Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quick notes. Went to the MIX Benefit at the new Leslie-Lohman Gallery at 26 Wooster Street; took Douglas with me. It was a strange evening. Douglas had a great time, i had a nice time, but it wasn't really a silent auction (which is what i expected); the "items" (that is: the disposable cameras with the undeveloped photos inside by various celebrities) weren't anywhere to be seen, rather, you were supposed to bid online, except it wasn't really working. (As i write, you still can't; i just went to the MIX website and there's no instructions and no links to get to the MIX Benefit on eBay.) But the auction goes on for at least a week, and i bet a lot of people actually do bid on the cameras... because if it's not public, a lot of people will feel better about bidding for the cameras of Gus Mattox, Will Clark, Luke Garrett, Gage Weston, Michael Lucas, if no one knows that they're doing it. (When The New Festival had its silent auctions, people always waited until the very last minute to start bidding on any of the porn items. It was embarrassing: for example, Michael Brandon would be there, with his basket of stuff from Raging Stallion, and it was mortifying not to have anyone bidding! But men would be circling the table, like vultures, waiting for the death knell to announce that bidding would close, then the men would jump to bid!) This is unfortunate, because i was hoping to bid on Toms' camera and Jim's camera...

I left just as the "entertainment" started to arrive (Murray Hill, Marga Gomez, Carmelita Tropicana, et al); wanted to make sure i got home in time to see the episode of "Huff" i missed on Sunday. I did: quite a good episode. Anjelica Huston is fantastic and the scene where she and Huff (Hank Azaria) do an extended therapy session, using Ecstacy, was extraordinary. Then caught a real curiosity on TCM as part of their "Race" film series: "Way Down South" a 1939 musical set in 1854 Louisiana... i can't even explain the plot, it's just too embarrassing (it has to do with the orphaned boy's attempt to stop the sale of his slaves, so that the plantation can stay in its idyllic slave state), yet the damned thing was actually written by Clarence Muse and Langston Hughes! I don't even want to go into analyzing the layers of self-abjection which must have gone into that screenplay....

But then i turned to one of the Showtime stations and watched "The Vampire Lovers", the Hammer version of Sheridan Le Fanu's story "In a Glass Darkly" (which Dreyer used as the basis for "Vampyr"). Well, this was no "Vampyr" (only my favorite movie of all time) but it's one of the better Hammer horror films.

Actually, May 16 was Henry Fonda's birthday (TCM celebrated by showing his films all morning and afternoon) but it was also Margaret Sullavan's birthday. Odd how they were born on the same day; their marriage lasted less than a year. Sullavan remains absolutely my favorite American actress. Interestingly, Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12. (TCM showed a bunch of her movies last Friday; why don't they ever show people's good movies? "Without Love" and "Undercurrent" are two of her worst for MGM, and "Dragon Seed" is hopeless!)


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