Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Justin Bond is Living

Last night I hopped in a cab and went to the Tribeca Grand to see a screening of MILK. I went by myself so I was a little nervous that I would have to sit alone and look like the CRAZY OLD LADY SOBBING in the corner which is, admittedly, a good look but to be honest I didn't want to ruin my make-up which was looking fierce after a photo-shoot I had in Brooklyn with Alice O'Malley earlier in the day.  That's a lie.  Actually my make-up was wind-swept and tear-stained already after being WHIPPED FROM PILLAR TO POST (OMG -What do you think that aphorism is referencing?) by that asshole Jack Frost when I was walking home from my shrink appointment, but DON'T EXPECT COMPLETE TRUTH in this blog and if you've got a problem with run-on sentences SCRAM while you have the chance because I may be a big fan of Joan Didion but I AIN'T HER.  Got it?

So as I said I was going to see Milk alone and I was nervous about it but fortunately on my way into the men's room to find a mirror to wipe the FALSE EYELASH TAR out of the crease in my weepy right eye who did I run into but John Cameron Mitchell -but of course his row was full... Fortunately, as soon as I walked into the screening room I spotted Roz Lichter who, aside from being an amazing lawyer and wonderful friend has the best surname a lesbian could ask for -or even a lawyer could ask for really... suffice it to say I feel safe and secure in her hands. So I sat down.

Just so I don't ruin anything I want to say right up front that HE DIES IN THE END. I say that more to remind myself because I have a tendency to fall into the "Never On A Sunday" mentality that Melina Mercouri, the Never On A Sunday girl espoused in the film of the same name, Never On A Sunday. In that film she would go to the theatre to see a GREEK TRAGEDY but conveniently when she was retelling the story to her friends and neighbors at the end they would "All go to the Beach!" Sadly, at the end of the film Harvey Milk doesn't go to the beach... NO WAIT!  In fact, his ashes are scattered in the bay,  so technically...

Regardless, I didn't have to wait until the end to start getting worked up. Maybe it was the eyelash tar or maybe it was the footage of all those lovely FAGS OF YORE being rounded up and thrown into the POKEY during the opening credits but I was taken on a real emotional roller-coaster ride. The story is pretty familiar from the documentary, "The Life and Times of Harvey Milk" but there's something about the old Hollywood treatment that somehow makes history more real -not for me, mind you, but for people like my Mom. I remember when I went to see Philadelphia with her and at one point Tom Hanks had this really great moment and my Mom leaned over and said, "There's his Oscar." in that instant I knew AIDS was no longer an abstraction to her. Sean Penn will probably get an Oscar for this movie and a lot of more mainstream people will have a fresh insight as to how to approach their views toward QUEER LIBERATION because of it. I don't know if I can say as of yet whether it's a great film because it pushed too many of my buttons what with all the footage of Castro St.,  spotting people I know who were in the crowd scenes -WORK PEACHES CHRIST!!!, my friends who were portrayed in the film -BRING IT Danny Nicoletta!

Undeniably, the acting was great and some of the performances were indeed amazing.

The real uncanny thing, to me, is the timing. It reminds me of when The China Syndrome came out right when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant went all funky. That film wasn't all that great when I went back to watch it a few years ago -although Miss Jane Fonda's cork wedges were still WERQUEING OVERTIME. But I think this film comes at a time time when the LGBT community needs a shot of inspiration and if nothing else the story is truly inspirational.


Afterward, JCM and Stephen Winter encouraged me to crash the party at the Bowery Hotel -something I never do.   But since I was a wearing understated Dior from SEVERAL seasons ago ( okay the trousers, or maybe I should say slacks, were purchased second hand on the Portobello Road in London because I try to buy as little as possible "new".  I follow the sage advice of my dear late grandfather who said you should always have a good coat, a good pair of boots and a firm mattress and I always buy those things new so I got myself that killer Dior coat at the boutique in Paris -hello!) I felt confident enough to walk into that scenario.

Let me just say up front that I hate big parties and rarely go unless I'm being paid to be there. Generally I find that for some reason when it comes to such events -say the Out 100, the Tonys or even the Met Costume Institute Gala- people act the same way they would if they were stranded at an airport during a blizzard: alternately tense, condescending, desperate and obsequious.

But this party was actually fun. 

Magpie, or in this case, FAGPIE that I am my eye was imediately drawn to Gilbert Baker the man who made the original rainbow flag who was sparkling in Swarofsky crystals, Cleve Jones who was beautifully portrayed in the film by Emile Hirsch (one of my co-stars in the film Imaginary Heroes), Evan, "Like Heaven without and H", who works with Burlesque superstar Narcisister, Parker Posey (with whom I share a psycho-analyst... still crazy, THANKS MOM!!!), That scary guy... oh yeah, Mickey Roarke was there too and lots of other famous people including Rufus Wainwright and I was glad to see him so I could talk to him about what the hell I'm going to perform in the McGarrigle Christmas Hour at Carnegie Hall December 10th and we came up with some ideas.  IT"S GOING TO BE FANTASTIC!


Steven reminded me of some advice I gave him several year ago. "There's always going to be someone to tell you when to leave." Fortunately I didn't take my own advice and left the room of my own volition, "WITH DIGNITY!"

Thanks to the Karpel Group for inviting me to the screening. Can I bring a date next time?


seymour said...

I will hold your hand through any movie or any blizzard beautiful guy. Major hugs

Beth said...

Look forward to reading more!

walt cessna said...

I thouroughly enjoyed reading write like you talk like you live, which makes it like being in a movie in your mind- can't wait to read more- :) walt

La JohnJoseph said...

Literally, never a dull moment.

Papagayo said...

oh man, this shit was great. keep em coming! you've brightened my day!

Amy Rose said...

This satisfies the cravings one has when they can't get to New York to see you more often. Kudos and thanks for sharing yourself!! All the best, with love!

Bretty said...

Wow! Fantastic re-cap JB!!
I love your writing and scarilly, I still have the fab story you wrote the day after the August '03 blackout (Hello Jackie Bigelow's pubes!!!).
Anyway, looking forward to the Christmas show w/ the Mc G sister's.
Keep the stories comin.........

Joe said...

'Dignity' is your middle-name and your blog has gotten off to a great start!

Christopher Di Pietro said...

Fabulous. Justin Bond is indeed living and I thank the goddess for that x

prufrock said...

this is FANTASIC! you're an excellent writer... i second what walt cessna wrote. i myself am a huge fan of the run on sentence (not to mention the parentheses -- r.i.p. david foster wallace). i can't wait to read more... xo monica

p.s. have you met harry yet? i have yet to go to

russ turk said...

So happy to see you blogging, and what a fun first post you've written. I've been anticipating MILK for some time now, and after this blog I can't wait to see it. said...


Wyrdsystyr said...

Wonderful to find you in the bloggosphere! Can't wait for more. I'm looking forward to your RRAZZ Room gig tomorrow night.


celexa said...

I hear a song coming on

bradfordnoble said...

Loving the blog so far.
Very stream of conciousness flowing into river of thought flowing into reguritating ocean type thing.

I'll keep lappin' up your puke soup baby, keep it heaving, and don't spare the bile!

-Bradford Noble

NY L7 said...

hey, i'm glad u started ure blog. it's wonderful. i hope to see ya when u get back. xo

Anna Conda said...

I think that the issue of marriage is just a point for us to focus on what we as a people have been made to indure. I don't think that it is the "real" issue. Like so many turning points; like the right for women to vote; it is a way to focus our energies and start to gain control of our own lives.
I was never the marriage type till recently when Brett and I realized that this was for life. We don't need anyone to tell us we are married because in our hearts we are.
However I would rather not be excluded from this privilege. I would rather that everyone could do as they wish on this issue. After all the years of torture placed on us and the fact that we have just taken it is coming out in this issue. There are greater issues underneath but this rally cry is a rally cry and I hope that it sparks a revolution. A revolution for all the oppressed. No just the unable to marry oppressed. But for all who were spit on and killed and dragged behind cars. That is where my anger comes from. All the dead queers in gods name.
So just because I don't think marriage is the most important poit I will fight for it, and removing Church From State and all the other causes behind this issue. Anna Conda