Could it be that I’m dusting you off again, returning? Why yes I think so. But what about Lisbon and it’s gorgeous people and clean toilets and what of El Museo and spraining my ankle? What of the last several months? Doesn’t that too deserve an entry? Sitting in the (West) Hollywood Hills lends itself to gazing over the shrubbery in the morning and automatic writing, allowing the fingers to do their folly (chuckling). One thing I love about coming to the West Coast, besides my roots and blood is that when I first arrive I am a morning person, for about 3 days, but sometimes I can extend it. And I love to get up and go to the filmmaker breakfasts at the Standard Hotel, an event unique to being an official selection at Outfest Film Festival. One of my favorite, which starts tomorrow! So me and Fufu headed out, walking, down the hill for some coffee at about 8:30 AM. Something about LA really hit me this time as I looked up to the Bebe billboard and saw the unlikely ginormous boobs airbrushed with extra peculiar cleavage where one would not normally occur. And I am no stranger to airbrushing. Gawd LA and by extension of the entertainment industry, a lot of people, are obsessed with the body. I mean what’s the big deal? Take off your clothes already… The heat, so early, keep walking, almost to coffee and Parvin, the woman who threads my face. More beautiful people, more 3d monsters, more naked Heidi Klum. Naked but teasing, you know, like a tape measure grazing her nipple or some shit like that. Anyways, I’ve always loved the body-obsessed culture here, somehow “healthy” and perverse simultaneously. A stangely tuned high-pitched instrument of culture, that I’ve found if you can run it through some kind of filter, a pleasant tune will emerge. Of course there are a myriad of cultures co-existing here, not to mention my favorite taco wagon. Yes, better than the one at the Mobile station in Bakersfield… So just as I pass by Heidi, I see this “Health nut” coming towards me. He is running in the full sun, very thin and cut, no shirt and sweat rings in his crotch area. He is flailing his arms in some burn-more-calories kind of way and as he gets closer I realize he is not one of the “beautiful people” but some one suffering perhaps terrible hallucinations, grabbing at some imagined assailant. A lump forms in my throat, as we dodge his grasp and he continues his run. Nothing has changed about LA. I’ve changed. Living in ultra-real upstate by the River didn’t prepare me for this heat, everything looks duller and more deranged. I’ve been coming to LA since I was a kid, to Disneyland, then for dance lessons, then for punk shows, then parties, art gigs, Work of Art audition, etc… It has always met me with a magical space of “anything” can happen here. You, Nao, can make anything happen. Maybe this shift of seeing what I’m looking at can help me actually make “anything” happen. Ooh, did I mention that Fufu is dyed purple?
Sundance has a lot of mustaches and all the testosterone in the air left me feeling hairy.
Fun Fact: Warhol was called “Drella” by his friends, a condensed version of Dracula and Cinderella. The nickname is attributed to Lou Reed, who felt it fit both sides of Warhol’s persona.
In 1964, Warhol cast Jack Smith as Dracula in his film Batman/Dracula. According to Warhol, Smith “really got into the part. He claimed that as he put his makeup on, he was slowly transforming himself, letting his soul pass out through his eyes into the mirror and back into him as Dracula, and he had this theory about how everyone was ‘vampirical’ to a certain extent because they ‘made unreasonable demands.’ ”
In Batman/Dracula, my impression is that Smith ends up taking over the film with his strong presence. Watch it and decide for yourself.
Nao goes coocoo on the graffiti wall at the Sundance opening party. She’s so hardcore…
Sundance panel at New Fronier: Google’s Dave Eun talks about organic community building.
Nao Bustamante director/writer/performer/editor, Ava Berkofsky director of photography, Andres Laracuente shadow dancer, Ruthie Doyle assistant camera, Eleanor Goldsmith still photography & giver of golden light, Victoria Kereszi props master & production assistant, Andrew Lynn stop-motion animation & technical assistance, Seana Biondolillo penis-image craft & dildo bejeweler, Salvatore Salamone headdress construction, Branda Miller production impresaria, Commissioned by the LIVE FILM/ Jack Smith festival, co-organized by Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art and Hebbel-am-Ufer Theater (HAU) in Berlin, Produced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute iEAR Studios with assistance from EMPAC
2nd floor projects presents
N A O B U S T A M A N T E
Untitled # 1, (from the series Earth People 2507)
April 19 – May 25, 2008
Essay by G L E N H E L F A N D
Untitled #1 (from the series Earth People 2507) plays the final NYUFF!
Festival runs Wednesday, April 2 to Tuesday, April 8. Closing Night is Sunday, April 6, and Monday and Tuesday are repeat screenings for those of you who just can’t get enyuff.
F Train to Second Ave. stop. Get out at Second Ave. exit. Walk two blocks north to Second St.
6 Train to Bleecker St. stop. Walk east to Second Ave & Second St.
J, M, Z to Bowery stop. Walk north on Chrystie St. past Houston St. to Second St.
L to First Ave stop. Walk south to Second St., turn right to Second Ave.
All screenings are at our beloved Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St. We play hard to get, so we don’t list our nightly parties, so check in at the theater if you want to make a night of it.