Saturday, July 21, 2012
Last night throngs of Jobriath and David Bowie fans flocked to the RedCat Theatre (at Walt Disney Hall) to attend a documentary and a tribute by Ann Magnuson to celebrate the 1st “out” Glam Rock Star.
Jobriath, of course!
Tattler readers may recall that I published a post last week in which I noted that I crossed paths with Jobriath in the heady 70’s in NYC.
By now, many are familiar with the cautionary of Jobriath (an odd-ball act that was catapulted into the spotlight – in large part due - to a heavy dosage of over-the-top promotion and a lot of financial backing by snake-and-oil salesman Jerry Brandt).
As I mentioned in the earlier post, mainstream America didn’t “buy” the flamboyant performer who eventually ended up a joke in music circles (and elsewhere around the country).
On occasion it got ugly, too.
When ads for his 1st album were released in NYC, angry homophobes scrawled “faggot” across his image on buses in New York City for example.
Despite a lot of hype (razzle-dazzle?) – and a handful of favorable reviews by critics – Jobriath’s debut album (featuring a catchy tune “I’m a Man”) failed to register a blip on the pop charts.
Later, when backing fizzled, Jobriath became a disappointing footnote in pop history.
Director Kieran Turner chronicles the intriguing young man’s personal life and multi-faceted talent (and subsequent career moves) with a bit of a heavy hand throughout – in a bold-faced effort to rewrite history - I guess.
Turner attempts to accomplish that end by weaving together a series of on-camera interviews (with individuals who claim to have known the musician personally and/or professionally) and dusty old celluloid clips with the ultimate aim of convincing audiences that Jobriath was an unappreciated artist who failed to receive his due.
David Bowie (who Jobriath has been compared to) denied a request for an interview, according to Turner, who stayed on after the screening for a lively Q & A.
“Was Bowie pretending he did not know who Jobriath was?” he mused aloud.
Was it possible that Bowie thought Jobriath was trying to ride on his coattails - and ultimately - steal his persona?
The glam “look” worked for Bowie.
But, in the manikin phase, the Jobriath image appeared to be manufactured – and most certainly – devoid of any soul.
Perhaps if Jobriath had allowed his musical style to evolve slowly – and naturally unfold – he may have garnered a faithful fan following.
The lad hadn’t paid his dues and it reflected in his wishy-washy (swishy?) stage presence.
By the way, I met David Bowie shortly after I returned home to Canada on the heels of my NYC adventure (I only lived in the East Village for about a year).
In Kitsilano friends were ecstatic when news broke that the English Pop Star would be arriving in the harbor by boat (he hated flying) with one of his handlers (the infamous groupy Cherry Vanilla who used to make moulds of Rock Star’s cocks for posterity) and that he would briefly tour the city to scout concert halls for an upcoming tour.
In fact, they were so thrilled that they got themselves all glammed-up and trotted down to the dock (with me in tow) and proceeded to clamor after the sexy Pop Star. At that juncture, the scenario that was going down seemed all too surreal. So, off the top of my head, I suddenly found myself asking Bowie for a kiss
Without blinking-an-eye, he looked me up-and-down - leaned forward – and our lips suddenly met.
Just at that moment, a photographer snapped a still which ended up in a local newspaper known as The Terminal City (Vancouver / B.C.).
When I first caught sight of the publicity photo, I quipped to my friends that the caption should have read:
“Two stars collide!”
The point that I am making is that Bowie was pretty approachable, so I – like many others – am curious as to why Major Tom wanted no part of the Jobriath “story”.
Essentially, Jobriath was a shooting star – there for a moment in a blaze of glory – before fading into oblivion fast.
The press had a field day at that point.
Basically, the general consensus was that Jerry Brandt’s $500,000 wet dream had turned into a nightmare.
Essentially, Turner has jazzed up and repackaged Brandt's old product with the hope that he can hood-wink folks into buying it the second time around. Turner is betting on an era of gay consciousness (and activism) to resurrect Jobriath from the dead.
He’s expecting the LGBT community to embrace Jobriath because he is allegedly rooted in a gay drama that has been unfolding in the American psyche for the past couple of decades.
You know what Barnum said:
There’s a sucker born every minute!
With a little luck, push and shove - and behind-the-scenes manipulation by Jerry Brandt - it’s possible these slick promoters may fool some.
That’s Hollywood for you!
Friday, July 20, 2012
Outfest has been doing it right!
This past week at the DGA (and a handful of the Festival Venues) the organizers have not only presented an eclectic mix of funny offbeat shorts (Outset Shorts, Musical Shorts, Trans Shorts), powerful documentaries (“Vito”, “How to Survive a Plague”) and entertaining narratives (“Keep the Lights on”, “I Do”, “Wildness”, “Gayby”) – but also – presented insightful panel discussions and special events that managed to round the experience (from a revealing peek at the scriptwriting process on thru to various production stages that eventually culminate in the ultimate release of the films into local movie houses).
For example, last night at the DGA, film buffs were treated to a “Screenwriting Lab Reading” where segments of the scripts of five writers (selected by Outfest staff) were performed live on stage by a handful of talented young actors. It was a vastly entertaining event where the film buffs got to witness one phase of the film development process.
Kudos to screenwriters Erin Greenwell (Somewhere Along the Way), Andre Hereford (The Well), Travis Matthews (Brontez and Rick), Jonathon Roessler (Understay), and Josh Staman (Girl/Friend).
I was particularly captivated by the contemporary work of Mr. Matthews. After all, his characters were believable, and his dialogue literally crackled.
Tattler readers may recall that I used to be a Literary Agent representing screenwriters at a couple of SAG Franchised Talent Agencies in the past, so to witness the “written word” coming alive from the scripted page was truly fascinating for me to observe personally.
All in all, it was quite a “theatrical” event which resonated with the audience immensely.
Congrats to all the actors who turned in fine performances: Jo Armeniox, Patricia Villetto, Shannon MacMilan, Naserin Bogado, Celeste Pechous (Somewhere Along the Way); Haylkey Marie Norman, Angela Bullock, Taylor Frey, Reatha Grey, Valerie Hurt, DaJuan Johnson, Billy Mayo, Tom Sellwood (The Well); Brontez Pumell, Mickey Cottrell, Victor Samuel Lopez, Kathleen Mary Carthy (Brontez and Rick); Jonathan Trent, Daniel Landroche, Rebekah Brandes, Matthew Ludwinski, Mikayla Gibson, Scott Weil (Understay); Rebekah Kochan, Kevin Oestenstad, Jordan Balagot (Girl/Friend).
This weekend the festival will come to a close when the feature film - “Struck by Lightning” - is screened on Sunday Night at the Ford Theatre (under the stars) at what is expected to be a glittering GALA event.
Over the weekend there are still a few good flicks to catch at the festival before it shuts down such as Cloudburst, White Frog, The Famous Joe Project, Desperate Living, and Beauty.
Better hurry, though, they're being snapped quick as-a-wink!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
This past week, patrons waiting at the front door of the Beverly Hills Public Library were subjected to harassment by a mentally-ill man who appeared to be suffering from homophobia, for starters. For example, at one point he called a male patron a "cockroach". When the individual reached for his glasses, the demented fellow (surrounded with a half-a-dozen-or-so paper bags at his feet) proceeded to level other bizarre comments his way.
"Don't bother reaching for those glasses, you won't need them. I've been you down at the grocey store in West Hollywood (Pavilions) with those other cockroaches. A truck is coming down here to get all of you," he hissed under his breath as patrons waiting for the doors to open stood listening in shock.
Then, he told the people waiting there, that they were all on camera.
"You're on television. So, don't try anything."
Some folks were so fearful of this gentleman - dressed in shabby clothes with dark glasses and a hat pulled down over his face - that they were inclined to leave and return later.
Obviously, the man has psychological problems and needs therapy.
He strikes me as the type who would walk into the library one day with an automated rife and shoot everyone.
I trust that the Beverly Hills Public Library staff will take action to ensure that no one is abused further in the future.
In view of the foregoing, I thought it might be a good idea to publish a post I ran last year on mental illness. It is reprinted herein below.
Just take a trip to the local library, a gander at a couple of anonymous posts on a popular blogsite on the Internet, or a stroll through the streets of downtown Los Angeles (and elsewhere) and it will become obvious that mental illness is a growing problem in this country today.
Sometimes there is an elephant in the room, but no one wants to talk about it.
But the issue is a serious one.
Should we just ignore the problem - (will it just go away?) - or should we tackle the issues head on?
Today, in our complex - and at times - baffling and troubling society it appears more people are feeling alienated, left out, or just plain angry.
Many are crying out for help.
We need to listen.
Medical findings of Researchers
A mental illness or mental disorder is a clinically significant psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with distress or a disability that is not expected as part of normal development or the culture itself.
Most agree, there has been a better understanding of mental illness over the past couple of decades.
Despite the fact - definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary - criteria listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals are widely accepted by mental health professionals.
Categories which may require diagnosis include - mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, and personality disorders, for starters.
In many cases, there is no single accepted or consistent cause for mental disorders.
But, mental disorders have been found to be common in over one-third of the population in most countries that have reported sufficient data to track and document.
Mental health services may be based in hospitals or in the community where mental health professionals have the facilities to diagnose individuals using different methodologies.
Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options that may be worth considering.
Supportive interventions may appear to be a harsh approach, but are worthwhile pursuing, nonetheless.
In some instances, treatment may be involuntary where legislation allows.
A number of activists in the field have campaigned for changes in mental health services and attitudes about the disease - especially in view of the fact - there is a widespread problem with stigma and discrimination.
Information provided by the National Institute on Mental Health
Mental disorders are common in the U.S. and Internationally.
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older - about one-in-four adults - suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older the figure translates to 57.7 million people.
Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion (about 6 percent, or 1 in 17) who suffer from a serious mental illness.
In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for the ages of 15-44.
Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time.
Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders with severity strongly related to comorbidity.
The Impact of Mental Illness on Society
The burden of mental illness on health and productivity in the United States and throughout the world has long been underestimated.
Data developed by the massive "Global Burden of Disease" study conducted by - the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University - reveal that mental illness (including suicide) accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease in established market economies such as the United States.
This is more than the disease burden caused by all cancers.
*Thanks to World Health for image of "Mental Mask" featured above.
With the issues of same-sex marriage and Immigration looming large in the Nation’s psyche these days, screenings of the feature film “I Do” (which toss a searing spotlight on the subjects
end up being quite timely.
In this instance case, there are a couple of surprising plot twists, however (the well-written drama is not a rip-off of “Green Card” for sure).
“I Do” is not your standard “boy meets boy” – “boy gets boy” – bill-of-fare either.
Although the plotline is complex, the filmmakers managed to avoid a handful of pitfalls that the less-experienced often make.
For example, the screenwriter (David W. Ross) wisely crafted a script that is bound to be a crowd-pleaser with wide appeal across the board and not just in the LGBT community.
In part, this was accomplished this by fleshing out four strong characters (gay and straight) that audiences - can not only relate to - but be inclined to root for as well.
The filmmakers also side-stepped “stereotypes” to their credit as well.
To stay in the U.S. legally, Jack (David W. Ross/Eating out 3) convinces his lesbian friend Ali (Jamie Lynn-Sigler/The Sopranos) to take vows down at the local City Hall.
Things get a little hairy when Jack is hit by two curve balls.
Shortly after INS Officials make an unexpected visit one night in a bold-faced effort to establish his “union” is a sham (and illegal) he falls in love with a Spanish architect.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to “buy” that gay relationship for two reasons.
The affair happened too quickly, for starters.
Also, I found that there was very little “chemistry” between the two characters on screen to justify pursuing the relationship on screen. A fling Jack had with a handsome boy-toy earlier in the flick was a whole lot steamer between-the-sheets (Ross has a great physique, by the way) if you ask me!
Another problem with the film for me was the ending.
It appeared to me that the Ross couldn’t find a suitable way to close the film, so he elected to inlay a voice-over which ended up sounding quite preachy.
Since there wasn’t any ‘thread’ of his thoughts earlier throughout the course of the film, it didn’t make sense, either.
It was a lazy writer’s way of tying up all the loose ends in my estimation.
“I Do” is a comedy drama that is well-produced with a professional sheen to it.
I expect that after a brief run on the Festival circuit it will be picked up for distribution quite quickly (if it hasn’t been already) and go on to delight open-minded audiences around the country at Boutique-style film venues.
David W. Ross is bound to soar to super stardom about the same time if my instincts are bang on.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Don’t you just hate it when you slip into your seat to catch a foreign film and you can’t read the subtitles?
One evening I was catching a flick at a theatre in town without stadium seating and the scenario that went down was hilarious. It was like a scene lifted from a Woody Allen comedy!
When the subtitles splashed across the screen, one film fan would lean their head to one side to peer over the shoulder of the person in front of them in order to follow the script, then, the person behind that individual would shift the other way just like clockwork, and so-forth-and-so-on.
When the credits crawled at the end – and the lights finally went up in the theatre – just betcha that all the filmgoers were suffering a lot of shoulder pain because of the ongoing need to crane their necks this-way 'n that all evening.
It also annoys me when a filmmaker neglects to check the subtitles for glitches after they’ve been inserted at the bottom of each scene of the movie.
For example, sometimes the “white lettering” can’t be read because the subtitles may blend into a white background (due to a cupboard door, light-colored wall, or what-have-you).
Now, the folks at Regal have announced that they intend to provide their patrons with a pair of high-tech eyeglasses (developed by Sony) that will be equipped with miniature cameras on each lens so that the subtitles may be read and comprehended easily.
What will they think of next!
The organizers at Outfest are beaming ear-to-ear this week for good reason.
The 30th Anniversary celebrations have been an unprecedented success.
For example, in spite of the fact a slew of screenings were slated on “work nights” this week, droves of film fans threw caution to the wind and proceeded to descend on the DGA (and other venues hosting the event) to catch popular films such "Young and Wild", "Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean", "Keep the Lights On", "Le Reflet", and "Our Paradise".
Afterwards, film buffs even sauntered into the DGA Atrium to sip on cocktails and "Barefoot Bubbly" – munch on delicious finger foods – and chat each other up over the state of Queer Film around the country.
Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised to spy a large number of older “silver-haired” gay men – usually in long-term relationships - turn out in full force this year.
And, at screenings - where the subject matter tended to appeal to a younger set - a slew of fashion-conscious head-turning beauties usually packed the houses, too.
I was surprised by the response of one Outfest Board Member, though, when I quizzed him about the good films he'd seen.
"I only attend the parties," he uttered up without a hint of guilt.
Meanwhile, the fest is going full steam this week with a handful of delightful "shorts" programs, thought-provoking documentaries, what are expected to be lively panel discussions, and - of course - full-length features that are sure to appeal to every taste across the board.
Tonight, I am attending “I Do!” at the Ford Theatre which will screen “under the stars”.
Later in the week, I intend to take in “White Frog” (a film by Quentin Lee), Desperate Living (helmed by John Waters), and maybe a panel discussion on the “Happy Endings” TV show (slated for Sunday afternoon).
By the way, I’ve noticed that when a screening is sold out (usually!) Outfest attendees rarely complain. They just shift gears and move on to another entertaining offering.
The LGBT community tends to be flexible.
With all the struggles gays have gone to achieve equality in recent years, it comes as no surprise, eh?
See ‘ya at Outfest this week!
Since the news broke yesterday morning about a remake of the classic film - “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” - I was inclined to quiz Outfest guests attending screenings at the DGA about who they thought should play the roles made famous by legendary screen stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
The people I polled were totally stumped!
“I don’t think there is anyone who could play those parts,” one man mused.
“Why remake it,” another wondered aloud.
For some inexplicable reason, Arthur Hill has signed up for the task to direct a script that he’ll adapt for the screen.
Last night, as I trotted home in high spirits – after chatting up guests in the DGA lounge over cocktails and a delicious mouth-watering plate of pasta, salad, and chocolate chip cookies – I rustled up a couple of candidates.
Sigourney Weaver? Glen Close? Vanessa Redgrave? Jane Fonda?
Gosh, maybe I should be a casting director, eh?
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Joshua Tree is a highly-stylized portrait of James Dean that is rife with wild notions about the actor's personal life before he was catapulted to fame in his first major role "Rebel Without a Cause".
There’s a lot of wishful thinking tossed in for good measure by the producers, too.
For years, it’s been whispered (and speculated behind closed-doors) that the sexy movie star was a bisexual who slept his way to the top.
For good reason, before the screening at the DGA commenced last night under the auspices of the Outfest umbrella, the director – Matthew Mishory – categorized his feature as a portrait (not a screen bio) to set the record straight.
The curious offering is nothing more than a splashy tabloid-rag expose on celluloid after all.
And, the producers have left no stone unturned when it comes to delivering up titillating bits of salacious gossip for the audience to feast on.
For example, the screenwriter not only tosses a searing spotlight on an unknown male lover Dean allegedly once shared an apartment with in the desert, but also, takes a foray into the underbelly of Hollywood where young studly males allegedly traded sexual favors with studio executives for quick cash, expensive dinners at fancy restaurants, and bit parts in feature films.
In his bid for stardom, the screenwriter infers that Dean was wise to the “game”, and played it to the hilt.
“I’m going to fuck those guys like they’ve never been fucked before,” he vows to a female confidante one day in a heart-to-heart.
At this point, the filmmakers go overboard exalting scandalous between-the-sheets adventures they allege hastened the legend's rise to fame in Hollywood.
It is also hinted that Dean was into kinky sex, bondage, and liked being treated like a human ashtray. For example, throughout the film there are intriguing shots of an unidentified male lover crushing lit cigarette butts into his muscular torso.
In another graphic scene, Dean is “taking it up the ass” against a wall in the hallway of his roommate's rental apartment.
I’ve heard all the rumors, but can attest to one thing.
Dean was definitely bisexual.
I actually had an acquaintance in England who once met and bedded the star.
Years ago, “X” holidayed in Los Angeles with his parents one summer.
One day, when he went out for a stroll, a young man standing in front of a bar invited him inside for a beer. Shortly thereafter, they trotted back to Dean’s apartment where they immediately hopped into bed and passionately made out with "gay" abandon.
According to my friend, he spent the weekend with the actor as his parents (in a tizzy) tried desperately to locate their son over that long debauched weekend.
I used to rent an apartment at Harper and Fountain Streets in West Hollywood where James Dean allegedly once resided (Katherine Hepburn apparently once lived in the apartment fronting the quiet peaceful street decades ago).
The units were known for their deep walk-in closets.
According to the gossip, Dean used to bring tricks home and engage in wild bouts of S & M in the – um – closet.
‘Nuff said on that issue.
By the way, although the cinematography in this film is spectacular (the mix of black and white shots with color is quite effective throughout) - at times - it is quite distracting too.
The scenes featuring gleaming pristine automobiles gliding by on the street ultimately capture the headiness of that glittering era when Hollywood was in its heyday.
The actor who portrays Dean (a former Abercrombie & Fitch model) is quite remarkable in the role in a few of the scenes, especially when you consider the challenges involved with pulling off such a difficult plum acting assignment.
At times, the actor is quite mesmerizing in scenes, especially in those where he truthfully speaks from the heart.
Unfortunately, a handful of the supporting players appear awkward in the “shells” they inhabit.
"Joshua Tree" tends to be stagy, stilted and forced.
The dialogue is often cliche and not terribly believable either.
The producers obviously tried to raise the bar here, but missed the mark.
In sum, the flick is a screen oddity that has to be taken with a grain of salt (where the facts are concerned at least).
For gay men, it is a heart-throbbing boner-rising sexual fantasy that will no doubt fill movie theatres in the LGBT community in the coming months once it is released.
2 ½ stars!
One piece of technology I can do without it is the automated toilet!
On occasion I have been plunked down on the seat undergoing my daily constitution when – whoosh! – the toilet automatically flushes unexpectedly.
A jolt of icy-cold water shoots up my butt-hole and I end up getting douched without warning!
If you’re into “that”, I expect you just wipe off – buckle up – and head out the stall unscathed, eh?
Not me, you little darlings!
I prefer a more manly approach any old day.
And, after what happened yesterday morning, I daresay I plan to start a petition to ban ‘em!
Although I'm just kidding, I’m still annoyed about an incident at the DGA which spoiled my day, you betcha.
After I wiped and stood up in the stall in the mensroom, and started to fasten my pants, my sunglasses slipped off the edge of my t-shirt and landed unceremoniously in the “bowl”.
Before I could snatch them up, the toilet flushed, and they disappeared into the basic plumbing below.
Sh**! (no pun intended).
My favorite pair of shades were sucked into bowels of the DGA never to be seen again.
Throughout the day, I felt totally naked to the world, as I dashed around the environs of Outfest to catch a flick or two featured at the ever-popular festival running ‘til the end of the week.
Guess I’ll just have to zip down to the 99 cent store on La Brea to snatch up a cheapo pair ‘til I have the opportunity to shop for new ones.
Life is a bitch (then you die) eh?
One I can control is preferable folks!
Monday, July 16, 2012
He looked innocent enough.
Fair-haired. Young. Sweet-faced.
But, once the lights went down – and his four short films (FOURPLAY) splashed across the screen at the DGA – it struck me that the director (Kyle Henry) was twisted!
The films started off okay!
But, shortly after the characters were professionally introduced, Henry suddenly hurled a curve ball or two the audiences way.
In one short, when a young male trots into a mensroom in search of anonymous sex, he stumbles upon Christ crouched on the floor under three (!) urinals.
Or, just a Catholic feeling pangs of guilt?
In the stall, as the lad waits for a “sign” from a gent in the next stall, a dude suddenly drops a sloppy load (yuck!) which stinks to high hell.
The audience groans in disgust.
In a second flick, a quirky middle-aged gal is asked to house-sit a young couple’s pouch. A short while later, as a series of bizarre events unfold, the homely woman ends up engaging in hot ‘n heavy sex with the family pet. A touch of comedy added to mix makes for a scenario that is – not only totally outrageous – but enough to demand censorship action from the morality squad.
But, it is the final segment that totally turns-the-stomach.
A transsexual prostitute is hired by a woman in an upscale enclave to service her husband surviving on a life-support system. Before the lady-of-the-night embarks on the tease, she establishes a code with the "John", so she can hit all the right passionate buttons. Since he can’t talk, it's established that he blinks twice when the answer to a question is “yes” and blinks once when the response is “no”. In this way, the sex worker is able to please his fantasy and whim during the course of their paid date.
The image of a transsexual in sheer panties and bra, with a dick hanging out, is just too kinky (and sick) for most to endure. But, when she actually starts fucking his toe, well – Henry has really crossed the line – hasn’t he?
As she drives off in a limo smoking a cigarette, she gives the impression that she thinks of herself as a some kind of Mother Theresa!
In my humble the opinion?
"Fourplay" should be banned.
It’s sick, crosses the line, and degrades the human body and spirit.
It gets an “F” for “Fucked up”.
According to the Los Angeles Times, two Judges who presided over proceedings in the Lindsay Lohan case have been disciplined for misconduct by the Commission on Judicial Performance (which is based in San Francisco).
Surprisingly, the complaints against the two bench warmers were not brought by Ms. Lohan’s legal counsel.
In fact, it was a bitter Los Angeles County Court spokesperson by the name of Allan Parachini (who was fired for allegedly leaking info to the media during the course of the trial) who zipped off a complaint alleging wrongdoing by Judge Marsha Revel and Judge Eden Fox which prompted the probe which led to the disciplinary action.
Revel was slapped on the wrist for improper ex-parte communications with attorney Robert Shapiro (O.J. Simpson’s former legal counsel) who once sought the role of attorney of record during the course of the highly-publicized case.
Judges are required to ensure that lawyers representing both sides in a legal action are present when pressing legal issues are discussed in open court or in private in the Judge’s chambers. Deputy District Attorney – Danette Meyers (the prosecutor in the Lohan case) – was essentially shut-out when Judge Revel initially met with Shapiro to discuss his possible representation.
Judge Fox, on the other hand, was disciplined for denying Lohan bail on a misdemeanour charge that she was legally eligible for.
On appeal, Fox’s ruling was overturned – at which point – Lohan was released on a $300,000.00 bond.
In the opinion of the “whistle blower”, Judge Fox hurt the credibility of the court by going against the letter of the law.
Though there was no irreparable harm to Lohan because of the initial ruling in the lower court, the Commission agreed that Fox’s conduct warranted punishment in keeping with the severity of the offense committed.
Normally, disciplinary action of the sort that was taken in the Lohan case, is kept under wraps in official court records. But, because a party to the complaint (a Los Angeles Times source) disclosed the details of the complaint issues – and the subsequent outcome of the court's findings – the action by the Justices has become public.
As the reporter noted in the Los Angeles Times article, it is rare that action is taken against a Judge - and rarer still - that the punishment levied will amount to a hill of beans.
Judges have a tendency to protect their own, after all.
I know from whence I speak!
Years ago, I appeared IN PRO PER before Federal Judge Andrew A. Hauk in a Civil action I brought against a defendant. At one point, when I attempted to argue the merits of my case, Judge Hauk became annoyed and proceeded to threaten me in open court.
“You think you’re so smart! How would you like it if I tossed you in jail,” he snarled at me.
Everyone in the courtroom was stunned!
Even the court clerk cautioned the judge about his inappropriate conduct - but - the crusty old Jurist paid him no mind.
He was so unprofessional and belligerent, that I stormed out of the courtroom in disgust, as he screamed back at me angrily from the bench.
“You come back here! You come back here!"
I fled out the door.
Right away I filed a complaint against Judge Hauk for violating my rights and engaging in inappropriate conduct not befitting a sitting Judge.
At this point, it came to my attention that Judge Hauk was notorious in legal circles for belittling lawyers and litigants alike, and engaging in outrageous behaviour that scandalized members of the legal community and the public at large.
For example, in one case, he referred to immigrants as “faggots”!
In another, he labelled activists “pointy-headed do-gooders” - and boy - were they angered over that!
When a female lawyer got “testy” in his courtroom one fine day, he joked:
“Oh, they get that way about this time of the month."
Unfortunately for the litigants and lawyers he abused, Hauk was a "Teflon Judge”.
No complaint ever stuck, until I came along, that is.
Once I received word back that the Commission was launching an investigation, the Los Angeles Times called me and asked for an interview.
When the shocking incident appeared in the morning newspaper in all its mind-boggling detail, the news media were in a frenzy to interview me on-camera, too.
Fox News was one of the first to nab me.
Once a reporter confirmed the facts, she proceeded to track down Judge Hauk, who was located at a Judge’s Conference in the Los Angeles area.
As soon as Hauk was within striking distance, the ballsy gal thrust the camera in his face as he was exiting a building.
“Sir, they say you’re crazy. What about the investigation that's underway with the Commission on Judicial Performance in San Francisco about your alleged misconduct?”
He glared into camera and yelled back at her:
“Poppy Cock! Poppy Cock!”
Then, he angrily hobbled off.
That night, every fifteen minutes-or-so before the nightly newscast, Fox would run a clip of the upcoming News item featuring Hauk glaring into camera yelling "Poppy Cock!" (with a corresponding clip of me).
The voice-over went something like this:
"Is this Judge crazy? Should he be allowed to sit on the bench? News at 11!"
Of course, once the complaint went public, the Commission turned around and punished me (for granting interviews on television about the incident) by downplaying my role in the Hauk investigation and subsequent disciplinary action that followed.
Justices at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal (who handle complaints on Judicial Performance) are known to be disreputable and a corrupt lot. I discovered that first-hand.
Even still, Judge Hauk was banned from hearing any Civil Rights cases after that fiasco unfolded around-the-globe!
If I didn't get my due from the "Commission", I got it elsewhere, though.
"American Lawyer" ran a story in which I was portrayed as a "Hero" who felled Hauk when no one else ever could before in legal circles.
And, that - as Bugs Bunny would say - is all for now folks!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Anxious film buffs stood in a line in the blistering heat yesterday afternoon to guarantee a seat at an Outfest screening of “Making Love” starring hunky Harry Hamlin (LA LAW) and Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels).
Once inside the doors of the Harmony Gold Theatre they were not disappointed.
In fact, ticket holders - who hadn’t seen the ground-breaking film before - raved about the experience later in the packed lobby as they sipped on cocktails (sponsored by Absolute Vodka) and excitedly chatted each other up.
For film fans catching the drama the second time around (thirty years later) it dredged up nostalgic memories.
“When I screened Making Love the other day, I struck me how innocent it was in those days,” Harry Hamlin poignantly recalled at the informative Q & A when the lights went up.
In the next breath (fans hung on every word) he noted that when people stopped him in the street, they usually fessed up that the compelling feature helped them “come out” and accept themselves as gay individuals.
Of course, not everyone was elated with the 20th Century Fox release when it first hit movie screens across the country.
“We decided to slip into a theatre and catch a screening at one of those multiplexes,” Hamlin recalled. But, the experience was a little disconcerting, for good reason. When his entourage arrived at the movie house, right-off-the-bat they spied young straight couples lined up in the street for blocks on end waiting to get in the door.
“Fox didn’t promote the film as a gay-themed one, so they had no idea what the storyline was about,” Hamlin explained.
According to the ever-popular star, as soon as suggestive scenes began to unfold onscreen between the two male lead characters, filmgoers were spotted nervously twitching in their seats.
“When the two men kissed, quite a few disgusted people stormed out.”
During the Q & A, one guest asked why Hamlin agreed to take on the role of a gay man in view of the risk.
He paused for a moment, then quipped:
The audience roared!
Once the laughter subsided, he noted that he had just finished wrapping “Clash of the Titans” (at the mere mention of the film, there were quite a few whoops and hollers from the audience) and that he was seeking a challenging project to take on at that time.
“But, it was in all our contracts that none of us would do any nudity,” he chuckled.
“Those were extras (doubles) you saw on the screen tonight.”
Barry Sandler (screenwriter) gleefully jumped in.
“We went down to a gay bar known as the “Blue Parrot” (The Revolver) and picked out the two hottest guys we could find in the room and promised to pay them by the hour (extras usually get a lowly day rate set by the Union),” he chuckled.
Arthur Hiller (Director) – who appeared a bit frail and unfocused – occasionally offered up comments from a comfortable antique armchair the Outfest staff graciously provided (the other panel members lounged casually in traditional directors chairs usually found on a Hollywood set).
Sadly, his memory failed on a couple of occasions last night.
For example, when the focus turned to filmmaking process, he apologized to the audience.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the original version.”
Mr. Sandler politely interjected.
“Arthur, that was the original version.”
Hiller was under the impression that a scene that was cut years ago failed to flicker across the screen last night.
Sandler explained that the studio did demand that that specific scene be edited out, but later relented, and gave a green light to the filmmakers to include it in the final cut.
After the Q & A, Hamlin graciously stepped into the lobby and proceeded to pose with fans for photo opportunities, sign autographs, and kibitz a bit.
Last night, the handsome stud was the quintessential Hollywood Star, alright.
I was tempted to approach Hamlin and introduce myself, but begged off, since he was being overwhelmed by well-wishers.
Years ago, I was one of the bit players in the office scenes on “LA LAW” for a season or two. Although we worked within a few feet of each other, we were never officially introduced.
Well, maybe next time, eh?
For future screenings at Outfest (running all week) check out the schedule.
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 1:04 PM