DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

21 unlucky gay porn stars *

* (restored)
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November 22, 1993: ‘Porn superstar Christopher Lance (The Young and the Hung, Inch By Inch, Passion of the Crack, Screamin’ for Semen, Eat a Dick Til You Hiccup, a.o.) was stabbed to death in Dallas, Texas by an unknown assailant during what was described by witnesses as a lover’s quarrel. In a strange coincidence, Lance, whose real name was John Kennedy, was pronounced dead in the same hospital room and on the same day that President John F. Kennedy had been pronounced dead thirty years before.’ — ifad.com

 

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‘Oklahoma City, November 29, 2007: An alleged white supremacist and former gay porn star has been charged with murdering a gay man in what officials say may have been part of a gang initiation. Darrell Lynn Madden, 37, a popular performer in 1990s gay porn videos under the name Billy Houston (pictured), was charged on Wednesday with the October slaying of Steven Domer, 62.

‘Domer, who friends said was gay, was last seen Oct. 26 near a car wash, according to court papers. A witness said Domer had been talking to two men who matched the description of Madden and [Brian] Qualls. Cops found Domer’s car near Madden’s house the next day. They found his body in a ravine one week later.’

 

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July 2004: ‘Russian porn model and actor Judy (real name Stano), best known for his work with the website Slovakiaboys. com, died of a massive overdose of heroin on July 20th. A police investigation ruled the death as homicide after a 64 year-old Russian man described by friends of the deceased as Stano’s sugar daddy confessed to having injected the young man with a fatal dose of heroin while in a jealous rage.’ — Europeanpornweb

 

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‘Jailed gay porn star Brad Woodruff who says he did not murder his parents will stay behind bars. The court found, when he was 19, Woodruff murdered his parents Norma and Dennis in their Royse City, east Texas home in 2005. He has spent 13 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit. Prosecutors said Woodruff, who had not yet come out when arrested, was capable of lying about murdering his parents because he was not openly gay. This was in despite of being a go-go boy in gay clubs and appearing in gay porn films. The prosecution said he was ‘failing’ at Abilene Christian University and had high credit card debt. Woodruff is serving a sentence of 7,000 years with no chance of parole. Woodruff has said his only hope is a new investigation to who actually killed his parents. He said if he gets to be released, he would want to work with horses and other animals. The former porn star also wants to resume his college education and help prisoners with wrongful convictions. ‘I do not want to be a party boy anymore,’ Woodruff said.’ — Gay Star News

 

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December 11th, 2009. ‘When police officers were called to attend a public disturbance between Andrew Grande and Crystal Amber Cronnon at Panama City Beach in Florida, the 23-year-old gay porn star rashly decided to hide his bag of marijuana by swallowing it. Officers spotted his foolhardy attempt at deception and told him to spit it out but the bag wasn’t in an accommodating mood and Grande soon began choking on it during the struggle that followed. When the star of Cocks in Paradise briefly broke free of the officers to try and remove the obstruction they helpfully tasered him. He snatched the taser prongs out of his body, fell to the ground and put his fingers down his throat in a failed attempt to induce vomiting. The bumbling officers attempted the Heimlich maneuver without success and soon Grande was on his way to the pearly gates. By sheer coincidence, a camera crew was on a ride along with the deputies and the entire sad, 3-minute affair was caught on film.’

 

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‘There is nothing I cannot tell you about Brad Chase. He was my biological brother. He and I were as close as twins. Having a gay biological brother is one thing. Being adult sex stars at the same time was pretty wild. Although in that aspect, I always seemed to get by on his coat tail.

‘Well, we went our separate ways for a while and he did NYC. He was having a lot of fun there, making a good living. He seemed very coherent when I called him to tell him that I had met my life mate 8 years ago. However, less than 2 months after that call, I was phoned by my mother in Kentucky. She said that he was on his way home to Kentucky on a bus because “God told him to go home.” He had left his dog and had nothing but the clothes on his back.

‘This was the beginning of a virtual nightmare in my life. Brad had taken a combination of drugs at a club with his so-called friend in New York. He snorted coke, took a couple hits of acid, and topped it off with some hard liquor and downers. This caused him to go into a psychotic episode in which he was paranoid, hearing voices, hallucinating, and struggling with the forces of good and evil within him. I drove from Chicago to Kentucky and brought him back to my 9th floor condo with my lover.

‘Mental illness was not something I had any experience with at all at that time. It was very frustrating to see the brother I knew to be so full of life and excitement, walking around in a zombie like state, refusing to eat, and talking about God and the devil all day. If there was ever a time for me to question the existence of God, it was then. All I knew was that no loving God that I could ever believe in would cause any of his followers to go psychotic. I just wanted my brother back. I didn’t care if he hated me when I was finished rehabilitating him, but I wanted him to be normal again.

‘I took him to the emergency room the day after and waited for hours until a doctor asked Brad to sign himself in. His signature was a sign of what was to come of psychosis, part two: He signed himself in under my name.

‘He made what seemed to be a miraculous recovery within a month of coming home with medications that had painful and weakening side effects.

‘Within three months he was almost back to his usual self, when he decided to move back to Kentucky with our mother. It was not a decision based on insanity, but I strongly advised against it.

‘It was in Kentucky that he met his lover through some personal ads. He moved in with this man in Salem, Indiana. Brad became domesticated. He was following my example of settling down with an sweet older man and living in a house, planting flowers and all that good shit. Suddenly, he was Martha Stewart in overdrive. I couldn’t have been happier for him.

‘His lover couldn’t have made a better first impression on me. He was friendly, outspoken and generous. Unfortunately, that impression changed very quickly when Brad called me a few months later and asked if he could move back in with me. He and his lover had a fist fight and had put each other in the hospital the night before in a drunken rage.

‘He started stripping at a club in Chicago and then made a big mistake by snorting coke one night. That cocaine started the second psychotic episode of his life. Luckily, I caught it very early. He was putting cream in his coffee to counteract the darkness of it which his psychotic personality found very evil. We always drank out coffee black.

‘I took him to the hospital. His recovery was very rapid, but the medication made it impossible for him to dance. He had more time on his hands to think about his lover and he decided to return to him. I was infuriated. How could he go back to that bastard? However, it was his life and he insisted. I couldn’t just kidnap him or hold him hostage until he saw things my way.

‘He started doing coke again and slipped back into the confused and fragile psychotic personality. I was not contacted until he was already hospitalized in Kentucky on a different medical treatment. I was 6 hours away by car, and my family decided they would handle this one.

‘The last thing that Brad needed was conversation with anybody who would feed his psychosis with religious validation. Brad was always gay. He had never been with a woman in his entire life. It was only during psychosis that his personality would change into a holy-roller. My family allowed him to visit with our old family preacher from the local Southern Baptist church when he got out of the hospital where he was told to walk in the light. This preacher took advantage of my brother’s unhealed mental illness to cause further damage to his psyche by condemning his entire adult life. It was Brad’s inability to live with the family when he started snapping out of it because of personality conflict. They liked him better when he was trying to stay straight, but the medications were starting to kick in and he was ready to go back to being gay, and the first stop was his lover’s house.

‘Unfortunately, it was also his last stop. They fought like crazy and had a hell of a rough time. Brad was trying to be independent, yet his lover wanted nothing but to control him any way he could. Their relationship swung very high and very low. Their good times were very good, but their bad times were more frequent and impacting. They were having sex outside the relationship and not being safe with each other. A medical visit came up with his lover having hepatitis B, and oddly enough Brad tested positive for hepatitis C. Ironically, Brad’s diagnosis was inaccurate, but he wouldn’t know that for a year. That year of thinking that he had a potentially fatal illness that could pop up at any time, put an incredible amount of stress on him. He sunk deep into alcoholism with his lover and started going out to gay bars on his own. His lover hated the idea of his man being out in the clubs without him. Brad was arrested for drink driving three times within that year and placed under home incarceration for 9 months.

‘One day he missed an AA meeting.

‘Brad had to walk home from work. He was watching T.V. that night when our little sister called him and he told her he couldn’t wait to go visit her and see her new baby. He was watching “Will & Grace” and laughing. His lover had not shown up, and Brad was pissed because he was missing his AA meeting. At 5 am the next morning I got a call from a friend of Brad’s lover, telling me he had hanged himself overnight.’ — Kyle Matthews

 

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Ted Cox (real name Michael Kelley) was a gay pornographic actor who made movies primarily in the 1980s and 1990s, primarily for Vivid Video. Cox provided a youthful look, and featured a bulldog tattoo on his right shoulder. His videography included Boys on the Block, Pay to Play and Sweet Meat Lost Innocence. He gained notoriety offscreen in 1991 when he was charged with the murder of an older male friend, Michael Frank, in New York City. Cox and Frank had supper together the night before Frank was found dead, having been stabbed 22 times. After spending over a year at Rikers Island prison awaiting trial, he was acquitted having successfully put forth an alibi defense. Following his release, Cox returned to the gay porn video scene, adorned by many more tattoos. His most successful video, Courting Libido, was set in a prison.

 

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Tim Barnett (born Bradford Thomas Wagner in Bismarck, North Dakota) was an American pornographic actor who appeared in forty-three gay and bisexual pornographic movies between 1993 and 2000. An Officer and His Gentlemen (1995) was his most popular. Following his exit from pornographic films, Wagner worked as a part-time snowboard instructor, and then as a real estate agent in Aspen, Colorado. He was arrested in June 2004 as a suspect in the rapes of five women between 1993 and 1998 at the Tantra Lake and Bridgewalk apartment complexes in Boulder, Colorado, an unsolved 1994 rape case in Lakewood, Colorado, and another in 1995 in Austin, Texas. According to law enforcement officials, DNA evidence linked him to the crimes. Wagner hanged himself with a bed sheet in his jail cell in Boulder, and died July 13, 2005.’ — Wikipedia

 

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Hollywood, California: On October 28, 1990, the head and feet of William Newton were found in a dumpster in an alley behind Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, Calif. Newton, a gay man, was also known as porn star Billy London. He did gay video work such as: Bulge: Mass Appeal, Hard Choices, Head of the Class, Hot Wired, Imperfect Strangers, and Sex Drive 2020. His gruesome murder was never solved.

 

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‘Look at what happened to Sean Moss. A lot of you may not recognize this name. How about the name Joshua Berlin? Both of these men are one in the same. Sean Moss (a.k.a. Joshua Berlin) was a porn star. He modeled for different web sites such as Bad Puppy and Freshman.

‘Whatever name you want to call him his body still turned up dead January 26th 2011 in the Platt River in Arapahoe County near Denver CO and the murder still goes unsolved to this day. When the autopsy was done heavy concentrations of meth and GHB was found in his system. Though it is a tragic story, you will never hear about it. Pat Sullivan, a name every person in the GLBT community should know, was finally put in front of a judge and sentenced to a month in jail and two years probation in association with a meth for sex scandal in his small town.

‘On November 29th 2011 Pat Sullivan was arrested and charged with possession of meth adjacent to an investigation of a “meth for sex” ring that had been going on for many years. Nobody brought up the fact it was Sean Moss’s death that made the investigators have a more scrutinizing eye into the activities of Pat Sullivan. Pat Sullivan is the same man who was the former Sheriff of Arapahoe County, appointed to federal drug task forces underneath the Clinton administration and was a cyber-terrorism expert. In other words he is a man of power and he abused his power by tricking everyone. He would tell the parents of these young men that he was “helping them get off meth”. What he was really doing was visiting these boys in a house and feeding their addiction to feed his own habit of control.

‘Pat Sullivan and Sean Moss had a misguided relationship. He had control over this young man through his ability to feed Sean Moss’s heavy drug addiction. Pat Sullivan bailed out Sean Moss after he was thrown in jail by his boyfriend for domestic disputes. Also he helped Sean Moss get a job at a local high school which he worked only thirteen days before his body was found in the river. Obviously, Pat Sullivan used his power to subjugate this young man in a jail that his chemical filled senses could not see, taste or touch. At the end Sean Moss was a boy looking for love in every wrong place and nobody was there to look out for him.’ — Next Ooze

 

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Jupiter, Florida; December 8, 2007: A gay porn star caught up in the mysterious death of New York hedge-fund millionaire Seth Tobias broke his silence Friday night and insisted he’s clueless about the case. “I’m happy to talk with the police,” said blond dancer and porn star Christopher Dauenhauer, who uses the stage name Tiger. The 31-year-old dancer and porn star – who has tiger stripes tattooed on his muscular body – said he hadn’t been in touch with the Tobiases and isn’t sure he ever met them.

“This guy may have had a fantasy about me,” he said. “Maybe during his drug binges, he got into this frame of mind where he built our meeting into a relationship. Or maybe he’d seen one of my videos,” he added, referring to porn flicks like Roar of the Tiger. Tiger said he performed at the gay club Cupids – where a bartender claims Tobias and his wife got lap dances – from 1999 to 2002. But a photo of the moneyman – who ran a $300 million fund and did guest spots on CNBC – didn’t ring any bells. “They have these back rooms at Cupids. They’re dark. I met so many people. It’s quite possible I met him during a private show,” he said. “He may have been this one guy I went with to the horse races. We spent quite a lot of time together. Did we have sex? I’m assuming we probably did.” Tiger’s agent, David Forest, downplayed speculation that Tobias may have left Tiger a chunk of cash in his will.

 

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Leo Ford (July 5, 1957 – July 17, 1991), born Leo John Hilgeford in Dayton, Ohio, was a popular 1980s pornographic actor who appeared in numerous gay and bi-sexual pornographic movies and magazines. He was considered a twink, and was at one time romantically linked to porn star Jamie Wingo. He was best known for his pairings with Lance in Leo & Lance and Blonds Do It Best, both directed by William Higgins. He died at the age of 34, a few days after being hit by a car while on a motorcycle in Laguna Beach, California with his lover, Craig Markle, who survived.

 

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Sergio Canali (May 9, 1963–August 15, 1994, birthname Paul Francis Sypek) was a pornographic actor (porn star) who appeared in numerous gay pornographic movies in the early and mid-1980s. He also performed as Paul Dirosa in films made by Man-Age Studios and William Higgins. Canali/DiRosa’s bext known films include The French Lieutenant’s Boy, Mikey Likes IT, and One in a Billion. Canali was kidnapped in 1992 while in Florence, Italy by an obsessed fan named Leonardo Vitti. An extensive police manhunt found no trace of him. Two years later, his and Vitti’s remains were found in the basement of an abandoned home belonging to Vitti that was in the process of being demolished. The cause of death in both cases remains unknown.’ — deadpornstars.net

 

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‘It was reported last April 2014 by Czech websites of the suicide of Leo Cooper (one of his gay porn names), where he documented his last moments on Facebook.

‘He earned 11 million for his work in gay porn – roughly $500,000 in US dollars (around $3000 per scene).

‘But, he was unable to find a steady job “He was a decent guy, trying to work. But whenever he came into a new job for a while his porn past would become known and he had to leave. He is truly an extremely well-known actor. He could not accept the fact that his people constantly blaming his former career.”‘ — Men of Porn

 

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‘Budapest, March 23, 2000: A model who was owed money by a gay director is said to have confessed to the stabbing death of director Steve Cadro, who was found murdered March 23 in Budapest, Hungary. Cadro, 52, who’s real name is Korda Istvan, worked with many of the overseas adult companies and distributed titles through All Worlds, Bel Ami, Sarava Productions and Jet Set. He is best known for his recent video The HUNGarians nominated at the GayVN 2000 awards for Best Foreign Release and distributed by Kristen Bjorn’s Sarava Productions.

‘Cadro was found stabbed more than 50 times around the head and back in his apartment in his native Budapest only a day before he was headed to Cuba to shoot an adult video. Hungarian police arrested a young man, identified as a former model named Sanyi and has charged him with the crime. According to sources close to the director, the former model was also a former lover of Cadro’s. The model is married and has a small child and lives near Budapest. Cadro is said to have had many past problems with models, including non-payment of many videos he made for Cadro.

‘A cleaning lady working across the street from Cadro’s apartment saw the youth visiting the director and heard a fight, but saw no assault. She later identified the model to police and the youth had a large amount of cash in U.S. dollars on him. Friends concerned with Cadro’s absence later that day found a trail of bloody footprints leading out of the building and down the many flights of stairs from the top floor apartment. The largest amount of blood was found on the floor near the telephone revealing that Cadro may have tried to call for help after the stabbing, but wasn’t able to and bled to death.

‘Many sources contacted who knew Cadro said they were not surprised about the murder, and that Cadro often had volatile relationships with his models. In the past he would joke with other directors that he was “the devil” and dressed the part at a recent Halloween party. He was known in some circles as the “Beast of Budapest” or “The Birddog of Budapest.” No politicians, no models and few people from the adult industry showed up at his funeral in mid-April. It was a brief, non-religious service and a lone vocalist sang a song before the service. One elderly relative gave a brief eulogy, then four gravediggers carried the casket to an electric hearse, drove it 100 meters to the gravesite and lowered it by hand and shoveled dirt on top. He was buried in a simple wooden casket with “Korda Istvan, age 52” painted on the sides in gold leaf.’

 

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Atlanta, November 24, 2004: Barry Thomas “J.T.” Rogers, an actor who specialized in gay pornography, committed suicide on Nov. 7. He was 39.

Born in Milledgeville, Ga., Rogers was raised by fundamental Baptists and attended Bob Jones University in South Carolina. He moved to California in the late 1980s to pursue an acting career.

Rogers spent the next decade making a name for himself in the gay sex film industry. In 1993, he won Gay Video Guide’s Best Supporting Actor Award for his role as a mafia don in the film Body Search. Two years later, Rogers won a second supporting actor award for his performance in All About Steve. He appeared in over 35 adult films and was best known for playing the character Johnny Rahm.

Rogers moved to Atlanta in 1999 and tried working in stand-up comedy, but struggled financially. According to the Atlanta Police Department, he hung himself on the fence line of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

 

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Sebastian Young (a.k.a. Josh Noles) got arrested last year on five charges relating to allegedly raping his five-year-old daughter, possessing kiddie porn and threatening to kill an investigating officer. The 20 separate counts of kiddie porn included “enhance”” charges that hint at Noles possibly producing the porn and/or having his child appear in it. Authorities began investigating Noles after his daughter contracted an STD. Yeesh.

‘Noles apparently had an extensive rap sheet before all these charges though. Sire reports: Sebastian Young has been arrested at least three times for assaulting his wife, with charges eventually being dropped or not formally filed each time. Several years ago, he was arrested and convicted for assault on an elderly person over 65, for which he spent nearly two years in prison. Young has also been arrested at least eight times on multiple drug, DUI, burglary, traffic, and battery charges over the past 12 years.’ — Hornet

 

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‘Earlier this week, I received a tip that scenes featuring 18-year-old amateur gay porn star “Clay” had been removed without explanation from Corbin Fisher, where he had appeared in at least three movies this year. Today, I’ve learned that Clay was the suspect in a workplace shooting over the weekend (no one was hurt—but he did allegedly fire multiple rounds into the restaurant from which he had just been fired). Shortly after the shooting, Clay (legal name Christopher Luke McAteer) turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.’ — str8pgayporn

 

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‘Gay porn star Dave Slick has died at just 26 years old after an annual sex-themed expo. He had attended the Exxotica Expo, an annual adult convention, in Chicago. Police found him unconscious in the Qdoba restaurant bathroom on the 100 block of West Jackson on Friday morning (8 June). He was transported to Rush University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead 15 minutes later. Friends had said he was due to appear at the convention on Saturday, and reported him missing to police in the afternoon. Investigators had learned he died a day earlier.’ — Gay Star News

 

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‘Mr. Windham said he had no idea who he had hired until U.S. Marshals called him Thursday morning while he was in Las Vegas at a billiards trade show. He said he immediately Googled Mr. Andrews after the conversation, only to confirm that his new manager, who had worked at the club for only three days, was a self-professed British “porn star” and DJ who allegedly conspired with his porn actress girlfriend via text messaging to bludgeon to death Florida businessman Dennis “Scooter” Abrahamsen after a sex party in the victim’s Tampa-area home.

‘Graphic text messages exchanged between the pair the night of the killing seem to indicate excitement at what they allegedly planned to do, according to court documents provided by the Pasco County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office in which Mr. Andrews is charged with first-degree murder. “I’m (expletive) excited to (expletive) someone up,” writes Mr. Andrews’ girlfriend, Amanda Logue, in the wee morning hours of May 15. “I want to (have sex) after we kill him.”

‘Authorities said the couple made off with $6,000 in cash, the victim’s credit card and a video camera, waiting until others at the party left so they could carry out the killing.

‘A Twitter posting on May 14 by Mr. Andrews, who went by the screen name Addison and participated in gay porn, included a pornographic picture of Ms. Logue and the statement they were in Florida “killing time waiting for a party to find us.”

‘Two weeks later, Ms. Logue was in the Pasco County Jail, charged with first-degree murder for what authorities say happened after the sex party. On May 16, authorities found Mr. Abrahamsen face-down on a massage table in his living room with his head bashed in and multiple stab wounds on his upper back. He had a sex toy between his legs and blood was splattered all over the walls and ceiling fan, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s criminal complaint.’ — Times Free Press

 

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‘People within the porn industry and beyond are today mourning the death of 30-year old adult film star Erik Rhodes. Rhodes, known for flexing his enormous muscles for Falcon and then Raging Stallion studios, died of a heart attack that appears to have been caused by his regular steroid use.

‘According to FrontiersLA, Rhodes was in a dark place before his death. He posted the following message on his Tumblr the day before his death.’ — Pink News


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p.s. Hey. ** Dominick, Hey, hey! I’m good, good-ish. Yesterday, hm, I would say a 5, meaning it was just another one for the most part, or maybe a 6, okay. I got friended on Facebook by this super legendary (in my world at least) guy Kramer, who’s a musician (was in Butthole Surfers, Bongwater, other bands), producer (Low, Daniel Johnston, Galaxie 500, White Zombie, etc.) and ran the great record label Shimmy-Disc. So that was cool. Then it turned he’s a fan of my books and wants me to be on some spoken word album he’s producing. So that’s great. The best thing in the world is when someone you admire turns out to admire your stuff. It’s always so mindboggling. That was kind of the day’s highlight. Ouch, I hope the migraine’s gone. Do they pretty much die by the next day? I don’t know ‘Prisoners’. I’ll check it out. I really disliked his ‘Blade Runner’ movie, but I’ve heard some of his earlier stuff is good. I think I saw ‘Sicario’. I can’t remember what I thought, though. Anyway, I hope your head is clear as the veritable bell today and that your day took full advantage of that. Love transmitted to my fingers that subsequently type the world love, Dennis. ** David Ehrenstein, She is indeed. She lives in Paris. I’m going to meet up with her once we’re de-locked down. ** Montse, Montse!!!! I’ve been thinking about you and Xet so mjuch and wondering how you’re doing through all of this, so it’s really great and a relief to hear from you! I think you guys have it even harder than we do, from what I read. What a horrible mess, no? How you are spending your days and getting by? Is it as scary there as it sounds? It’s not exactly scary here, but it’s so weird and getting very tiresome. Zac, Michael, Bene, Milo are all just fine, at least as of yesterday. I figure if we’re all still okay, we’ll probably stay okay since it would be hard to get it under the circumstances here. Stay really safe! It’s wonderful to see you! Fill me in if you feel like it. Mega-love, Dennis. ** _Black_Acrylic, I think you’d like her films. There’s something sort of joyous about them. Good about getting the writing done. Are you still angling to finish that longer story by mid-month? ** Nick Toti Hi, Nick. No problem, man, I don’t even know what my mind is doing these days. Thanks a lot for laying out your anarchist clowning history. Very interesting. I sounds like pretty big fun. And thanks for the link. I’ll go watch the film. I’ve got time galore. Oh, and the series. Wow, I didn’t know about that project of yours. Cool, I’m on it. Yeah, thanks a lot, man. Hope your today happens happeningly. ** Misanthrope, All the luck there is on the querying front, man. I know the name Hari Kunzru. A bell is ringing, but I don’t know if I’ve read him. Give me a book report please. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Think I’ll skip ‘The Other Lamb’ then. Interesting: the actor’s interest and curiosity about your impetus. That McKamey doc sounds ridiculous. I think we should all collectively agree to have a Day Without Conspiracy Theories. I would prefer a Lifetime Without, but … Except the conspiracy believers think they’re the truth’s harbingers, so big nope on that idea. So tiresome. Look forward to your BR piece. Everyone, The Brooklyn Rail has just published an article by Mr. Erickson intriguingly entitled “Dance Punks Punk Dance”, so let’s go find out what in the world that title portends, shall we? Over here. ** Okay. Today you get a quite old and rather gritty restored post that will surely do something to you and maybe even curl your hair? See you tomorrow.

Marie Losier Day

 

‘Marie Losier’s artistic universe is built around friends, family and idols she summons in a crazy maelstrom. Mainly known for her work behind the camera (a Bolex 16mm wound every 30 seconds), the artist, for some years now, has exhibited monotypes and installations connected with her films.

‘Her imagery is inspired by the figures of the New York underground and experimental cinema of the Kuchar brothers to Paul Sharits, as well as by her accomplice Tony Conrad, and her new French friends Yann Gonzalez, Bertrand Mandico. She formed a part of this brotherhood during her years in New York. Others, like Felix Kubin, will come, thanks to her travels and her projects when back in Europe. They all are good times or bad times companions, faithful friends and the partners of a constantly changing and reconsidered art, which evokes Méliès as well as the clips on MTV and the beat poetry, the camp universe, Fluxus or video art and low fi.

‘Eyes are seen from the street; you are theatrically invited to pass through the colorful curtain in order to discover the effervescence sweeping through the the gallery. On one of the walls, the powerful and moving black and white drawing of a headless woman with animal feet, a hybrid character: inside her, she carries cameras, she brings to life a film, which will be animated through an eagle’s legged projector.

‘The film is in color and an animation of faces and color strobe light. It is a portrait, a melting pot of faces, which unreel successively to form just one. Farther, a few seconds long loops of images are shown in decorated boxes. These videos, reruns of the artist’s films, drawn from her rushes, give a new life to the protagonists in an overflowing and baroque showcase, like magic lanterns, which remind you of the beginnings of the cinema.

‘Marie Losier mingles, like North American artists know so well how to, her personal life with her work, into a euphoric and generous self-fiction. Her works depict a big and happy house, from which the parents would be away, leaving excited, full of imagination children, who burst out laughing while playing grown-ups. They build huts and flying saucers, dress up and paint their faces, cook, eat, laugh, sing and jump everywhere. They wear flowery bathing caps, octopuses and birds by way of headgear, they throw golden flakes, and, above all, they never forget to dance.’ — Emilie Flory

 

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Stills









































 

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Further

Marie Losier Website
Marie Losier @ Re:Voir
Marie Losier @ IMDb
Audio: Marie Losier :” Je conçois plutôt mes films comme des tableaux vivants”
PORTFOLIO: Marie Losier, portraits de famille
Marie Losier on Vimeo
Marie Losier @ Galerie Anne Barrault
Marie Losier @ Collectif Jeune Cinéma
Marie Losier bio, resume (en Francais)
Marie Losier @ Facebook
« Cassandro est tiraillé entre mille masques »
Marie Losier @ Art Jaws
Marie Losier @ Film-makers Coop
Marie Losier @ letterboxd
Q&A: Marie Losier
Love Song: Marie Losier on The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

 

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Extras


HELLO HAPPINESS! – Marie Losier (trailer)


Marie Losier. Confettis atomiques !


Interview de Marie Losier


Orlan meets Genesis (2009)

 

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Interview
from The Metrograph

 

Austin Dale: You lived in New York for 23 years. Why did you first move to New York from France?

Marie Losier: I was obsessed with New York since I was a kid, because I used to watch all the Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder movies. My parents had a cinema and we always showed those films. I was obsessed with American cinema. And then when I got older, I studied American literature, especially Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. I got a grant to do an exchange, to write a thesis on that subject. And I went to New York, but I never came back. And I didn’t follow the grants, and I didn’t write the thesis, and I went to art school in painting.

AD: How does one go from studying painting to making experimental films?

ML: It really began because I started working in a wonderful cineclub, Ocularis, and that lasted ten years, in Williamsburg. I acquired a Bolex that was a gift from Brian Frye, who was working with the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema. And so I went to the Millennium Film Workshop when Mike Kuchar was there, and I learned to use the Bolex from him. I made my first film without knowing anything, and it was a portrait of Mike Kuchar, Bird Bath and Beyond.

AD: Were you aware of New York experimental filmmakers like Kuchar? Or were you kind of exploring it as you went along?

ML: In art school, when I was still studying painting, I was already skipping a lot of classes to go to the cinema, and I worked to make money for Richard Foreman, making sets. So I was already sort of connected the underground. But then I really learned about that type of cinema at the Anthology Film Archive.

AD: It’s an exposure you certainly wouldn’t have had in Paris.

ML: No. When I grew up in France, I used to sneak out of literature class to go to the Cinematheque Française, but they were mostly classics: American films and also Japanese films. That was much more that legacy that I grew up with, and that is still very present there. But the experimental cinema is much more structureless and minimalist than the kind of films they show in Paris.

AD: In your films there’s definitely the kind of handheld, structureless immediacy that you find in movies by Marie Menken or Jack Smith. I’m curious about how you developed your style.

ML: It came with time over 15 years. First I was making short films in one day, more performative films, but then suddenly I started making films on friends like Mike Kuchar, like Tony Conrad, like Richard Foreman. And since they were close friends I would take my time. I would spend my time recording sounds, stories, and then filming a mix between fiction and documentary in my own way, always relating to the creative process of each of these artists. And sometimes it would take one year, sometimes it would take five years. I would always do the camera work, with no crew, no one to help. It’s just me and the camera and the sound.

And slowly, without knowing it, I made the feature film with The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, which was finished after seven years. And that is where I started crafting more and more the collage between the documentary-style: I was shooting the everyday process of creating, and then constructing more fictional, performative parts out of that. And with Cassandro there is even more narrative, in the sense that there was a mix between archival footage, Skype, video, and film. The collage was extended even to the medium itself.

AD: One thing that comes across to me in your movies it that you come to these people, your subjects, kind of from the perspective of a fan, and I relate to it very much, you know, as someone who interviews people I admire all the time.

ML: That’s interesting. I don’t think at all like a fan, otherwise I think I would not be able to make these kind of films. Sometimes I don’t know anything about the person I meet, like Genesis P-Orridge. It was more a friendship that developed, and I discovered their artwork and who they are as I was making the film. But it’s because there’s a pure friendship, and not being a fan, that the distance is possible, because it’s a very humble, horizontal way of making the film. There’s a trust on both sides. On my side, but on their sides, without questioning the process of making.

And I think that’s why it becomes what it becomes, with a lot of emotion, a lot of feelings. And it’s not a written script with a fact-basis. It’s more like a love-letter to the person I share a piece of my life with through our friendship.

AD: I love that the rhythm of your body ends up informing the way the films. The subjects of your films are also using their bodies in their work.

ML: It has always been, for me, one of the main canvasses on which everything can be shown, seen, painted, transformed. It’s the texture, it’s the color, it has curves, it has beauty marks. Also the beauty is in what a body can do: incredible sports, transformation, dance. And it can be its own art: the lucha libre for Cassandro, the pandrogeny for Genesis.

AD: I’m noting some similarities between your story and Chantal Akerman’s, in that you both came to New York and found your way into your work through looking at films at Anthology.

ML: What a compliment. I knew Chantal, and she was a very warm person in my life. I didn’t work with her, but when she lived in New York we spent a lot of time together, and I also gave her a retrospective at the French Institute when I used to curate there. I programmed for 13 years at the French Institute, and that’s how I learned a lot.

 

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14 of Marie Losier’s 16 films

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Electrocute your Stars (2004)
‘With George Kuchar.“You always have to be careful, you always have to have the shower backward in order to see the water, which means you better watch out, or you might electrify or electrocute your stars. You know what I mean, by having the light falling into the tub” -GK This is a dream-portrait of George Kuchar, traveling through snow confetti, strobe flashes and artificial wind as he describes his weather diaries. And then George joins Janet Leigh in the shower. Wearing a red raincoat and a shower cap, reading comic books and blowing bubbles, he laughingly describes his bathing rituals and the making of his film, Hold Me While I’m Naked.’ — Collectif Jeune Cinema


Excerpt

 

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Bird, Bath and Beyond (2004)
‘With Mike Kuchar. “I don’t put myself into my movies because that would be too much – my pictures reflect my own feelings. So hopefully it’s entertaining. Otherwise I can’t bear looking at them, ha ha!” — MK. In this dream-portrait of Mike Kuchar, he floats through his memories as the sea, space and sky drift past. Wrapped in odd costumes, he frolics with the imaginary creatures surrounding him, and recalls the creatures of his own imagination.’ — Collectif Jeune Cinema


Excerpt

 

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The Ontological Cowboy (2005)
‘w/ Richard Foreman, Juliana Francis, Tom Ryder Smith and JaySmith.“The theater is about sex.” At least according to Richard Foreman, the father of the Ontological Hysterical Theater. The Ontological Cowboy documents Foreman’s invocation of the “manifest destiny” of the avant-garde theater, King Cowboy Rufus strolling down off San Juan Hill with a sigh, waving his handkerchief. Foreman plays himself, and the cast pantomimes his preoccupations. If “the cast and crew suffer alike,” it’s all for a good cause: the violent rebirth of the American theater, with Foreman as its midwife.’ — Collectif Jeune Cinema


Excerpt

 

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Manuelle Labor (2007)
‘Collaboration film Marie Losier and Guy Maddin. Two sisters, five brothers, a doctor and two nurses and the miraculous birth of a pair of hands..but whose hands… “Marie, that shot of the hands coming out o’ your womb is a dilly!!! What an honour to be born of you! your son, Guy” (Guy Maddin).’ — CJC


Excerpt

 

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Tony Conrad, Dreaminimalist (2008)
‘The latest in Marie Losier’s ongoing series of film portraits of avant-garde directors (George and Mike Kuchar, Guy Maddin, Richard Foreman), DreaMinimalist offers an insightful and hilarious encounter with Conrad as he sings, dances and remembers his youth and his association with Jack Smith.’ — Re:Voir


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Slap the Gondola (2010)
‘Musical with music, musicians, muses and fishes… On a giant ferry, two mermaids (Tony Conrad and Genesis P-Orridge) play violin to attract the fish from the sea, when suddenly a giant fish with 30 dancers in its stomach lands on board. April March, the great singer appears while singing out of the fish belly while 30 costumed dancers jump around in this surreal setting … when a fish fight ensue.. ‘What a brilliant explosion of brilliance! Brilliant colors! Brilliant music! Brilliant costumes! Brilliant casting! I shall cherish this masterpiece forever!’ Guy Maddin.’ — IMDb


Excerpt

 

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Snow Beard (2010)
‘Marie Losier’s poignant short film offers a moving tribute to New York icon Mike Kuchar, filmed on his last day before leaving Manhattan to relocate to San Francisco.’ — fandor


Excerpt

 

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Eat My MakeUp! (2010)
‘Five winsome damsels picnic on the roof of a warehouse in charming Long Island City, a forest of skyscrapers gleaming across the river. But when a swarm of flies interrupts their feast of chocolate-covered pretzels and cream-pies, the young ladies run amok.’ — fandor


the entirety

 

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The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (2012)
‘Genesis P-Orridge has been one of the most innovative and influential figures in music and fine art for the last 30 years. A link between the pre- and post-punk eras, he is the founder of the legendary groups COUM Transmissions (1969-1976), Throbbing Gristle (1975-1981), and Psychic TV (1981 to present), all of which merged performance art with rock music. Celebrated by critics and art historians as a progenitor of “industrial music”, his innovations have transformed the character of rock and electronic music while his prodigious efforts to expand the boundaries of live performance have radically altered the way people experience sound in a concert setting.

‘This is a love story, and a portrait of two lives that illustrate the transformative powers of both love and art. Marie Losier brings to us the most intimate details of Genesis’s extraordinary, uncanny world. In warm and intimate images captured handheld, Losier crafts a labyrinthine mise-en-scene of interviews, home movies, and performance footage. The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye documents a truly new brand of Romantic consciousness, one in defiance of the daily dehumanization of the body by the pervasive presence of advertising and pornography, conveying beauty, dignity and devotion from a perspective never before seen on film.’ — Unifrance


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Bim Bam Boum Las Luchas Morenas (2013)
‘Three women/three sisters/three professional luchadoras, part of the Dynasty Moreno: Rossy, Esther and Cynthia are competitive wrestlers on the ring. But they also bring lucha libre into life, wrestling with knives, pig heads, flowers and feathers!’ — Teddy Award


Excerpt


Interview Marie Losier ‘Bim, Bam, Boom Las Luchas Morenas’

 

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Alan Vega, just a million dreams (2014)
‘This intimate portrait depicts the moving and rebellious soul of groundbreaking visual artist and pioneer of minimalist electronic rock, Alan Vega, vocalist and composer for 1970s and 80s punk/post punk duo Suicide. Alan plays with the camera while loving, fighting and living with his family —Liz Lamere, his wife and collaborator, and their prodigal son Dante, young replica of Alan. Traces of joy, eccentricity, illumination, the rock-n-roll Alan Vega is still very alive, funny and rebellious!’ — CJC


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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L’oiseau de la nuit (2015)
‘Mysterious portrait of Fernando, aka Deborah Krystal, the glittering and poetic performer of the Lisbon club Finalmente, where he has been performing every night over thirty years in golden dresses. Under the layers of his colorful fabrics, the many skins of Fernando are revealed, letting Lisbon’s legends come to life. Alternately woman mermaid, female birds, woman lion, we are taken into the desires and dreams of metamorphosis and myths.’ — Portugal Film


Excerpt


Interview with Marie Losier about “L’Oiseau de la Nuit”

 

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Cassandro, the Exotico! (2018)
‘There’s a virtually metaphysical dimension to Cassandro’s struggle with his sport’s public and private rigors. He practices shamanic and traditional rituals, which, he says, help him to get through times when “physical pain and emotional pain is too much.” His solitary confrontation with pain (as in an extended sequence of his efforts to compete on a reconstructed and still-healing knee) is doubled by his solitude in sequences of spiritual devotion in the desert and of the ecstasy of religious chants and rites, as well as his solitary confrontation with a lifetime of trauma and torment that his performances both mask and overcome—and, to the discerning eye, embody.

‘Losier is a filmmaker who, like a mathematician, shows her work: the relationship on which the film is built is built into the film. Its photographic element, its sense of style, emerges from her experience and her perception, rather than being imposed from outside. What’s more, there’s something sublimely literal about the notion of Losier’s camera-eye; she made the movie with a handheld camera—of 16-mm. film, not video. The movie has handcrafted quality, an intimate texture as well as a built-in air of nostalgia. It evokes the present becoming past, and yet monumental, before Losier’s very eyes; she appears to be rescuing fragments of Cassandro’s career before it passes into legend.’ — Richard Brody, The New Yorker


Trailer


Rencontre avec Marie Losier // “Cassandro, the Exotico”

 

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Felix in Wonderland (2019)
‘Fall into the world of Felix Kubin’s experimentation and creation of music sound and his mastering of his instrument of predilection, the KORG MS20. A portrait of a great artist who never stops living with music in his head. With Felix creative power and endless inspiration, the film brings you into the universe of pure Music, from electronic music, to radio play, pop, music concrete, opera, and microphone experiments…. Felix is the little Nemo of a new sleepless world of music and pure joy!’ — IMDb


Trailer

 

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p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Not a great husband either. ** Dominik, Good morning (my time), Dominik!! Ah, if you know Gurochan, you know the main source. Yeah, that place is … wow. Ha ha, thank you, but if you forget and add the ‘birth’ part, I won’t mind. I’m resigned to that day’s title. Yes, it’s the only art I’ve seen in person in forever, weirdly and sadly, although ‘art’ is pushing it in that case. Me too, i.e. I’m sort thinking if I’m still healthy now, I’ve probably evaded it since I don’t see or touch anybody who sees or touches anybody. The supermarkets here now require people who enter to wash their hands with this sanitary gel by the door before you go in. I think contrabass is the right English word, or I know what you mean anyway. That’s nice that he can keep playing and studying. Ooh, that’s very interesting: your writing by visualising technique. That’s extremely interesting. What a great sounding way to enter writing unrestricted by the standard imposed forms. Exciting! And that it sounds like it’s working well for you. That’s great, uplifting news right there. My favorite Guided by Voices changes a lot. If you’re asking what’s a good one to start with, I would say ‘Bee Thousand’, which is often considered their best, and it’s also a very characteristic album where you’ll know if you’re interested in what Pollard/they do and want to go further. My personal favorite is often ‘Under the Bushes, Under the Stars’, or I seem to keep going back to that one as my favorite eventually. I’m fine. Yesterday, hm, I … took a walk. Bought some supermarket supplies. I watched a documentary about the history of Grindcore called ‘Slave to the Grind’. It’s watchable on YouTube. It was your basic mixture of historical footage and talking heads, but it was interesting to get that genre’s history straight, and a lot of the old footage was fantastic. That got me in the mood for music documentaries so I watched another, ‘Echo in the Canyon’, about the late 60s/early 70s Laurel Canyon music scene, which wasn’t very good, and then ‘Love Story’, the documentary about the band Love, one of my all-time favorite bands, and that was quite good although I don’t know if it would be so interesting to non-preexisting fans. Emails. A tiny bit of meandering writing. I think that’s it. Best of luck with your today, and how/what was it?  White walled-in love intersected with the sound of flapping pigeon wings, me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Oh, no, you’re losing your family. What do they like to watch? Very nice list there, and, weirdly, I actually know every single one of those tracks — you often stump me — and also think they’re greaties. ** Bill, Yes, these times seem to make Ohle pop. No, nothing but pharmacies and markets here. There’s been talk of the electronics and home supply stores doing what yours are doing, but nothing yet. So enjoy your relative luckiness. I would kill to be able to stroll over to FNAC and pick up a Switch at their door. Do share! ** jamie, Ha ha. Mr. Jensen in the house! Hey, Jamie! You hanging way in there over there? I’m way tired of hunkering down over here but hanging in there, maybe not ‘way’ in there. Or maybe so. Who can tell anymore? Love, me. ** Misanthrope, I think aiming big to start with is absolutely the way to go. The only problem is that it’s very tough to get into the major presses or even get your mss. read there without an agent’s intervention, whereas with the smaller, indie presses agent-less writers are fairly usual. That’s the rub. But, yeah, shoot high, for sure. Big presses are always in search of new writers, actually. It’s often easier for them to hype an unknown as the next big thing than to be in a situation where they need to try to sell a book by saying it’s the next one by a writer you already know. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. I don’t think it’s about aesthetisizing. It’s about paying attention to it while keeping it in context. Well, same here basically. 90% of the people you see when you go out are the homeless. There are shelters for them here, but a lot of them want to stay on the street, and, with the city being deserted, the police leave them be much more than they usually do. Very cool about the props from the George Crumb protege! Very nice! I’ve gotten queries from five different anthologies in progress about the very thematic you suggest. I expect the first one to get rush released any day now. ** Okay. Marie Losier is best known for her documentary ‘The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye’, but her films are generally really wonderful and terrific, when they’re about known figures — Alan Vega, George Kuchar, Tony Conrad, etc. — and when they focus on more obscure figures or no one in particular. Long story short, you’ll have a good time with her work today if you allow yourselves, and, obviously, I hope you will. See you tomorrow.

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