Tag Archives: Hatter

Post

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

After financing fell through on the first iteration of Hatter the film—arbitrary changes to British tax laws threw the entire industry there into chaos for about eighteen months, long enough for many productions to fall apart—I began to develop other projects.  Rather than learn my lesson about how hard it is to finance esoteric, difficult films, I managed to come up with one that was even more obscure, Post.

James Franco Kissing Himself (2011), by Solve Sundsbo

The idea for Post came from two sources.  The first was a two-day discussion I had in 2001 with filmmaker Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Mirror, Mirror) about the nature of romantic love.  Everything in Tarsem’s world is highly visual, perfectly designed down to the most minute detail.  The conversation took place in his loft overlooking Trafalgar Square, and this rarified environment gave me a sense of how the piece might work cinematically, even though it was primarily just a philosophical conversation with no real conclusion.

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Quit While You’re Behind

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | MAKING HATTER

by James Killough

I keep telling Baker and Tuttle that we’re moving away from this whole Marcus “Marcia” Bachmann gay thing, but then something pops up to keep it current, like my buddy Shawn Riegsecker sending me this wonderful YouTube vid yesterday:

I don't even know where Minnesota is exactly, but God I wish I'd been there for this.

If you are too lazy to watch the video (just click on the image above; I didn’t embed the video), it shows a bunch of gay neo-barbarians “glittering” Marcia’s ex-gay clinic in Minnesota.  For those who aren’t up to date on this, Marcia uses government money to try to brainwash Gheys via scalding enemas of self-hatred and magical thinking (a.k.a. religion) into denying who they really are.  What she is doing is so beyond outrageously offensive and borderline criminal that it needs to be hosed down with serious humor and satire, the only effective antidotes to the poison of evil intentions.

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Omnia Vincit Phallus

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

I’m trying to make this follow-up post about massive cock a little classier with a title in Latin, which means “phallus conquers all,” a twist on the popular, hopeful gay armband tattoo “omnia vincit amor,” or love conquers all.

Given what has happened in the past few days with hits to our site since the Big Penis Book post, as a content company we have to comment on the effect salacious text and images have on internet traffic.  This is also an excellent opportunity for us to post more images from the Taschen books.  Out of consideration for our token Str8, the beleaguered Eric Baker, whom I imagine is sitting there in Jersey with his head in his hands regretting his association with the feral, smut-minded Gheys of PFC, we are including images from the Big Book of Breasts as well:

There's no point provoking the good burghers of WordPress with naked erections as the lead image. Plenty of room for that later. Well, as much room as all of this flesh can leave.

Just a quick tangent: I have been asked by a few readers why I sometimes use “Ghey” and other times “gay.”  Ghey is the noun, gay is the adjective; e.g., I am a Ghey who makes outrageously gay statements.  And henceforth, “Str8” is the noun, “straight” the adjective.  There is no rhyme or reason for this; this is my sandbox, my content, I make the rules.

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Aloe Vera In Your Handbag

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

This blog has becoming something of a daily beast of its own, attracting glamorous star contributors like James Tuttle and Eric Baker, getting picked up and aggregated by powerful international websites with ties to the fashion mafia.  We have started to view ourselves as the two-thirds homosexual lifestyle-and-entertainment Julian Assange.  And it is understandably going to our heads.  Always one to try to keep us grounded and humble, Tuttle is prone to tossing off quips like, “We must make sure our tens of readers don’t think we’re losing touch with reality.”  He is just being a snarky homo, as is his right under Article 2(a) of the Provincetown Declaration of Equality of 2011, which allows a Ghey a measure of dark-roast sarcasm in direct proportion to how old he was at the time of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Founding Bear Daddies gather in Provincetown for the signing of what is commonly known in the gay community as P-Dec, a reference to declaration signer Benjamin Frankbear, seen here in the foreground, and his inability to control himself during the celebratory beer blast out on the deck.

With so much Perez Hilton-ish red-carpet flash and glimmer going on around here, it’s hard to remember this blog’s original intent, which was to promote Pure Film Creative, our web content company, with a side purpose of exposing the nefarious dealings of my erstwhile landlady, the Wicked Blais.  With the Wicked Blais safely out of harm’s way, seething behind the walls of her own private Mordor of shithole Hollywood real estate, we should try to cast an eye on web content from time to time rather than just name-dropping for the sake of tags, and lamenting the lack of style on reality shows.

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I, Monster

I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face.
— Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark

The caption for this photo on the site I poached it from said, "Springsteen made it acceptable for men to wear bandanas around their heads." Bwahahahahahahahahahaha.

Ever since that song was first released, I have been puzzled.  I can understand Bruce changing his clothes and his hair; the Jersey Boy look can be sexy if you have an eye for what old school queens call “rough trade,” but it’s never stylish, and in the 80s the clothes and the hair from the Swamps Beyond The Bridge and Tunnels were almost as bad as they are now, as showcased on The Show That Cannot Be Mentioned on MTV.  But why would a man as handsome as Bruce Springsteen want to change his face?  After all, a man’s face is something that should not be changed by anything other than time.  For the fair sex, it’s as my former lover Daniel, the Giant Spanker of Celebrities, used to say: “Every vooman has a second face.  It’s called make-up.”

All I can think is that some irate ex-girlfriend of Spingsteen’s must have screamed the truth about his one facial imperfection during a heated smack-down Jersey-style breakup moment: “So you think you’re fuckin’ sexy, huh?  So does half the fuckin’ world!  But let me tell you something.  Do you have any fuckin’ idea how fuckin’ difficult it is to kiss a guy with an underbite?  Huh?  You practically have to hang upside down like a bat to do it properly.  And I’m sick of it!  I’m outta here!”  Which led Bruce to sit down and pen that song.  From then on, if he was going to dance, it would be in the dark so that no one could look at his underbite, which is a pity because it’s the key to his sexiness.

At the risk of being hauled up for cyber bullying with my relentless pursuit of Galliano, this post does pick up from the earlier pieces about him not just because of the work John has had done to his face, but because he’s got me thinking about my play Hatter and narcissism.  What makes anyone take a look in the mirror and not just want to change his clothes, his hair, his face, but take a scalpel to it and rearrange as much of it as he can afford?

A computer impression of what Michael Jackson would have looked like had he not had plastic surgery. I firmly believe that had he left well enough alone with his face, those traumatized boys wouldn't have sued.

Hatter is an extended riff on the Mad Tea Party, in which the Mad Hatter is now Matt Hatter, the Galliano/McQueen/Tom Ford rock-star fashion designer character, and Alice is a fashion journalist who has the goods on him.  One of the tropes I carry over from Alice in Wonderland is the looking glass, the mirror, how people perceive themselves.  The fashion designer, I state in the play, is the mirror that people hold up to themselves: he tells you how to dress, what you look better in, who you are going to be today.

I stumbled on the notion of the fashion designer-as-looking glass when I was writing the piece.  Actually, I stumbled on quite a few things when I was writing it, both intellectually and physically, but I’ll expound more about that when we get closer to production and I shed my inhibitions.  It wasn’t until I was living with a philosophy professor a couple of years later that I realized that this notion of the exterior world being a mirror of the self, in particular the libidinous self, is central to the teaching of modern French philosopher Jacques Lacan.  Basically, Lacan’s mirror stage, “typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image.”  I’ll leave it there and let you follow the Cliff Notes on Jacques Lacan via my Wikipedia links if you’re interested.  I need to keep this blog as light and fluffy as a Galliano tulle gown if I’m going to keep my readers, i.e., the fashion folk and the Amanda Seyfried breast-loving pervs, happy.

A fluffy Galliano-designed tulle gown. I just can't wrap my mind around how someone who can produce such beauty, and such vast quantities of such beauty, season after season, can reflect such ugliness.

Narcissism, as I discovered during an extended “spack out” I had in London over the fall/winter 2008-09 season, isn’t the same as having a dollop of normal vanity combined with healthy self-confidence.  The cause of said spack out, as the British call flipping out, was that I was taking the oncoming Recession personally.  It had to be my fault that everything was collapsing around me, only I was to blame that a trillion dollars of wealth had vanished, leaving the indie film business — never exactly a booming, flush industry to begin with — with nothing in the collective bank.  See, we rely on the discretionary capital of high-net-worth individuals to close most independent film deals, and suddenly there was nothing left, nothing was moving forward, and we were all tumbling towards nothingness.  In good ol’ Anglo-Australian-American fashion, I saw this as entirely my doing: my small overdraft at the bank had collapsed the world economy in a butterfly effect.  That had to be it because I was raised to believe that had to be it; all problems in our lives are our fault, aren’t they?  And the only possible explanation for this colossal, recession-causing fault of mine was that I had a major personality disorder.

So I hopped onto Our Lord Google, Omniscient God of Everything and Everything Else, and scoured directories on mental illness, the DSM IV, the WikiWonderWorks, you name it.  Then I found the cause of it all:  Narcissism Personality Disorder, a.k.a. NPD.  That was me.  It spoke to me, it rang true.  Years of running from the horrible truth were over.

But a blind test was in order.  I needed proof before I committed myself to an institution, and if not an institution then to intensive outpatient psychiatric care courtesy Her Majesty’s NHS.

I printed out a list of the symptoms without a heading or an explanation and handed them with great drama and flourish to the aforementioned philosophy professor, who shared my bed and knew me best.  “Read this, Jonathan.  And tell me who this reminds you of.”

Jonathan read.  “I dunno, who does it remind me of?”

“Me?”

“No.”

“Oh, come on.  You mean I don’t have even one of these characteristics?”

“Not really.  No.”

I was crushed.  I needed not one, but at least five to be considered an NPD.  But there was still hope: why should I believe the one person that I had purposely brought into my life to convince me I was sane and wonderful when I clearly wasn’t?  Just having Jonathan around was part of the pathology of my NPD.  Luckily, our friend Helen, a psychologist and social worker who spent her days “sectioning” people, which is the British equivalent of forcibly committing people to mental institutions, came over for a cup of tea and a “rollie.”  Helen is a great character: soothing alto voice, big Amy Winehouse black bouffant, fifties glasses, bright red lipstick.

“Go on, Jonathan, tell her,” I said.

“James thinks he’s a narcissist,” Jonathan said.

“And he doesn’t believe me,” I added.

“You’re not a narcissist, darling,” Helen said with calm authority while she finished rolling her cigarette.  “You’re just an American.”

In the end, Jonathan and Helen and Mayoclinic.com convinced me I didn’t have NPD nor any major personality disorder.  All I have is somewhat elevated levels of vanity by British standards, but relatively normal levels of it for an American.  And just because most hours of the day I tend to be preternaturally confident when many people around me aren’t, doesn’t make me a narcissist.

Damn.

True narcissists are delusional.  When I say that there are a lot of narcissists around here, it’s because Hollywood attracts people who really do have NPD.  It’s what makes this “Hollyweird.”  Like all completely or partially insane people, their inner Lacanian mirrors are cracked or warped, as I believe Galliano’s might be, even though it would be up to his shrink to diagnose him, not some blogist who caused him to be spanked one night seven years ago in Paris.

Having said all that, it’s time for me to admit I don’t really fancy myself the gay Hugh Hefner, as I’ve stated in earlier postings.  It just sounded sensational. I’m not even sure I like his baby oil regimen, which I was inspired to try after that NY Times article about him; I feel more leathery, not less.  Actually, I feel parchmenty.

George Clooney's neck wattle, which makes him the straight James Killough.

What I really delude myself as being is the gay George Clooney.  This is not just because both he and I are getting sexier as we get older; although, truth be told, anything is sexier than when I was a tall, lanky, out-of-shape youngster.  The main reason I am the gay Clooney is because we both have the same drooping wattle folds between our chins and necks.  I noticed his the other day while watching The American.  I am a bit younger than Clooney, so I just have one wattle, which is starting to come in like a wisdom tooth.  No doubt it will be joined by another soon, and I’ll be more like Clooney than ever.  They’ll be my wisdom wattles.

I don’t know if Clooney does anything to his face, if he botoxes or fills in wrinkles.  I don’t intend to, even though my sister thinks I should inject something in the accordion action happening around my neck.  Nah.  Just cover the mirrors, people, cos I’m going out like Eastwood, making movies and lookin’ like a Shar Pei puppy.

I shall leave you today not with a celebrity tit picture, we’ve moved on from those, but with a joke a young friend just shared with me via text.

Question: If Marilyn Monroe were alive right now, what would she be doing?

Answer: Clawing at her coffin.

Apparently that is from Chuck Palahniuk.

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Go Out There and Be Funny

Today we have the post-mortem of the Oscars, which is only interesting to the kind of people who still read the newspaper in paper form, and to people like me who are left baffled, and require some sort of grief counseling.  Truth be known, I’ve only ever been completely satisfied with an Oscar ceremony once, and that was the year The Last Emperor won.  I was just smitten with that film.  I was lucky to be a magazine editor at the time, so I booked myself and my friends into countless screenings of the film, and championed it ardently wherever I could.  Clearly I identified with the poor, misunderstood boy emperor who floated around a gilded cage swathed in silk to a score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, lit by Vittorio Storaro.

James Franco butching it up in an impression of Marilyn Monroe that really wasn't as funny as Anne Hathaway pretended. The fact he played it like a frat bro in drag was disappointing.

So let’s analyze the analysis of last night’s ceremony by the grown ups of news, the New York Times.  Alessandra Stanley says that the”The producers cast the young stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts, then kept the writing old and hoary,” which sounded like a personal comment directed at me and my love life.  Franco and Hathaway were almost show-stoppingly nervous and downright bad right at the beginning just after that brilliant Inception mash-up video they did with Alec Baldwin and Nelson Mandela.  That video was the highlight of the evening, along with the Bob Hope hologram with portions of an old broadcast, which as the NY Times pointed out, underscored just how lame the writing for last night’s show really was.  I do not agree that Kirk Douglas merely “did his best,” as the Times says; it’s the first time in my life I actually liked the guy.

This is the James Franco in drag we know and love, for the cover of trannie magazine Candy, photo by Terry Richardson.

The big upset was David Fincher’s loss.  I couldn’t help but hear the words of a director friend of mine, “Harvey Weinstein is truly evil.”  Indeed, after what happened last night, with a decent but insipid film like King’s Speech upsetting the far more accomplished Social Network, one can only think that Harvey has pulled off the ultimate impossible financing deal and re-mortgaged his soul to the devil.  And this is just when I’d thought the devil had had enough of Harvey and had moved on to my landlady Susan Blais.

Bringing this all back to to the subject of me, watching Franco and Hathaway clash like oil over water – he basically flipped the finger to the Academy with his attitude, treating them to what his generation really thinks about this crap, while she ran off in the opposite direction and sucked up to the establishment — reminded me of the one time I have ever experienced a large-scale televised awards thing like this, which was when I hosted the Miss India Pageant in 1993.  As I like to say, it is something every American should do once in his lifetime.

The reason I was cast as the host is ridiculous in the first place.  A friend of mine was co-producing it, and as this was the first time India was televising the event, they wanted it to look as professional as possible, which meant having an American white man do it.  This was at a time when India was still reinventing herself and feeling insecure about being Indian, so hiding behind an American — a native New Yorker, no less, who was spoon-fed bravado from when he could barely stand in his crib — seemed like a good idea.  In principle.  I had begun my film career in India, see, and had lingered for long enough to start to speak Hindi, which meant I could pronounce the names with some degree of accuracy (linguistically speaking, Hindi has some tricky consonant groupings, and if you aren’t spoon-fed them in your crib, they are very difficult to pronounce).

The producers’ biggest mistake was thinking that, because they thought I looked like David Letterman, I would be funny.  This was typical racial profiling as practiced by non-whites: they think we all look alike.  No white person would every mistake me for Letterman, especially a white comedian.  Just because I liked to lounge around Mumbai on a Rajasthani divan high on opium and ganja, shredding my world with acerbic alacrity didn’t mean I was ready for the level of impromptu comedy that would soon be required of me, in front of over a billion people across Asia, from the Middle East to Hong Kong.

Four days before rehearsals were meant to begin for the pageant, thirteen bombs exploded in different places Mumbai, a mini-9/11.

The Mumbai Stock Exchange after the March, 1993 blasts

One of the targets was the Centaur Hotel, a well-intentionally designed structure that looks like the prow of a beached ocean liner in Juhu, which fortuitously rhymes with Malibu because that’s sort of what it is in relation to the rest of Mumbai geographically; i.e., it’s up the coast from the main city and is a well-to-do enclave. The comparisons stop right there, though.  This is India, so Juhu is plenty funky, and at the time the Centaur Hotel was a complete shithole, albeit classified as a 5-star shithole by the Indian government because, of course, it was run by the Indian government.  I say was a complete shithole because I noticed in Slumdog Millionaire that it was closed for business and being renovated; it’s that abandoned hotel the heroes hide out in for a while.  I’m glad it has (hopefully) been brought up to it’s potential; I always thought that architecturally it was a great concept.

The Miss India pageant was supposed to take place in the bombed-out Centaur, so naturally I assumed that the show would be cancelled or at the very least postponed.  Not at all.  There are a handful of countries that take their pageants very seriously; in places like India, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, it is like the women’s World Series.  The show would go on, even though most of the entire ground floor of the hotel was blasted out.  Not to be outshone, I decided on going, what the hell, it’s a lark, so I packed my bravado, copped some Xanax for those post-large-scale-terrorism-attack willies combined with stage fright (we all know those), and hopped on a plane from Delhi to Mumbai for rehearsals.

When I got there, I noticed they were constructing this massive runway down the middle of the Olympic-sized pool in the center of the hotel right down to the beach.  I could see them building it from my room on the top floor of the hotel.  It was in the shape of a Byzantine double crucifix.  I came to think of that as symbolic over the upcoming days.

The inner courtyard of the Centaur Juhu Hotel, showing my pool of doom, over which the catwalk was built. My room was on the top floor, center, right hand side. The entire ground floor was blackened from the blast that had ripped through the hotel shortly before we started rehearsals.

Just after I checked in, I was sitting in my room catching up with a friend of mine, Milind Soman, a male model turned actor, with whom I had shared another adventure a few years earlier, during which he proved himself to be one of the few real stand-up guys I have ever met in my life.  New Yorkers would call him a mensch.  While we were catching up, the phone rang.

“Is this James Killough?”

“Yes.”

“There’s a bomb under your bed,” said the caller, clearly not the hospitality desk welcoming me to the hotel and making sure everything was all right.  Now, you would think given what had just happened across Mumbai that I would get up and bolt from the room.  But for some reason, maybe trying to impress mensch-of-mensches Milind sitting opposite me, I just looked under the bed and replied, “No, there isn’t.”

“Then you are a target the night of the performance,” said the caller, and hanged up.

Milind Soman, whom I sadly haven't seen in a donkey's age, but I'm pleased to see he's now the spokesman for Just For Men, which I use on my beard, but I would use on my hair if I had enough.

Much as I would have liked to ignore the call, the sensible thing to do was to tell the producers, given that this was a climate akin to post-9/11 New York.  The whole production was instantly put under lockdown, and we weren’t allowed to go outside hotel for any reason.  And we were three days or so away from the main performance.  I was assured there would now be elite force snipers covering me from the roof and a Black Cat commando embedded every fifth person in the sizable audience for good measure.  Great.  Suddenly I felt like was really the host of the Miss Israel Pageant taking place on the Gaza Strip.

Indians are nothing if not expert reassurers.  It’s that sway of the head, the “no problem, don’t worry,” their charm.  You buy it every time no matter how long you’ve lived there, no matter how well you speak the language.  Why?  Because they themselves buy it.

I was promised a rehearsal, but didn’t get one the entire three or four days leading up to the performance, during which I basically twiddled my thumbs in my room.  I was this afterthought who was somehow going to wing it with a script I had written.  I was invincible, I didn’t need what mere mortal performers needed,  because I was David Letterman. Everyone else scurried around, the girls going off to swimsuit contests and shopping sprees and congeniality competitions and other Miss Country things, while the crew frantically tried to prepare for an event they had never staged this on this level before.  Again, this was the first time the Miss India Pageant was to be televised.

In case you didn't get the point, I shall belabor it. Another scene from the Mumbai blasts shortly before the Miss India pageant.

As my crucifix runway was being built, the backdrop went up as well.  It turned out to be an enormous peacock, from which I was to emerge at the beginning of the show and make my way down this sweeping staircase.  Just like Liberace.

Ugh.  I was pre-embarrassed for myself.   The Xanax stopped working.  Rudderless, rehearsal-less, increasingly nervous, I snuck out of the hotel to the house of one of the pageant judges next door, an actress with whom I had worked on the first film I ever wrote, which had brought me to India in the first place.  The judge wasn’t there, but her willfully insouciant sister was.

“What are you worried about?” the sister said breezily, as if being forced to perform for two hours in front of a billion people across Asia (in rerun) without a rehearsal, with snipers on the roof, commandos in the audience, K-9 bomb squad dogs behind stage and around it — a stage crowned by a peacock I would emerge from like some burlesque fan dancer, no less — when you have never done anything remotely like this in your life, and you only got the gig because of erroneous racial profiling, weren’t enough to justify a wee case of the jitters.  “The contest is rigged anyway,” she yawned. “Everyone knows that.  Just relax.”

Oh, great.  Thanks, friend’s sister.  Now I have to be the spokesperson for petty pageant corruption on top of everything else.

I am not a quiet, retiring type.  If something bothers me, I’m gonna let you know.  And I was getting pissed as hell.  Still, I was lulled into the usual reassurance with the swaying heads, and lots of “What rubbish!  Of course it’s not rigged!”  As proof, there was going to be a terminal in my podium that would be linked directly to the judges and their voting tabulation.  Furthermore, this terminal would act as a sort of teleprompter for my script.  My friend’s sister had to be wrong.

Indian Army Black Cat Commandos bouncing around. Yes, I willingly put my life in their hands, all in the name of beauty pageant.

I’ll never know what happened in the hour leading up to the performance to cause the mysterious malfunction of the judge’s voting tabulation system linked to the terminal in my podium, which likewise didn’t work.  Maybe the judges rebelled against the rigging and couldn’t be trusted to vote the right way.  Given what happened at the end of the performance, I would like to imagine that something like that happened, that my friends and colleagues had had a crisis of conscience, as I still have.  I’ve never spoken to them about it because I fled in such a hurry and returned to Bombay only years later.

Just before the performance began and my name was announced, before I emerged from the embarrassingly camp peacock, with snipers overhead, a throng of models and contestants backstage, and nausea in my stomach, I said to the stage manager, whom I shall call Deepak to protect the complicit, “How the fuck am I supposed to do this reading from a script I haven’t rehearsed?”

“Don’t worry,” he said.  “Just go out there and be funny.”

The 1993 Miss India Pageant wasn’t just rigged in a subtle way, it was a full-blown 18-sail-ship rigging in plain view of everyone in the audience, the contestants, judges, and me, its spokesperson.  The show wasn’t broadcast live, but it was still difficult to mask what happened in the final edit that was shown to over a billion people across Asia, in rerun.

The first hiccup occurred towards the last third.  There was something strange going on in the manual relay of information between the judges and me, which lead me to accidentally read out the real semi-finalists they had actually voted for, not what the producers wanted, which meant that one of the girls, who would of course go on to win second place, was accidentally eliminated.  We had to go back and redo that portion of the show, and eliminate the girl who was supposed to have won, whose name I had already read out, who had mistakenly celebrated a victory that was likely hers to begin with.

In the heat of the moment, I still had time to muster moral indignation — the unfairly eliminated girls, who like me had refused to believe the rumors of rigging, were sobbing backstage — and turned to Deepak when I was offstage for a moment in the wings, “It’s rigged!”

“So what,” he replied with a shrug.  “You’re doing a great job.  Keep going.”

Despite everything, I suppose I had managed to locate my inner David Letterman and was actually managing to be humorous.  No longer.  I wasn’t amused and was seriously contemplating walking off.

Just before the end, I was given a note in handwriting I recognized, James, Please read these names out, and it was signed, the Judges. And the names of three girls who should have won were there, not the names of the three who ended up with crowns on their heads.  Had I read the real winners out, they would simply have made me go back and redo it, and I was tired of this shit.  What had started out as a fun lark had turned into yet another Mumbai nightmare.

Namrata Shirodkar, the woman crowned as Miss India, but who probably wasn't the real winner.

Now, maybe this was an elaborate set-up, we will never know.  Maybe that wasn’t really a note from the judges, but like I said, I had worked with two of them for a long time, and knew a few of the others.  And I had been warned by almost everyone that the show was going to be rigged and that the girl who was crowned, Namrata Shirodkar, was going to win it, which I just refused to believe possible.

I left that note on the podium, along with the microphone I threw down in disgust once the lights cut and the cameras were off.  On my way out, I said to Deepak, “I’m not going to say anything about this, but I want cash, and you can pay the taxes,” and left on the 1 a.m. Air India flight back to Delhi.  They did pay me a month later over a Thai meal in Delhi, in cash, literally under the table.  I hope they paid the taxes.  After all, the organizers and producers of the event were none other than the venerable Times of India.

Well, after telling that story, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to insert my signature picture of Amanda Seyfried’s breast.  So I’ll leave you with a more chaste picture of her having an orgasm instead:

Amanda Seyfried having an orgasm while looking at her lesbian lover's shoes in "Chloe." (Oh come, all ye pervy keyword searchers! Join me!) This orgasm is distinct from the one enjoyed by Julianne Moore in an earlier scene, when Julianne was being fingered by Amanda. In this one, Amanda is having sex with Julianne's character's teenaged son. The film is kinda filthy if you think about it, not when you watch it, though.

And the video below isn’t funny at all.  I take back what I said about John Galliano having been provoked in my blog a couple of days ago. I apologize for it, and it certainly doesn’t look like anyone from my crew is going to be offering him work soon, even if he were inclined to do it.  I take Galliano’s passing on doing the costumes for Hatter a few years ago at its word and cease and desist from further endeavor to convince him otherwise.

“Bonjour, Jean-Paul?  It’s me, James …”

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A Man Snogging A Girl’s Breast

The title of this post comes from a search term that showed up on my WordPress Dashboard, which as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I am addicted to for the time being.  Some British titty-phile wanted to see a man macking on a girl’s boob, and found my blog. All I can say is, bless the very horny, for they perpetuate the race.

I should just rename this entire blogsite Filthy and Filthier and drop the Pure Film Creative pretense.  I am clearly no longer concerned with attracting clients who are going to pay me vast sums to jazz up their content, which is typically cavalier and short-sighted of me.  It seems I would rather sit here cackling like Liberace on E while I tinkle out mildly offensive caustic badinage that is entirely inappropriate as a writing sample.  Oh, well.

Can you believe this man ever existed? Not only that, but led a double life as Elton John? These are the kinds of aliens who brand gays as "flaming." I am glad that Soderbergh is doing the bio-pic. Not so glad Michael Douglas is playing the lead because he's a bit of a dick who chews with his mouth open, although he seems to have changed his spots since the cancer scare.

Every decade or so, a sentence leaps out at me in some random article I am reading that changes my life.  I like to think of this as a manifestation of my personal karmic wheels grinding and showing me The Way, albeit an M.C. Escher-esque way; my life is nothing but karmic wheel cogs twisting impossibly on each other, with medieval men in tights and hoodies marching up and down stairs that seem interconnected but are really just illusions.

A case in point was an article in People magazine way back in 1986 that described the tragic death of Olivia Channon, a Guinness cousin.  She ODed on heroin and too many cocktails called “Heaven Can Wait” in Gottfried von Bismarck’s dorm room at Oxford.  People described the cocktail as a mixture in equal portions of vodka, champagne and orange juice.  I immediately went out and tried this elixir, and it worked: it was the pre-Red Bull buzzy-fun cocktail that got you raucously drunk as opposed to woozy drunk.  I think it  must have been the massive sugar rush of orange juice and champagne combined with the alcohol.  I drank Heaven Can Waits until the budget ran out, and then drank them again when the budget came back.  I’ve always thought it was the best use for champagne, no matter how expensive the brand.

Count von Bismarck, in whose bed my cocktail muse Olivia Channon died, fully clothed because apparently she just passed out there; Gottfried was a homo. More precisely, he was described in his own recent obit as "a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies." Man after my own heart. It appears that 24 years after Olivia kicked the bucket in his bed, he ODed on heroin, too. See the things you find out when you Google Image?

More or less the same epiphany thing happened the other day when I read the New York Times article about Hugh Hefner.  So inspiring.  Apparently, he has kept his skin so soft and youthful by slathering it with baby oil.  It is said by his concubines that he glows in the dark as a result.  My life changed at that moment.  Heaven could wait no longer.  I needed to become a baby oil man just like Hef.

Even though I fancy myself the gay Hugh Hefner, I don't want that chair. The chick can stay if she's really funny.

Los Angeles is basically an artificially irrigated  desert.  Much as I admire Clint Eastwood and, like many middle-aged still-hopefuls, aspire to his late-life career, I don’t want my skin to look like a dusty vintage stuffed armadillo sitting in the back of an antiques store in Midland, Texas.  Nor do I have the finances that Madonna has to embalm myself every night in super-refined petroleum byproducts like an Ancient Egyptian Queen rehearsing for the hereafter.  So baby oil it has become, once in the morning, once before bed.  Tiny amounts of it, of course; I don’t want to seem too greasy.  But I have already started glowing.  By the time I am ready for my nieces to change my Depends, a prospect I love to tease them with, I intend to have become the infant Pitt in the first scenes of “Benjamin Button.”

Speaking of aging eccentrics, the world of fashion is aflame and agog for the first time since McQueen’s suicide with the news of John Galliano’s suspension from the House of Dior.  He got into some smack-down spat in a café in the Marais, Paris.  They called him ugly, he called them Jews or Asians, or maybe he was so drunk he mistook Asians for Jews, nobody is sure which.  I’ve only met the man briefly, but we were both very drunk, so it seems incredible to me that he wasn’t massively provoked.  At the risk of sounding like a complete nancy, no matter what John looks like on the outside, there is nothing ugly about a man who produces such breathtaking beauty.

The feral rake-hell John Galliano holding a lethal weapon.

If and when Hatter gets going again as a play next season in London, I will go back to John to ask him to design the costumes.  When it was a film with me directing, he turned me down on the grounds he wanted creative control.  We still met in Paris at the couture shows in 2003 (yes, we’ve been in development with Hatter that long) and had the aforementioned very funny, very inebriated evening together.  Or I thought it was funny; I’ve been dining out on the story ever since.  It involves a six-foot-five, 21-year-old German kid and some spanking.  If he and I don’t work together, which is likely, I’ll blog the story at a later date, again in conjunction with the production of Hatter. So be warned, John: either do the costumes or I’m spilling the beans. [Fuck that shit.  I take all of that back.  I hope I’ve made up for it in this post.]

Now that I’ve peppered this blog with ramblings about eccentric old queens, let me stop calling the kettle African-American and jump into the fray with my own pic, which will get added to Google Image searches of me:

This picture was taken of me, James Killough (need to put the name in for Google bots) three years ago by fashion blogger Pippa Brooks from Madame Says. Note that even blurry you can see my skin is heading for stuffed armadillo in Midland, Texas. And this was three years ago. The benefit of slathering myself with baby oil is not just that I'll look and smell like Hugh Hefner when I'm 85, but when you take a picture of me in a crowded, smoky pub like this again, the flash will reflect so intensely off my shiny head that my face will appear blasted out.

And a big shout-out (Christ, I hate that expression) to my new buddy Old Ancestor, who has left a couple of lust-riddled comments to the right of this column.  Because this particular blog ended up kind of homo sordidus, I thought I’d straighten things up a bit by taking a screen shot of Amanda Seyfried’s “side boob,” as Peter from Family Guy calls it.  Here you go, Old Ancestor buddy.  My regards to your wife:

Amanda Seyfried's breasts have become my entire raison d'être on WordPress. I need to collect every pixel I can that showcases those lovely billies, until this blog rivals Huffington Post. "Killough sells blog based on Seyfried breast for $350 million." Yes!

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Natalie Portman Carrying Satan’s Child

The title of this is an experiment.  It seems that when I write about hookers and celebrities the hits to this blog spike.  I figured that if I threw the devil in the mix I might attract Mel Gibson’s crowd as well. Yesterday’s backhanded self-help blog, which I tried to masquerade as vitriol flung at my (in my opinion) psycho landlady, Susan Blais, has the lowest rating ever. Clearly nobody out there wants to hear about how I’m pulling myself up by my bootstraps and soldiering on.  Hmpf.  All they care about is Amanda Seyfried’s boobs.

The obdurately angelic Natalie Portman. And they complain that there are no movie stars like there used to be. Just look at that swan's neck, wouldya? If Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco, can you blame Natalie for doing one better and shacking up with the Prince of Darkness?

The reason I’m picking on Natalie is she is number one today on the IMDb Starmeter, which is a ranking of who has the most hits on the IMDb public page, as opposed to the IMDbPro page.  So by making this about her, I’m hoping for more hits to my blog when scandalized Googlers, who always suspected there was something fishy about that Portman girl, just way too nice, tune in here to get the real story about her hooking up with The Horned One.

Now, we people in The Biz are not supposed to care about our IMDb ranking, it’s decidedly not cool.  At most we use IMDBPro for its industry news aggregation and because it has a reasonably up-to-date listing of who represents what actor.  But I’ve just looked mine up for this blog (honestly, I swear, I never look at it), and I’m the 265,783rd most famous person on the IMDb, which is weird because last week my ranking was 444,840.  Hmmm. I know last week’s because the Starmeter keeps a record of it, and because last week I was writing about the IMDb for an audition web content article I scribbled for InteractMedia in which I commented about my lowly status in the industry, and I looked it up then.  So this means that people have been hitting the IMDb looking for me.  But I have had no news posted about me lately, nothing to warrant a surge of close to 50% in popularity.  I’m now paranoid.  What if it is the (in my opinion) villainous Susan Blais and her minions scouring the web for information about me to add to the pyre on which she intends to burn me alive?

A screenshot of my IMDb Starmeter page in detail. Note that I was extremely unpopular over Christmas; I dipped below one million, shamefully. Normally I would feel unloved except I remember that my bike was stolen on Christmas day, so obviously someone out there, albeit some junkie, was thinking about me.

We’re not supposed to care about this because those of us who are so lowly on the Starmeter rating system know that the big kids, the real celebs, the people ranked above 20,000, don’t give a damn about the IMDb, much less their Starmeter rating.  They don’t post pictures to their profiles, those are pulled from news services, or managed personally by IMDb staff members, I’m guessing.  I learned my lesson about this shortly after they invented the Starmeter and like a total dweeb I congratulated Louise Ward on her client Channing Tatum making the number one spot, currently occupied by Natalie Portman, who may or may not be carrying the spawn of Beelzebub; after all, her career has suddenly soared due to a horror movie, of all suspicious things.  Louise kinda went, “Huh? What’s that?  Oh, that IMDb thing.”  I felt small for caring.

The truth is there are people out there, people I work with, who do care very much about their ranking, much more than I do.  I won’t say who you are. Or maybe I will because I want your hearts pounding while you hold your breath and murmur, “Sweet, Jesus, James! Don’t let them know I monitor my rating!  I’ll option your script, promise!”  When I blog more about the HATTER dramedy two years ago, I’ll even introduce you to some characters who had pictures taken purposely, professionally for their IMDb profiles — that (in my opinion) is the height of dweeb.

I remember another Starmeter rating moment when I was having lunch at the Cannes Festival with a producer of mine in 2008.  This was the peak of my rating: I was above 70,000 that week.  When I told my colleague he said, “You bitch! Mine has never gone above a hundred thousand AND I’VE JUST PRODUCED A FILM WITH ROBERT PATTINSON.”

Yes, he’s gay.

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Let My People Go

A very sweet thing happened last night.  One of the younger denizens of the dormitory-slash-tenement I wound up living in by some cruel twist of luckless fate came by to offer his support in my defense against the (in my opinion) nefarious Susan Blais.  He not only offered to testify at my upcoming court appearance, but suggested I spearhead a “class action” suit on behalf of most of the beleaguered residents of this shithole.  I’ve been feeling like Moses all day, with the theme song from “Prince of Egypt” playing on maximum rotation in my head.

Charleton Heston as Moses, history's most famous schizophrenic after Jesus Christ (burning bushes talking to you? time to reach for the anti-psychotics, buddy). This was before he dropped the staff and picked up a gun on behalf of the NRA. We preferred the old weapons; more flair.

My young friend guilelessly believes that just because I have the “moral upper hand” that I will win.  I explained that legal right and moral right are two very different things.  Ms. Blais has the legal right based on a technicality and she is exercising it, as is her right as the owner of this property.  She is doomed to win.  It will be probably be a Phyrric victory, as most assaults of this kind against my august person usually are, but that is neither here nor there: I want out of here, a.s.a.p, and suggested to my young friend that he and whoever else wants to join in the so-called class action suit to do the same rather than fighting a wacko over control of her own property.  Possession is nine-tenths of the law, which includes possession by Satan, apparently.

He said, “I never like to say this about a woman, but she is a real cunt.”  Jinx!  That’s exactly the word I muttered when I got my summons.

Indeed, justice can work as often against you as it can for you.  As I said in a previous post, in this case I am a victim of justice.  And it’s nice to know that everyone around me agrees.  It will give me courage when I raise my staff in court and bring a plague of locusts down to ravage Ms. Blais’s entire property portfolio and slaughter her first born sons.

Mistaking moral right with legal right is completely understandable for people outside the law industry.  Just because you are right, doesn’t mean they can’t make you wrong, or in this case, just because what Susan Blais is going to me is wrong, doesn’t mean she isn’t within her rights to do it.

Web page for my contentious film HATTER.

I learned the distinction between moral and legal right a couple of years ago, when my film project HATTER was under siege from various directions.  It was flattering that it caused such a brouhaha, but it wasn’t pleasant to discover that, even though wrong was being done to me, I “didn’t have a leg to stand on,” as Alan Cumming put it so aptly when he called  me from the set of Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” in Hawaii.  He capped the conversation with, “Come on, James, this is Hollywood.  You know how it goes,” meaning I should capitulate to the meanies, and furthermore ought to be coerced into doing it by that cliché.  Yes, but Alan, darling, I’m not a bottom, I don’t take it up the ass from anyone. So I thought about it for a while, and understood that, while the moral upper hand felt good, doing the right thing by the project felt even better, so I turned the screenplay into a stage play and called a holdback on the film while everyone simmered down.  It’s now being cast in London, with the wonderful Sean Mathias directing.

To stick with the biblical theme, what happened to HATTER was sort of like the Judgement of Solomon: in order to keep my baby alive, rather than have it butchered by the opposition, I gave it over to someone else. Provided  it lives, let it be raised by another parent.  As the play goes up this year (hopefully; it’s an extremely edgy piece, not for the squeamish), I will blog more about it and fill you in with the details of what happened during that period.

It’s quite the story, with quite a few morals.

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