While getting into the DIY spirit proved difficult among the sweaty, shirtless jocks and overpriced beer at the Inland Invasion punk-a-thon, it was impossible not to at the SILVER LAKE FILM FESTIVAL's "L.A. Punk Revisited" show the following day, held in the shadow of the long-gone Hong Kong and Madame Wong's. There was lots of memory hashing, if no head bashing, as people pored through piles of pics scattered on tables, filed in boxes and hanging on the walls (one eye-catching image was Black Flag's Henry Rollins onstage rocking with his cock out) at ANN SUMMA's "Viva L.A. Punk" photo exhibit at SHOP CHUEY. Next door at TOKYO A-GO-GO, Masque monarch (and L.A. Weekly contributor) BRENDAN MULLEN signed copies of his latest book, Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash, while low-budget nuggets were screened upstairs, including a doc about Downey group THE FUSE -- who later played a set, as did THE HANGMEN and KEITH MORRIS with MIDGET HANDJOB. "It's just us getting drunk and talking shit," noted Fuse drummer F-1, and that was the order of the day for many in the colorful crowd. Gettin' wild in the streets were writers IRIS BERRY and KIM COOPER, Feral House publisher ADAM PARFREY, designers GIDDLE PARTRIDGE and SWEET PEA, party planner BRYAN RABIN, photographer JIM JOCOY (who just put out his own punk tome called We're Desperate), Obey Giant man SHEPARD FAIREY, the Checkers' JULIE VOX, Thelonious Monster's PETE WEISS, the Flash Express' BRIAN WATERS, Teenacide Records impresario JIM FREEK, Edendale Grill gals PATTI PECK and MELANIE TUSQUELLAS, punk princess ALICE BAG, and lounge lizard HAL NEGRO. But not too wild -- by eve's end, someone covered up Mr. Rollins' "loose nut" with electrical tape. Ouch!
THERE GOES THE AFTER-PARTY
When you're standing in the lobby of a theater and you feel a hand on your shoulder and a voice whispers in your ear, "Where ya headed, honey?" and you turn around and it's JACK NICHOLSON . . . Well, you know you're not in Kansas anymore. If we'd been prepared, we would have answered with a brilliant bon mot, but instead we babbled something embarrassing like "Mr. Nicholson -- how wonderful!" To which Jack, who, in crumpled black suit and bright-orange shirt, looked ready for Halloween, drawled, "I'm glad you think so, dear." Yes, opening night of JOHN HERMAN SHANER's new play Fellow Traveler, starring HAROLD GOULD, at the MALIBU STAGE COMPANY was an exercise in surreality all the way around, from leading lady MIMI COZZENS' for-real fainting spell to a fossilized ROSE MARIE (with fossilized bow in hair), who announced the publication next month of her autobiography, Hold the Roses. The evening got off to a flashbulb-popping start with a parade of celebs that included the two SALLYS -- KELLERMAN, tall and elegant in simple black pantsuit, and KIRKLAND, visible for miles in a red-and-gold satin Chinese jacket; DAVID GROH, who announced his engagement to actress KRISTIN ANDRESEN; IVAN PASSER; STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST; HARRY DEAN STANTON; and a still-snappy-at-81 JAMES WHITMORE (maybe it's the Miracle-Gro). But it was Act 2 that will live in everyone's memory, when, in the middle of her big showdown with Gould, Cozzens collapsed in a heap on the stage. What a dramatic twist, we thought, until Gould said, in a shaking voice, "Can somebody help us? Please?" You want live theater, you got live theater. Actors coming out of the wings, doctors coming out of the audience -- there goes the after-party. But no, Cozzens came to and, in a moment that earned her the Margo Channing Award for Best Theatah Comeback, insisted on going on with the show. "Well, it's certainly unique," observed screenwriter ROBERT TOWNE, who was sitting next to us. Later, Gould told us that in all his years in the theater, nothing like this had ever happened to him. "But you just keep going," he shrugged. There was a party, after all, at nearby WANDERMERE FARM, complete with stables and horses and enough wine and Brie to calm everyone's nerves.
--MARY BETH CRAIN
IT'S NOT A LAKE, IT'S A RESERVOIR
Nothing heralds the arrival of mega-chicness to a city more than its own film festival (think Park City, Cannes, Telluride). All the attendant hubbub and expectation were there at L.A.'s own SILVER LAKE FILM FESTIVAL, a multisite extravaganza that kicked off with a screening at the Vista Theater, followed by a shindig at HOLLYWOOD HILLS RESTAURANT. The capacity crowd -- including songstress WEBA GARRETSON, painter ALFREDO DE BATUC, filmmaker RIKA OHARA, actor JUAN FERNANDEZ, designer TAWNY FEATHERSTON, actor/puppeteer HOWARD SETH COHEN, filmmaker STEVE HALL, Silver Lake Press' YVETTE DOSS and MARTIN ALBORNOZ, cinematographer PATTI LEE, and performance artist JOHN FLECK -- cooled their heels outside for at least half an hour past the publicized start time before being allowed to enter the theater. Festival staff tried to appease the increasingly impatient throng by proffering Perrier in plastic bottles, which only annoyed the cinephiles more: The consensus was that Perrier tastes better in a glass bottle, s'il vous plaît. The opening film, Letters of the Underground, a series of 15 shorts by 15 directors (CAROL CETRONE, JOSHUA TRILIEGI, TOM BLISS and JOHN GULAGER, to name a few) about 15 "famous rebel-punk-underground-art types," was uneven but had its moments -- rather like the festival itself, which continued through the weekend with technical difficulties, venue mix-ups, misplaced prints and films in the wrong format. There were more bumps and grinds than a burlesque show, but what's a film fest without some drama?
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The folks from RETAIL SLUT, along with mostest-hostess TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD, got the buzz going on their new BLOODY SUNDAY "punk cocktail club" at BOARDNER'S, which features DJ MARK SPLATTER as well as live shows on the back patio, with a performance by NINA HAGEN. But the Teutonic diva seems to have gone all Hare Krishna, surprising many of her fans with an acoustic set. Clad in a stunning black sari, with a rhinestone bindi in place over her third eye, Hagen sat on an Oriental carpet, reading poetry, quoting Kurt Cobain, and chanting while playing harmonium along with an eight-piece band of drummers and guitarists. Even more shocking, most of the audience -- a strange mix of Mohawked punks, crunchy granola/yoga devotees, and goth boys in full makeup and minidresses -- sat quietly cross-legged on the patio floor during her set. Among those not deigning to dirty their finery were Bad Brains singer HR, bon vivant TOMMY CHIFFON, artists NATASHA VETLUGIN and KELLY MORSE of Skellramics, and practically the entire staff of the newly reopened piercing emporium Thirteen BC. During a belly dance by EUROPA, Hagen graciously greeted her public by the side of the stage. After the show, members of the IMPERIAL BUTT WIZARDS and CUSTOM MADE SCARE were hanging out at the bar, where celebutante Mistresses SABRINA BELLADONNA and PERSEPHONE, as well as a bevy of stringently corseted beauties, were holding court. Can you say "Dom yo ho, renge kyo?"