spectacular, warm and spring like.  Daffodils sprouting up all over the place, the trees budding, the birds singing, the air is fresh and clean after all the glorious rain.

I hadn’t seen Jenny A for a couple of years-not since I stayed in her beautiful home in Todos Santos.  You can stay there too if you visit her WEB SITE it’s now THE most perfect hotel.  Anyway, we hadn’t spoken since I climbed onto that dusty Mexican bus-but it was only a matter of time before we did.   We are both incredibly fractious and proud so when we spend time with each other have tended toward the dramatic.  Anyway, that was then and this is now:  two calm, evolved human beings having a quiet latte together in a noisy café.    She looks wonderful.

A young filmmaker came visiting after I returned form my time with Jenny.  Josh, a Persian Jew looking for an internship somewhere.   Oh God!  He sat there and I just couldn’t wait for him to leave.  No life, no experience, no opinions, no point of view-no heroes!  How could he ever expect to be a filmmaker?   He told me that he wanted to ‘change film making’ yet, as usual, when you ask who his favorite filmmakers were he was hard pressed to tell me.  Like so many wannabe directors he was just a kid who liked movies, the difference being that this kid was raised in LA yet knew nothing about the city in which he was raised nor the industry that he says he wants to be part of-in fact he had no interests in anything apart from soccer and his girlfriend.  I told him I could not help him and he left.  It was like meeting a 40 something married guy.   Do any of these kids have heroes?  What happened to boys having heroes?  I had all sorts of heroes when I was a boy.

I dashed to my car and headed to Malibu.

When I arrived Patrick the gardener was hanging around doing I don’t know what but it was nice to see him.  I cleaned the house, laid a couple of rugs that had been sitting around in H’wood and then decided to go to Nina Hagen’s listening party at the recording studio next door.

Nina Hagen must have used the word Jesus at least 20 times to describe her new life as a Born Again Christian-she has renounced Buddhism.    She told me that Jesus was guiding her, that Jesus was showing her the way etc etc.  With flowers in her trademark two-ponytail hairstyle this slight mother of two is haggard but vibrant.  She avoids looking directly into ones face.   I ate a delicious cream puff.  However, I didn’t stick around to listen to the album, as I was worried that the constant references to Jesus would make me laugh out loud.

At 3pm I met Stephen Fry at the Peninsular Hotel.  Bumped into Donall McCusker who had worked on AKA but is now one of the producers of The Hurt Locker.  Stephen and I ate scones and silly finger sandwiches and the staff made a terrible fuss about the little dog not being allowed-which we ignored.    Stephen is writing the second part of his autobiography.   Since my therapy I have walked into most situations free of shame and I am glad to report that today was no exception.  I am usually so ashamed of my lack of formal education, my slight career, my meager achievements that sitting before this intellectual giant can shrivel any attempt I may have at a passable attempt at being anything other than a good natured baboon.   Today I just felt like a man with nothing to prove-just enjoying him and his extraordinariness.  In fact, I felt so comfortable I told him my great app idea, which he really liked.

As we left I introduced Stephen to Donall who was sitting with a group of execs-Donall called later to say that as Stephen and I walked away he was excited to have met Stephen Fry but his guests were more excited to know if I was really me (Duncan Roy).  Funny eh?  The power of reality TV.  SF drove away in his mini.

Met John and Jamie at Phyllis Morris for more diet coke and discussed my previous days misery.  They gave me three yards of heavy oyster colored upholstery silk from Osborn and Little to recover the chair JB didn’t buy.

Dinner with Chrissie Isley and Michelle Collins amongst others.   We ate delicious chicken, asparagus and green beans.  Strawberries and real whipped cream-Hungarian chocolate with pear.  Our hosts had vegetables growing in tiny garden.  Nearly fell asleep at the table even though conversation was good, Michelle very funny.  We discussed Lulu, Soho House, Obama and David Cameron-apparently he isn’t going to win the general election.

Brought home fresh bananas, lemons and tangerines from my trees.

No dreams.