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Saturday, February 14, 2015


Before entering a screening of the Documentary about Nina Simone called What Happened Miss Simone? I got into a conversation with a man from the American South named Ral Grummond who told me that the famous writer of To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee munched on his bunghole when he was around 15 years of age.  The thought of Ms. Lee who is quite elderly now and in assistance living sticking her tongue down this man’s “tasty sweet trench” as he claims she called his anal cavity just didn’t seem to make any sense to me.

I believe Harper Lee to be a lesbian,and I’ve never read anything about the author ever having relations with men other then her childhood best friend the late great Truman Capote.  According to Mr. Grummond who is gay and from a small hamlet near Ms. Lee’s  hometown the celebrated writer was a power rim top, and that she ate out his garden salad better then anyone.  Wouldn’t it be a marvelous hoot if the new Lee tome Go Set a Watchman which everyone is eagerly awaiting was all about frothy analingus?

Getting back to Nina Simone, the Liz Garbus directed docu is very talking heads but one thing that was wonderful is the numerous amount of footage of Ms. Simone that I’ve never seen before including a b&w segment of Hugh Hefner’s early 1960s TVshow Playboy AfterDark. The daughter of Nina Simone-Lisa Simone Kelly was at the after screening Q&A.  Ms. Kelly is quite lively of personality though she seems a bit new agey, and if there isn’t anything worse then German new ageyness its black new ageyness.  I’ve had many experiences seeing Nina Simone in concert and she was thrilling, and I also witnessed her volatility in action and it could be equally reviting.
Was reunited with my old pal Laura Nix who along with Lia Gangitano of Participant Inc. Gallery in New York City brought me to the ICA in Boston back in 1990 when she and Lia were both curators there.  Haven’t see Laura in several years and now she is the co-director along with Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno of the fab new Yes Men film Yes Men Are Revolting.  The last Yes Men film was at the Berlinale in 2009 and was quite an audience favourite.  This film gives more background on the activist pranksters who are shown  going through emotional crisis.  I had always thought that both of the Yes Men were gay and in a relationship with each other, but one is actually married with children.  Hmmmm. . .  Wished I could have hung out more with Laura but she was busy on her promotional circuit and not only have I had Berlinale duties during the festival with Forum Expanded but I am also preparing several upcoming visual art exhibitions on two continents. 
Heard this gossip from the annual Forum Party where I was DJaning along with Forum Expanded artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh that the Yes Men who were with the wonderful Diana McCarty of Reboot FM Radio/Freies Kunstler Radio aus Berlin UKW 88.4 weren’t let into the gala even though Nanna Heidenreich of Forum Expanded tried to tell the guards at the door they were award winning filmmakers.  What a shame as they are fun party people who know how to get down and boogie with the best of them.  Of course  international actress Audrey Tatou and her bodyguards were on hand fascinated by the scene.  Also making a pitstop to the Gruner Salon at the Vbuhne:  Ayoub Elasri, Jack Huston star of the film Posthumous,Jeffrey Hollander the patrician entrepreneur,Sven Schelker Swiss male ingénue, Anthony Meindl, Alex Ross Perry director of Forum’s Queen of Earth, Nicholas Galitzine, Saraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Anton Fuqua, Peter Stormare, Will Poulter the young Brit actor whose eyebrows are overly plucked, James Frecheville, Koen Claerhout and posse, Antonia Baehr and galpal, juicy Pauline Beaudry and her hot handsome ladyfriend, Ruth Schoeneger and her actress life partner and a bunch of the wildest most attractive baby dykes on the planet, Karim Anouz Think Film Jury, Thomas Mann of the film Me and Earl, George Strompolous of Fullscreen Films with concubine Tye Sheridan, Joel Kinnaman, Jan & Mark Duplans, Mike Luciano, Phil Matarese, Justin Kelly and blow job buddy Charlie Carver, Anton Corbijn, Dane DeHaan and Ariel Vromen, Emory Cohen, Tunde Adebimpe of the band TV on the Radio, Jack Reynor, Taron Egerton,hunky actor Max Irons, Jan Künemund and Cristina Nord (from the Taz)  Enrico Ippolito (also Taz) Layla Albayate, Michel Belague, Marcin Malaszczak,  Dorothee Wenner & Mickey, Richard &,Salome Gersche, Darryl Els, party animal Lauren Howes, charming film scholar and curator Barbara Wurm, Claus Löser, Empress Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and her famous meat magazine father,  Babeth Vanloo filmmaker who was friends with George Kuchar and Jack Smith  performing with Smith in Köln in the 70s and she did a great film with Kuchar playing Andy Warhol.  This year was the first year that senior projectionist of Kino Arsenal Oushi wasn’t at the Berlinale and its never really the Berlinale without her so it was such a treat to see her at the Forum Party looking relaxed enjoying her well earned retirement.
Have to mention that the Think Film Congress 3. Visionary Archive day was very inspiring mainly because of a way too short presentation by South African filmmaker, curator, critic and tri-athelete Darryl Els who brilliantly gave an overview of the South African B-Scheme films from the 1970s to the late 1980s.  Mr. Els has a way about him that is so charming and  really draws you in.  No one handles discourse quite like Darryl Els.  After learning about South Africa reconstruction times and its Black comics era I want to now change my name from Vaginal Davis to Lucky Boy or Spear Meets Bomber.  
Visionary Archive is in its second year and has been linking film research in Berlin, Bissau, Johannesburg, Cairo and Khartoum.  Also enjoyed the presentation of Studio Gad works of Sudanese filmmaker Gadalla Gubara and Yasmin Desouki of Egypt’s piece on Revisiting Memory.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


The grand opening of The Berlinale Film Festival 65, Internationales Forum des Jungen Films 45 and  Forum Expanded 10 year anniversary Exhibition with the wonderous and beguiling theme: To The Sound of the Closing Door at Akademie der Kuenste on Wednesday Feb 4th began with Doors Opening and Greeting by Berlinale Chief Dieter Kosslick.  The opening film a screening of the silent short by Friedl vom Groeller called Ruhe Auf Der Leinwand then more introductions and speeches by Empress Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and her Forum Expanded rock steady crew of Anselm Franke, Nannootchka Heidenreich, Bettina “Sandy Dennis” Steinbrugge and Ulrich Ziemons then another film Zur Bauweise Des Films Bei Griffith in honor of the late Harun Farocki. Short and sweet  presentations by Constanze Ruhm and  a clever linguistic curry from Ala Younis, another screener by Forum Expanded stalwort Michael Snow See You Later-Au Revoir ending with the spirited spoken word performance Love Letter to a Union:  The Falling Comrades by Palastinian artists working the European circuit Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili.  The Palastinian couples piece included the films The Diver by Jumana Emil Abboud and the Story of Milk and Honey by Basma Alsharif. Kollektiv CHEAP presented our hand made and limited edition artist notebook You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Know Now designed by CHEAP and made by Sally Sachsse the talented artist/restorer sibling of CHEAP’s fearless leader Susanne Sachsse that was gobbled up quietly as the proceedings began as part of a temporary contemporary Minnie Pearl necklace installation featuring the singing voice of Alice Faye and dialog from the 1943 film Hello, Frisco Hello. My colleagues  Susanne Sachsse and Daniel Hendrickson the Scandinavian Muzlim convert were looking very fetching as they were mobbed by international CHEAP fans: Isabel Coixet,Matteo Creationi,Daryl Els, Joachim Fjelstrup,Kodi Smit-Mcphee,Chino Darin, Daniel Wagner of Fortitude International, Paz Vega,Victoria Schultz the star of Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents who use to be the girlfriend of my godson Richard Gersch who works with the Ausstellunhgsaufbau, Sissy Magazine’s Jan Kunemund, Lucas Till, Jannis Niewoehner, Milo Parker, Kristen Wiig with Chilean director Sebastian Silva, horndoggy pie film sales agent Harry White, Caleb Freundlich the ginger haired son of Julianne Moore(why was he at the Berlinale?), Ethan Peck, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and juicy red hot and blue sweet & sour lovers/ film financier life partners Alex Walton and Ken Kao the heir to the Garmin fortune.
The Vagimule Doll was wearing a couture gown by the young French designer Aude.  I was a little annoyed that several people kept saying I had on a wedding dress just because I was in a light color while all the other people about were in boring Kunstler black. There were no sexy antics involved during the opening which is typical for the Berlinale but I did get into a nice conversation with a sweet young couple who work for Akademie Der Kuenste named Tomas and Camille.
At the opening I didn’t get a chance to see anything in the exhibit as an Eroeffnung is for socializing so I came back the next day to spend several hours perusing.  There is so much to see that I couldn’t possibly describe everything but will mention that for me the highlights were Beauty and the Right to the Ugly a three channel videoinstallation by Wendelien van Oldenborgh about the utopian architect Frank Van Klingeren’s Het Karregat commune from  the 1970s. Also loved The Nameless a two channel video installation about Lai Tech a famed Malaysian triple agent whose story is told through the many filmic guises of handsome Chinese acting royal Tony Leung, Opaque by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz continuing their study of the queer historic, Roy Dib’s masterful A Spectacle of Privacy which cleverly used the voices of a man and woman while showing two lovesexy male bodies in flagrante dishabille and Wie soll man das nennen, was ich vermisse? A most fitting tribute to the late great Harun Farocki by his beautiful and  loving significant other the talented artist in her own right Antje Ehmann.  I still have very found memories hanging out withMs. Ehmann at the CHEAP Gossip bar during my first Berlinale many moonlite bay nights ago. Major kudos should be given to Empress Stefanie and her couterie of curators and special honors devoted  toward Angela Anderson aka: Olga Damnitz and her dynamite installation retinue for mounting such a spectacular exhibit that overwhelms and looks utterly amazing. Angie is Forum Expanded’s secret weapon so we should all bow down to her.
The official opening of the Forum section was Friday at the Akademie der Kuenste with Marcin Malaszcak’s beguiling, austere and simply ravishing film The Days Run Away Like Wild Hores Over the Hills. Usually I am turned off majorly by a movie with precocious children, but this intimate film wowed me with its long absorbing pastoral sequences and the obvious love of all things feminine that Marcin possesses in his sensitive young soul.  I originally met Marcin at my first Berlinale when he was a 19 year old student.  He was so tall and handsome that I unsuccessfully tried to pick him up at the CHEAP gossip bar but we became fast friends instead.
The standout of the Forum Expanded films of the first full evening was Leila Albayaty’s Face B.  Ms. Albayaty is a luminous star and quite the screen presence with great style and panasche.  Not only did she shine with a sparkling film but she also treated the audience to a mini concert as well that featured the charming Amelie Legrand on cello and Cristofo Sproto on guitar.  Her back up singer Nina Berclaz has a nice voice but someone needs to strap her down and keep her from dancing to the music as her spastic moves are way too overpowering and makes it seem like she is trying to steal  Albayaty’s thunder.
Had to satisfy my classic Japanese cinema mania that the Forum provides every year at the Delphi Kino by seeing two films by the great Kon Ichikawa 1958’s Conflagration from a  nobel prize nominated story by Mishima involving a humpy junior monk enamored of  a hot-to-trot gimp.  The tryo Monkette whose love for beauty and spirituality cause him to have a nervous breakdown and he winds up burning to the ground  the historic Shukaku Temple in Kyoto.  The poor pretty disturbed and sexually frustrated little Japanese boy just needed a good honest plowing up his twitchy tight young booty hole--and 1960’s Her Brother/Ototo with its airbrushed Marcella Borghese eyeshadow colour palette offers standout performances from the leads pert Keiko Kishi the Japanese Jean Simmons and beautiful pillow lipped bad boy Hiroshi Kawaguchi.  Also went to the Technicolor retrospective of the restored 1945 20th Century Fox melodrama Leave Her to Heaven starring the psychotically alluring Gene Tierney with a nicely underplayed Jeanne Crain and too much pancake make-up queen Cornel Wilde.
On the gossip front was sent a quick text by Berlin journalista supreme Manuel Schubert of Filmhighlights Magazine who told me and I quote, “Heard nothing really scandalous-Natalie Portman and Christian Bale only exhausted all Berlinale press-conference capacities . . . professional press people behaved like teenagers screaming for their silly stars.”
I wonder if Natalie’s ballet dancer husband Benjamin is still involved in a precocious incest bro-mance with young ginger haired blue movie ingénue Christopher Tavi aka:  Josh from the model studio Corbin Bernsen Fischer?  I’m just a little lady with an inquirying mind.
Oh and lets not forget the Think: Film No 3 Congress which further sheds context to the film  screenings and the Forum Expanded Exhibition.  Mongay Feb 7th the superstars of  discourse Gertrud Koch and Diedrich Diederichsen sparkled along with Ekaterina Degot and Haytham El –Wardany with Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili.  Sunday Naum Kleiman and Maxim Pavlov were in conversation with Ms.Degot and Monday Feb 9th under the heading of What If? Revisiting Images 1 Empress Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Nanna Heidenreich sublimely led a timely panel with the earnest Jasmina Mewaly of the kollektiv Mosireen who has been creating activist work surrounding the volatile political situation in Egypt.  Remember Egypt? The industrial media entertainment complex has certainly forgotten them.
International artist Angela Melitopoulos a great friend to Forum Expanded did a fine job as facilitator in the second part of the  Revisiting program with the reviting master narrative disrupters Oktay Ince and Alper Sen who have been collaborating with Kurdish and other minority villagers in Turkey dealing with forced migration since the 1990s.  Think Film Congress rocks.