Sunday, June 29, 2008

the August Interview and Downtown 81

Warholmania is in the air as Andy would have turned 80 next month. Interview devotes their August issue to the man and what people thought of him. Also Charlie Rose had a special group interview about the revamping of Interview.

The recounts by those who knew him are always wonderful and worth reading. But I have to say that some of what I saw and read seemed to have nothing to do with the real thing. It wasn’t all “fabulous,” even though he might have seen it that way. Some of it was gritty, sleazy and haphazard and that seems to have been lost in translation.

Like what the hell does Stephanie Seymour have to do with the vibe of those days? Her answers and banter were so unquotable, forgotten as soon as said. Yeah, I heard she was fashion editor for the rag now. That seems like a grave mistake to me. And the young new starlings are no replacement for ViewGirl and InterMan, telling us how cool their parents are, turning them on to the Velvet Underground. Please! Find your own way! The spread of various hopefuls wearing the fright wig with the striped shirt came off as some desperate attempt, trying way too hard. And I’m sorry, but Marc Jacobs is no Warhol for today, not by halves. He's meaty and not weird. The choice makes no sense.

The Charlie Rose interview emphasizes the updating of Interview, taking it into the new era. Interesting that the magazine feels the need to do this when Warhol is dominating the landscape more than ever. The shadow he’s casting is mega, but I’m not so sure they’re going about it in the right way.

Keeping in this retro-mode, I rented Downtown 81 last night. No one, save Debby Harry, is a star yet but at the same time everyone is. Jean Michel hasn’t even had a one man show yet. Downtown New York, the playground, looks like it’s been hit by a bomb. I never embraced it the way some people did back then because I had put in my years in London and SF in peeling, fetid, decaying flats already. Plus I landed in a cheap mid-town sublet, a rent-controlled flat where I was supposed to stay for only 3 months. I stayed for a decade and eventually nabbed the lease, taking many bus rides, cabs and walks to downtown and back.

The movie is filled with so many who are only legends now, who didn’t survive those times. I was especially taken back when I saw Cookie Mueller play a dancer at a strip joint in the film, a flash cameo appearance. She was a great writer and actress who died of AIDS related illnesses before the 80s were over. I used to see her around and see her perform.

Watching the film last night seemed so right too because it was hotter than hell here in Portland - and clammy - like a New York summer night. Just not as filthy. The dirt and heat was so intense there, you felt it clinging to your eyeballs. Whenever I would visit Portland from New York, immediately my lungs went into hyperventilation right after exiting the airport. It was like someone turned on the air.


namastenancy said...

I remember that Charlie Rose interview - it was so lame. He had to pull something out of the participants and even then, nothing they said showed much insight.

Anonymous said...

It did not capture the spirit of Interview. But maybe that's impossible now.

harold hollingsworth said...

the air here is something else, but the grit personalities and the launch factor there are something to behold...nice page Eva!