Saturday, April 28, 2007

Babble On, Hollywood

As part of this magazine story I've been writing (yes, it has still been in process, now two weeks beyond the original deadline), I tracked down a rather reclusive director. It was an exercise in detective work on my part because certain entities (I promise you will eventually find out what the hell I've been alluding to) said they couldn't find him. It was also because, not only do these entities owe this guy money, he is a legend. It was an excuse to take a walk on the wild side – and tell him of money owed him; certainly a good ice breaker in any situation.

After a bit of searching, I was given his address by someone who said that postal mail was the only way to communicate with him.

Because he has no telephone, this really is the only way to reach him. His mailing address rather than a P.O. box, was an actual address in Hollywood complete with suite number.

I decide to drive to the address. Perhaps I could talk to someone there.

The address led to a seedy hotel in a seedy part of Hollywood. Actually, it was a youth hostel.

The front desk told me that yes, this is where the person I was looking for lived and, after leaving my ID, explained how to find his room.

I entered a tiny elevator, the type where only two people can fit at a time, with the steel cage you close around you; and arrived at his floor with a shaky clang.

I slid the steel door open and then walked down the long, narrow, windy hallway that was painted about four different colors from start to finish until I reached his room.

I stared at the brown painted metal door with the large peephole in the center for a long while. Behind this door possibly was a legend of avant-garde cinema. Then I knocked. I heard the shuffling of feet. Then the door opened slightly and around it peered the annoyed face of the eighty year old director.

"What do you want?" he asked, staring at me with baleful eyes.

I, rather nervously, told him who I was and then, before I had a chance to tell him I had information that would lead to money for him... Kenneth Anger slammed his door in my face.

3 comments:

  1. Kendall Whitehouse5:24 PM, April 28, 2007

    What a poignant and sad tale. It's painfully ironic that in the midst of the current renaissance of independent and DIY filmmaking that many of the pioneers of the independent cinema -- like Kenneth Anger, Stan Brackage, Michael Snow, and Tony Conrad -- don't receive the recognition they deserve.

    I'm looking forward to reading your article.

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  2. It was definitely sad and a bit unnerving too. You don't think of people so legendary as being so close to destitution.

    Too bad he lived up to his name. He did open the door again briefly to take the envelope when I knocked again and said it was money. Somehow though, I think he thought I was scamming him.

    I'll probably follow up with a letter. I know he can use the money as he just recovering from pretty serious surgery.

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  3. You have me intrigued! Do let us know when and where the article comes out.

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