AmCam Guys Week
LET’S GET LITERARY
Film Moi: Narcissus in the Dark, by Robert Patrick.
975 pages, $10 CD-ROM.
“It’s unlikely any publisher could have taken on Film Moi, playwright Patrick’s irresistible, undisciplined, and exhilarating blend of queer memoir and film memories. This is a massive work, nearly 1,000 pages with more than 800 movie stills and personal photos – a challenge to print, but affordable and accessible in its self-produced CD-ROM format. In 14 “autobiographical explorations of films, the culture that made them, and the world they made,” Patrick – a founding father of gay drama in America – writes with intelligent perception about movies ranging from Fantasia and The Ten Commandments to La Dolce Vita and Aliens; his chapter on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a haunting assessment of the glorious tragedy that was Marilyn. And that’s just half the delight: Patrick’s candid commentary on his own precocious sexual and artistic life is equally absorbing. Reading a quarter million words on a computer screen isn’t the most comfortable way to be entertained and enlightened, but Patrick’s prose is so smart and fluid that it’s hard to, well, put the book down.”– http://www.gmax.co.za/feel/books/09/030901-bookmarks.html
In 1969 Ramses Shaffy, Hollands combined Marlon Brando, Laurence Olivier, and Leonard Bernstein, visited New York and saw my “The Haunted Host” at the Old Reliable Theatre Tavern. He invited me to Amsterdam to see his production of the play. Playwright PAUL FOSTER, rich from his “Tom Paine,” bought me a three-week air ticket and set me loose on the world. In Amsterdam, Ramses bedded me twice and then he and I shared the favors of a blond twinkie for six nights while during the day I worked on the translation of my play with a darling woman named Weesie Schwarz. Then I flew to Paris where I worked for a week with Jerome Savary’s Magic Circus troupe and shared the bed of an American cast member. That left me a week in London. I arrived on Boxing Day to find that the only people I knew there, Tom O’Horgan’s La Mama Troupe, had left the day before for Hollywood to film Rochelle Owen’s play, “Futz” (below, Marilyn Roberts prepares to breast-feed Seth Allen). I called Max Stafford-Clark and CLARIS NELSON at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Max greeted me heartily, needing a writer to concoct for his tiny stage a small-cast version of “Dracula” he’d just dreamed up. He promised he’d wire me train fare the next day (everything being closed in London the day after Christmas, you see) That left me with Boxing Day night to take care of. With nearly my last money, I asked a cab driver to take me to a gay bar. He deposited me before one in Islington. I squared my shoulders and entered a decayed, high-ceilinged pub full of black leather, which (forgive me, DORIC WILSON), scared me silly back then. I told myself, “Well, if I have to get into this to get a bed for the night, I’m sure as hell not going to be the masochist.” I bought an ale with my very last money, and sauntered around in what I hoped was a masterly manner. I discovered a door to a back room. Considering what leather-bar back rooms in New York were like, I opened it with unmasterful temerity. Voila! I found an utterly leatherless supper club with a black songstress holding forth at a piano on a crude raised stage. With a sigh of conditional relief, I cruised the crowd and then followed a likely-looking fop into the gents’. As he washed his hands, I asked, “Does all that leather out there mean here what it means in the States?” He replied carefully, “Well, it means they’re rather kinky.” I broke down and shared my plight. Simon and his girl, Judith, took pity upon me, and good-naturedly put the tall Yank up at their flat on peaceful Water Street.
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