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Tony is working on new projects

Glad to report Tony is working on new projects.


Antonio Pineda was one of the founders of the Straight Theatre in Haight Ashbury during the San Francisco renaissance. Straight Theatre hosted artists like the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, John Lee Hooker, Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the James Cotton Blues Band and John Fahey. Poets like Beat legend Michael McClure, Richard Brautigan, David Gitin  and The Living Theatre performed there and influenced the nascent poet with their friendship and bonhomie.McClure introduced him to the poet Jim Morrison, legendary front man of The Doors. The final chapter of his debut novel, The Magick Papers, is influenced by his interaction with Morrison and McClure. Minuit Aux Pere Lachaise, a theatre piece based on the aforementioned has been translated into French by Antoine Blanc.

Pineda studied flamenco ballet in California with Rosa Montoya and Cruz Luna. Montoya belonged to the Montoya clan of flamencologists. Pineda also studied in Madrid with the prestigious masters Ciro, Raul, Maria Madelena, Antonio del Castillo and Juan Antonio de los Reyes. He performed in California with his dance troupe, Los Flamencos de Bronce.

Pineda is the author of the well recieved underground novel, The Magick Papers, an exposition of the psychedelic culture. He is the co-author of, Dark Cabaret, a cinema book re the shooting of the motion picture, Dark Bridge, on location in Bangkok by film director Marcelo Von Schwartz. The book is in the tradition of the French Nouvelle Vague, influenced by Jean Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Erich Rohmer, Antiononi and Fellini.It is comprised of Von Schwartzs favourite shots from the film accompanied by the poet and his text, as well as a turn in the film by Pineda as an actor. Richard McLeish of the Bangkok Post reviewed it favourably.

Pineda has acted in motion pictures like, The King Maker, produced by icon, David Winters. He has also done short films and bits in other feature films.

The poet has read his poems in Amsterdam at the Hemp Hotel, the International Fall Poetry Festival in San Francisco commemorating Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti celebrating his 93rd birthday, and at the Foriegn Correspondents Club and International Butoh Festival in Bangkok. Von Schwartz  filmed his reading at the Butoh Festival and is in the process of editing it. Phnom Pehn in Cambodia was the venue for another poetry shoot by De Leon, a young British auteur. Lovisa Inserra,Swedish film director, recently shot a reading of, Penitentiary Walls, an indictment of the penal industrial complex for profit in Bangkok, as well as a music video featuring Pineda.

Pineda is colaborating with Von Schwartz on another book. His poetry has been translated into French by the illustrious translator, Antoine Blanc. The Bangkok Post is preparing a Q and A interview with the poet entitled, My Bangkok, which will be featured in the biweekly supplent of the Post, The Magazine, in February.

Good luck guys, on the new website.

news from Susan Dustin

Here I am, after a great absence,
struggling to put into words the
myriad of things that have
happened since my last newsletter.
Suffice to say, I am very much alive
and well as I joyfully continue my
crusade to bring a touch of Love !n”
Laughter to lives of others.
I have continued to work through
the usual hospital and shelter
activities along with seminars and
personal counseling etc. There has
been a fair share of travel involved
as well.
Last week some kindhearted friends
and I, undertook the yearly
pilgrimage to the beach with the
children and teenagers from
Bangkok”s Don Muang Emergency
Shelter. It”s our fourth beach trip
and always a winner. I have no
greater joy than seeing these
institutionalised city kids embrace
nature in its wild and sunniest best!
The accompanying photos say it all!
However, as I sat crammed at the
front of the very crowded minivan
with a gangly 8-year-old draped
“The soul is healed by
being with children.”
clumsily over me not all felt blissful! The two-way, three hour trip became
increasingly testing as she snored away happily, her limp body growing
ever heavier and needing continual support. No matter how I tried to adjust
myself, the space limitations and her weight made securing a comfortable
repose impossible! I decided to make the best of it and at least give her the
rest and comfort she desired!
As we traveled the highway heading south, my thoughts drifted back to
when I”d first met her. I marveled at how far she had progressed since I”d
bounced her then small frame about on my knees while playing games with
the kids. She”d transformed from an unhappy, petulant and at times rude, 4-
year-old into a confident schoolgirl with a happy disposition. As I recalled
the sad circumstances which had bought her and her mother into the
shelter and my life, she suddenly didn”t seem so heavy or bothersome.
Unimaginable as it is, she”d been raped by her father. Suddenly, I felt
privileged to have her on my knee, safe, sound and able to trust adults
again. My discomfort seemed a small price to pay to continue to provide
that for her.
She was not the only one of our group of young people to suffer such
shameful violence and betrayal of trust. Yet, if you saw us as we frolicked in
the sand and waves, you”d have never guessed that such painful secrets
lurked in the shadows of these precious, playful lives. You”d have only seen
normal children happily wolfing down delicious food, playing with fun toys
and musical instruments and running towards the ocean with gleeful
I visit these kids weekly; we do different activities together which I hope
brings some help and healing. I”ll probably never know what impact this has
on them! One thing I do know is that it”s never just a beach trip and it”s
certainly worth any so called trouble to make it happen!



Since the release of ‘Sleepless in Bangkok’ in Thailand alone, his first hard hitting ‘faction’ novel became an instant best seller as a perfect paperback, consistently selling for more than ten years, with a first edition selling for up to $200, confirming the author’s cult status, which has left many wondering about the author’s background.

In actual fact, Ian Quartermaine’s controversial series of ‘faction’ novels are always a combination of authors. Only then does Ian Quartermaine become a tangible figure.

The editor and packager of all of the Ian Quartermaine novels is prolific non-fiction author and ghost writer Jake Anthony. Jake, an accomplished actor (Tony Bitch, the Original Simon Cowell in the “Goodies” series on British TV, still with a ‘cult’ following worldwide) and other character actor roles, worked as a copywriter and journalist in PR, before penning his own series of self-help holistic health, anti-ageing, IQ enhancement and his in-depth knowledge of South East Asian with travel books. Key in Jake Anthony to check out the 30 plus titles as Kindle e-Books on where they consistently sell on a daily basis.

Having regular contact with the international acting and writing community, Jake often met up with other actors and authors with the thread of an original and often controversial tale but who lacked the hard hitting, fast moving, graphic writing style which decades as a journalist provided Jake with. Add Jake’s in-depth knowledge of South East Asia for half his life and his interest in history since a young boy, sometimes became a meeting of minds and talent, whence Jake powered the project along. This is where Ian Quartermaine enters the picture.

‘Sleepless in Bangkok’ commenced with a former major in the Australian forces telling Jake about his horrendous experience of guerrilla warfare in the Vietnam War at the height of the conflict, his respect for the people and the corruption of Western politicians who sent young soldiers to their death for political points in their home nation in a war that did not threaten the West and in particular, not Australia. As a long time journalist experienced in South East Asia including the brutal Pol Pot era in Cambodia, Jake combined both of their real life experiences and there was ‘Sleepless in Bangkok’ in all its ‘factional’ reality. Authentic work which the reader instinctively knew was so.

‘White Slavery’ – For King & Country, a graphic, brutal but true story of life at sea in the days when Colonial Britain ruled the waves, based upon generations of oral history emanating from the authors’ forefathers who sailed before the mast for hundreds of years; ‘Siam Streetfighter’, another historic tale of the brutality of life in Old Siam based upon being there for many decades; ‘From Other Worlds’ and ‘Cybernaut’, two ground breaking sci-fi novels about sentient beings in non organic, genetically engineered, and artificially mutated intelligence forms, which in retrospect forecast the future, foretelling what may come, and might persuade human-kind to change their ways! Part Three of the series about sentient beings as anthropomorphic cars with free will in a non human world – sentience being a Buddhist concept – was Jake’s 1992 ‘Cars’ copyright which Disney/Pixar used as the basis of their 2006 and 2011 ‘Cars’ series. They are presently being sued in California, case currently under appeal; ‘Sleepless in Bangkok 2’ whose sub-plot reveals the living hell and horror of life in Burma under the Colonels (not many people know that from personal experience, so all of the Ian Quartermaine novels are totally authentic); and ‘Supertanker’, a novelization of Bangkok based, Australian producer and screenwriter Ric Lawes’ ‘Supertanker’ – 9/11 was just a practice run – all followed.

The Ian Quartermaine novels have consistently received to-kill-for reviews, a cult following on the Internet, and regular sales in Thailand, which suggests Jake and Ian Quartermaine have become masters at the graphic writing, editing and packaging craft and two minds can be better than one, creatively speaking. New story ideas based on life and exotic locations, past and present, emanating from friends and colleagues, add an extra dimension. Like the melding of talent between the movie director, screenwriter and lead actors when making an Oscar winning movie, so far it has worked.

However, Ian Quartermaine novels are for adults only, unsuitable for Middle England and Middle America, where political correctness rules. Sex in all its forms, violence in all its forms – freelance and organized to engender political oppression – and government more as a corporate state, are now a reality. By understanding the growing realities in life worldwide by way of graphic, informative, hard hitting entertainment, Ian Quartermaine’s ‘faction’ novels just may help the reader to come to terms with it all. Knowledge is power. If not, just enjoy the cheap thrills action books and movies elicit which the surface veneer of all the Ian Quartermaine novels provide, above deeper sub-plots for those with insight and a higher IQ level.

The author’s initials are IQ. Quartermaine was classic author Rider Haggard’s much travelled adventurer hero in the novel ‘King Solomon’s Mines’. Get the connection?




Jake Mandeville-Anthony, the plaintiff in the ‘Cars’ action, which is currently under appeal, is an actor as well as a writer. 35 years ago he played a ‘cult’ role as Tony Bitch (since named “the original Simon Cowell”) in a satirical British TV series called The Goodies. In it, Tony Bitch stated he would not bother to see the act but would just mark it. He then verbally destroyed the act in question. See the 3 minute video clip attached to this article.

By some kind of ‘Life Imitating Art’ irony, in the Motion to Dismiss stage of this case, in effect, the presiding judge managed to emulate the fictional Tony Bitch and decided not to see the evidence in the case, skipping that stage by refusing discovery, and just judged it. As the Motion to Dismiss pleadings were almost solely concerned with “substantial similarities” between the two parties works’ at law, a self-fulfilling prophesy was created that there were no substantial similarities between the plaintiff and the defendants’ works. The perfect Catch 22. Tony Bitch and Jake Mandeville-Anthony believe life cannot be allowed to so closely emulate satirical art with such accuracy, or that becomes an abuse of the presiding Judge’s discretion well outside the bounds of reasonableness.


In the recent ‘Cars’ court action in California, Jake Mandeville-Anthony’s case (the plaintiff) was struck out in its entirety on all counts with prejudice, by way of a Motion to Dismiss application made by the defendants. In an action alleged by the defendant to be without merit because there were no “substantial similarities” (Disney/Pixar said, well they would, wouldn’t they?) between the two works, both titled ‘Cars’ which on its own is an anomaly as with identical titles it’s not possible to get more substantially similar in fact identical, to that.

Incidentally, the defendants’ two earlier working titles were the same as the plaintiff’s. That is too much of a ‘coincidence’ but without discovery allowed by the presiding Judge, the Court never became aware of that.

Most legal authorities in the USA state when making substantive rulings it is more usual for a Judge to strike out an action by way of a Summary Judgment, where at least discovery is allowed and the evidence in the case is seen and reviewed by all parties. In the ‘Cars’ action, this the presiding Judge did not do. However, it is much more usual to allow a Judge and Jury to decide an action, which was originally agreed between the parties.

That is, until Disney/Pixar decided to break their original agreement and slipped in their Motion to Dismiss application to strike out the plaintiff’s case based solely on “substantial similarities” between the plaintiff and defendants’ works.

Without discovery which the presiding Judge did not permit, and with judgment based solely on the initial filing of the case, a mere ‘outline’ at best, added to the hearing for oral arguments being arbitrarily cancelled by the Judge and absolutely no trial, had all the hallmarks of an in-camera, non-trial as approved by North Korea’s Great Leader, rather than the outside world’s vision of the judicial principles of the United States of America as declared by the nation’s Founding Fathers.

As reported on 1st August 2011, by Eriq Gardner in the Hollywood Reporter, Jake Mandeville-Anthony’s ‘Cars’ ruling is: “The latest evidence of the ‘substantial similarity’ burden facing aggrieved writers who believe their work has been stolen. In recent weeks, copyright theft lawsuits have been thrown out over ABC’s ‘Modern Family’; ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’; and NBC’s ‘My Name is Earl’, among others.”

The Writers’ Guild of America is understandably appalled.

The Benay Brothers, authors of ‘The Last Samurai’ screenplay is another near decade long case in a similar mode where the lower court threw out the plaintiff’s case by way of Summary Judgment and no trial. As with ‘Cars’ both screenplays had an identical title to their alleged copyists, which is as substantially similar as it can get, and in ‘Cars’ and ‘The Last Samurai’ both screenplays were written before the defendants’ work and both seen by executives of the production company’s who eventually produced and released them.

In ‘The Last Samurai’ case the Appellants’ Court reversed part of the lower court’s judgment.

The Hollywood Reporter article confirms a disturbing trend by the US courts in opposition to most legal authorities that Summary Judgment (and in this case, a mere Motion to Dismiss) is drastic and should be used with caution, “so that it does not become a substitute for the open trial method of determining the facts.”

This trend clearly favors big corporations over the non-corporate individual plaintiff minus the resources which media giants have at their disposal along with some Neanderthal lawyers, and if individual judges continue to throw out cases on a wholesale basis in opposition to the spirit of the law by using Summary Judgment or Motion to Dismiss – instead of the open trial method of determining the facts – the legal process itself will fall into disrepute. Thereby follows a Corporate State. Anarchy and disrespect for all laws, follow.

In the ‘Cars’ action, the plaintiff’s case was not even given the benefit of Summary Judgment, where at least the evidence would be available to the Court and questions of fact explored and adjudicated.

Another really dodgy twist whereby the defendant’s had an advantage over the plaintiff was Disney/Pixar’s lawyers already had full discovery of the plaintiff’s earlier action because the case papers had been transferred from the UK to the USA after a Consent Order allowed that occurrence. Because no discovery process was allowed by the presiding US Judge – despite numerous applications by plaintiff’s Counsel for Expedited Discovery – it was continually denied and the plaintiff never saw any of the defendant’s work for substantial similarities comparison, in a hearing based solely around “substantial similarities”! Because the defendant’s failed to advise the Judge they were in possession of full discovery – that is usually called “withholding evidence” – added to the fact the presiding Judge never allowed the discovery process to commence, left her unaware the plaintiff was under an inequitable disadvantage throughout the case and by arbitrarily cancelling the hearing for oral pleadings before making her ‘in-camera’ judgment to strike out the plaintiff’s claim on all counts, with prejudice, the plaintiff’s Counsel was unable to bring the matter to the presiding Judge’s attention at the scheduled hearing – arbitrarily cancelled even though plaintiff’s counsel had already purchased his halfway across America plane ticket!

In addition to withholding information the defendants’ should have advised to the Court – all now on Court record – the defendants’ lawyer told the court something they should “not” have told the Court, viz., the plaintiff’s earlier UK action was “struck out with prejudice” (which means without merit) and it follows if the plaintiff’s case had been struck out with prejudice in the UK, as with ‘scenes a faire’ where one thing follows another, the same would happen to the plaintiff’s US case. It would be difficult to think up a more effective ploy to “discredit” and prejudice a plaintiff’s case at the commencement of the pleadings stage. By the defendants lawyers injecting (deliberate misrepresentation) bias into the plaintiff’s action by way of a planned piece of perjury – the defendant’s lawyers being fully aware the plaintiff’s action was merely transferred from the UK to the US by way of a Consent Order – such gross abuse of the process whereby crucial evidence was withheld from the Court by the defendants, followed by totally misleading the presiding judge with a perjured statement, would have instantly got the plaintiff’s UK case struck out in its entirety if the boot was on the other foot. This can be mentioned because all of the above is available for all to see in the UK and US court records.

However, there are further examples of the defendant’s perjury and abuses of the process which cannot be mentioned whilst the case is under appeal.

No judgment can be allowed to stand which was purchased by way of perjury and withholding evidence from the Court. The plaintiff is not a fool and all of the evidence relating to the above is available on-line in Court Records. The plaintiff knows the case well enough after almost 20 years being involved with it, to be able to cross reference the records to find the proofs.

Modern Corporate Justice US style? Hopefully not, but in short succession, there have been seven or eight alleged copyright theft cases all adjudicated without a trial and struck out in favor of mega-rich media corporations. Is this an unwritten bias to protect California’s essentially contributing economy to the bloated and grossly mismanaged US economy? It appears cases to right the wrong are being unilaterally protected against mega corporate theft, the most drastic being ‘Cars’– struck out by way of a mere Motion to Dismiss application by the defendants’ without the discovery process being implemented and minus even one hearing for oral arguments – let alone the Jury Trial originally agreed!

Kafka would have approved but America’s Founding Fathers probably would not.



The Air France plane taxies onto the runway of the airport at Phnom Penh. My mate Alan and I navigate our way through customs and immigration procedures, and are met by a van outside to take us through the blistering heat to our modest hotel. The Dead Kennedys, iconic punk band of the San Francisco New Wave comes to mind, in the guise of their legendary punk pop tune entitled, “Holiday in Cambodia.”

Once considered a rough and dangerous combat zone where one was subject to be mugged or assaulted, Phnom Pehn is undergoing a transformation. Bars, pubs, hotels and clubs are springing up everywhere, in large part due to the government asserting transparency in encouraging business investiture from the west. Unlike Thailand, there are no police showing up at your business for monthly brown paper bag deposits, nor tea money for vested interests, corruption has been minimalized and the country is experiencing an upsurge in tourism and investment.

Our Cambodian Connection, Paul De Leon, meets us at our hotel and whisks us away for brunch at, The Blue Pumpkin, a trendy venue by the side of the river that courses through the heart of the city. It is immaculate, well appointed in white in the tradition of Bed Supper Club, with tables and pallets at the back. The food is French influenced, with a bakery downstairs churning out beaucoup des baguettes and pastries. The venue is fashionable, the food first rate and cheap, with friendly service. Windows overlook the river, and the crowd is spicy and well construed. Paul is a gracious host and racounteur, regaling us with info re the machinations of this vibrant scene. Classic flanneurs that we be, we celebrate Baudelaire and promenade down the boulevard that runs by the side of the river, as tourists and locals stroll by the pubs and bars . Paul has arranged to shoot a poetry reading at a French restaurant nearby.

The venue is well appointed and the upstairs room is perfect for this enterprise. Paul sets up the camera. He sips a Ricard pensively. I lay out my poems for the reading. Paul signals for ACTION. The camera rolls. I read from the text of my new book entitled Dark Cabaret, a cinema book in the tradition of the Nouvelle Vague I composed with my collaborator film director, Marcelo Von Schwartz.

I read a fistfull of poems that are in the process of being translated into French by Anthony Georges Whyte. I conclude the reading with the final text from Dark Cabaret. Paul signals, CUT.  Paul is well pleased. We order some tucker. A lavish French meal and an excellent bottle of Bordeaux is served.

Paul takes us to the Foriegn Correspondents Club for happy hour. A congenial crowd has gathered to drink and schmooze, with the obligatory sight of the river outside the balcony. It is a welcome departure from the FCCT in Bangkok. As darkness falls  Paul hires a tuk tuk for the night to squire us around town. Our driver Sam is  a young local, wise and friendly and a proud family man who proudly shows us pictures of his son.

We pile in, the driver wheels through the boulevards by the river, and we head over the bridge to the other side of the river, where there is but one hotel run by a Swiss bloke, and the population is totally native. It is an eye opener. The people are friendly and unspoiled. The next spot is back on the other side at the first venue to be opened in town, Sharkies. Time stands still as the expats and demimondaines drink and shoot pool.

Next on the expat trail is a cosy place named, Circe, the temptresses inside are gracious and charming. The owner is a French guy who speaks Spanish. We converse in Castilian, and he reveals that Circe has been open for 8 years. The hostesses are Khmer. It is time to roll to the disco du jour aptly entitled, The Heart of Darkness.

The driver pulls up and we roll out into the Heart of  Darkness. Joseph Conrad would probably be drinking at the bar if he were alive today. It is full up with locals out for a good time and the usual suspects, mostly pretty girls burning it up on the dance floor. We decline an offer to continue on to Pontoon, another disco with a massive reputation, but segue to Walkabout, a pub in the hood. It is cosy and lively, a spot where people come to chill and be chilled. We decide to continue on to Martini, a traditional hook up venue.

Martini is rough and ready, with an open air bar and tables, replete with a small disco inside. It is one of the oldest venues in the city. Back in the day you could only come here accompanied by a driver who was armed for the match. Today it is totally mainstream. Paul threatens to take us to Ciao, the next day. It is an offshoot of the Foriegn Correspondents Club and is located by the river. Curiouser and curiouser we roll ,deep in the street, marveling at the gorgeous Khmer and Vietnamese hostesses.  This town has smoothed out the rough edges and replaced it with the pulse of the last frontier, a zone where twilight rules and adventure beckons. The jungle plies its allure of reptilian lore, sinuous love, exotic freedom and strange delights as evidenced by the poems of William Blake transformed by Jim Morrison and the Doors into the mysterious verses ie.

Some are born to strange delights, Some are born to strange delights , Some are born to strange delights, Some are born to the endless night, End of the night, End of the Night, End of the night, END OF THE NIGHT.

The landscape has changed. The temples and ruins are visited by a horde of backpackers. The cheap lodgings, great food, and inexpensive hostels have attracted them like moths to a flame.The country is also family friendly in its new incarnation, and groups traveling en familie with kids in tow are now the norm rather than the exception. White women on the road are also much in evidence as they are well met and get a lot of attention. 

We hit the road to an area hard by a bar entitled Equinox. There has been an open mic session at the bar next door. It is populated largely by rowdy white girls and boys, and could ostensibly be in the Haight Ashbury of San Francisco or the Village in NYC. The crowd is in good nick and is by and large attractive and strangely wholesome. They drink, carouse and cruise each other, posturing and posing, flirting and networking. The Cambodian night has worked its sexed up magick. It is a welcome departure from the exotic delights we have experienced so far,as it is now well past the midnight hour.

Paul lays down the game plan. It is time for the final installment in this night of pleasure that could be paraphrased by the immortal Louis Ferdinand Celine who penned, “Death on the Installment Plan.” We taxi through the avenues of night en route to our final destination, a venue aptly entitled, Candy.

Candy is open like 7-11, in this city of endless night it is open 24-7. The bar is situated by the river on a side street. Vendors outside sell street food. Inside it is populated like the title of an Elvis Presley flick, ‘ Girls, Girls, Girls.’ Terry Southern would be wildly popular here, as his novel, ” Candy” predates the existence of this down and dirty yet charming venue. We sit at a booth and are soon in league with the local charmers.

The sun is beginning its inexorable rise over the sin swept streets of the city. The chariot of the sun drives through the dawn skies, drawn by black stallions whose hooves thunder and flash lightning , signalling the advent of a rain storm. Spent yet strangely exhilarated by the adventure, we hit the street accompanied by comely denizens of Candy. We are all ravenous, and the girls are going to take us to a favourite den for a heary breakfast. We promise to return to this gilded city of iniquity, where one can perpetrate crimes literary in the company of sexy maidens. But that mes cher amis, is another story for another day.





Juan Antonio de los Reyes is bringing the Iberian art of flamenco to audiences world wide. He has just concluded a successful tour of the Philipines, and is now engaged in showcasing flamenco dance, music and song in Dubai, as part of a world tour. Ballet Espana Bravo Flamenco is now playing to sold out audiences in Wafi City, at Sevilla a venue that seats 700 guests.

Our friendship goes back to Madrid, and the halcyon days of the great Antonio Gades, the premier flamenco artist of the 20th century. Gades was also immortalized in films by director Luis Suarez, who was married to Geraldine Chaplin. De Los Reyes performed with Gades for 3 years in the National Ballet of Spain, and as flamenco, like the Greek myths of old is passed on to new generations orally and by social artistic interaction, has acquired the secret knowledge possessed only by heirophants of this ancient art.

His impeccable scholarship is grounded in the impeccable roots of flamenco genealogy, having performed and studied with Mariemma, Gades, Rafael de Cordoba, and Antonio del Castillo.  I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and studying with the aforementioned when I was in my pomp. Many a summer was spent on the Costa Brava, where Antonio del Castillo was a headliner in the boites de nuit dansantes, and Juan Antonio de los Reyes was his lead dancer. Flamenco is a marriage of dance, music and song. The interplay between the cantaor who sings the verses, the dancers who accompany the guitar and the music in its tradition and aesthete is a complex fabric, as each is dependent on the fusion of all these elements.

The guitarist for Ballet Espana Bravo Flamenco is Salva. Sabicas, Manitas de Plata, and the long list of gypsy kings who retain the purity of this path descended from the Vedic Roma tribes, Egyptian and Arab calls to prayer, and North African rythms, chansons and musical instruments  reflect the influences Salva brings to the stage.

The cantaora is Sonia, the gypsy song book is a storehouse of lore, Andalucia sings as did the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, and the folk traditions are handed down from generation to generation inspiring the adage that Spaniards are born to sing and dance. Sonia twists filigreed cante as the bailaoras Elisa, Cristina and Marta, conjure minarets with the fingers, castanets rolling like thunder and feet drumming to a metronome of long ago.

Jaleos Bulerias is one of the dances on song , and an audience favourite. Seguirillas, mysterious and theatrical is also represented in the program. Farruca is a manly dance , ironically enough made famous by the great gypsy dancer Carmen Amaya , who danced farruca dressed as a man . Tientos and Tangos are light, breezy and entertaining with antecedents in Andalucia, the cradle of gypsy dance and song. Sevillanas are performed in Sevilla during the Easter holy week, and are danced in pairs, with castanets or in the gypsy way with finger and pitos, or finger snapping. Fandangos de Huelva originate from Huelva where Christopher Columbus embarked on his discovery of the New World, but are not to be confused with Grand Fandango which is deeper cante jondo as epitomized by the great cantaor Manolo Caracol. Jaleos de tablao is an entertainment where the entire company engages in a dance off, vieing to outdo each other. Guajira colombiana is from the New World, when Spanish conquistadores were influenced by the music of the Americas and fused it into the flamenco. Bamboleo rumba is pop flamenco at its best, as personified by the hugely popular Gypsy Kings, who possess showmanship, bravura, infused with the culture of the genealogical roots of flamenco and have inspired a whole new audience of payos, the gypsy Roma word for non gypsies.

Ballet Espana Bravo Flamenco will leave Dubai to tour Greece. Legend has it castanets were invented in Greece, and later found their way to Egypt. The ballet is slated to perform in Athens, home of the gods of dance, chanson, thetare and philosophy, and Thessalonika, where they possess an ardent following.

They are involved with the Spanish Embassy in spreading Iberian culture, and under their aegis, will bring their art to Singapore and Thailand. Plans are also afoot to tour China. Bangkok awaits the forthcoming Adventures of a Flamenco Ambassador with bated breath.   There will be a cultural interchange with all countries visited on the world tour.

Flamenco has come a long way since gypsies were persecuted for its practice. To the gypsies who invented it, it was like the blues is to African Americans who cultivated this uniquely American art form under the chains of slavery. Both are about love and loss, lament and regret, injustice and revenge. The liturgy is both sacred and profane, anti-establishment and humanist, created by genetic codes blessed by the Creator for the aforementioned purposes.

 Both have a connection to Africa, the blues to west and east Africa, and flamenco to North Africa , to the ouds and dumbeki- the mushroom shaped drum that originated in brave Carthage and Morocco, Arabia and Egypt.  Blues evolved in the deep South, on the plantations in the Mississippi Delta, where slaves and sharecroppers picked cotton and sang in the fields. It has roots in Texas, and famously in Chicago, home of the modern blues where The bluesmen drank the bittersweet mead of the post war blues explosion, and young white psychedelic rockers tuned into this dynamic music. Andalusia was the focal point where the gypsies  mutated the influences of India, Arabia and Africa and made it all their own.  Like the bluesmen they were marginalized for their race and color. Once again young white Europeans championed flamenco, and Madrid and Barcelona gave it a new audience of white Iberians performing in gypsy dressage, just as the English rock n roll invasion of the USA featured  Brits in blackface, burnt cork and charcoal,  in the minstrel tradition, wailing as if they were born in the Missisipi Delta . It is in the blood, people are born to the blues and flamenco.




Once again in the guise of bespoke noir poet, I cross the threshold of the scene of many a literary crime,  the Foriegn Correspondents Club in the noir heart of Bangkok. The venue is celebrating the book launch of, Bangkok Noir. Christopher G. Moore greets me and introduces me to his colleague, the author Dean Barrett. They are busy signing copies of the book, which is a collaboration of 12 Bangkok authors. John Burdett is late and on the way. I make my way to the bar to order a hard boiled martini, shaken not stirred.

Jerry Hopkins sits at the bar, and places his order. He is the author of the title, Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive. The book is an exploration of the mythos behind Jim Morrison and the Doors. It became a best seller and was one of the sources used by Oliver Stone for his massive hit movie, The Doors. Jerry is hale fellow, well met. We exchange ripostes. I was introduced to Jim Morrison by the Beat poet Michael McClure in Haight Ashbury back in the day. We met at McClures pad on Downey Street. Michael had launched his celebrated theatre piece entitled, The Beard, to international success. I had had the privilege of introducing him on stage at the Avalon Ballroom where he read from his volume of poetry, The Ghost Tantras. His theatre piece , The Blossom,   was performed at the Straight Theatre, along with a mimo-drama entitled The Philosophers Stone by Antonin Artaud, in which I portrayed the persona of the Harlequin.

McClure brought Jim to the performance by The Living Theatre at the Straight Theatre, on Haight Street, which was formed and organized by my childhood chums and I. Steve Ben Israel, one of the founding fathers of the Living Theatre, recently reached out to me to say that after the performance, Jim hung out with Steve and the Living Theatre and played them the new album. Jim and McClure were conspiring to print the  volume of poetry by Jim , The New Lords, now a collecters item as only 200 copies were made.

Our paths were to cross again months later in North Beach, where I  ran into Jim having a drink at the Peppermint, next to the Galaxy across from the Condor, famous North Beach boites de nuit. Since the statutes of limitations have now expired, I can now reveal that I turned Jim onto 2 capsules of needlepoint mescaline , which he dropped forthwith. I dropped as did my date Theresa, a lovely dancer. Peppermint was a cosy bar, the music was down and dirty and San Francisco was then the epicenter of the youthquake revolution.  Jim was a beautiful dude, clued up to the Beat poetry movement, well spoken and erudite. McClure was his literary mentor. The mescaline worked a treat, and the Jolly Roger of the counterculture flew high that night. Jim was a poet and a proper gentleman.

Joe Cummings is schmoozing at the bar, he introduces me to the film director Lovisa Enserra. She is Swedish, and has a project she hopes to shoot in Thailand in December, entitled Bangkok Betty. Joe is an author, journo, muso and bon vivant. As Morrison would have said, “Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.”

The authors of Bangkok Noir are introduced on stage. The audience is lubricated and on song. There is a delicious interplay as the authors and audience exchange views and opinions. The proceeds from much of the book go to charity. This is a marvelous reflection on the noir tradition, as it traditionally represented the marginalized and disenfranchised elements of society. Moore has graciously consented to muse on and answer questions that reflect his influences as a noir author.

Q. James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammet are considered as icons of noir literature. Did they influence or color your ouevre?

A. These three writers laid out the outline for hardboiled crime fiction. Most crime writers owe a debt to their novels. The idea of bringing to life those who live on the margins of society, who steal, lie, cheat and murder have a huge pull for readers whose lives rarely cross such individuals. These authors did two extraordinary acts: they were able to identify the corruption, unfairness and social injustice that excited the emotions in modern society. These authors slapped a personal face on characters who struggle to make a life when the odds were stacked mile-high against them and we saw how they were dragged through the sewer by the bullies, the gunmen, the gangsters, and crooked congressmen, cops, lawyers and judges. How they never had a chance inside a system with fatal moral decay. That’s noir. Hardboiled novels—and a case can be made that is more accurate to describe most of their novels—delivered a sliver of hope against a stormy, dark sky.

Modern crime fiction has taken the discontent with the social problems in our political, social and cultural system and shaped the respond with a whole new levels of violence and despair. This is a pushback in the competition with the daily outpouring of video footage on YouTube and other sides from war zones, natural disaster sites, airplane crashes, along with the pump action shotgun of images from daily murders from somewhere around the globe. In the days of Cain, Chandler and Hammett, most people didn’t have access to witness this level of violence. And the people who commit the violence and the victims are immediate, in your face on the screen. Authors writing half a century ago, had no such competition. Their books features murders and characters that evoked a far more exotic, distant, and unusual world that the one contemporary crime authors write in.

In an Internet driven information world, every twenty-four hours brings fresh video footage, still images, blogs, and newscasts with yet more examples of the dangers of life, the envy and greed and jealousy that motives people, and the bodies, always a new cemetery of bodies pass before our eyes as we become not just accustomed to noir as the norm but deadened to its message.

The gloves have been tossed away, and it is bare-knuckled fighting from one end of the planet to the other. The twisted characters of the past have their descendents on center stage, day in and day out, until evil becomes banal and empty. The shattering of the ethical and moral compasses leaving most people without a benchmark to judge whether conduct is acceptable other than it gets an individual what he wants.

Vincent Calvino shared that ‘flawed’ characteristic of noir heroes. Someone banished to live an alienated life along the margins of Bangkok society. As an outsider to Thai society, he has an ability to understand some of the basic ideas such as ‘face’ and superstitious aspect of the culture with the belief in ghosts, the power of amulets, and the daily rituals at local spirit houses. These cultural insights come in handy as Calvino runs down cheating husbands, scamming foreigners, and corrupt businessmen.

The Calvino novels also have that strikes a hardboiled tone. Calvino also works on the inside of Thailand. In each case, he deals with social injustice, moral compromises, privileged classes, untouchable thugs, and with clients who bartered their souls to work and live in Thailand and often want a way out. In Calvino’s world the odds are stacked against any individual who tries to go against the powerful and influential figures who can crush him with impunity. These cultural factors shape the character, his emotions, reactions and choices. Watching him navigate through the Thai underworld is classic noir.
Q. The roman noir or series noir are terms used to address the noir tradition. Do you consider your work as neo noir?

A. The noir tradition is the mirror that shows the ugly, dark angles of society, the lens goes down to the gutter and keeps on digging until it finds it can’t go any farther. This idea of being doomed, subject to larger forces and conspiracies, and never certain who to trust and for how long. It is this world that draws an audience from the larger middle-class. This readership from time to time may have a glimpse of lives in shadows, the back alley, the seedy bar, and the rundown boarding house or motel. And there were the criminals, big and small, who roamed these places packing heat.

A noir film or book takes the reader inside the world for hours and let’s them observe the actions and psychology of characters whose morality has been mixed in a blender and is poured out in sheer violence, greed, lust and terror. But for the grace of god feeling that you are separated from those character by a fine, arbitrary line; and as reader by an act of fate you are not on that side, you are participating along with the author is an act of active imagining such a life.

There has been a break from the old noir tradition as I hinted above as the information about lives on the fringes of society is no longer a secret locked away. If anything, it’s just the opposite. We have too much information to meaningfully filter and assess the underlying message, and in the process we’ve lost some of the mystery that noir evoked in the past. We cocoon ourselves in narrow social, cultural and political niches and hold on as we surf through an ocean of digital noise.

If they want to check in on the nasty, evil side of life, they watch The Wire, or Breaking Bad. Programming devoted to following prisoners around in American prisons. Fiction authors compete with these powerful TV images; and some of the best TV writers also write crime novels like George Pelecanos who writes The Wire and brilliant crime fiction.
Q.Film noir with its low key black and white visuals, roots in German Expressionist cinematography, hard boiled heroes and femme fatales are personified in The Maltese Falcon. Shot in 1941, it is regarded as the first film noir of the classic era. What do you reckon the impact was on cinema history?

A. I will leave statements about the history of film noir to the experts, especially the ones who have studied the films from the 1940s through the 1950s—the golden age for film noir. The common thread in most of the film noir in this period is the large, sprawling big city, one stuffed with corrupt cops and officials. The locations run from the bars, flophouses, diners, gambling parlors, and nightclubs. And there are warehouses, old factories, rundown hotels, bus station lounges, and rental car lots. People are on the run. They need places to hide; they need transportation, guns, liquor, money and women. You set those people in motion in those places and the outcome is bound to come out in blood and bullets.
Q.Your novel, Spirit House, has been optioned by Hollywood. When can your fan base anticipate seeing it on the silver screen?

A. Spirit House is being developed into a feature film. The people who were behind Michael Clayton, Damage, and Duplicity have been doing an excellent job. There is a script by Hollywood screenwriter Chase Palmer, which is one of the best scripts I’ve read. Having read the script, I can say it will be the first Hollywood feature film that nails the gritty, edgy aspect of Bangkok. I don’t think anyone will ever see Bangkok quite the same way after they see Spirit House. The chances are looking good for production to start later this year in Thailand.
Q.Who would you fancy to portray Vinnie Calvino on screen?

A. Asking the novelist who wrote the book, which is the basis of a film is flattering. It’s a bit like asking a Bangkok motorcycle taxi driver, who’s won a ticket to the Chinese Grand Prix, his opinion whether to go with Sebastian Vettel or Jenson Button to drive the Formula A racing car. I am certain a lot of people would much care about his opinion about Formula A drivers and their degree of care would likely be higher than accorded my choice for who plays Calvino. Though Mark Wahlberg would make a great Vincent Calvino. He has the right look, attitude, age and style. Not that I am making any rash suggestions or recommendations. Think of it as a whisper from someone who does often take advice for Bangkok motorcycle drivers.
Q.What film directors do you admire in the modern and noir genres?

A.I am a fan of Graham Greene and I like what Frank Tuttle did with This Gun for Hire, which is based on a Greene novel: This Gun for Sale. And you don’t get much better than behind a film than was the case for Double Indemnity directed by Billy Wilder, who co-wrote the script with Raymond Chandler.  The Big Sleep directed by Howard Hawks was based on Chandler’s novel. As you can see, I love the noir films adapted from novels.
Q.What actors male and female interest you as relevant?

A. That’s beyond my pay grade, sir. As the question begs to ask: relevant to what? If I had to guess, I’d say that it means someone in a production house who must write a very large check knows exactly what ‘relevant means.’ I have no idea how to measure relevance in the movie business other than down the road, the film makes money and so the casting must have had the relevant actors..
Q. Michael McClure the Beat poet and my literary mentor made me aware of the importance of the works of Stirling Silliphant back in the day. As Stirling was your friend and fellow writer, how do you assess his importance as an icon of Old Hollywood in the 21st century, his relevance as an expat in Thailand, and the rumour that he was the basis for a character in your books?

A. Stirling Silliphant was one of the most genuinely creative writing talents I’ve ever met. He was one of those rare people who didn’t need to find his muse; he was always seeing an angel everyone else missed, he had a sense of pacing, conflict, character development and drama quite like any other I’ve ever known.

He was a mentor when I first came to Bangkok, and championed A Killing Smile in Hollywood. He had dinner with Norman Jewison in Toronto years ago, and had sent Jewison a copy of the book. He wanted Jewison to turn it into a film. Jewison shook his head, on that the story was set in a whorehouse. “No, I couldn’t make such a film.” When you were Stirling’s friend, he fought for you, phoned people, wrote them letters. He told Jewison that he had the wrong take on the book. It was about a sub-culture in Bangkok and revealed the dark hidden life of expats and locals, and the moral complex environment that both sides exploited. Jewison shrugged. He’d made up his mind. It didn’t matter that Stirling had won the Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation, for The Heat of the Night—which Jewison had won an Oscar for Best Director.

Stirling’s battle on behalf of A Killing Smile was lost with Jewison but he never gave up trying to find a director/producer for that book. I’d say, a hundred years from now, looking back at Hollywood writers and producers, that Stirling’s name will be on the A list of those who made a substantial contribution in both films and TV. He was a giant then, and his reputation will only increase over time.
Q. Neo noir film as embodied by Polanski in Chinatown, and Taxi Driver by Scorsese, have given noir a new audience. Do you think Vinnie Calvino is ready to assume the mantle of characters portrayed by Bogart and Robert Mitchum?

A. That’s what we are going to find out with Spirit House. Every age has its Bogart and Mitchum waiting in the wings. Ours has that potential as well. This is one of the reasons the producers of Spirit House have been very careful to commission and receive an excellent script. That’s what makes, along with the right director, the actor take his performance to the next level. Bogart and Mitchum captured the spirit of their age; I am hoping whoever is tapped to play Vincent Calvino will bring to life for a new generation the image of our noir. I’d hope Calvino as the flawed hero will come to represent our own journey in a world that Bogart and Mitchum, and their contemporaries wouldn’t much recognize.

Noir influenced many generations of cineastes. Moore has elucidated brilliantly his concept of noir for today. Noir was also an influence on the Nouvelle Vague, the French New Wave that was formulated by Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jaques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and Jean Luc Goddard. Cahiers du Cinema was the literary magazine that was the voice for this cinematic revolution. The aforementioned formulated their manifesto on cinema for nearly a decade before Jean Luc Goddard made the revolutionaty breakthrough in 1960.

Breathless, or A BOUT DE SOUFFLE, paid homage to Bogart and his crime films while brandishing a bold style for a new day. Classic noir film was worshipped as historical archetypes to be revived, rejected and restructured. Jean Paul Belmondo portrayed car thief Michel Poiccard aka Lazlo Kovacs, with Jean Seberg as his gun moll. Poiccard reveres and styles himself after Bogart and his film persona. Goddard employed jump cuts, hand held cameras, eschewing film soundtracks for natural sounds of birds singing, cars purring, trees rustling and guns firing, as well as improvisation. Although these seemed like innovations and revelations, in fact the surrealist master Luis Bunuel had employed all these effects in his eponymous film, Diary of a Chambermaid, starring Jeanne Moreau.  The New Wave was reinventing the noir tradition. Breathless made Belmondo and Seberg into international stars, and Goddard into the enfant terrible of New Wave.

During my bohemian days in Paris, I stayed in Saint Michel at the Hotel Du Albe. Saint Michel was then inexpensive, cool and hip, with fantastic food and wine, movie theatres and cafes where one could go to see and be seen, to meet and greet. A poet friend suggested I try the Hotel De Suede, a brisk walk from Saint Michel. I booked a room there. The poet joined me for lunch, then proceeded to explain how Jean Seberg had been discovered dead in the boot of a car parked across the road from the Hotel De Suede. Seberg had been dating a Black Panther, and was known for her radical political views. The FBI was rumoured to have filed her dossier. She has been the subject of many conspiracy theories. Her tragic murder has never been solved. This dear readers is true and classic noir.

Christopher G. Moore is to be congragulated for flying the Jolly Roger of noir high, and contributing to charity and good works in this era when tasteless  bling and greed are euphemisms for success. Mark Wahlberg is indeed a good choice to portray rough, tough and handsome Vinnie Calvino. Private Dancer by another writer who contributed to Bangkok Noir, Stephen Leather is now being cast and will be shot in Bangkok by Ric Lawes and his production Company, Location Thailand Films. Noir is well and alive, thriving and residing in Krung Thep, City of Angels.


I am a screenwriter and playwright in England with my latest work, ´It Started With A Touch´, a family drama, to be staged at the Barons Court Theatre in London on the 5th to the 18th September 2011, following a successful short run at the New Wimbledon Theatre in March 2011. A film I wrote the screenplay for, ´Blackberry Stains’, was shown at Cannes in 2010, the rights of which have been bought by a Canadian company for world- wide distribution.

I have met Jake Anthony about a dozen times and as a professional writer and actor himself, he has given me a number of tips on the art of writing and also the sometimes cut throat business side of the writing industry. I write family dramas, intimate plays about human relationships for theatre and film, and Jake writes epics as novels and screenplays. The subject matters of our work are vastly different, but our objectives are the same, to tell original and meaningful stories that will both surprise and entertain.

In his court action against Disney/Pixar in the USA for alleged plagiarism of his ‘Cars’ series of cartoon movies (8 in the series and a TV spin off) – much publicized in the media, commencing with an article in the Hollywood Reporter – I was appalled at the character assassination being blogged about him and the downright falsehoods about the court case and his part in it.

“Unknown writer comes out of the woodwork and sues Disney for ‘Cars’” infers that he is a louse and being unknown in the USA suggests he therefore cannot have the talent to write the biggest cartoon movie and merchandising success ever.

Jake Anthony is not an ‘unknown’ writer. Little known in the West maybe, but that’s because he did a ‘Lord Jim’ in the Oriental East for much of the last 26 years, after a personal tragedy in the UK. Before that, in the UK, he was a regularly working character actor and a whizz journalist in PR and advertising. Look on the Internet for ‘Tony Bitch the Original Simon Cowell’ in The Goodies send up of Talent Shows, called ‘Hype Pressure’. That was Jake. It still has a ‘cult’ following and gets repeat royalty fees 35 years later.

As to being an “unknown” author, just go to and key in Jake Anthony to kindle books and more than 20 breakthrough Guerrilla Guides can be viewed on all things holistic – from education to culture shock in the Oriental East and holistic health matters.

‘Cars’ is a sci-fi concept of humanoid cars living in a world without humans. It was Jake Anthony’s ‘third sci-fi work’ – the other two were his contribution to ‘Cybernaut’ and ‘From Other Worlds’ – superbly reviewed novels with screenplays already written. I have read them both. In contrast, John Lasseter has never written anything. Don’t believe me, just log into and check out his professional credits as a writer. Disney’s creative PR team have the skill to make people think the opposite.

“Why did he ‘come out of the woodwork’ right now after ‘Cars’ has been a ginormous box office hit and did not take action against Disney in 2006 when Cars was first released?” This suggests that Jake Anthony is a scam artist trying to extort money from ‘innocent’ Disney. Some of the public and much of the media and probably Disney, so often distort the facts for their own ends.

I personally know that Jake commenced his action against Disney one year ‘before’ Cars was released in 2006. It takes a long time to persuade a law firm to take a case in the USA and launch a court action. ‘Cars’ took almost 6 years to reach the stage where it now has an imminent injunction hearing in California, which strongly suggests his action has considerable credence.

But Jake Anthony is also an editor and packager of other authors’ work, so puts some of his own writing style and magic into their creations. Just go into and key in Ian Quartermaine and a series of controversial books including one ‘Book of the Year’ (‘White Slavery’) and several controversial ‘faction’ novels can be viewed and instantly purchased, such as ‘Sleepless in Bangkok’ which has sold for over a decade despite being banned at times, with second hand paperback copies selling for up to $200 due to not being available in the West. Jake also edited and partly wrote the novel version of producer and screenwriter Ric Lawes’ “Supertanker” – 9/11 was just a practice run. ‘Unknown’? Not true. He is a highly experienced novelist, journalist and screenwriter and I am not surprised when he moved from ‘cult’ to commercial genres as with ‘Cars’ that he hit the box office and merchandising jackpot.

Thanks to the democracy of the Internet, e-books and Jake’s work is now reaching a wider market. Writers are very vulnerable to having our work used and not being paid. It is usually OK in the theatrical world where I normally function, but the movie and TV side of the industry can be a nightmare.

Against great odds, the David in Jake Anthony has sued the Goliath called Disney and having his character assassinated as reward, damages other writers’ chances who may find themselves in a similar position. He is fighting for justice, and not just for himself.

Roger Goldsmith. 11th April 2011




Once again in the guise of bespoke lysergic poet, I roll to the premiere of , Mindfulness and Murder, at the Paragon Cineplex. Tout le creme de la creme of Bangkok cineastes are promenading about at the gala event. Attired in my black raw silk suit and skinny black tie, I make the rounds and join the liggers at the bar.  Tom Waller, making his directorial debut in this motion picture shot on location here in Thailand, greets me.  Tom is casual in a white sports jacket, yet chic and elegant. As Arnold Schwartzenneger is wont to say, he is dressed like a film producer, Armani louche and trendy. Tom is charming and eloquent, as he greets guests and players in the film game.

The cuisine is provided by Serenade, a hip bistro in the Ekhami area. Serenade is run by Timber, who in the company of his devils disciple, Nico, is in the process of throwing down some tasty tidbits on the bar.  Kaprice Kea, cineaste about town, joins me at the bar to nosh and swig. Gorgeous models and film actresses are stalked around the roped off arena by film cameras. Bangkok film maker Jimmie Wing bellies up to the bar. He is the director of a prestigious short entitled,Wet Nana Dreamscape, and is hard at it on another flick.

Joe Cummings, Renaissance man about town, congragulates Marcelo Von Schwartz and myself on the success of the book launch for Dark Cabaret,  a collaboration between Von Schwartz  and Pineda, at the Warp Studio. The book is based on the film entitled Dark Bridge. Directed by Von Schwartz, it is in the tradition of Nouvelle Vague. It features local actors Peter Rnic, Nate Harrison, Antonio Pineda and Keysha Malbraque. The film will recieve its premiere at a date to be firmed up in May.

Nicholas Snow prepares to interview Tom Waller. Cameras roll as Snow chats Tom up for the television cameras. Krystal Vee makes a delicious appearance. Krystal is one of the stars featured in, The Scorpion King 3. Ron Pearlman is the star of the aforementioned film shot on location in Thailand. Desmond O Neil engages Krystal in talk re his new film script.

Howard Posener, magician extraordinaire to the stars is in good nick, as we discuss local screenwriter Jake Anthony and his lawsuit against Disney-Pixar. Richie Moore and his gorgeous girl friend Topaz hit the set. Pete Arias rolls in accompanied by lovelies  Nat and Tam. Pete is the producer of a short film destined for the 9Film Festival.  It is directed by Bumdog Torres, a hip author and film maker from Los Angeles. Bumdog grew up on the mean streets of Crenshaw. The only way out of Crenshaw is as an athlete, hip-hop muso, or film artiste. Sadly Crenshaw loses much of its youth to drugs gangs,  prison or drive by shootings.

The short film stars Pete Arias as a cool dude, Kelly B. Jones as the femme fatale, Bumdog Torres as a cynical yet charming artist, and Antonio Pineda as the pimp-playboy. Martin Landsberg was the DOP, and the unsung star of the film is the red camera in all its glory. It will be screened in competition at the 9Film Festival in Bangkok later this month. It is a competition where all entries must be 9 minutes in length. Pete and his posse threaten to liaise after the screening of the film by Waller at Bed Supperclub, where the after party will be raging full on.

We repair to the cinema for the screening. Former Bangkok Post sub editor Nick Wilgus penned the novel on which the film is based. The protagonist is Father Ananda, an ex- cop who is now a Buddhist monk at a temple. A dead body turns up in a water jar. The police are reluctant to take action. Ananda is forced to take action, and is exposed to dark secrets about the monastery. The film possesses a moody atmosphere. The good and bad of monastery life is depicted in honest and unflattering terms.

Saffron robed monks smoke cigarettes, are implicated in secret drug rings, and ponce about sporting Yakuza like tatoos. It is definitely a new spin on the old war horse genre of detective murder mysteries, which is exactly what the author and director intended. The film is really about a good monk who is protecting his faith.

Wilgus professes to find solace in the teachings of the Buddha. He admires its commitment to the here and now, and what one can do to improve our lot in life. He has spent more than 30 years studying religion and spirituality in its various forms and manifestations, and feels more closely connected to Theravada Buddhism. The film has won three awards at the ThrillSpy International thriller and spy film festival 2010.  The movie recieved awards for best actor, best director and best cinematography.

The lights dim as the credits run. Cineastes debate the pros and cons of the content. It is an overwhelming succes. People are captivated by its originality. I roll with Timber and Nico to the after party at Bed.

Tom is as always the gracious host as he escorts me to the roped off area at Bed. A chocolate martini is the drink on offer to guests. Dean Kelly Jr, the ace face of Bed, AKA Junior, joins the party. Zoe Popham greets me. She will be hosting her Creative Ministry at the Bed in the first fortnight of May, an event not to be missed.

Joe Cummings hits the set. This prolific man about town is working on three screenplays and two novels. His tenure as deputy editor at The Magazine of the Bangkok Post is full on, as well as playing guitar in La Sabrosa Sabrosura, a Mexican band which has been rocking local audiences with its blend of salsa, rock, and reggaeton. He invites me to the Sabrosura gig at Love Cafe on Saturday next.

Chris Wegoda, actor and the brains behind The Actors Association of Thailand, is engaged in discussing the artistic merits of the film, with Pete Arias, Tam and Nat. Chris was also an actor in the short film produced by Pete entitled, Bumdog and the Escort. The film was based on a script by Bumdog Torres. Are we having fun yet?

There is no mercy for the Wycked. The party is rocking out of bounds. Stay tuned mes cher amis to yet another installment of the Bangkok Chronicles. Mindfulness and Murder is a must see. Kudos to Tom Waller for organizing a brilliant night out in the name of  love. We will catch you later at the Sabrosura gig,  at the next soiree organized by Zoe Peckam to celebrate Creative Ministry at the Bed, or at the May  premiere of the feature film influenced by noir and Nouvelle Vague, Dark Bridge, directed by Marcelo Von Schwartz.  But all the aforementioned dear readers, is yet another story for another day.

Disney’s Grand Theft Auto?


The current lawsuit by Jake Anthony against Disney/Pixar in the USA for alleged plagiarism of his ‘Cars’, ‘Cars 2’ and ‘Cars-Toons’ screenplays is fascinating the world, occupying page upon page of Google and Yahoo.

The story broke in the Hollywood Reporter’ and is currently on more than two and a quarter million Internet sites.

The whole world is now asking who is this screenwriter and what are his other works? The massive press coverage with tens of thousands of comments from journalists and the public alike, are raising many questions.

However, my beef is, the plaintiff, Mr. Jake Anthony, ‘is’ being tried by the media, with many UNSUBSTANTIATED character assassinations and unsubstantiated and/or fabricated facts.

For instance: “Unknown writer comes out of the woodwork and sues Disney for ‘Cars’” infers Mandeville-Anthony is a louse and being unknown in the USA, suggests he cannot have the talent to write the biggest cartoon movie and merchandising success ever. Strange as it may seem, it is obvious there ‘are’ talented writers emanating from outside the USA who are not compelled to live there!

John Lasseter claims he was able to write the ‘Cars’ series because he loved toy cars as a kid and his father was in the automobile industry! Disney’s PR team failed to state he was an auto parts salesman in small town America. I am sure John Lasseter’s father was/is a good man, but someone who ‘knows’ a cars parts salesman and liked toy cars as a kid, does not qualify John Lasseter to write a sci-fi tale of humanoid cars in a world totally lacking in humans. It is doubtful Disney will have an answer of any credibility, for that!  

In contrast, ‘Cars’ was Anthony’s ‘third sci-fi work’ – the other two ‘Cybernaut’ and ‘From Other Worlds’ – original stories which he edited and packaged in novel form based on his own original screenplays. Oliver Stone read Anthony’s ‘White Slavery’ – For King & Country, and contemplated making it as a movie. However, he agreed that although factually true, it was too strong for Middle Britain and Middle America.

Check out John Lasseter’s entry as a writer and you will see he has never actually written anything! Disney’s PR team or its “black mouse with a big stick”, can really make people think black is white! How Disney’s PR team will handle this fact should be interesting.

Another interesting fact from Disney’s entries on ‘Cars’, the story was credited to Brenda Chapman – recently fired in a very public way when her work as director of ‘Brave’ was considered sub-standard.  [NB. See the article about the ‘real’ Pixar below]. In addition, the screenplay for ‘Cars’ is credited to a total of ‘eleven’ writers, of which John Lasseter was just one.  We all know a committee never created anything of merit. That’s what pro writers do – like Jake Anthony. Bloggers, if you are not part of Disney’s behind the scenes bloggers team, please check your facts before attempting character assassination of a ‘real’ writer.

Comments like: “Why did he ‘come out of the woodwork’ right now after ‘Cars’ has been a ginormous box office hit and did not take action against Disney in 2006 when Cars was first released?” suggests a novice in the industry wrote the blog.

This just didn’t suddenly ‘creep’ out of the “woodwork”. Having worked with Jake Anthony at times and mixing with the showbiz/literary community in Bangkok, I know for sure that he commenced the legal aspect of his action against Disney in July 2005 – one year ‘before’ Cars was released (June 2006) and has the documents to prove it.  It takes years to obtain a lawyer in the USA and launch a court action and ‘Cars’ took almost 6 years to reach the stage where it has an imminent injunction hearing, so hardly an itinerant writer trying to scam a payday from Disney, just as the movie is about to be released.  

Add the fact that Anthony’s literary agents in Hollywood and London died decades ago, and after a personal tragedy he spent a major part of his life in South East Asia & The Orient, might well explain how his name and work are little known in the USA and more so in Bangkok, Singapore and Tokyo.

But more about the “unknown” Mr. Jake Anthony: My personal experience knowing him, I would say he is the classic writer, Lord Jim Joseph Conrad type who has actually traveled South East Asia & The Orient for many decades, seeking answers. The old saying a writer must be in the world, rings true of him.

Go to and search Jake Anthony on kindle books, and you will find more than 20 ‘breakthrough’ subject matter Guerrilla Guides. For those interested in knowing more about the actor/author, each Guerrilla Guide contains photos and a mini-biog. Hardly an “unknown” writer.

In addition, Jake Anthony has been an editor and packager of other authors’ work for more than two decades, and adds some of his own writing style and magic into each of their creations.  Just go into and key in Ian Quartermaine and a series of controversial books including one ‘Book of the Year’ (‘White Slavery’) and several controversial ‘faction’ novels can be viewed and instantly purchased. One is the notorious ‘Sleepless in Bangkok’, which has sold for over a decade despite being banned at times, with second hand “collectible” copies selling for up to $200.  And don’t forget ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Sex’.

Jake also edited and partly wrote the novel version of producer and screenwriter Ric Lawes’ “Supertanker” – ‘9/11 was just a practice run’.

Jake Anthony writes and edits great stuff and I am not surprised when he moved from ‘cult’ to commercial genres such as ‘Cars’, that he hit the box office and merchandising jackpot.  Unfortunately for him, Disney/Pixar has been collecting the cash.

But Mr. Anthony’s abilities do not stop at a long history of editing and writing.  As an actor in the UK, he was in ‘The Goodies’ send up of Talent Shows, called ‘Hype Pressure’. He was more recently cast opposite Bruce Willis in Oliver Stone’s ‘Pinkville’ two years ago, until the Writers Guild of American shut Hollywood down for six months and it got cancelled and/or postponed.

If Jake Anthony was say known for his appearances on a well know show like ‘Saturday Night Live’ many Americans would have heard of him. This well know “Icon” of a show in the USA emanated from an equally well known show in the UK called “The Goodies”, of which Mr. Anthony was a guest artist and earned the title “Tony Bitch, the original Simon Cowell” for his standout appearance.

If Mr. Anthony can be the “Original Simon Cowell” which few in the USA know about, maybe it cannot be too much of a stretch to see him as the originator of the ‘Cars’ series.

As a screenwriter, his first and his most recent screenplays were accepted for production – Cybernaut’ and ‘Siam Streetfighter’.   

Thanks to Asia Books in Thailand, the democracy of the Internet, e-books and his work is now reaching world markets. Perhaps the current law suit against Disney/Pixar in California will finally give credit for the ‘Cars’ series to its rightful author, Jake Anthony.

Yes, and Jake Anthony edited and packaged my own hard hitting detective novel ‘The Magick Papers’ (an absorbing, never predictable tale of crime and punishment  set in the 1960’s Flower Power-generation) which has been consistently well reviewed and can be purchased as a kindle e-book from or downloaded (free software) to your computer, Blackberry or i-Phone.  Just key in Antonio Pineda or ‘The Magick Papers’.

Interviews with the normally elusive Jake Anthony can be arranged only via Ric Lawes:

PS. We all remember Disney’s ‘The Lion King’.  Check the many Internet exposes and Jake Anthony’s ‘Cars’ looks like a doppelganger event. Disney/Pixars modus operandi appears obvious to all bar the ‘bloggers’ who are trying to create subversive demolition on the man I personally know to be the rightful author and owner of ‘Cars’.

Disney’s ‘Simba the Lion Cub’ was frame by frame “substantially identical” to the much earlier ‘Kimba the Lion Cub’, created by legendary Japanese author/director/animator Osamu Tezuka,  Fortunately for Disney Co, he had died and his company, which owned the rights, had gone into liquidation.  No doubt, Disney breathed a sigh of relief, as would its shareholders.   

Japanese animators were so upset by the apparent similarities, they published a petition on behalf of their late idol: “To the Japanese, Mr. Tezuka’s works are a national legacy. Therefore the respect and admiration we Japanese felt for Disney Co. is severely diminished. It is not possible to explain the damage inflicted upon this aspect of Japanese culture.”

Fortunately, Jake Anthony can and has, sued.  But will the Goliath level of power, influence, big money and dirty tricks of a big corporation, be able to beat a courageous and talented David? Watch this Internet site for more on the story.

Antonio Pineda.


Is Pixar Sexist? Anger as Studio Replaces Female Director on ‘Brave’

Published: October 20, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

By Sharon Waxman & Jeff Sneider

Pixar reaped a heap of anger Wednesday as the blogosphere accused Disney’s animation house of sexism — and worse, being formulaic — for firing Brenda Chapman, the first female director in its history, from “Brave,” a film she had written and nurtured through the development process.

For one thing, the animation industry is not known as a warm and fuzzy place for women.  And Hollywood overall? Women remain a fraction of the industry’s directors, just 7 percent according to the latest study – the same ratio as a decade ago.

The Pixar news sent a particularly angry ripple through the blogosphere as the studio confirmed that Brenda Chapman (above) had been taken off the girl-centric film about an archer-princess.

Aggravating the situation, “Brave” will be Pixar’s first film to star a female lead character, with Reese Witherspoon voicing the title role.  Mark Andrews, who earned an Oscar nomination for his Pixar short “One Man Band,” was tapped to take Chapman’s place.

“This is really upsetting,” wrote one commenter called Killskerry on Cartoon Brew, the animation-news site that broke the news on Monday. “It’s so discouraging to see a lack of ladies in high up positions.”  Even Chapman’s colleagues inside Pixar were reported to be angry.Drew McWeeny on Hitfix said a friend at the studio “talked about how upset many of his colleagues are, simply because they were hoping they were going to see Brenda’s film. It’s a real testament to her that it seems like this is the first one of these Pixar staff changes that has really upset other animators.”

See following story, “Blogosphere Blasts Pixar Over ‘Brave’ Director’s Exit.”

It’s no wonder Chapman’s firing has created such a flurry of protest. She was the first woman ever to direct an animated feature from a major studio — DreamWorks Animation’s “The Prince of Egypt,” which she co-directed with Steve Hickner and Simon Wells in 1998.

She also worked in the story department on such animated classics as Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King” and joined DreamWorks Animation when the studio opened in 1994.

“It’s unfortunate because Brenda Chapman would have been the first woman to direct a Pixar feature. As a result, this story will probably get a lot of attention but it is not all that unusual for studios to replace directors,” said Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. ”However, I don’t see this as a major event in the larger picture of women working behind-the-scenes in the film industry.”

Pixar was apparently proud enough of her hiring for “Brave’ that they even boasted about her at Annecy, the International Animated Film Festival.




The book launch for the Nouvelle Vague inspired photo-cinema book, Dark Cabaret, was celebrated at the Warp Studio in Bangkok. The venue is a converted warehouse hard by the Sheraton Riverside on the shores of the Chao Phraya river. It is situated in a cosy warren of art galleries, antique shops and artists studios that occupy converted commercial spaces. This section of Bangkok is now feted to be the future art center of Krung Thep, City of Angels.

The Warp is run by Belgian artists Peter Smits and Christian Develter. The walls are festooned by paintings in a distinct Warhol tradition painted by Christian. There is a pool table at the rear. Neon tube letters spell out WARP at the back wall. The floors are varnished hardwood, as is the ceiling with skylights to admit brightness. The proprietors graciously have allowed local film maker Jimmie Wing, to shoot pickup shots for his film entitled Expats, as the Warp is a perfect place to shoot with its wooded contours and natural light.

The rites of spring were ushered in by throngs of bohemian and trendy admirers who came to see and be seen. Tepandine catering orchestrated a teppanyaki demonstration of sumptuous delicacies. His Excellency Felipe Frydman, the Argentine Ambassador contributed a case of an excellent Argentine Cabarnet Sauvignon for the palates of all. He has concluded his five year diplomatic tenure here, and Bangkok will lose a brilliant architect of art, tango, and culture when he returns to Buenos Aires.

Pieter Compernol (PTENDERCOOL, Cross Cultural Creations), the proprietor of a classy furniture factory across the road by synchronicity held a first class cocktail party for the crème de la crème in the city. The two parties mixed and mingled, holding court back and forth and although it threatened to rain, the night was redolent with the heady scents of the flowers by the river, and the wineing and dining of inebriated guests.

H.E. Felipe Frydman addressed the throngs, and gave his blessings to the conspiracy of artists involved. He was to celebrate his departure from Bangkok by inviting us to his farewell bash at the Siam City Hotel, replete with orchestra, tango dancers and fine wine to wash down the gourmet fare. It was attended by diplomatic services and the top echelon of Bangkok society. We will miss his indomitable spirit, marvelous hospitality, nurturing of poetry, cinema and tango, as well as his bonhomie.

Dark Cabaret is comprised of  the cult film director Marcelo Von Schwartz favourite frames from his feature film Dark Bridge. The text is by cult poet and film actor Antonio Pineda, whose lysergic novel The Magick Papers is a legend in the Californian underground. Dark Bridge is in the process of making the tour of the international film festivals in the year to come.

The book is in the tradition of Le Nouvelle Vague. Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Francois Truffaut, and Jean Luc Goddard formulated the manifesto for the New Wave, with their writing for the mythic Cahiers de Cinema. Breathless, filmed by Goddard in 1960, fueled the inception of this cinematic revolution which embraced innovations such as jump cuts, hand held cameras, the eschewing of artificial music soundtracks for real sounds and improvisation.

The existential decadence of the Swinging Sixties inspired young film makers like Von Schwartz, to cut film from a different cloth than the commercial clichés that existed. Neo Realism was the bridge between surrealism and the new breed of cineastes. Books extolling the creation of film, and promoting innovation among poets, painters, script writers and cineastes were then the norm, rather than the exception and Dark Cabaret explores this concept.

Bacchus promoted harmony among the revelers. Pan played his festive pipes, as Pineda read excerpts from Dark Cabaret in an inspired reading, followed by Von Schwartz who spoke regarding the film and the book. Clips from the motion picture were screened on the wall. Among the revelers were film directors, actors, models, and celebrities that make up the strata of cineastes, writers and painters in Bangkok. Signed copies of the book by its authors were on sale, and the crowd availed themselves of this collectors item.

The night sang and flowered like a surrealist gala, where the beautiful women and impossibly sophisticated gents promoted literature, painting, cinema and philosophy. The book launch for Dark Cabaret may now be history, but the screening of the motion picture Dark Bridge, will be celebrated in Bangkok at a future date. You dear reader, are invited to this confluence of art and culture, so keep your eyes and ears open to attend the next installment of this ongoing experiment in cinema by Von Schwartz et allii.


Shariah Larcher and I sit on Khao San Road in the Sawadee Terrace, drinking an evening libation as trendy backpackers enjoy the Bangkok night. He is a yong Brit film maker whose debut film, Baseline is enjoying a well deserved victory at several film festivals world wide. Baseline has won best director and film at the 2010 New York  City International Film Festival. Brendan O Loughlin was again awarded best director at the First Glance Film Festival in Philadelphia.

Official Facebook Group for The Baseline Movie

Larcher comes from Hackney in the East End of London. It poduced such diverse luminaries as the  notorious East End crime family the Kray twins, and the poet-playwright-dramatist-actor Harold Pinter. Shariah grew up on Reighton Road E5, a blue collar neighborhood.

Shariah drinks a beer and ruminates on his East End upbringing. ” Growing up in Hackney gave me a real feel for culture. I studied drama at Central School of Speech and Drama, with my best mate Freddie Connor, who is the lead actor in Baeline. I also studied dance ie. ballet, tap, jazz at an early age from 12 on. This gave me discipline. Baseline gave me he ability to pursue my talents and ambitions as an actor, screen writer and producer.”

Baseline is a gritty urban drama set in the streets and night clubs of the East End. Danny  aka Conor is a bloke introduced into a world of alcohol, drugs and crime he is not cut out for. Zoe Tapper portrays Jessica the romantic object of his attentions.

Baseline [UK Release] Blu ray Review

Dexter Fletcher is the right hand man of Jamie Foreman , the local East End crime boss. Gemma Atkinson is the innocent and idealistic love interest of Gordon Alexander who portrays  Paul, Dannys childhood chum.

Gary Stretch, former glamour boy of English boxing, once the WBC Light Middleweigh Boxing champion portrays Rob, a crime boss of South London. Stretch plays against his usual tall, dark, handsome persona in a performance that lights up the screen. He is still rememberd in the U.K. for his fight against Chris Eubanks. The fight was billed as The Beauty vs The Beast. Stretch lost to Eubanks in 6 rounds, but his gritty and heroic performance captured the attention of U.K fight fans. Stretch was also a memorable Cletius in Olivr Stones epic , Alexander. I had the privilege of working with Stretch in, The Kingmaker. shot on location in Thailand by the venerable renaissance  man,film maker, David Winters.

Baseline [UK Release] Blu ray Review

Shariah Larcher plays Sean, the drugs dealing enforcer of Jamie Foremans crew. Sean cuts a rugged figure wih his shaven head, pumped up physique and pugnacious character. He also co-wrote and served as co- producer. The project was 3 years in the making. It was shot on a low budget in the streets and night clubs of London. The film explores themes of friendship, betrayal, love, alienation and violence. Audiences have responded to distribution of the film. Fine Light Films is poised to follow up the success of Baseline, with a motion picture in development entitled Amsterdam . It will be shot in London and Amsterdam. The writer is from Hollywood, Clark Childers, currently writing on a film project for Bruce Willis ex wife Demi Moore.

Larcher is staying in a cosy guest house in the hood, in order to sample the delights on the street and atmosphere of this most bohemian sector of Bangkok. He loves Thailand and comes here several times a year in between film projects. He is an Arsenal supporter, and follows the Gunners exploits wherever he is. Shariah is optimistic about the England team, and hopes Jack Wilshire and the new breed of Arsenal players like Theo Walcott can enable Britain to make an impession for the European Championships. He will leave Bangkok soon to enjoy island life.

Larcher waxes eloquent on idyllic island life in Thailand.” I love the island life. The sun, sea and sand, beautiful women and great sea food not to mention the fantastic party life. I have many friends who own bars, pubs and discos on Ko Pi Pi and Koh Phangan. I would like  to shoot a movie here in Thailand. All the ingredients are here for a great film. It is exotic, picturesque and the people are great looking and friendly. I am thinking of developing a script with my best mate, alhough at the moment my lips are sealed about the content.”

He grew up with the films of Martin Scorsese, and his favourite is, Goodfellows. He is an admirer of Marlon Brando, De Niro and Pacino. Sanford Meisner, who was one of the primal forces in he philosophy of Method Acting is his template as an inpiration and guiding force. The Method symbolizes to him and many young Brits the pinnacle of The Golden Age of Hollywood. James Dean, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, the grat actors in the tradition of the philosophy of Method as formulated by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg fascinate him. British actors like Daniel Day Lewis, Michael Caine, Helen Mirren and Judy Dench were his favourites growing up in the U.K.

Dirctors like Danny Boyle, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Leigh, and the director of Inception, Chris Nolan rank highi in his pantheon. Larcher loves the black and white Hitchcock dramas he saw in his youth. He reckons the suspense and classy screenplays the master craftsman introduced to cinema are still unsurpassed by modern cineastes. James Bond, 007, remains an inspiration , and he ranks Daniel Craig as equal to Sean Connery as a modern interpreter of  the spy who loved them and left them.

His ideal women in cinema are Kate Beckinsale, Scarlet Johanssen, and he has a fondness for secret agent 36-34-36 who was recently sent by Moscow to honey trap America, Valentina. He fancies Jessica Alba, but Kate Winslet and Vanessa Redgrave are his favourites as thespians who continue to fly the Union Jack high in promulgating British cinema as a high art form.

Baseline is available via on Dvd and Blue Ray.  It has finished its cinema run and can be seen on Pay for View and Video on Demand from Blockbusters Love Film and Virgin Tv. Baseline has been a labour of love and three brilliant but challenging years of his life. Everyone who has worked on it are immensely proud of what has been achieved. Keep your eyes out for the next installment in what promises to be the second in a classic British gangland trilogy, Amsterdam.

Link to The Baseline trailer


Boaz Zippor, celebrated Bangkok photographer and promoter of the arts greets me at the entrance to his art studio and private gallery. It is located in a multi level house, the patio grounds have been converted into a bar, the ground floor and upper tier house an eclectic collection of paintings, collages and photographs conceived by Boaz and his wife Toto, who is a brilliant artist in her own right. He leads me to the back of the grounds. We share a glass of wine as he shows me the mise en scene for the performance of Butoh which will celebrate the winter solstice.
the winter solstice Butoh jam is a long standing tradition of the International Butoh Festival, organized by Terry Hatefield, an american expat in bangkok, bringing together Butoh dancers from all over the world, howling together at the full moon.
The garden in back has been converted into a theatre in minitiaure. The stage is a grotto complete with tiny waterfalls and lush foliage. Chairs have been placed around the mise en scene. Gold wrapped chocolates have been placed on chairs. The artists will perform al fresco. This is a tribute to the complexity and historicity of this marvelous art form, born in the post war era in Japan, challenging authority and engaging in the subversion of conservative ideals.
It is Kismet, Butoh itself is a long discarded Japanese term for European ball room dancing. Butoh rejects Eastern and Western dance conventions, expressing intense emotions via slow, controlled, disturbed and distorted movements. It is also known in the Orient by another nom de guerre, The Dance of Darkness. Expressionist and contemporary, it was pioneered by choreographers like, Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno and Kasai Akira.  Ohno is often regarded as the soul of this extraordinary art form. Hijikata is referred to as the historical architect of Butoh.
It became widepread in Japan in the 1960s.
“Earlier this year the festival held a memorial performance in honor of the passing of Ohno, performed by an American, a Thai and a Brazillian….Butoh is truely without borders or boudries” says Zippor. “under the white makeup they are all the same. As Ayn Rand said – under the skin we are all the same, and I for one, am willing to skin humanity to prove it.”
Abstract and expressive it was implicitly related to the destruction caused by the atomic bomb to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thematically centered on destruction and creation, it explores the concepts of apocalypse and rebirth, without employing dialogue.Graceful and grotesque, it is imagist rather than narrative in character, and musique electronique is the background music of choice for this maverick art form.It is famous for the exploration of taboo topics.
Tatsumi Hijikata is revered as the dynamic innovator who choreographed the first Butoh masterpiece in 1959. Entitled Kinjki, the literary translation is Forbidden Colors. It was based on the novel of the same  name by the iconoclastic Japanese author, Yukio Mishima. This  work explored the hitherto taboo themes of homosexuality and paedophilia. Mishima was later to commit ritual suicide, as a protest to the conservative Japanese establishment in later years. I performed in two westernized plays of Mishima in San Francisco at the Straight Theatre in the Haight Ashbury. They were in that era called modern Noh dramas. The titles were, The Lady Aoi and Kantan.
Butoh is characterized by its physical appearance. The faces are painted white. It is also prevalent for gold or silver body paint to be employed as an alternative. Shaven heads are the norm , nakedness is often a part of the ritual dance, as the actors perform the slow moving and distorted shapes of the directors choreography. Butoh grew in popularity in the 1980s, and soon there were troupes and festivals celebrating the Anoku Butoh movement worldwide. Companies such as Sankai Juico have added a modernist designer sheen to traditional Butoh performances, availing it to a new international audience of admirers. Western traditions in literature and drama  have also influenced Butoh. Antonin Artaud and his philosophy of the Theatre and its Double influenced Japanese intellectuals. The Marquis de Sade also provided inspiration, as the Divine One, as  he was regarded by the Surrealist Art Movement was also a dramatist. Jean Genet with his stage explorations of homosexuality and alienation , as well as the poet Lautreamont wielded sway on Butoh. It is curious that French poets, dramatists and intellectuals play such an important role in its development, but it also reinforces the fact that the aforementioned represent victory of art and the intellect over the ruling classes and the establishment by welding the arts into a system of high philosophy.
Ray Huber, director of the motion picture Bangkok Adrenaline arrives with his coterie. Huber is shooting a new film on location in Thailand entitled Dragon Wolf. It stars the venerable renaissance man of Hollywood films and long term resident of Thailand, David Winters. I worked in a shoot this week by a young director, Jimmie Wing, with another actor from Dragon Wolf, Lex De Groot. Lex is negotiating to work in a film to be shot in the Netherlands and to be filmed in Brabant, a dialect idiosyncratic to that region.
The Butoh performance is on song so we retire to the theatre. A shaven headed bloke and a lovely woman dance an intricate pas de deux to musique electronique. The background is fascinating. The flowers, gushing waters, buzzing mosquitoes and dulcet air give the performance an air of other worldlieness. The whiteface makeup is exotic and the tatoos on the female dancer contribute to the surreal atmosphere. The performance lasts for nearly half an hour, as the actors glide in a repetoire of movements that in turn would certainly have inspired Artaud and his thesis that modern theatre should revert to the great themes of classical antiquity, and that these stories, plots and disciplines should be rediscovered by a modern world intellectually bankrupt and bereft of original thought. The actors take their bows.
We repair to the bar and its environs to savour the glorious moments we have just experienced. The wine and spirits flow. The dance like sex is an ephemeral experience. Once the act has been consumated, it can never again be regained. It can be performed again, but every performance will be different to the previous no matter how hard we attempt to replicate it, this in essence is the true magick of theatre and dance, of ritual and love, of poetry and song.






January 2011 will celebrate the book launch of Dark Cabaret on AMAZON.COM, an event long anticipated by cineastes in Bangkok aka Krung Thep, City of Angels. The director, Marcelo Von Schwartz, not to be confused with another Schwartz, the late film icon Tony Curtis, was born in Argentina and resides in Barcelona and Bangkok. He studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He has employed his talents as an architect in Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Turkey , Spain and Norway.

Dark Bridge, shot on location entirely in Thailand, is a culmination of the awards he received as international recognition of his short films. The director’s oeuvre is focused on “The dark side of things.” His nightmarish and dreamlike work is highly influenced les bete noire, artists who explore the dark side of high art. Francis Bacon often alluded to as an Expressionist painter satirized and mocked the hypocrisy of society, with his outlaw sexuality and erotic paintings of his milieu.

Otto Dix, German Expressionists are extensions of this tradition. Von Schwartz numbers among his cinematic influences Fritz Lang, Friedrich Murnau, Josef Von Sternberg are deities in his cinematic pantheon. Nosferatu, directed by Murnau who died tragically young in mysterious circumstances, is the defining classic of the vampire genre.

Fritz Lang made Metropolis into a prophecy of what modern cinema would achieve.  Von Sternberg created Marlene Dietrich as The Blue Angel, unleashing on cinema the silver screen deity whose rampant sexuality and sophistication was the template for all who came after her.

Nouvelle Vague serves as a major inspiration for von Schwartz.  Jean Luc Godard is credited with launching the New Wave in 1960.  Breathless, starring Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg exploded onto screens, hand held cameras and ambient backgrounds, improvisation and eschewing traditional film soundtracks for the natural sounds of birds singing, cars purring and gratuitous violence incited and excited. Alphaville, starring American expatriate singer Eddie Constantine remains  a classic. Francois Truffaut, Godard, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol invented the cinematic philosophy of Noevelle Vague with Cahiers de Cinema. Fellini , Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren were to celebrate this philosophy of Existential decadence with, La Dolce Vita.

Manifesto Films chose to shoot Dark Bridge in Bangkok and the surrounding countryside. I performed in the shoots that were at the Furama Hotel, hard by the infamous entertainment area known as Soi Cowboy. The scenes were shot in the lobby, dining room and upstairs foyer of this unique boutique hotel. Nate Harrison stars as Dr. White, a young surgeon who has come to Bangkok for a date with destiny. I and Christopher Evans portray doctors who confront him with the contradictions in his persona. The film features co-stars Keysha Monique Mabra as the exotic cabaret dancer, John Winters as Dr. White as a youth and Peter Rnic as a crusty, garrulous war veteran who reveals the protagonists darkest secret.

The location for the Dark Cabaret sequence took place at the Texas Bar in Washington Square, an area famous in Bangkok for its spicy nightlife. The streets pulse with sensuality. It is an oasis of sin, dark embraces and chocolate kisses. The Texas Bar is famous for its spicy gumbo and saucy Demimondaines, and its atmosphere exudes all the charms of an ageing demimondaine.

Music by Recoil, whose front man Alan Wilder was  formerly of Depeche Mode contributed the soundtrack for the cabaret scene. Von Schwartz explains how he got the approval for the music from Wilder.

“When I was preparing the cabaret scene,  I discovered by chance the music of Recoil. From this moment on, time and time again the notes of Strange Hours rang in my head. The scene, its tempo, the movements of the camera, the incredible and sensual undulations of Keysha, all came together in a brutal harmony. The scene was charged with immense energy. When I finished the first cut, I sent it to Alan Wilder. He responded immediately. He loved the scene. Alan approved the inclusion of the music by Recoil. In exchange Recoil utilized scenes from the cabaret sequence and other scenes from the film in videos projected during their performances during their extensive and well received world tour, Selected 2010.”

Bruno Brugnano, composed the soundtrack for the film. Keysha performs a dance for the pleasure of gods and men. She dances in hells fyres, ecsydiast supreme, as the cameras roll and the patrons bask in her heavenly glow. Dr. White finds redemption and debasement in this scene, as Rnic reveals to him the identity of his true father. Most of the frames from the book are taken from the scenes shot at the Texas Bar.

An hourglass erected of blood and sand, a ritual of life and death, an exposition of the powerful, the beautiful and the damned, Dark Bridge is dark and impenetrable like the love of a divine temptress. Cinema seeks the noble truths. The mist behind the veil is the reward of the cineaste. The text reveals a place where nothing is sacred. The flowers of evil court and tempt the poet. Phallic fleurs are placed before the altar, as the priestesses, oracles of Delos, dance before the shrine, worshipping what they dare not know.

Lust enters the heart like a thief in the night. Desire spreads like a forest fire. The bete noir of frisson seduces and entraps. The stallion lays down with the mare. The lion mates with the lioness in the jungle.  A world ruled not by Mars but Aphrodite. Le Nouvelle Vague canonized the power and sexuality of women.

The Bangkok night is presided over by the star Venus. The neon lights of the metropolis attract with its siren charms, forbidden fruits and seductive nymphs inspire cinema.

Antonin Artaud predicted the aforementioned with his seminal oeuvre, The Theatre and its Double. The Marquis de Sade, revered by the Surrealist art movement as the Divine One, influenced the cinematic vision as did Jean Cocteau and Luis Bunuel. It remains to you, dear readers and moviegoers, to reflect upon the cinema created by Von Schwartz and his conspirators in cinematic crime.

Dark Bridge is a Fantasy Psychological Thriller, a Neo-Noir Film. Like a Moebius stripe, it develops in a dreamlike atmosphere.  The boundaries between dream and reality are no too clear, they are mixed up. The narrative is non-linear. The story appears fragmented through bursts of complementary images and at the same time shows flash-backs that will allow David White, as well as the audience, to move forward along that dark bridge towards the opposite bank, the one with the hidden history, and the hellish ending.

The story is presented from the single point of view of David White, who, emotionally altered, gives an emotional and intriguing account throughout a long and increasingly nightmarish flash-back, since his arrival in Bangkok to the end. The two ends of the bridge are clearly differentiated: the story in the present, of urban character, presents a harder image with unsaturated colors and high contrasts. David White will feel lost, and will find the city around him more and more confusing. He will be more and more trapped by it.

On the other hand, and as a visual counterpoint, as David White moves forward along that bridge towards the secret history, more and more flash-backs appear.  They resonate showing fragments of his father’s history with Li, the mysterious and beautiful Thai woman. They are bucolic images, flooded by the light, which reinforce the spirit of the hidden story but contrast violently with its fatal outcome.

“….I ‘ve found a magical bridge in Bangkok.

A bridge between East and West,

the present and the past,

and a father and his son.”

Marcelo von Schwartz

Links to the book purchase and more info


The Thailand premiere of Carmen conducted by Somtow Sucharitkul, was performed with spoken dialogue in French, as was conceived by the composer Bizet. The venue was the Thailand Cultural Center. At the ticket queue I encounter film actor Krystal Vee, she is the star of The Lazarus Papers directed by Jeremiah Hundley, and has just finished shooting , The Scorpion King . Both films were shot on location in Thailand.  Hundley is in Hollywood preparing the release of his film and is scripting a new cinema project. Krystal introduces me to her friend, David Giler. He is a film producer well known for co-producing  the Alien franchise, now residing in Bangkok.
He began his career as a scriptwriter of the 60′s U.S. TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Some of the films that he wrote include The Money Pit, Southern Comfort, and an uncredited rewrite for Beverly Hills Cop II.
The curtain is about to rise, so we go to our seats for this opera comique comprised of 4 acts.

The opera has been reset in Mexico, and Grace Echauri is brilliant as Carmen.  The costumes and backdrops suggest Mexico, and the flamboyant dispostion by Echauri as Carmen continue the Mexican conection. She is Mexican, and one must remember Placido Domingo began his career in Mexico touring with a Zarazuela, or light Spanish opera troupe with his parents. The Iberian connection runs deep in the score by Bizet, some of the most recognized signatures in world music, and Luis Bunuel, who learned the craft of cinema in Mexico during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. Carmen is a demanding character to portray, Echauri displays great range, and exhibits superior dramatic skills in order to portray the complex Carmen, and she dances convincingly.
Carmen is based on the novella of the same name by Prosper Merimee. He was influenced in turn by the narrative poem The Gypsies , by Alexander Pushkin. Merimee had read the poem in Russian and translated it into French in 1852. The opera by Bizet transformed the genre of opera comique, which had been flatlineing for half a century. The traditional distinction between serious, heroic and declamatory opera versus light hearted, bourgeois, and conversational comique style soon disappeared.
The story is set in Seville c. 1830. The eponymous Carmen a fiery, beautiful gypsy woos Don Jose an inexperienced soldier. He rejects his former lover, commits mutiny against his superior and joins a gang of smugglers in the name of love. She jilts him for the dashing bullfighter Escamillo. Jose murders Carmen in a pique of jealousy. Bizet counted among his admirers Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Pyotyr Tchailovsky and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche exalted the exotic elements in the score. The premiere in Paris in 1875 was attended by the composers Charles Gounod, Jukes Massenet, Leo Delibes, Charles Lecocq, and Jaques Offenbach. The same day Bizet was awarded the Legion d Honneur.
The critics were scathing, claiming the libretto was inappropriate for the Comique, Bizet was condemned by Reyer and Julien for not embracing the style of Wagner, and others condemned him for making the orchestra more important than the voices. The critic Joncieres and the poet Theodore de Banville lauded the work for its innovation, the poet praised Carmen for its innovation. Bizet did not live to see the enduring international syccess of his creation, he died after the 30th performance, having just signed a contract for a Viennese production of Carmen.The premature demise of Bizet, plus the negligence of his heirs and publisher led to textual problems not resolved until the 1960s.

Todd Geer performs as Don Jose . Nancy Yuen is a charming Micaela, and Stefan Sanchez a bravura matador as Escamillo. Darren Royston is the director and choreographer. The faux flamenco dance is lively and engaging, his braceo as the Spanish refer to balletic arms is excellent and although it is devoid of taconeo, or footwork, it is as they say in Iberia, bien parado ie of strong posture. Royston is a specialist in historical dance and movement. He is from the UK was a visiting tutor and choreographer at the Royal  Academy of Dramatic Art in London and choreographed the film Wide Blue Yonder starring Lauren Bacall, James Fox and Brian Cox scheduled for summer release. The Toreadors Song, Habanera and the Flower Song continue to please and delight with the erotic structures of paso doble, bolero and echoes of flamenco woven into the structure of opera.
Somtow Sucharitkul is lauded by the International Herald Tribune as the most important expatriate Thai in the world. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he soon established himself as an avant garde composer. He is also the author of forty books of several genres. S.P. Somtow, his nom de plume, was awarded the Isaac Asimov and H.P. Lovecraft Awards for his literary contributions. His novels have been translated into a dozen languages. He also is a cinema director, having directed two low budget fims during his tenure in Los Angeles. He has been made the recipient of the World Fantasy for the field of fantasy literature, for a short story entitled, The Bird Catcher. Dragons Fin Soup another story is is to be made into a French feature film, and a novel Vampire Junction is being adapted into an opera by French composer Frederic Chaslin. This conductor is indeed a proper renaissance man, and Bangkok is fortunate to have him at the helm of Opera Siam.
Boaz Zippor, Photographer to the stars and resident visual documentor of the Siam Opera was running behind the scenes capturing the spirit of the magnificent production, on it’s lights, costumes and non-stop movement.

Boaz has specific views on opera and theatre, especialy in a place like Bangkok.
“In an unexpected place like south east Asia, we suddenly find productions which are equal to big international cities such as NYC, London and Paris, and it is all thanks to the gravitational pull of Somtow and our Opera team, bringing in stars from all over the world on a shoestring budget, who wish only to be part of this magic. I am the first one to admit I am not a big Opera connoisseur, but i DO know magic when I see it, and it is always a pleasure capturing that magic with my lens.”
Boaz’s camera is used as a pure medium that captures the complexity and soul of the artist as they compose on stage, the intricacies of the genius of Bizet as composer.

Bizet has been well served by the aforementioned. I began my career in repertory in San Francisco with the New Shakespeare Company. The director, Marguerite Roma cast me in Romeo and Juliet by the immortal Bard and The Good Woman of Sechuan by Bertoldt Brecht. Roma was influenced by her work with Brecht and Max Reinhardt in Germany. Expressionism and the Brechtian values and politics of the day confirmed her as a free thinker and innovator. She believed that Shakespeare and Brecht should reflect the values and conflicts of the present. Roma cast the Capulets and Montagues as symbols of the civil rights issues of the 60s, Romeo was black and Juliet was white. Opera also needs to be reinvented for the modern world. Perhaps Somtow and Opera Siam can continue to bring opera to Bangkok, restaging it in such a way that it reflects the changes in social, ethnic and political divides necessary to world culture today.

to see Boaz Zippor’s full spectrum of stage photography:


UB Radio rolled to 3 venues 17-10- 2010. Q  Bar celebrated its 11th anniversary, and tout tres cool Bangkok was rollin deep, resident DJs, DJ PUL, Freddy Funk, Sunju Harjun for the VIP group in attendance from 9-11. The bar was wide open, as the guests ligged and danced,postured and posed, as the cameras shot the coolest of the cool. A night out in Bangkok to remember. The UB Radio posse was on to the next gig at Bed Supperclub

Long time Fabric residents and one of the biggest names to ever emerge from the UK’s incredible dance scene, the plump DJ’s make their explosive Bed debut – The funk’s gonna hit the fan, baby!!! This Outfit has a crew that rages, things are hotting up, as the midnight hour tolls and the wicked wax prolific. Bangkok possesses a club scene as vital and hip as New York, London or Hong Kong. Ub Radio will be a big player in the emerging international dance club exposition as the Asian scene opens all out in Shanghai and Singapore,who have invested in the infrastructure of the burgeoning dance club scene.

DJ Manow and  entourage make the scene to the next set on location at Glow. Dezi Love is the featured artiste, the cosy club on the fringes of the Soi Cowboy entertainment centre, is besieged by refugees from Q Bar and Bed.

DJ M anow

UB PRESENTS Dezi Love read the placard over the entrance. A bottle of Russian Standard Vodka arrived at our table with ice and mixers. My poison was vodka-tonic. The beat  went down a storm, the Russian Standard was up to the mark, you missed it if you were not there it was a great night

Joined by a lust  for some Pre-Christmas cheer,  Glow got with the program with a fun & free underground crowd. Music hotted up, \\ deep & funky / hot & happening, carefully selected and beautifully mixed by – DJ Masa, DJ Sinkichi & DJ Takayuki the 3 Japanese amigos! It was fun filled night with a fantastic vibe, as revelers get on down, in the disco inferno , shooting Liars Dice abracadabra, like dustup , long distance you hear what I say give a shout  at Glow and experience some Dezi Love this Christmas. Valet parking for sleighs are free ; but the Mercedes and the Rolls alternated with taxis  as the punters and liggers arrived from other venues that were cashing out.

UB Radio laid down a crowd of randys and dandys. It was a celebration to be cherished and they were rumblin and a tumbling all night long.


THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES BEST FORIEGN FILM ACADEMY AWARD OSCAR 2009 ORGANIZED BY EMBASSY OF THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC AND ALLIANCE FRANCAISE BANGKOK Marcelo Von Schvartz, Argentine-Iberian film director, and I greet our gracious host, His Excellency, Argentine Ambassador Felipe Frydman at the screening of, The Secret In Their Eyes. He introduces us to Pierre and Claire, who head the cultural department of the international art centre. It is a marvelous set-up, with a trendy bookstore, cafe replete with outdoor tables, cinema and a well stocked wine bar. Argentine Malbac is the order of the day, with salmon sandwiches and empanadas. Pierre and Claire invite us to return Thursday next, for a conference with John Burdett, best selling author of, Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo, which are in development as motion pictures. Burdett is also the author of splendid titles like, The Godfather of Kathmandu, and Bangkok Psycho. But that mes cher amis is another story for another day. We convene in the cinema, a well appointed venue worthy of art house. The film, directed by Juan Jose Campanilla rolls. The protagonist, is a minor funcionary in the chain from judge- prosecutors, clerks so peculiar to the South American justice system. A beautiful young woman has been brutally raped and murdered. A venal prosecutor tries to stitch up two innocents by beating confessions out of them. The hero has this injustice repealed, the prosecutor becomes his nemesis, and the case goes cold. The dishy head of the office and the protagonist interview the husband of the deceased. As the protagonist surveys old pix provided by the husband, he is struck by a male who continually appears, shadowing her with his eyes. Intuitively, he suspects him as the murderer. It is set against the backdrop of the militairy junta and death squads related to neo-fascist activity in Argentina circa 1974. The suspect eludes capture. The funcionary and his fellow colleague uncover via the suspects letters to the murdered girl, which contain references to football heroes of the Argentine League, in sportsworthy prose both obsessive and passionate, that he is a devotee of the Argentine football squad, Racing Club. They surveille the fixtures and finally apprehend him. In a delicious interrogation, the dishy love interest breaks the subject down by assailing his machismo. She tells him he is too poufy to have ever comitted such a virile assault. She impugns his manhood until the suspect pulls his pants down to show his testicles, punches her and impilicates himself. Unable to restrain this assault on his machismo, it is an ironic testament to the Spanish males obsession with all things macho. He screams he fucked her brains out, swanning in the death throes, a parody of manhood, a cruel joke. He is sentenced to life in prison. Enter the nemesis of the hero. He recruits him in prison as a confidential informant, betraying political activists. He becomes an invaluable snitch, an asset to the intelligence and security forces necessary to maintain neo- fascist regimes. The murderer is released and becomes a shadowy figure in neo- fascist death squads that were the order of the day. The murderer arranges to have the hero killed by death squad, but kill his friend in a case of mistaken identity. The case goes cold. The murderer disappears once again. The film cuts to 25 years in the future. Haunted by the death of the beautiful girl, the hero visits the widower who works for a bank in a provincial town. The husband confesses to having abducted the murderer, stuffed him in the trunk of a car, and pumped 4 bullets into him, then disposing of the body. Vigilante frontier justice at its best, after all he was a foul and vile rapist and murderer and the husband deserved to claim his pound of flesh. Justice has been served, or has it? The protagonist drives away, thein once again intuition has him return. He trails the widower to the stables on the grounds of his estate. In a denouement reminiscent of the great Edgar Allen Poe and the immortal tale of , The Cask of Amontillado, he discovers the murderer alive, and imprisoned by the widower in a barred cell on the premises. Justice has at last been served in a delicious twist of fate. There are no big name stars, car crashes, digital special effects or Hollywod cliches in this movie. It is a story instead with a literary cinematic intelligence more apropos to Nouvelle Vague. The acting is superb. The script impeccable in its attention to minutae and detail. Claire invites us to wine and delicacies in the bar. We polish of the Malbac, the cineastes in attendance carry on with film criticism and other worthy subjects. This film is a throwback to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, when Luis Bunuel was cutting his teeth in the Mexican film industry. It has its roots in Bunuel, Truffaut, Jean Luc Godard and Elia Kazan, in which story, character development and politics-social issues form the spine of a motion picture. In an age of discardable popcorn films, this motion picture is like a French chocolate that has delicious cognac filling,or a fine wine that leaves a taste of berries and flowers on the palate, ie food for thought.



By Antonio Pineda

Boaz Zippor greets me at the entrance to Boka Gallery in the Saphan-Kwai area of Bangkok. He lights up a cigarette, as he greets his guests and discourses at length on painting and photography.

“My photographic art in this exhibition is as raw as you can get, this is why i love Butoh. it is lean and mean and shows every human sentiment in its most naked form,” he explains. He escorts me to the lower level of his home, which houses his extensive collection of photographs and art.

“It might look like a dark art, but if you look closely at all the photos, it is always the light that is guiding you through the image, hence it is actualy the ‘dance of darkness’ as Butoh is known, that brings light into our life.” says Zippor.

His wife Toto, a famous artist by her own merit,  is tending bar. She is also an accomplished painter whose work, through the years has matured to what can only be called neo-Thai style, with influences from all over Asia but a strong Thai base and traditional cultural roots. His Excellency the Argentine Ambassador, Felipe Frydman, has donated a dozen bottles of Argentine Malbac, for the occasion , an augury from the gods.

A coven of literati and cogniscenti lig at the bar. Painters, authors, poets and beaucoup des cineastes. Marcelo Von Schwartz, director of the film , Dark Bridge, arrives with his camera to shoot the poetry reading I will be performing. The Argentine-Iberian film maker shares a glass of Malbac with Don Felipe. Marcelo is a denizen of Barcelona, but he now resides in Bangkok although he grew up in Argentina. He is in the final edit of his debut feature film entitled, DARK BRIDGE.

Boaz Zippor, our gracious host is in his element, as he shows guests about the photography on the walls of the bottom floor of the gallery. Tom Waller, an award winning local film director chats with me about his latest film. Kaprice Kea, producer-director and bon vivant shares his views on cinema.

The Butoh performance is full on. The dancers emerge from the house in whiteface, dressed in white with red sashes. The men are bare-chested. Two women and two male players enact a ritualistic mimodrama. The performance takes place in the outside jardin. The music is hypnotic and the actors dance with strong centers, interacting with one another, the concept is alluring and mysterious. A translucent moon beams down on the players, the audience drinks wine and smoke.  The audience bursts into applause as the performance comes to an end. The dancers come back after they take their bows to lig and discuss the performance with the audience.

Dean Kelly and his lovely lady Nikki make the scene. He is one of the organizers of Bed Supper Club and graciously invites us s his guests to Bed . We roll upstairs to the upper gallery where the poetry reading is about to take place . Marcelo Von Schwartz sets up the camera on a tripod to film the reading. Dark Bridge will be on the film festival circuit in 2011. He and I have also collaborated on a book, entitled Dark Cabaret, which is an exposition of the shooting of the film. Dark Cabaret is comprised of Von Schwartz stills from the movie accompanied by my text. It is in the tradition of the Nouvelle Vague, and will be available via Amazon in 2011.

I take my place behind the bar upstairs. Von Schwartz signals for ACTION. The celebration of this reading is in the Beat tradition. San Francisco has just celebrated Litquake, and Bangkok continues the tradition of On The Road that Jack Kerouac inspired so many years ago. The Beats in California still inspire reverence and admiration. Lawrence Ferlinghetti recently was honored in San Francisco on his 93rd birthday. The International Fall Poetry Festival organized by The King OF Poetry, Philip Hackett, invited me to perform a reading ther September last.

Von Schwarz shoots on, oblivious to the extraneous distractions. I read from my new work, a section entitled, Bangkok Blues. After a dozen poems I conclude with a poem dedicated to Dr. Albert Hoffman, the legendary scientist who pioneered the discovery of LSD, entitled Waiting For The Revolution. The reading goes down a storm.

I introduce Boaz, who reads some of his work. He is a talented poet, photographer and local icon. His poetry is by turns humorous and cynical, contesting social issues and keen insights.

The art of Tauromaqia in Spain is famous for a tradition called Espontaneos. This takes place in the bull ring when people leap the barriers to assume the matadors gig until they are escorted from the arena. An Espontaneo jumps to the forum. He is a young film actor named Lucas. He rips off a poem to the delight of the onlookers. Another bearded bloke jumps in as Lucas exits and wails with a hip hop cadenced poem or two. The place is jumpin. Mark Johnson, Bangkok film actor, plays his guitar throughout the entire scenario, giving the performances Beat entenderes.

Von Schwartz takes me aside and confirms he has shot an hour of film. We repair to le jardin where the hip hop poet continues to regale the guests with his poetry.

The Malbac continues to flow. Legendary cineaste David Winters rings me to cue me up re my next assignment. I had the pleasure and privilege to gig a 2 day shoot with David and his son John in Pattaya. The director of the title, Teddy Bear, is a young Dane, Mads Mathieson. He is a film director you will hear much about in the future. David was one of the co-stars, and John did a cameo as his son in the flick while I swanned about in the shots. My next scheduled public appearance will be at the wrap party for the motion picture, Teddy Bear. It was shot on location in Bangkok, Pattaya and Denmark. The gig will be celebrated at Brown Sugar, one of the hippest and oldest venues in Bangkok. But that mes cher amis is another story for another day.


Mason Ruffner started out in Texas, but soon hit the harder stuff, ie the Delta and Chicago blues. The venue is the Blues Bar in Banglampoo. Mason is on stage with a bassist and drummer. I order a vodka tonic. He launches into a number that has a lovely Chuck Berry feeling. The house is rocking, Chuck came from St. Louis as did Miles Davis.

The guitarslinger cocks his axe and swings into , a B.B. King style blues excursion. The tune is propelled by a wycked backbeat provided by the drummer.  Joe Cummings makes a dramatic entrance carrying his axe. Ruffner segues into Aranjuez by the Spanish composer De Falla. This is tasty. It is a jazz infused, blues meets classical rendition of a Spanish classic.  Miles Davis also covered this tune in his eponymous album of long ago Sketches of Spain. De Falla is regarded as a classical composer, but Aranjuez is moody and romantic, its serene and gorgeous melodies celebrate the gardens of Aranjuez.  Jose Feliciano also sang Aranjuez, his version bringing anotherdimension to the ouevre of De Falla.

Ruffner is a master of Texas , Chicago and Delta blues. He also is world famous for his association with Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana. He bangs out a brilliant take on a Dylan classic , Highway 61. Lord where you want this killin done? Down on Highway 61. The chords are twanging and the house is rockin. Mason is a lean mean Texan. He is living the blues. The internet generation has lost the plot. Lily Allen, the Arctic Monkeys and many more music acts are now invented on line. There is nothing wrong per se, except that to play the blues , one has to live the blues.

The bluesman must learn in the same way that culture was handed down orally to generation after generation of poets by learning Beowulf by memory. The different styles of blues can only be transmitted by gigging with the beautiful soul brothers who invented the genre. To play the Delta blues one must be au courant with the defining work of Robert Johnson. One must go down to the crossroads and gig with the devil.

The Chicago blues can only be played if one is wise to Lightnin Hopkins, Muddy Waters , Little Walter and James Cotten. I was born on the same day as Lightin Hopkins, and during my tenure with the Straight Theatre in San Francisco the great one played the venue. Boogie chillen.

James Cotten also gigged as Slim Harpo would say, Dust my Broom. Straight Theatre in Haight Ashbury was a venue that provided a home for many of the blues artistes of that generation. My childhood chum Albert Gianquinto was his piano player. Albert was a great muso and talented athlete who passed away much too young from a drugs overdose. We saw Little Walter blow harp at the Fillmore Auditorium. Albert pumped the ivories as Cotten wailed on harp, blowing a hard, swingin style that is still relevant today.

The British Bluesmen who pioneered the British Invasion of the USA,  the Rolling Stones, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Yardbirds all lived the blues with a lysergic twist. Legend has it Brian Jones turned Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on to the music of Robert Johnson, and the seminal influence it had on the young British rockers is felt to this day. Small wonder the Stones are the greatest rock and roll outfit on the planet. I saw the Stones for the first time in San Francisco back in the day 1964. They played a free concert on the steps of City Hall in the Civic Center. Also on the bill were Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Beach Boys. The Stones were off the hook.

To live the blues is to venerate a genre, that like jazz, is a integral piece of Americana. It has to be learned by stealing licks from B.B. King, rolling with Muddy Waters, gigging with Howling Wolf or playing back up for Chuck Berry. You have to play in gin mills, brothels, honky tonks and blues bars. You can not learn it on the internet.

Ruffner introduces Joe Cummings to the audience and invites him to jam on stage. Joe straps on his guitar and plugs in. They launch into a searing version of Hoochie Coochie Man. We are in Chicago blues territory now. The fertile breeding ground for the post war artists who gravitated to the Windy City from the Mississippi Delta to play the blues. Ruffner and Cummings trade licks back and forth to the approbation of the audience of Thais and expats who have come to dig an original and authentic collaboration between the guitarslingers. The drummer keeps a wycked time as the bassist weaves in and out. Got a boy chile comin gonna be a son of a gun, cos I am yo Hoochie Coochie Man.  B. B. King is 84 years young and he is still playing the blues. There is no pension or retirement plan for real bluesmen. you play and go down slow, the blues is a way of life meant to be savoured from cradle to grave.

Ruffner jams into a piece that has overtones of Jimi Hendrix. I saw Hendrix in San Francisco. He and the Experience gigged for free in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park in 66. They played off the back of a flatbed truck. Jimi learned the tricks of the trade gigging with the architect of rock and roll, Little Richard. I also saw Jimi play at the Fillmore with the Doors. Jim Morrison immortalized that bill by performing much of the show on his back. Jimi also kicked it with Band of Gypsies, Buddy Miles provided the backbeat before he was sent to San Quentin to do time for being a bluesman. You dont learn that on the internet either.

Mason introduces a song he did with Carlos Santana, Angel Love.  Santana and I grew up in the Mission and Haight Ashbury.  I remember seeing his timbale player, Chepito Areas busk in Aquatic Park, when Chepito had a band, The Aliens. David Brown , the original bassists mum lived on Divisadero, not far from the jazz club entitled the Both-And, where I saw Archie Shepp play. Armando Perraza the immortal Cuban congero who played with Santana was not yet on the scene.  Greg Rolie was penning Black Magic Woman. Angel Love is a tribute to all the aforementioned, the Latin influence on Mason is well apparent, his time with Dylan and Santana has been well spent. Good morning little schoolgirl can I come home with you sang the Howlin Wolf.

The blues is alive and well in Bangkok. The guitarslingers like Ruffner and Cummings are ready for the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. O baby I be yo backdoor man. You can have your chitlins and yo pork and beans, I eat more chicken any man ever seen- o ya  cos I be yo backdoor man, the men dont know but the little girls understand.




Once again in the guise of the lysergic poet of Savile Row, I roll down the legendary streets of North Beach in San Francisco, where the Beats and the Hippies ruled supreme. Immaculate in the bespoke vines tossed up by tailor to the stars, Lucky Ricky, I am in my pomp, ie. a grey silk suit and black silk tie and display handkerchief. I stop at Enricos, and toss back a libation at the bar, before ascending the stairs of the Pier 5 Law Offices, helmed by the formidable J Tony Serra, whose exploits in the tradition of courtroom tigers Vincent Hallinan and William Kunstler, were celebrated in the motion picture, True Believer, as portrayed by James Woods.

I am greeted by Philip Hackett, aka The King of Poetry, who is producing a night of poetry as part of the Fall Poetry Festival. Lawrence Ferlinghetti is marking his 93 birthday, and the vangaurd of the poetry scene is commerating his life of service, readings are being held throughout San Francisco, including a major reading at Herbst Auditorium, at which the immortal bard and my literary mentor Michael McClure will preside.

Hackett is a scholarly gentleman, nattily attired in a dark suit and bow tie. He bears a remarkable resemblance to author Herb Gold, who was the template for the character of the poet John Silver in my avant garde novel, The Magick Papers. Gold and McClure are my role models and literary mentors.

Hackett introduces me to the Poet Laureate of California, Jack Hirscman. He is cool and casual, slim and bespectacled, and is gracious and nurturing towards me, a young  rising poet making his bones on the scene. His wife Agnetta Falk is headlining the reading. Also co-starring with me tonight are La Tigressa, Gary Horseman, Hippie Dave, George Long and Jessica Loos. Hacketts son Dylan, a cool hipster is manning the door.

J Tony Serra roams about, wearing a red shirt with the logo , Eat The Rich. Flying the Jolly Roger on his chest, he is the symbol incarnate of the hip radical, his under ground reputation knows no equal. J Tony leads me to a backroom , where a sumptuos spread is laid on. A roast pig graces the table. Francis Ford Coppola has donated 2 cases of wine for the event. I scmooze and drink vino rosso with local myth, Dr. Hip, aka Gene Schoenfeld.

A group of trendy jazzbos set up and play. The musos gig in the tradition of Coltrane and Miles Davis. The crowd is hotting up. The King Of Poetry steps to the mic and introduces Agnetta Falk. She reads a long poem about her adventures on the road in Guatemala. She finishes to warm applause and the crowd is rolling deep.

Hackett next brings La Tigressa on stage. She reads in the style of Lenore Kandel. She tosses her sexed up poetry to the crowds delight. She is published by Regent Press in Berkeley. La Tigressa goes down well.

Gary Horseman has time to recount to me how as a 12 yearold he attended the Human Be-in, saw Ginsberg and McClure perform there, and witnessed Owsley parachute into the Be-in, dispensing LSD to the enraptured audience. You had to be there . He is on next, and strums a guitar while reciting his poetry, right on baby.

He comes off stage, and I tell Gary about attending a reading in 63 in a warehouse loft in the Western Adittion. Jack Kerouac was there, nurseing a gallon of cheap wine, although he did not read. Philip introduces me next. Its time to rock and roll.

I read , once again in the guise of bespoke poet, Dream of a Lost Eden. It goes down a storm, so I segue into, Shanghaied, then on to, Like an Angry Greek God.  The psychedelic pirate  of Savile Row shows no mercy on his captive audience. Now that the audience is on the ropes, I rip into Jade Dragons Wander the Wasteland. The House of Love on the Rue Fortune , is next, a ballad in the tradition of Les Poetes Maudits. I am allowed a parting shot. I select, Death Smokes Opium Tinctured Cigarettes. It is dedicated to Oscar Wilde. When Wilde was in Paris in the 1880s, he bacame a fixture at the literary salon of Mallarme. Wilde met there second generation Symbolists Andre Gide, Pierre Louys, Antonin Artaud and Alfred Jarry. He rolled with Les Maudits and acquired the habit of carring about a gold case full of Egyptian cigarettes laced with tincture of opium. Death Smokes Opium Tinctured Cigarettes  hits the top of the pops.

Motion pictures re many of the Beats are all the vogue. Hollywood is willing to cash in on the historicity of the movement, as long as it is deep in filthy lucre.

Cineaste Walter Salles is on to direct, On The Road, the literary opus by Kerouac. Years ago I collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola and author-screenwriter Michael Herr on a toss- up of On The Road. I was the doorman and coffee boy at the Bannam Place Theatre, Robert Hinish organized the scene. Francis and Herr invited actors from community theatres to read the roles of the Beats, and they fashioned it into a screenplay in the style of a radio play.

James Franco is currently starring in a bio-film of Ginsberg entitled, Howl, after the eponymous poem that began the revolution. Why does Hollywood have to wait for poets to die, before they hit the silver screen? Why not do a series of films on Ferlinghetti, McClure and the City Lights Poets while they live?  Who cares about reality TV, low brow b- movies, and the tabloid travails of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan? The rock poet Jim Morrison, who was mentored by Michael McClure who helped shape Jims poetry into the volume entitled The New Lords said it best. “We want the world and we want it now.”

I am reminded of the classic Nouvelle Vague film, Jules et Jim. The author was Henri -Pierre Roche. He was a Surrealist, who knew everybody in Paris when it was the center of the art world. Henri penned the novel at an advanced age. It was well received among the literati, then sank into obscurity. Francois Truffaut walked into a second hand bookstore in Montmartre many years later, and discovered a copy of Jules et Jim. He transformed the novel into the New Wave classic starring Oscar Werner and Jeanne Moreau. When Henri was nearly 80, just as the film was to receive its premiere, he received in the mail a picture from Jeanne Moreau signed and sealed with a kiss.  Henri died soon after. Is this the  fate of important poets and litterateurs?

I roll out into the San Francisco night, drunk as a lord. I am on to Hollywood  to hang out and lord it up, then I will be on the plane to Bangkok from where I today pen this chronicle. The blood of a poet is noble and true. The revolution will not be televised.



Juan Antonio De Los Reyes, flamenco diplomat, is premiering his new touring company dedicated to flamenco fusion. The ballet-flamenco spectacle is a melange of flamenco roots.  Hindu, Arabic, Iberian, accompanied by Spanish singers, dancers , and musicians of international pedigree and prestige.Among the musical influences are populat Spanish artistes Manuel Garcia, Antonio Orozco, Chambao, and the redoutable Ketama. It represents the best elements of traditional and modern ballet, music, flamencology and the culture and history of this noble art form.

True flamenco ambassador that he is, Juan Antonio is dedicated to demonstrating that art and culture know no boundaries or frontiers. I first met him in Madrid many years ago. He was a featured artiste with Rafael de Cordoba, an Argentine who was an important dancer in Spain. Juan Antonio has always been at the vangaurd of flamenco.  Rafael de Cordoba was a gracious and charming man, who invited me to see them perform for Spanish television at Los Estudios Sam Bronson.  This TV and Film studio was famous for having filmed El Cid, starring Charlton Heston. Indeed it was known as the house El Cid built.  We also met a young bloke there who was singing with Los Bravos. Mike Kennedy was the lead singer, and they had a hit entitled , Black is Black.

Juan Antonio also performed with Antonio del Castillo and Raul, with whom I studied at the Estudios Amor de Dios in Madrid.  La Chana , Alberto Lorca, Jose Granero, Cristina Hoyos, and Mariemma represent the proud history of the modern flamenco genre with whom he has performed. Juan Antonio performed with Antonio del Castillo and his Spanish Ballet for many summers in Benidorm. The venue was situated in a beachside resort famous for its wild night life. We spent many a summer enjoying the pleasures and treasures of this wide open Mediterranean tourist destination, After the show, we would hit the bars, cabarets and discos. Genaralissimo Franco, the Spanish dictator who ruled with a fascist fist had finally passed away, and the youth of Spain was making up for lost time with a vengeance. The Spanish Mediterranean areas like the Costa Brava and the Costa Blanca became synonymous with sand, surf and sex. We were like 7-11 open 24-7.

Antonio Gades is the most important dancer of his generation. Juan Antonio toured with Gades for three years. Gades is famous for the films he made with Luis Saura. They elevated the flamenco ouevre to an international audience. Gades studied ballet in Italy, and fused it with traditional flamenco, when it was unfashionable to do so. This fusion brought about the creation of new talents like Paco  De Lucia , the virtuoso guitarist who championed mixing pure flamenco with elements of Jazz, classical and pop. Gades is rumoured to have taken his name from gaditano , an old Spanish term for gypsy.  Gades was handsome and charismatic, and catnip to women.  He was cultured and elegant, smoked Spanish cigarettes of black tobacco ,  and was instrumental in honoring the gypsy culture and folklore.  He also staged great poets and dramatists in a flamenco stage setting.  He was  in fact a contemporary of Pedro Almodovar and Antonio Banderas, who emerged from the art movement known as La Movida Madrilena in the aftermath of the demise of Franco. If Madrid was the classical and profesional  home of flamenco, then Andalusia and the gypsy culture were its heart and soul. The styles were to merge under the forge of Gades and the modern world, and the gypsy influence was to acquire a new significance. El Guito, the celebrated gypsy bailarin was an integral part of his company.

I had the privilage of seeing  Gades and company perform  in Cartagena.  There exist 3 Cartagenas. The first in North Africa , the second known as Cartagena Nuova in Spain, and the last  in Columbia, South America. Juan Antonio and I saw a revelation in Cartagena Nuova, El Guito and Gades in brilliant form, under a full moon, in an outdoor Roman amphitheatre. Gades also presented works by the immortal poet Garcia Lorca on that occasion. It was a memorable dance drama of , The House of Bernarda Alba.  Also on the bill was Blood Wedding, which showed the poets considerable skills as a dramatist. El Guito stole the show with his authenticity, flamboyance and showmanship.Cartagena experienced a night of flamenco magic, ephemeral yet unforgettable.

JuanAntonio De Los Reyes and his work possess classical elements and roots. He has danced and choreographedCarmen by Bizet, El Amor Brujo by De Falla, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff and many operas, Zarazuelas and ballets. Spanish dance has progressed from the era of cafe cantante, to being a spectacle offered in nightclubs and theatres, to becoming an international art form. Juan Antonio was born and raised in the heart of Madrid, known to Madrilenos as El Forro, ie the lining of a glove, as the nieghborhood known as El Paseo De Santa Maria de la Cabeza is shaped like a glove.

Sadly , many of the aforementioned flamenco greats have passed away. Gades, Antonio del Castillo, Raul, El Camaron de la Isla, and many more have passed to their glory. Juan Antonio has taken it upon himself to continue the great traditions of this truly formidable art form. The odyssey of the gypsy from India to Iberia via Arabia and Egypt must be preserved as part of the history and heritage of Spain. Composers like Ravel composed the eternal Bolero in homage to this magnificent world of influences. Special attention is given today to the music of North Africa, where the genesis of flamenco began, and crossed the straits of Gibraltar into Europe and the Iberian peninsula.  Juan Antonio has brought his art to over 100 countries on this planet, making him a true flamenco ambassador, preserving the culture and history the gypsies brought to Spain centuries ago.

Juan Antonio and the Ballet Espana Bravo Flamenco will tour the Phillipines in December. In January they will bring their brand of flamenco magic to Lithuania. Their next stop will be the Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The flamenco ballet carries on to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Quatar, and Kuwait where many fans await the thunder and lightning that only flamenco can bring as a performing art.


Jamie Tovar is a young associate producer with two alluring cinema projects on his plate. He is on song for a biopic on the life of the legendary bluesman, Robert Johnson, entitled, Love In Vain. No photographs of Robert Johnson were known to exist in 1961 when his posthumous album, “King of the Delta Blues Singers” was released. The songs had been recorded in 1936 and 1937.  He had been dead for a generation when he was rediscovered. His reputation grew and his music was heard and imitated by young white musicians.
The search for his legend began in 1938 with John Hammond, an important jazz critic and record collector, who served as a role model for Ahmet Ertegun, who started Atlantic Records. Hammond, was descended from the the Vanderbilts, but he was a socialist who loved folk and the blues.  He chanced upon Johnson’s master tapes, transcriptions of his unissued recordings.  Hammond had discovered the purest, most powerful blues singer in the deep south. 
Songs with evocative, macabre titles like, “Hellhound on My Trail”, “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day”, “Me and The Devil Blues”, and “Crossroads” inspired Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, the Stones, the Yardbirds, and the British Invasion that found Johnson to be the archetypal troubadour of the Delta blues.
Hammond introduced Johnson’s unreleased masters to the Harvard-educated Alan Lomax.  Lomax accompanied his father to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where they discovered Huddie Ledbetter, aka Leadbelly.  They secured his release and launched a tour of Harvard and other college campuses.  Lomax was able to locate Robert Johnson’s mother in 1941. He discovered Son House, one of Johnson’s mentors.  Lomax found Johnson’s disciple, McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, who moved to the south side of Chicago in 1943.  Son House hinted that Robert Johnson had sold his soul to the Devil, the only conceivable explanation for his musical genius.
When the Swinging Sixties came into vogue Robert Johnson could at last come into fashion.  Raw and exotic, violent and emotional, it became a key component of the white rocker ethos.  Eric Clapton discovered Johnson when he was sixteen and said, “It was a real shock that there was something that powerful. It all led me to believe here was a guy who really didn’t want to play for people at all, his thing was so unbearable to have to live with that he was almost ashamed. This was an image I was very keen to hang onto.”  
Keith Richards was nineteen and Brian Jones was twenty when together with Mick Jagger they discovered Robert Johnson. Richards said, “I’d just met Brian and went to his crash pad. He put on a Robert Johnson record, it was just outstanding stuff. To me he was like a comet or a meteor that came along and BOOM, suddenly he raised the ante and you had to aim that much higher.”
In a sense the British Invasion is rooted in the minstrel tradition. In the nineteenth century African Americans rejoiced in a celebration of song and dance indigenous to the minstrel tradition. White composers like Stephen Foster, composed tunes like “Camptown Races”, attributing it as Ethiopian music, contemporary to America. White perfomers smelled money, and soon performed minstrel song and dance in blackface, smeared on with burnt cork.  This tradition continued on through Al Jolson. Little Richard, the iconic architect of rock and roll, performed as a crossdressing R&B shouter in a minstrel review from the deep south with Sugar Bam From Alabam. He had learned this androgynous style from Billy Wright, another cross-dressing black R&B artist of the day.
The Stones, Yardbirds, the Blues Breakers, the Kinks, Cream and the Beatles in many ways smeared the burnt cork back on their faces as the invaded the USA, bringin’ the blues back home. Robert Johnson had come full circle. His sighing guitar notes, tempered by winter winds, iron chords and melodies, conjure the image of Satan in all his poetic imagery playing the Devil’s music for the young white bluesmen who became his devotees.  
The script for Love In Vain, by Alan Greenberg, attracted the likes of Jagger and Richards, and is acclaimed to be one of the finest examples of this genre.  Star talent currently in discussions to portray Johnson and his contemporaries are, Sean “Puffy” Combs as Johnson, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, and others including Bob Dylan, Prince, Beyonce Knowles, and Queen Latifah.
Producers for Love In Vain include the infamous noir director, David Lynch, Jeffery Bowler and Steele Shannon. This much anticipated project is still in development and is expected to be ready for a major theatrical release in Autumn 2012.
Gidget was the surfer queen of the halcyon days of 1959, and created such memorable characters as Moondoggie, the Big Kahuna, and Gidget. It starred Sandra Dee and James Darren. It was one of the first great commercial film franchises ever.  The remake of this iconic surf and coming-of-age classic is now in development. In discussions to direct is the grand dame of coming-of-age films, Amy Heckerling. She is famous for such hits as, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Clueless” and the “Look Who’s Talking” franchise.
Producing Infinite Entertainment Group’s and Columbia Pictures’ Gidget remake is Sidney Ganis. He is known for the marketing and distribution of such mega-franchises as Star Wars and Indiana Jones and served as president of both Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures. Ganis, while president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was responsible for the the change from five Best Picture Oscar nominees to ten.
Executive in Charge of Production is New Line Cinema veteran, Deborah Moore. Just a few of her many credits include such successes as The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Executive Producers are Infinite Entertainment Group founder and CEO, Steele Shannon, and Vintage Studios head, Adam Faletti.
Jamie Tovar feels privileged to be associated with these projects about the King of the Delta Blues and the Surfer Queen. These cultural icons are classic Americana, who inspired him as a young hipster to aspire to a career in cinema. Jamie was raised in Thailand, Laos and Indonesia. Jamie often visits old turf in Bangkok. He has gone back to his own roots. He revisited the Madrid Pub in Bangkok’s Patpong entertainment section. It was the watering hole for G.I.s, adventurers, old Asian hands, and CIA field operatives. Its history, like that of the famed Oriental Hotel, is a part of many a novel of old Bangkok. The film scene in Thailand is attracting shoots from all over the world. Jamie Tovar expects to be part of the burgeoning international film production scene here in Bangkok.




The Bangkok Indie Film Festival made its debut in the City of Angels August 6-8.  Jason Camerado is the founder and guiding light of this new entry into the film festival sweepstakes. Jason also is a celebrated author and independent film maker. He is famous for Cambofest, a film festival he originated in Cambodia, to celebrate film in South East Asia. Jason is American and hails from the great state of Indiana. He bears a passing resemblance to pop star John Cougar Mellencamp.

The opening day features a film entitled , 34th and Park.  The director is Cameron Pearson, a young actor, writer cum film maker well known in Bangkok cinema circles. Cameron is the protagonist in this film about a homeless person and his misadventures in the Big Apple, as he attempts to survive in an atmosphere of poverty and shame. It is a theme whose time has come. Although the USA is a superpower and a wealthy nation there is no safety net for the unempowered, poor, uneducated and homeless. Cameron is a  film maker who is hitting his stride as a cineaste and we will hear much from him in the future. Some may remember him for a film he shot with the young Cameron Diaz entitled, Man Woman Film.

The following day featured a short film by Jimmie Wing , Wet Nana Dreamscape. Wing is a noted photographer journalist. Jimmie is from the Land of Oz, and is celebrated as a genius in lighting techniques. The Aussie brought this film to Los Angeles where it was favourably recieved at an indie film festival. The film is about an adventure a young bloke has on a night out on the town in Bangkok. The protagonist meets comely starlets, neon lights of the entertainment area known to the denizens of Bangkok as Nana light up his experiences as he overindulges in alcohol and sin, the quintessential Bangkok experience. It is inspired by an aphorism uttered by the great poet, novelist, playwright and man for all seasons, Oscar Wilde . The wit, irony and intellect Wilde brought to the world of art has seldom been surpassed. In the 1880s and 1890s he went to Paris to experience its cultural and carnal delights.

Wilde fell under the thrall of Les Poetes Maudits aka The Decadents. Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme and Verlaine were revolutionizing the literary dreamscape. The establishment was soon under siege by these young lions dedicated to overthrowing the conservative perceptions of the bourgiousie.   Wilde was introduced to the world of opium, Absinthe and carnal pleasures. Mallarme soon morphed into the leader of the Symbolist art movement. He was famous for the literary salon he initiated, and Wilde became a fixture at this salon where he made many important literary connections .He befriended second generation Symbolists like Andre Gide and Pierre Louys ,  and hung out with Antonin Artaud and Alfred Jarry. The influence exerted by Mallarme was to last for over 30 years, and inspire the Surrealist movement and the Silver Age of Literature in Russia, which was brought to Russia by White Russian exiles living in Paris during the halcyon years of Cubism, Dada and Surrealism .Wet Nana Dreamscape is dedicated to the statement by Oscar Wilde, WE ARE ALL LIVING IN THE GUTTER BUT SOME OF US ARE LOOKING UP AT THE STARS.

The festival was also a hotbed of networking and a party atmosphere prevailed . Two after parties were on song. One was hosted by legendary Bangkok disc jockey and local celebrity, DJ Manow at a trendy venue , Glow . DJ Daryl   from the UK greeted guests at the door , we were given a seat of honor at a table, and a cold bucket of Russian vodka with all the trappings and mixers was set on the table. Jason Camerado was in good nick as he mixed and mingled with the dancing ravers and trancers. DJ  Manow was flush from the success of the Second Year Anniverary Party for Underground Bangkok Radio he hosted last week at Bed Supper Club. Underground Bangkok Radio is branding itself as the premiere avant garde electronic music  outfit in Thailand.

Bangkok is on song to host many film shoots here in the future. The Impossible, a film starring Ewan McGregor cast here and will shoot on location in Phuket in October. Bloody Mary, an indie film directed by Ray Huber is casting now and scheduled to shoot in autumn. Huber also shot Bangkok Adrenaline here last year. Dark Bridge, directed by Marcelo Von Schvartz, an Argentine film maker from Barcelona will be premiered here soon. Dark Bridge was screened recently at the Pisan Film Festival in Korea, where it was favourably recieved. Von Schvartz  is on song to direct another film here in the near future. Actor, Writer and man about town Joe Cummings profiles Von Schvartz  in The Magazine , the biweekly supplement of the Bangkok Post in a fortnight.

Meanwhile at Glow, the action is hotting up. Guests from the film festival continue to arrive, or leave for another party being hosted at Club Culture. Vodka flows, dance beats snap, crackle and pop, and the bar is full up with liggers and punters mixing with film makers, actors and beauteous babes. The great rock and roll swindle was never like this mate.

Six Degrees of Paris Hilton

Mark Ebner Six Degrees of Paris Hilton

Mark Ebner Six Degrees of Paris Hilton


I met author-journalist Mark Ebner in Bangkok in the wake of the David Carradine affair. He is a graduate of Bard College. Mark was once addicted to drugs and alcohol, but is now teetotal. His remaining vices are coffee and mentholated cigarettes.  His novel, Six Degrees of Paris Hilton, is a great read. It is in fact an expose of the pecadillos of the New Hollywood.

It centers on the curious case of Darnell Riley. He takes a double homicide  rap for his pals, a group of California gangsters. Riley emerges from prison and reinvents himself as a facilitator to the rich and famous in Hollywood. He specializes in procuring sex, designer drugs or muscle to the elite. In a daring home invasion at the plush home of Joe Francis, founder of the Girls Gone Wild franchise, he meets his Waterloo. He makes a bizarre homoerotic video of Francis being sodomized by a sex toy, and attempts to extort 300,000 dollars. Riley is sent back to prison to serve a ten year sentence.

Ebner inserts himself into the narrative, as he weaves through a story laden with sex, drugs and violence. This is a tribute to the late Hunter Thompson, inventor of Gonzo journalism. Thompson was famous for insisting the writer was as important as the subject, and inserted himself as a character in his ouevre.His book on the Hells Angels in which he employs this technique is a classic example. A blurb on the cover by author Jerry Stahl suggests Ebner has Buick-size balls and is of questionable sanity to even go there.

The new breed of the feral rich and illicitly famous is exposed by Ebner as a triumph of celebrity over intellect. Hollywood is now run by an ethos of style over substance. The days of the studio system, when fim stars were impeccably groomed and turned out, and created as divinities of the silver screen, have been replaced by the tawdry and vulgar. The shallow underbelly of the New Hollywood is held under a magnifying glass by Ebner.

The Golden Age of Hollywood was fueled by Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner and Stella Adler, who introduced Method Acting  to icons Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and James Dean. The Method was based on the teachings of Stanislavski and Michael Chekov. This demanded character development, motivation, and an inner sartori for the actor. In essence it created a philosophy for the silver screen, an element long gone missing in the Tinseltown of today. The bible for this is Konstantin Stanislvski and his biographical title, My Life in Art.

The New Wave movement in Europe coincided with the American Golden Age. Fellini and Antiononi, Jean Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut, Tony Richardson and Harold Pinter explored the nuances of cinema as a high art form. Cinema under the aegis of the New Wave celebrated the actor as a divine instrument, a litmus for their generation, and emphasized the importance of narrative, cinematography and philosophy in the same fashion Method transformed the American cinema.They in turn were inspired by the Surrealist vangaurd of Bunuel, Cocteau and Renoir. The aforementioned believed that cinema should worship intellect and create a social and aesthetic consciousness.

Ebner was in Bangkok on an assignment for Maxim magazine to file a story on the tragic death of David Carradine. We met via my rockstar blogmeister in Austin Texas Paul Terry Walhus. I introduced Ebner to legendary film director-producer David Winters.  David had just been interviewed by Bob Burns of GLOBE magazine on the demise of Carradine. David  produced 2 motion pictures for Carradine, and had talked to him recently on the phone.

Gary Stretch, film star and former WBC middleweight boxing champion, also met with Ebner on the Carradine interviews. I watched Ebner closely as he liasied with man about town Joe Cummings. Joe is an author, editor of the bi-weekly supplement for the Bangkok Post, and fronts a highly acclaimed rock band, The Tonic Rays. Joe had the essential connections on the ground in Bangkok, and introduced Ebner to the mysterious Guy Armand who possessed pix of Carradine in the morgue

His style of research and ability to wrap prose around it is highly evident in Six Degrees of Paris Hilton. It is a must read, and the reader will be infected by the bacteria of New Hollywood as it fiddles a merry tune as Rome goes down in flames. We should all look forward to the September issue of Maxim magazine, in which Ebner will postulate his findings on the Carradine affair. Twentieth Century Fox TV has optioned Six Degrees of Paris Hilton, and Ebner is preparing a screenplay on another subject for the future.

At the end of the day, the immortal Oscar Wilde said it best with one of his brilliant and eternal aphorisms. We are all living in the gutter, but some of us are looking  up at the stars.

Carlos Santana, Mason Ruffner, Bob Dylan, all American classics


 Il y ya un temp, once upon a time, back in the halcyon days of the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, my childhood mates and I organized the Straight Theatre, an old cinema recrafted into a psychedelic ballroom. The Dead, James Cotton, John Fahey, Janis Joplin and Big Brother, the Wildflower, the Magick Powerhouse of Oz, and Carlos Santana all were part of the lysergic tapestry of rock royalty who gigged there. The statute of limitations on lysergic exploration has long expired, so now the true story can be told. The aphorism states that if you remember the 60s you were not there. I was there baby, there are ten million stories in the naked city, this is one of them.

The original Santana line up consisted of Mike Carabello, David Brown, Carlos, and a dude who could often be found playing timbales and busking at Aquatic Park, when he was not gigging with the Aliens, Chepito Areas. Santana developed his signature guitar style playing the Straight, Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms. He eventually acquired the Sol Hurok of rock, Bill Graham as a manager. O ver the years, the band evolved into a linup that included Greg Rolle,congeros Rico Reyes and the immortal Armando Perazza.

Santana rolled in to Amsterdam when it was the Euro-capital of psychedelia in the 70s. I made my way to the Pulitzer Hotel to liaise with them. Carlos was as always gracious and charming. He invited me to ride on the bus to the concert. Perazza was a master of Afro Cuban -jazz-santeria and the Cuban tradition as now in fashion and inspired by the Buena Vista Social Club et allii.I introduced Armando about town to local jazz musos. He also met Rita, a South African expat , who became his lover. Armando was lionized in Amsterdam as continuing the traditions of Chano Pozo, Tito Puente, Perez Prado and other innovators of this art form.

The Pulitzer Hotel also had the New York Dolls staying there. I had the opportunity to schmooze with Sylvaine Sylvaine and David Johanssen. I had met David in NYC years before at the loft of his dear friend Barbara Tryoyanni. Those were wild and crazy days for the NY Dolls. They created a look and attitude later to inspire punk and new wave. The Dolls flamboyant personas, kick-ass shows and bizarre costumes resonate today as they did yesterday.

Earth, Wind and Fire were also on song at the Pulitzer. It was a veritable maelstrom of music greats. They were also on the same bill as Santana. Maurice ran a tight ship. Band members were forbidden drugs and expected to be on time and on the money. Verdeen, the bass player invited me to his room. He was a pleasant and smart bloke. EWF were at the top of their game, and Verdeen was much in demand in Amsterdam , the women loved him.

I rolled to the concert sitting next to one of my heroes, rock promoter Bill Graham. Bill passed away in a tragic helicopter accident in the 90s. I t was a tragic loss, cos Bill would be fighting for the civil rights platform today as he did then. Born Wolfgang Grajonca, the young Graham walked across the Alps to safety during the Nazi occupation of Europe, and emerged in NYC in the heyday of the NYC art scene.

I met Mason Ruffner through my mate Joe Cummings in Bangkok. Mason is sleek and possesses a genteel air. He is a southern gentleman, with a courtly demeanour. Mason is a family man, and is married in Sweden with a daughter he dotes on. Guitarslinger, singer and songwriter, he has recorded several albums with Bob Dylan. He was playing with Joe Cummings and his band in Bangkok. Joe traded stories of him being asked by Carlos for the use of his guitar at the Blues for Salvador concert, and hanging out with Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Garcia with Carlos.W e share a table at an Indian restaurant in the Sukumvit area,and trade trash talk about Santana and Dylan back in the day. Santana sold 25 million copies of Supernatural world wide. A 2 disc 10th anniversary edition of the award winning album is being released to coincide with the spring tour. A song by Mason Ruffner entitled, Angel Love, is the single featured on the compilation. Tony Lindsay is the front man and featured vocalist.

Santana and Ruffner embody the American aesthetic of music derived from blues, Latin jazz and rock poetry. The revolt of the machines has in a way castrated this genre. One sage inventor of techno described it as the genocide of rock and roll. No longer will you have to sell your soul to the devil as is claimed re Robert Johnson, who inspired the Stones and Eric Clapton. Young musos today do not pay their dues at the feet of the creators of this pure American art form anymore. They plagiarize, mount beats and raps on computors, but have little time as in days of old when it was de riguere to learn at the feet of the masters like BB King, Lightning Hopkins and Howling Wolf. Musos today do not cut their teeth in honky tonks and blues bars, intead it is all done on a computor.

In my view artificial intelligence has neutered the red blood that once ran through the rich veins of the American traditions of blues, folk and jazz. Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the New Millenium, but Jean Paul Sartre would not need a computor, nor would Mozart. It is the divinity of man that creates genius, machines can not drink, smoke or make love. Sensory impressions and brain waves create great art, the human experience demands sweat , blood and tears. Carlos, save me a seat on the magick bus, so I can catch you , Mason and Dylan as you continue to make history, enshrining the Great American musical songbook in its proper place in the pantheon of the arts.

the good news for your blog:
Singer/songwriter.guitarslinger Mason Ruffner, who has recorded several albums with Bob Dylan, and is a regular visitor to Thailand (where he plays gigs with Joe Cummings), has a song on Santana’s newest album. The song, “Angel Love,”  will be released as the latest Santana single.
Mason Ruffner on tour with Bob Dylan
Mason and Santana
Mason and Jimmy Page.


29th JUNE 2010

by Antonio Pineda and Alec Christie

I rocked up at the premier of new independent gangster thriller Baseline at 8.15pm on Tuesday 29th June.  I was unfashionably early but already the place was a buzz.  The film screened at the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Piccadilly in London’s West End – a far cry from the grimy East End dive the Baseline nightclub the movie takes it title from.

As I arrived I was almost blinded by the flashing of paparazzi cameras.  This was a star studded affair with appearances by Dexter Fletcher, Gemma Atkinson, Ebony Gilbert, Kellie Shirley, Cat Simmons, P.H. Moriarty, James Alexandrou, Goldielocks, Plan B and the highly talented cast and crew of the film, their friends and a seemingly endless line of photographers and journalists snapping away like crocodiles during the annual wildebeest migration.

BASELINE‘ stars a host of leading British actors (see below) & has been picked up by the UK’s top distribution company Optimum Releasing and one of the world’s top sales agents.  The film has been officially selected for the forthcoming New York Film Festival.

As I stepped through the main doors I heard corks popping and cameras flashing as the paparazzi snapped the glitterati quaffing champagne at the not-to-be missed glitzy premiere of this hard-hitting indie flick.

The event started with much merriment in the glamorous setting of the BAFTA members bar as models and stars mingled with the rich, powerful and supremely talented. Stories of the highs and lows, trials and triumphs of the production of Baseline mixed with anecdotes from films past and present as tales of tribulations and jubilations on films such as Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, Layer Cake, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Inkheart and Bond filled the hot and humid air of the unexpected London heat wave.  Stunt Coordinator and Action Director extraordinaire Peter Pedrero was on hand with tales of the more dangerous side of filming.

Actor and producer Freddie Connor and fellow star and cineaste Sheraiah Larcher were attired in designer suits and fetching hats regaling the crowds with tales from the shoot and thanking everyone who had helped turn their dream into reality.

The celebs and cineastes made their way to their seats.  Director Brendon O’Loughlin gave a heart-felt speech and said his thanks to cast and crew making sure that no one was left out.

The film begins with a journey through London from the glamour of the West End to the grimy streets of London’s East End and the dangerous world of gangster Terry’s (Jamie Foreman) reign of terror.

The beautifully pitched mood music mixed with some state of the art graphics as the names of cast and crew appeared, then disintegrated on screen.

The downtrodden world of Terry’s run down grime club is depicted with startling clarity. A surprising and hard hitting cameo performance from Guy Burnet as grime scene gangster Ricky unfolds before our eyes.  Danny, the club Bouncer (Freddie Connor) and the film’s lead protagonist, takes a broken bottle in the arm as he attempts to break up a fight between Burnet and UK rapper Blemish.  Best friend Paul (Gordon Alexander) is on hand to save the day leaving Danny with only a wounded arm and a bruised ego.

Danny is desperate to move on from the shady world of Terry’s grime scene dive and start his own up market Shoreditch club with the help of estate agent Mike (Raji James). Paul tries to convince him that the best way to fast riches is through his contacts in the underworld but Danny is not convinced and declines his offer. The tables are turned when Paul finds himself owing 25K to gang lord Terry (Jamie Foreman) while Danny foils a hit on the boss and is made manager of the club on the condition that he turns a blind eye to the shady deals going on in the venue by drug dealer Sean (Sheraiah Larcher).

There were gasps and averted eyes as Terry and his right hand men Joe (Dexter Fletcher), and Jason (Brenden Lovett) force a confession from hit man Lex (George Nicolas) implicating psychopathic rival gangster Rob (Gary Stretch).  The team head off to extract their revenge on Rob and his gang.

Gary Stretch stuns, a frightening and out of control menace, as the usually suave and handsome former glamour-boy of British boxing appears covered in tattoos with four missing teeth and a lank mop of hair taunting Terry’s gang to make good on their threat of violence.  Eventually he pushes the mob to far and Joe covers him in gasoline and sets him on fire.  A blazing burning Stretch flails wildly and the scene descends into chaos leaving Danny’s best friend Paul with a gunshot wound and Rob with a badly scarred face and body.

While Paul recovers in prison, Danny takes the club from rags to riches as he transforms it from dive to hot spot all the while saving for his own club in trendy Shoreditch. While working the door he meets sassy young clubber Jessica (Zoe Tapper) and soon the two of them are inseparable.

On his release Paul finds himself working in a supermarket stacking shelves where he finds himself getting closer and closer to beautiful check out girl Karen (Gemma Atkinson).  But his debt to Terry catches up with him and he forces Danny to make the ultimate sacrifice as he leaves him no choice but to put a price on friendship.

Foreman and Stretch give characteristically powerhouse performances as the rival gangsters.  Dexter Fletcher gives a wonderfully understated performance full of humour as Terry’s charming but treacherous right hand man. Cameos from poster boys and glamour girls Guy Burnet, Gemma Atkinson, Paul Sculfor, Kellie Shirley, Alexandra Khan and Ebony Gilbert ensure the film is never short of eye candy.

Breakout performances from Gordon Alexander, Freddie Connor and Sheraiah Larcher give the film pitch and depth while the underlying menace is there thanks to the dark and thuggish tones of Brenden Lovett, Duncan Clyde and Rez Kempton. A cameo from Sartaj Garewal as Fiaz, self confessed “Jack of all trades and master of one” give us a glimpse of the shady international world of drug smuggling that provides Terry with his power and ill gotten gains.

Fantastic casting all round, stunning cinematography by DoP team Xiaosu Han and Andreas Thalhammer who were in attendance in slick suits looking every bit the masters of their craft and some shocking and at times stomach churning special effects by Dan Martin of 13 Finger FX make this the must see indie gangster flick of 2010.

The film ended with rapturous applause.  As the attendees filed out the cameras flashed as the paparazzi made a beeline for the front doors and followed the rich and famous to London’s exclusive Molton House for the after party.

We rocked up at Molton House, a short hop from BAFTA, and joined the party.  The bass lines rocked the house at the Baseline after party as the crowd danced the night away.  I made my way from the dance floor up the stairs checking out each bar and backroom.  From the neon lights of the basement club to the velvet walls of the private bar past VIP rooms where those whose influence extends from music to film through international distribution to high finance where champagne was on tap and deals were brokered with a simple nod or a smile into the leather lace up boot interior of the final room where the suggestive décor added the sense of hedonism and intoxication.  On all floors and in all corners of the club the scene was a joyous as the cast and crew celebrated their hard work with beer and wine, champagne and cocktails and partied ‘til the crack of dawn.  Beautiful models draped themselves on the alpha male actors, musicians, movers and shakers of the London arts scene. Finally the revelers emerged from the bright lights of the dance floor and atmospheric and beautifully designed bars and backrooms of one of London’s most exclusive clubs blinking in the early morning dawn light of an uncharacteristically warm summer morning to make their way back through London’s streets back to their places of abode, paparazzi cameras still flashing as the stars headed home.

The next day the papers were full of the screening and after-party:

And the official press release read:


Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass,Lock Stock, Stardust) Jamie Foreman (Football Factory, Layer Cake, Gangster Number One) Royal Television nominee Zoë Tapper (Stage Beauty, Desperate Romantics, Demons, Survivors, Reunited) Gary Stretch (Dead Mans Shoes, Alexander, The Heavy), Freddie Connor( The Grind, Gypo), Gordon Alexander (The Purifiers, Sucker Punch), Sheraiah Larcher (The Grind, Eastenders, Waterloo Road) Kellie Shirley (Wimbledon, Venus, The Office, Eastenders), Gemma Atkinson (Bookie Woogie,Hollyoakes) Guy Burnet (Hollyoakes, Age of Heroes, Luster)

Directed by Brendon O’Loughlin,

A fierce and contemporary urban drama, BASELINEtells a story of loyalty love and loss. Charting the rise and fall of Danny, (Freddie Connor- Gypo) as he tries to build an empire for himself on London’s East End club scene. Baseline is a provocative insight into the brutal realm of gang rivalry.

Working as a bouncer at the popular Hackney grime club, Baseline, Danny is used to breaking up fights and managing drunken kids, but is abruptly hurtled into the underworld he has tried so hard to avoid when he rescues his club owner and local gang leader boss, Terry (Jamie Foreman – Layer Cake), from a hit man’s bullet. His loyalty earns him a quick promotion to club manager but only with the Faustian condition he turns a blind eye, and eventually actively participate in, the bleak deals being done by Terry’s number 2, Joe (Dexter Fletcher – Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels).

After meeting the beautiful Jessica (Zoe Tapper – Desperate Romantics) Danny attempts to break free of Terry’s grip by setting up on his own. But he soon finds out there’s no such thing as a clean slate when his best friend Paul (Gordon Alexander- The Purifiers) comes out of jail with a grudge against Danny and a debt to Terry he cannot possibly repay. Danny soon has to make the ultimate sacrifice when he has to choose between loyalty and his last chance for freedom.

Dexter Fletcher quote on BASELINE

Baseline‘ is exactly the kind of independent passion project that is the future of British film. It was a pleasure to have been involved and it really deserves people getting behind it and showing their support.”

BASELINE‘ is out in cinemas from 2nd July and then on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Don’t miss it.

Apollo Piccadilly: 2nd-8th July – 9:30pm
19 Lower Regent Street
0871 220 6000

Screen on the Green, Islington: 5th-8th July – 11:00pm
83 Upper Street
London N1 0NU
0870 066 4777|1589|0

Showcase Cinema, Newham: 2nd-6th July – 10.15pm
Jenkins Lane
Barking, Essex, IG11 0AD
0871 220 1000

Shortwave Cinema, Bermondsey: Sunday 11 July
4.30pm screening followed by 6.30pm Q&A with BASELINE lead actors
10 Bermondsey Square
London SE1 3UN
020 7357 6845

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST through Chris Jones Script-to-Screen blog.

Follow Baseline on



Youtube Teaser Clip (Over 18′s ONLYPLEASE)

Baseline Official Website



Baseline, an independent film shot on location in London, will have its world premiere on Tuesday 29th June at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London’s West End.

Directed by Brendon O’Loughlin, it is a visceral underworld crime drama set among the warring factions of the criminal society of London’s East End. Starring Dexter Fletcher (Lock Stock, Kick -Ass), Jamie Foreman (Football Factory, Layer Cake), Royal Television nominee Zoë Tapper (Stage Beauty, Desperate Romantics), Freddie Connor (The Grind, Gypo), Sheraiah Larcher (The Grind, Eastenders, Waterloo Road), Gary Stretch (The Heavy, Alexander, World Trade Centre, The Kingmaker, Dead Man’s Shoes) and Guy Burnet (Hollyoaks, Luster, Age of Heroes).

Centred around the East London Grime Club scene, the story sees the rise of Danny (Freddie Connor), the Baseline Club bouncer. Used to breaking up fights between rival gang members (Guy Burnet and UK rapper Blemish), managing drunken kids and working the door, Danny is suddenly plunged deep into an underworld he had tried hard to avoid when he rescues Terry (Jamie Foreman), the club owner and local gang leader, from a hit-man.

When Danny foils the hit he and best friend Paul (Gordon Alexander) are taken by Terry’s right hand man (Dexter Fletcher) to seek revenge on Terry’s nemesis psychotic criminal drug dealer Rob (Gary Stretch).

Danny is promoted to club manager, but only on the condition that he turns a blind eye to the shady goings on both on and off the dance-floor. Danny and his girlfriend Jessica (Zoë Tapper) dream of setting up their own club, but Paul forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice when he has to choose between loyalty, morality and his own dreams of escape.

Gary Stretch gives a powerhouse performance. Gary plays against type as the terminally handsome virile boxer that he is revered by his fans when he was the WBC light middleweight champion of the world from Lancashire, England, emmanating from the small Rugby town of St. Helens.

Gary, who became famous for his good looks after moving into modelling and acting, for this role changes his physical persona.  His face and body are heavily tattooed. His teeth are missing. Later in the film after he is set on fire he reappears heavily scarred.

Fresh from the success of the Heavy, which premiered in London at the Odeon in Leicester Square, Stretch continues to grow as an actor. The Heavy, also an underworld crime film, starred Christopher Lee, Vinnie Jones, Meredith Ostrom, Adrian Paul, Shannyn Sossamon, Stephen Rea and the debut on film of Lee Ryan, front man for the British pop group Blue.

Sienna Miller will soon produce a motion picture featuring Lee Ryan.

The red carpet premiere was attended by Motion Picture, pop music, and Thai royalty.

Paul Young, the raspy voiced UK pop star, attended with his wife.  Gary was in the company of legendary film producer, director and actor David Winters. David began his career as a dancer in the motion picture West Side Story.  He went on to choreograph three films with Elvis Presley, worked with Anne Margaret and Raquel Welch and directed Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas. David produced “The Kingmaker” shot on location in Thailand starring Gary Stretch and John Rhys Davies.  David was a dear friend of the late David Carradine and produced two motion pictures that starred Carradine. They were old school cineastes and the contract for the Carradine picture was written on the back of a napkin over lunch in Hollywood. They were a generation of cineastes whose word was their bond, unlike the shysters of today who are driven by big bucks and bling.

Finelight Films shot Baseline on a shoestring budget. It is a fine example of what filmmakers can achieve with a good story and proper actors who immerse themselves in their craft.  To see the teaser hit this link: special effects by the masterful Dan Martin of 13 Finger FX.

The official movie website is



Boy George affects a spectacular entrance in the foyer of the Sheraton Hotel, hard by the Pratmnak hill in Pattaya, overlooking the cozy cove next to the Royal Cliff Hotel. The Boy is resplendent in makeup, lipstick and a pink hat on which a glam Jolly Roger flies embedded in rhinestones. He is in town to DJ a show at Lima Lima, a new venue in town.

Peter Rnic, CEO of Sawadee Pattaya TV sets up the camera for the shoot. The Q&A has already been vetted by his management firm in London, but maverick that he is , Boy throws away the script when he checks out the convivial circumstances. He has  been a DJ for many years, when it was not the apex of fashion as it is now. We talk trash re the pivotal subculture that centered around the legendary Blitz, the venue where he was once employed as a coatroom attendant.

Q . What was it like hanging out at Blitz, run by the legendary Steve Strange and rolling with the coolest of the cool back in the day?
A. We all hated each other, how were we to know any of us were going to make it, I saw Sade sing off the back of a flat bed truck, we never realized she would be so big.

The boy is rolling deep now as we go back to his roots and the names roll off his tongue, The Sex Pistols,Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren,  Human League, Spandau Ballet. He is animated and in good nick.

Q. Your style of blue eyed soul is alleged to be influenced by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, what attracted you to them?
A.I saw Bowie when he was doing the last show of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I got dressing up as an art form from him. I love glam, I  am well stuck into these influences.

It starts to rain, as the raindrops hit the windows of the hotel George carries on in his pomp.

Q. Worried About The Boy, a TV movie by the BBC recently premiered, all your old mates are up in it, Steve Strange, Marilyn, McLaren, Jon Moss, what attracted you to this film project?
A. I did not have much to do about it. The film portrayed my dad with an accent like an Irish tinker. In fact my dad was a Cockney. That era is now being reassessed by film and culture.

Q. Culture Club had three number one singles on their first album. What was it like conquering America during the golden age of MTV?
A. That was a long time ago. In those days MTV clips were like postcards. It’s all so different now. You didn’t even have to tour.  The clips went ahead of you. Nowadays it’s all about trailer trash reality TV.

It is time to hit the scene at Lima Lima. We roll into the obligatory stretch limo. Downtown Pattaya is on fire as it is Saturday night all over the world.  The venue is full up with an exotic and multicultured mixture of fans. Gorgeous Russian babes groove on the floor. Club kids are there in all their finery. The pink pound is well represented by the gay culture.  There is a smattering of transexuals as well. The usual dudes on drugs and drink are out trying to pick up a babe on a Saturday night.

George weaves his magic at the turntable, it is elevated above the floor, as he dances about the turntable the thumping base transforms the dancefloor into a host of heaving bodies.  His fans gather about the stage taking photos of the legend with their phonecams. The night is hotting up. Peter Rnic, character actor extraordinaire, positions himself outside Lima Lima to capture Boy George as he affects his escape. Boy George sweeps out into the front of the venue ready to make his getaway in the limo. Peter sticks a hand mic at him.

Q. Hi mate, how did your show go?
A. Right.  It was fab. Thank you.

Boy George slips into the limo. The getaway is complete. He is on his way to Phuket to DJ, then on to Bangkok where he will play the Bed Supper Club. Then he is on to Singapore, Bali and Sicily. Culture Club may have come and gone but the Boy is still rocking in the new Millennium.



The airplane soars high above the Amsterdamned, as the Voodoo Chile downs a vodka tonic. High above the clouds I fly, no mercy for the Philistines quoth the Superfly. Le revanche du le Voodoo Chile, as I clear customs at Schipol and board the train downtown. I roll to the crib of my dear friend , Michael Burke, on the  Johannes Verhuylstraat. The smoke does multiplly and fructify, as the hospitality of the Amsterdamned doeth overwhelm me. Michael brings me up to date on the gossip. We lament the passing of the Dutch poet laureate, Simon Vinkenoog. The painter Marc Morel has been invited to exhibit his work in Hamburg at a high powered exhibition. There is no rest for the wycked. Perhaps there will be a spontaneous outbreak of Saint Anthonys Fyre.

Mila Jansen, creator of the Hemp Hotel, lover of all things cannabinal has invited me to read my prose and poetry at her boss hotel, devoted to King Hemp. Xaviera Hollander aka The Happy Hooker has invited Michael and I to a literary luncheon at her fab pad on the Apollo Laan, I love the name, and Ruud Gullit, international footballing atar, he of the rasta locks and European Cup 89 victory, once lived next to Xaviera. Ruud , wherever you are baby, this bud is for you.

Michael and I cycle over bridge and over canals, down cobblestone lanes and past smoke clouds of cannabis emanating from cafes until we arrive at the crib of The Happy Hooker. Xaviera invites us in to a spacious and well appointed cri, she exudes a certain je n se quois, her abundant charms and joie d vivre light up the room. She is still pretty, with beautiful blue eyes. Xaviera introduces us to her hubby Philip, who takes us to the garden and shows us his cannabis plants. The USA has 2 million people and change in prison for pot and other offences. The Penal Industrial Complex has exchanged rehabilitation for minting filthy lucre at the expense of our youth. As Bob Dylan says– You ask why I dont live there, Honey how come you dont move. She has written 15 books, but her eponymous novel,The Happy Hooker, is still her defining work. Xaviera was ripped off by unscrupoulous lawyers on that grand opus, so now she publishes with a feminist consortium. Kick out the macho chauvinist sexist pigs baby, cos sisters are doing it for themselves.

Xaviera operates a groovy bed and breakfast from her charming pad. She is fab and brilliant, the forces of Eros and Logos are a fountain of intellect and sensuality springing deep within her. She has been marginalized for her rampant eroticism by the fundamentalists and far right. Xaviers is out to beat the devil. the Illuminist conspiracy of Yaley skull and bones fear her. The Globalist scoundrels who have ripped off the world in the name of the bankers and international companies demonize her. The New World Order wants to repress and legislate sexuality. The obligatory puff is passed about. She shows us pix of her birthday party. A pantheon of the Amsterdamned grace the party. Gorgeous birds, poets and actors, activists and slum goddesses.

Xaviera has other commitments and can not attend my reading. She promises to send a posse of her constituents to roll deep. Her hospitality is exquisite. The table is set with viands, bread and cheese, a salad and some fine wine accompanied by the obligatory puff. San Francisco, you have lost the plot, for once brave Frisco did rule the waves, but now it is but a shadow of its lysergic glory. The evening shadows fall over the city of the Amsterdamned, we bid Xaviera adieu, she escorts us to the door , and bids us farewell with a kiss.

We roll back to the Johannes Verhuylstraat, attend to our toilette, do our wardrobe and makeup. and cycle out into the night, to the Hemp Hotel. Mila has assembled an au courant audience. The bar is well stocked with cannabis beer, hemp wine, grass energy drinks and pot tea. The reading goes down a storm. Culture is a Dutch treat. Xaviera, true to her word, has sent a posse of the cool and the beautiful. Mila invites the Voodoo Chile to a vodka tonic on the house. Michael and I exit stage left and jump on our bikes and ride. There is a full moon overhead. The stars are navigating the midnight sky, Venus hovers above eternal and divine, as we cycle and a fine mist descends upon the city of the Amsterdamned.


The Beat Culture is now receiving its due as a major American art movement. The halcyon days of the Haight- Ashbury live in the pages of history, my childhood mates and I founded the Straight Theatre . The Beat Poet Michael McClure lived on Downey St. We premiered his theatre piece, The Blossom, with a Theatre of Cruelty drama by Antonin Artaud, entitled, The Philosophers Stone in which I portrayed, The Harlequin.

I was introduced to the poetry scene in San Franccisco via the the Thursday night poetry readings at the legendary Blue Unicorn. This venue was situated on Hayes Street,  it was  a venue where young poets like Michael Hannon, Gene Fowler and his wife Hillary Ayre read along with Ed Bullins who was an important Afro- American playwright of the day. Norman Moser and his wife Hadassa  published an important poetry revue entitled Illuminations.  Frank Melton, the poet and artist,  introduced me to Jim Wilson and a series of loft parties in the Western Addition where poets and freethinkers gathered to drink wine,  smoke pot,  read poetry and emulate the Beat Poets. The opening show put on by the Straight Theatre was held at the Avalon Ballroom. I had the privilege of introducing Michael McClure on stage for his reading from his volume of poetry entitled  Ghost Tantras. The great pyschedelic band Wildflower performed. Ed Bullins had two one act plays performed . It was a fusion of the theatre,  music and poetry of the beats and hippies.

McClure inspired all us young hippies to write, although we are all too hedonistic to realize it. I rolled up to his pad in 68 and Jim was there with a dude named, Babe. Michael was literary mentor to Jim, and they were preparing what would become his volume of poetry, The New Lords. Jim was super cool and gave me some advice I adhere to til this day–You dont have to like everybody.
The Living Theatre were gigging at the Straight Theatre. Michael brought Jim, they were feeling no pain, lubed to the max, and got into the spirit of audience participation, screaming obscenities and poetry as the Living disrobed, as part of the show was for actors to get buck naked. The Living were by this time pretty fried, and Julian Beck – Judith Molina et allii rocked the Casbah.

I scored a gig in North Beach at the Roaring Twenties. I danced a faux love act with a cool bird, Teresa. We would dance about on stage and fiegn intercourse. We rolled down Broadway after the show. Jim was drinking in a go-go, The Peppermint next to the Galaxy.He invited us to a drink. Since the statute of limitations has long since expired, I can now reveal I flipped him 2 caps of needlepoint mescaline, which Jim downed with his drink. We rapped about the beat, the hip and the Dead. He was down with McClure and the poetry scene. We rolled out into the Sf night.

Unauthorised biographers assail the sexuality of le roi lezard. They conspire to depict Jim Morrison as a deviant, a substance abuser and a drugs addict. They assault his character, and try to discredit his art, poetry and stage magic as the work of an anti social psychopath. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the aforementioned are simply ploys. It is a mean spirited attempt to hide the literary and artistic inadequacies of a depraved lot who simply seek filfthy lucre by selling unauthorised biographies, T-Shirts and film scripts.  The great surrealist cineaste Luis Bunuel, was pressed by the media to malign the reputation of his childhood friend, the great poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Bunuel, Lorca and Salvador Dali were classmates at the university of Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1917. Garcia Lorca was murdered by the fascists in Spain simply because he was a poet, and as such the truth is always a danger to fascist regimes. Bunuel stated, “it would be ignoble to demean a great poet.”  The IGNOBLE continue to demean the reputation of artists who are immortal out of jealousy and hate. Vive le roi lezard.

Check out my website for furher details

Alec Christie’s new film

Alec Christie is a young film maker visiting Bangkok. He has just finished working on a film title, Baseline, with Gary Stretch. Gary is enjoying good heat from the premiere of The Heavy, which recieved its premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square. The red carpet was attended by film royalty and Thai royalty.
Baseline, subtitled Every Friendship Has its Price stars newcomer Freddie Connor as a nightclub bouncer who gets sucked into the East London criminal underworld. Up and coming starlet Zoe Tapper plays Freddie’s love interest.  When a hit on an East London mob boss, played by Jamie Foreman, is foiled by Connor, he and his best friend, played by Gordon Alexander, are taken by Foreman’s right hand man, played by Dexter Fletcher, to take revenge on Foreman’s nemesis, a psychotic criminal drug dealer played by Gary Stretch.
Stretch gives a powerhouse performance. Gary plays against type as the terminally handsome virile boxer that he is revered by his fans when he was the WBC light middleweight champion of the world from Lancashire, England, emmanating from the small Rugby town of St. Helens.
Gary, who became famous for his good looks after moving into modelling and acting, for this role changes his physical persona.  His face and body are heavily tattooed. His teeth are missing. Later in the film after he is set on fire he reappears heavily scarred.
Baseline will have its premiere later this year.
Alec Christie started out as an actor in The Children of Green Knowe for the BBC, Meet Ricky Gervais and the English version of the Office, moving into film production on graduating from the University of Warwick. He has been in film production working on East is East, Encounters, Piccadilly Cowboy, Young Alexander and Back in Business.
Like many young Directors and Producers, He also cut his teeth on music videos. He has done music videos for Mica Paris, a talent who’s time has come, with her glamorous attire and stylish screen presence, rock sensation Paradise Lost and dark metal band Abgott, new acts like Wasted Faces, The Haze, M, and admires Paloma Faith for her extraordinary replication of the 1940s movie queens with padded shoulders, pill box hats with veils and pencil line skirts.  He produced and performed in a spoof rockumentary Blackroom Management playing a happless band manager to promote Sony’s new act night West Rocks.
Blackroom Management link:
He is inspired by the revitalisation of the East End. Once Jack the Ripper roamed and killed in the slums of Whitechapel, now venues like 93 Feet East, Cafe 1001, The Big Chill, The Vibe bar and the Brick House, now attract an arty and cultured crowd as the East End gentrifies and becomes one of London’s leading attractions.
He and his fashionista lady Pla will be married this month on the romantic island of Koh Samet.  They are parents of a beautiful young daughter Daisy Faye. His next project an adaptation of Leora Skolkin-Smith’s novel entitled The Fragile Mistress to be shot in London and Israel by Triboro Pictures.  You heard it here first baby.

live at the FCCT

Once again in the guise of bespoke poet, the lysergic pirate of Saville Row, impeccable in a grey silksuit turned out by tailor to the stars Lucky Ricky. enters the Foriegn Correspondents Club of Bangkok. DJ Daryl, my cohort in literary crime and I break bread, and he sets up his laptop on stage. DJ  Daryl is an ace face behind Underground Bangkok Radio, with its founder, the legendary DJ Manow. We are ready to rock the house with chilled electronic beats and classic film soundtracks. The camera crew from Sawadee Pattaya TV, under the aegis of Peter Rnic hit the set.
His Excellency, the Argentine Ambassador, Felipe Frydman graces us with his presence. Seated at his table are the Argentine Iberian film director Marcelo Von Schwartz, his film , Dark Bridge, is on the way to cruise film festivals in Europe. Richard Rubacher, author and bon vivant, joins them with his dear friend, Michelle.  Author Richard Diran , his title The Vanishing Tribes of Burma is a classic, and his beautiful wife, Junko, make the scene. Jimmy Wing and Jackson organize the stage setup.They set up their cameras for the shoot. Jimmy lights candles on the forum desk for ambiance.
We interview Dj  Daryl for a TV spot. Film actor Lex De Groot arrives with two smashing birds. I bring them up on stage , Lex gives an interview re his work in Shanghai with John Cusak, it goes down a storm. Erich Flieschman talks about working with William Hurt, and the making of his  own film, Desolation Angel, as  Jackson and Jimmy Wing capture it on film. Film maker and journalist, Joel Gershon, shoots his spot. He is charming and film wise  as I compliment him on his CNN interview with James Belushi. Gerard Maurez, the French Connection, screenwriter and actor, is shot in all his Gallic je ne se quois.
Joe Cummings, initiates the introduction to tje performance. Compere extraordinaire, he begins the evening with words from Le Roi Lezard. Is everybody in, the ceremony is about to begin. Le papiere magique somebody slipped in my lemonade sings in my veins.To the strains of La Dolce Vita, I begin the poetry reading. The night is dedicated to motion picture line producer Ed Harper. Ed passed away last month sfter serving  in the film industry with brilliance. The eulogy, with allusions to his work and ouevre with Ronnie  Wood in the Artwoods,, connections to the influential British Invasion, and motion picture credits recieve an ovation from the audience of literati and cogniscenti.
The first poem is a tribute to Dr. Albert Hoffman, entitled , Waiting for the Revolution. The beat goes on as I read Shanghaied, The Starlet and the Satyr, and Jade Dragons Wander the Wasteland from my volume of poetry entitled, The Poet at the Gates of Dawn. El Dorado recieves  tumultuos applause. A guest artiste joins us on stage. Michael Krantzler is to accompany us on a huge Indian hand drum. He has come from Goa for this engagement.  Penitentiary Walls, a poem re the Penal I ndustrial Complex for profit in the USA, is on song, driven by DJ Daryl and Krantzler, the chilled electronic beats and trance drumming converge. I sound like Gil Scott Heron on crack. It goes down a treat, the highlight  of the evening.
The DJ is down with Je t Aime by Serge Gainesbourg.  Inspired by this modern day Baudelaire, I segue into, The Floating World and The House of Love on Rue Fortune. Gainesbourg originally recorded this tune with Brigitte Bardot. Her multi -millionaire industrialist lover du jour and her public relations crew forced her to stop the presses. Collectors seek out the Bardot version at astronomical prices, as only a few copies survivE. I conclude the reading with a poem dedicated to Oscar Wilde. During his tenure in Paris in the 1880s, he met the Decadents, was a fixture at the literary salon hosted by Mallarme, and rolled with second generation symbolists Pierre Louys and Andre Gide. Wilde developed a singular accoutremont.He carried about a cigarette case of Egyptian tobacco laced with tincture of opium.  I read , Death Smokes Opium Tinctured Cigarettes. We take our bows and repair to the bar.
It has been a lucrative night for art. The TV spots represent the best of alternative stars in Bangkok. The fusion of music and poetry has been captured on DVD. The buzz among the artistes is a demand for next verse same as the first. Emboldened by le papiere magique, the poet slips away into the Bangkok night. Vive Le Roi Lezard.

magickal evening of poetry and music

A Magickal Evening of Poetry and Music

8pm Mon, February 22nd, 2010


Please join Antonio Pineda, author of “The Magick Papers,” in the Clubhouse as he reads from his new collection of poetry, “Poets at the Gates of Dawn.”

He’ll be accompanied by the chilled beat electronic sounds of DJ Darryl spinning a fine selection from La Dolce Vita to Bolero.

Joe Cummings, deputy editor of Bangkok Post’s “The Magazine,” will introduce the evening, which will be filmed from start to finish by the cable channel, Sawasdee Pattaya Televison.

Rolling Stone Connection part 3

Film line producer Ed Harper passed away in Pattaya last month. He was a colleague and dear friend.Once upon a time, upon graduation from the University of Edinburgh where he read philosophy and art,Ed made his way to swinging London. He was a skilled keyboard player, and like the  cool dudes of the renascent counter culture and the Swinging Sixties were laying down the law. Ed was a dear friend of Art Wood, the older brother of Ronnie Wood, who would achieve fame with another young cock of the day , Rod Stewart, rocking with Steve Marriott and the Small Faces. Ronnie Wood, the once and fiture Rolling Stone and Ed made music together in a band entitled the Artwoods.
The singer and frontman was Art Wood, his drummer was brother Ted Woods, and Ronnie Woods wailed on guitar. Reg Squires kept time on stand up bass. Ed Harper played piano. The young soul men dug and covered the music and raging piano triplets of Little Richard and Fats Domino. The flamboyance, gospel influences,and showmanship of these legends obsessed them. Chuck Berry was also a staple of their repertoire, as he would be to the Rolling Stones. Bo Diddly was another favorite whose songs they covered.The Sun music sound of the young Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins , and The Killer, aka Jerry Lee Lewis provided inspiration for the brothers Wood and their fellow conspirators. Armed for the match, the Artwoods gigged at the legendary venues of lysergic London of the day , such as the Marquee Club, the 100 Club and the Q Boathouse.
Little Richard left home at the age of 14 to join Dr. Hudsons Medicine Show and later performed in drag with Sugar Sam from Alabam, a minstrel show. Small wonder the Beatles would be fascinated with this primal force. Chuck Berry possessed a jackhammer beat, surreal lyrics and a wild strange presence. The New Orleans patois that charachterized Fats vocals seemed exotic and charismatic to Ed and his cohorts in rock and roll crime. Elvis, Jerry Lee and Perkins showed them that white boys could dance and sing the blues. The rebellious nature, overt sexuality, and intense lyrics of the mythic black musicians from the USA inspired a new generation of British white rockers. They would return the favor with the British Invasion of America, turning young Americans to realize the importance of black music nurtured and created on American soil,but previously marginalized by the racist segregational politics of the USA.
Rod Stewart began his carrer in a band fronted by Long John Baldry. A young bloke named Reggie Dwight was also in the band. As a homage to Long John Baldry,Dwight was to assume the stage name Elton John. Rod and Ronnie Wood were to team up together in the group , the Small Faces, fronted by Steve Marriott. The Artwoods were history, the band had run its course, and Ed Harper went on to a successful career in motion pictures. Ronnie Wood became rock royalty with the Rolling Stones. The young lions ran rampant, the childhood chums now were important players in the history of rock music.
Ed Harper began a career as a line producer in motion pictures that would endure for the rest of his life. In 1965 he worked on Darling, with the beautiful Julie Christie. 1966 saw him providing his expertise for Diana Rigg in Modesty Blaise.The George Harrison production of Wonderwall hired Harper on in 1969, as the Swinging Sixties exerted their thrall on youth cuture world wide. Ed was on song for the motion picture , Scrooge , the following year.  He produced Shaka Zulu in South Africa, when many film productions were being shot there due to tax incentives. Dartagnan et les Trois Mosquetaires  was shot in France. Before his untimely demise, Ed worked on the film title, The Riddle with
Vanessa Redgrave.
Film producer-director David Winters, now based in Bangkok remembers Ed and his work with fondness and respect. Davis also possesses a Rolling Stone connection. Winters worked on the classic cult film,The TAMI  Show,  with the Stones and legendary soulman James Brown. Ed Harper was on song to be the line producer on Winters fortcomong motion picture entitled, The Warrior King ,to be shot on location in Thailand and other exotic locations. David lost his dear friends Paul Newman and David Carradine last year. The passing of Ed has added to his grief. He remembers him as a brilliant professional ,a true friend, an intellectual and authority on cinema.
Ed will be interred in Pattaya, where he last resided. He was my friend and co-conspirator. Ed and I worked on my volume of poetry entitled,The Poet at the Gates of Dawn. I will be performing a reading of my poems at the Foriegn Correspondents Club In Bangkok on February 22. DJ Amnesty , of Underground Bangkok Radio fame, will provide music, from film soundtracks La Dolce Vita and spaighetti westerns, to chilled electronic beats and Bolero by Ravel to accompany my performance. Peter Rnic and his TV crew from Sawadee Pattaya  TV will film the performance of poetry and music and dedicate the night to Ed. Death is a time to mourn, but it is also a time to celebrate the loves and achievements allowed to us. Ed leaves behind him a musical and cinematic legacy of great value and importance. Sleep sweet Prince, and dream forever , for we will all one day join you in Valhalla.

My bookmarks for January 7th through February 9th

These are my links for January 7th through February 9th:

  • Texas Coworking celebrates Boagworld 200 Friday 4 am! – Texas Coworking Video Conference Event: Boagworld 200.

    At 200 E 6th Street 301 (third floor), Austin, TX, 78701.

    Friday Feb 12, 2010 starting at 4 am till 4 pm with Happy Hour after at BD Rileys pub downstairs from Tex

  • Google Sidewiki is PR Game Changer | PR Blog News – Here?s how Google spins it: What if everyone, from a local expert to a renowned doctor, had an easy way of sharing their insights with you about any page on the web? What if you could add your own insights for others who are passing through? In other words – what if Google can turn everybody into a content producer and then rank and control all that content?

Rolling Stones part 3

Film line producer Ed Harper passed away in Pattaya last month. He was a colleague and dear friend.Once upon a time, upon graduation from the University of Edinburgh where he read philosophy and art,Ed made his way to swinging London. He was a skilled keyboard player, and like the  cool dudes of the renascent counter culture and the Swinging Sixties were laying down the law. Ed was a dear friend of Art Wood, the older brother of Ronnie Wood, who would achieve fame with another young cock of the day , Rod Stewart, rocking with Steve Marriott and the Small Faces. Ronnie Wood, the once and fiture Rolling Stone and Ed made music together in a band entitled the Artwoods.
The singer and frontman was Art Wood, his drummer was brother Ted Woods, and Ronnie Woods wailed on guitar. Reg Squires kept time on stand up bass. Ed Harper played piano. The young soul men dug and covered the music and raging piano triplets of Little Richard and Fats Domino. The flamboyance, gospel influences,and showmanship of these legends obsessed them. Chuck Berry was also a staple of their repertoire, as he would be to the Rolling Stones. Bo Diddly was another favorite whose songs they covered.
The Sun music sound of the young Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins , and The Killer, aka Jerry Lee Lewis provided inspiration for the brothers Wood and their fellow conspirators. Armed for the match, the Artwoods gigged at the legendary venues of lysergic London of the day , such as the Marquee Club, the 100 Club and the Q Boathouse.
Little Richard left home at the age of 14 to join Dr. Hudsons Medicine Show and later performed in drag with Sugar Sam from Alabam, a minstrel show. Small wonder the Beatles would be fascinated with this primal force. Chuck Berry possessed a jackhammer beat, surreal lyrics and a wild strange presence. The New Orleans patois that charachterized Fats vocals seemed exotic and charismatic to Ed and his cohorts in rock and roll crime. Elvis, Jerry Lee and Perkins showed them that white boys could dance and sing the blues. The rebellious nature, overt sexuality, and intense lyrics of the mythic black musicians from the USA inspired a new generation of British white rockers. They would return the favor with the British Invasion of America, turning young Americans to realize the importance of black music nurtured and created on American soil,but previously marginalized by the racist segregational politics of the USA.
Rod Stewart began his carrer in a band fronted by Long John Baldry. A young bloke named Reggie Dwight was also in the band. As a homage to Long John Baldry,Dwight was to assume the stage name Elton John. Rod and Ronnie Wood were to team up together in the group , the Small Faces, fronted by Steve Marriott. The Artwoods were history, the band had run its course, and Ed Harper went on to a successful career in motion pictures. Ronnie Wood became rock royalty with the Rolling Stones. The young lions ran rampant, the childhood chums now were important players in the history of rock music.
Ed Harper began a career as a line producer in motion pictures that would endure for the rest of his life. In 1965 he worked on Darling, with the beautiful Julie Christie. 1966 saw him providing his expertise for Diana Rigg in Modesty Blaise.The George Harrison production of Wonderwall hired Harper on in 1969, as the Swinging Sixties exerted their thrall on youth cuture world wide. Ed was on song for the motion picture , Scrooge , the following year.  He produced Shaka Zulu in South Africa, when many film productions were being shot there due to tax incentives. Dartagnan et les Trois Mosquetaires  was shot in France. Before his untimely demise, Ed worked on the film title, The Riddle with Vanessa Redgrave.
Film producer-director David Winters, now based in Bangkok remembers Ed and his work with fondness and respect. Davis also possesses a Rolling Stone connection. Winters worked on the classic cult film,The TAMI  Show,  with the Stones and legendary soulman James Brown. Ed Harper was on song to be the line producer on Winters fortcomong motion picture entitled, The Warrior King ,to be shot on location in Thailand and other exotic locations. David lost his dear friends Paul Newman and David Carradine last year.
The passing of Ed has added to his grief. He remembers him as a brilliant professional ,a true friend, an intellectual and authority on cinema.
Ed will be interred in Pattaya, where he last resided. He was my friend and co-conspirator. Ed and I worked on my volume of poetry entitled,The Poet at the Gates of Dawn. I will be performing a reading of my poems at the Foriegn Correspondents Club In Bangkok on February 22. DJ Amnesty , of Underground Bangkok Radio fame, will provide music, from film soundtracks La Dolce Vita and spaighetti westerns, to chilled electronic beats and Bolero by Ravel to accompany my performance. Peter Rnic and his TV crew from Sawadee Pattaya  TV will film the performance of poetry and music and dedicate the night to Ed. Death is a time to mourn, but it is also a time to celebrate the loves and achievements allowed to us. Ed leaves behind him a musical and cinematic legacy of great value and importance. Sleep sweet Prince, and dream forever , for we will all one day join you in Valhalla.

Le Novelle Vague (the new wave) look back

The passing of Eric Rohmer, at age 89, has magnified the importance and influence of the art movement entitled Nouvelle Vague. Post war France saw many contraversial changes on the artistic front. In the USA, Method Acting,based on the avatars Stanislavski and Michael Chekov,as pioneered by Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg,and Sanford Meisner was ressructuring the status quo in cinema. The Method created great actors of the American Golden Age of Cinema. Marlon Brando , , Marilyn Monroe, Susan Strasberg, Kim Hunter, as well as James Dean and Steve McQueen all were devotees of Method Acting as a philosophy. The post war NYC scene was a breeding ground for Method as personified by Paul Newman, who listened to the actor, then reacted,his lithe physique and penetrating blue eyes offered windows to another soul. Critics parodied Brando,who was portrayed as an inarticulate rebel and beatnik, his affectations of slurred dialogue and physicality ascribed to a new generation of film barbarians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aforementioned cineastes, like the New Wave in Europe , were creating a new and vital art movement.
In Paris, intellectuals like Rohmer, Francois Truffaut, Jean- Luc Goddard, and Jaques Rivette began to conspire on the deconstruction and reinvention of cinema. Rohmer began this conspiracy as a critic with the Gazette du Cinema in 1949. The influential film journal,Cahiers du Cinema in the 1950s gave the nascent critics a platform for their ideas. It would take a decade for The New Wave to come to fruition. Breathless, directed by Godard, premiered in 1960. The filmed starred Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. Godard emloyed jump cuts,introduced hand held cameras,implemented edgy improvisation, and eschewed film sound tracks for naturalism, ie  the sound of cars roaring, the wind rustling trees, or birdsong. Le Nouvelle Vague inspired a new generation of cineastes.
In Italy Fellini created,La Dolce Vita ,in 1960.Marcello Mastroianni  and Sophia Loren  starred in this tale of existential decadence. The extraordinairy sound track by Nino Rota remains a classic.The intelligence, sophistication, and philosophy behind the film created a furore.Fellini and Antiononi were to create some of the greatest cinema of the era. The influence of The New Wave was gaining momentum.
Rohmer described his films as one of thoughts rather than action. Employing  improvised dialogue, shot in a naturalistic manner, devoid of soundtracks , his films were compared to the ouevre of the 18th century dramatist Marivaux. His friend Barbet  Schroeder set up a production company Les Films de Losange. Rohmer could work freely and retain artistic autonomy.  The breakthrough came in 1966 with his film La Collectionneuse. His most popular works were Ma Nuit Chez Maud and Pauline a la Plage.
New Wave was to last for a decade, but its influence was to be pervasive. The Second Generation Nouvelle Vague generation of filmmakers in Germany like Fassbinder and Herzog were to continue the tradition. Godard was burnt out by the time he shot Sympathy For the Devil with the Rolling Stones. The impact made by Rohmer,Truffaut and others was to conspie to create new cinematic truths. Method Acting was a red blooded American enterprise that gave cinema a new voice and oversoul. New WAve was ironic, complex, often political and inventive explorations of morality.
New Wave borrowed freely from Sarte, Bunuel and Cocteau. The fusion of new ideas were significant in the connection to the 1960s, a time of social and political upheaval. Thy were at their best anti- establishment. The innovations attacked institutions like sex, religion and romance.The cinema produced by New Wave remains the antithesis of Hollywood popcorn movies. New Wave was created by mavericks and revolutionaries. It was a generational movement of young lions who believed their intellects could change the cinematic landscape. Long live Nouvelle Vague.

Oliver Stone surfaces in Bangkok, Thailand


Once again in the guise of bespoke poet, the lysergic pirate of Savile Row crosses the threshold of the Foreign Correspondents Club, to attend the gala event featuring 3 time Oscar winner Oliver Stone. Peter Rnic arrives with the film crew for Sawadee Pattaya TV and we set up shop. Felipe Frydman,the Argentine Ambassador radiates charm and bonhomie, chatting with Argentine- Iberian film director Marcello Von Schwartz at the bar. Peter Rnic interviews Von Schwartz for posterity.

The night is hotting up. Jerry Hopkins, author of one of the important books on Jim Morrison, Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive, is holding court at the bar. The Doors film by Oliver Stone is one of my favorites. My theatre piece entitled Minuit Aux Pere Lachaise, that was performed here at the FCCT some years ago is a homage to Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde. Check this out on

I sortie to the smoking area and conduct an interview for Sawadee Pattaya TV on the outside patio, my subject is author-thespian Jake Anthony. Back inside I encounter Susan Dusty Aldous, lovely and glam, she is a noted activist and author. Rnic interviews film producer-actor Cameron Pearson. Joe Cummings graciously leaves the bar so I can interview him  Joe has just interviewed Oliver Stone that morning, his story will appear in the Bangkok Post at the end of February.

Joe spins tales of hanging with the Rolling Stones and  Martin Scorsese at the Beacon Theatre for the movie shoot.  Cummings was accompanied on that occasion by Maura Moynihan, author-poet and daughter of  the late Dem Senator from New York, Daniel Moynihan. Maura wrote Yoga Hotel, a well recieved collection of short stories. I liaise with local film producer Tom Waller. The usual suspects lig and roll deep. Poseurs make claims to film projects and shoots that will never be. Same as it never was. Legit intellos, journos,and musos swap tall tales at the bar. The beautiful and the damned consort.

Oliver Stone affects a dashing entrance and takes to the podium. Oliver is casually attired in dark trousers and navy blue sweater.His reading glasses give him a proffessorial air.He steers away from the vacuous and glamorous, choosing instead to discuss El Salvador, Chile, Argentina and the real politique of South America, the rise of neo fascism and totalitarianism in China and Russia, and the deceptions of the Bush administration. He is a political animal, an intellectual and a historian. Charismatic and a born raconteur, he quotes Theodore Dreiser. He enters and exposes the heart of darkness unleashed upon the world in the last decade by corrupt politics, terrorism, religious fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism. Stone graciously concedes to enter into Q and A with the audience. I step to the microphone and make my inquiry.

Q. Method Acting, as espoused by Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler created some of the greatest stars of American Cinema. Did the philosophy of Metod Acting have any influence on your work.

A. The process in which an actor engages varies. Sir Anthony Hopkins,comes from the British tradition of internal process, yet between takes he is jocular and charming. Some actors demand silence in preperation for a shoot. I am not so inclined, but we must respect the actors decisions and choices in order to elicit a performance.My job is to get a performance any way I can.

Peter Rnic engages in Q and A

Q.I am representing Sawadee Pattaya TV. When are you going to shoot Pinkville.

A. I remember you. You were an actor in Alexander. You were very good.  A Method actor for sure, always drunk. Pinkville had financing problems due to the implosion of the financial system 3 years ago. Bruce Willis wanted a rewrite, Willis had to move on to another project, nonetheless I would like to shoot that film in the future.

Quetion fly fast and furious. Some are incisive,others absolute trash, but Stone is always engaging. One woman offers her unsolicited screenplay and services as an actress. He smiles and moves on.The final Q of the eve is by another woman who demands to know why he should get 50 million a film while the financial inequality of the system is obvious. He patiently gives her a discourse on free enterprise and films as a financial institution. The audience enters into the absurdity of the situation, primed on alcohol, the spirits are riding high and an aura of Dionysian splendour envelops the night. Oliver rises to take his leave.He exits stage left,leaving in his wake an audience of journalists, actors, local producers-directors, bon vivants and hoi polloi wanting more.

Stone is the real deal. He is a rebel, who acknowledges the influence of Avatar in its ability to connect with audiences and conjure up political and sociological realities. He pulls no punches in his views on Vietnam, corruption in politics, or the process by which film can affect change on the world and society. Yet behind these assets I intuit a touch of the voluptuary. Mens sana en corpora sana. Tuesday he is on his way to Cambodia. Bangkok awaits the return of the maverick and controversial cineaste.

My bookmarks for October 16th through January 5th

These are my links for October 16th through January 5th:

My bookmarks for September 13th through October 12th

These are my links for September 13th through October 12th:

Thai Film Goddess

Antonio Pineda with Thai film goddessPeter Rnic, character actor extraordinaire, waits for me in front of the Kings Table. Peter is conspiring to put Sawadee Pattaya Tv on the map.  The Amsterdam Connection, Ron and Donovan, cameramen on the shoot hover about waiting for the arrival of Champagne X. The Dutch Connection and I reminisce re Amsterdam in its pomp. We tell tall tales of legendary rockers Golden Earring, Candy Dulfer and Xaviera Hollander, aka The Happy Hooker. We comisserate on the passing of poet laureate Simon Vinkenoog. Happier times are evoked about Cosmos and The Milky Way, Paradiso and The Soul Kitchen, mythic night clubs of the Amsterdam night. Champagne X rolls up to the shoot in the obligatory limo.

She emerges, an apparition in a red dress, with tawny hair and a leonine presence. She recieves a bouquet of flowers from her adoring fans, and poses for photographs. She introduces me to her companion, Captain Van, a dashing bloke with a head of silver hair radiating bonhomie. Peter guides us by the buffet tables laden with delicacies.The Dutch Connection set up the cameras. Peter Rnic, watches every detail, then snaps his fingers and shouts ACTION. The cameras roll.I introduce Champagne X and begin the interview

Champagne began her career as a model.She graduated to film, and starred in the classic Thai film, The Red Bycycle. She was also excellent in 2499, directed by Norizee Ninibutr. Champagne smiles at the camera, and waxes eloquent about her association with Peter Andre. She starred in one of his most memorable music videos. Peter Andre was the Australian heart throb whose ripped six pack and hot dance moves caused the media to proclaim him the next Michael Jackson. Andre is of Greek ancestry. His Dionysian dancing and handsome looks are on view on the wide screen TV at the back of the bar as he rolls with Champagne in a classic film clip. She reveals that her favourite actor is Mel Gibson. The director she would most like to work with is Spielberg.She is drop dead gorgeous, tres intelligent, and a political activist. She invites us to attend a gala charity benefit she is doing to fight AIDS at a posh venue in Bangkok.

The interview concludes to applause from the finest denizens of Pattaya. We repair to a table to dine. The viands and Bordeaux flow. Captain Van acted in the Thai film, Fireball. His day job is as an airline pilot. He is the personal pilot to Mr. Stanley Ho. Mr. Ho, legend has it, left Hong Kong during the Second World War and arrived in Macau with 50 USD in his pocket. Today he is the undisputed King of the Casinos in Macau. Stanley has sired 16 children by many wives. His son Larry and daughter Pansy run the show now, allowing Mr. Ho the freedom  to enjoy his stature as regent of the Las Vegas of Asia. Mr. Ho is 86 years young. When I grow up I want to be like him. Champagne shows us the cheesecake shots for a calendar she did, for Blue Eagle Whiskey. This Babe is hot. She is a Leo.

Blogger Tony and Thai Film Goddess

Blogger Tony and Thai Film Goddess

The Kings Table is hotting up. Peter Rnic, discloses his plans for Sawadee Pattaya TV. Champagne and Van live in Bangkok. They enjoy entertaining cineastes and friends at their cosy hideaway. Van is the bartender, she cooks and is hostess with the mostess.The owner of the Kings Table, Chris, a charming German, comes to our table with a bottle of Shiraz. The cameras continue to pop as the whole bar shoots pix of Champagne and her merry men. She regales us with a story of being robbed of all her possessions in Los Angeles while doing a show. They emerged to find their van stolen. She was on the floor of LA International airport  for 4 days trying to escape America. Where is Snake Pleskin when you need him. Peter Rnic and I exchange pleasentries with the in crowd and depart. We are on to Mixx Disco to confer with the mayor of Pattaya. Shoot the funk, and may the power be with you. The silver arrows of the moon fall upon the palm trees on the beach, stars beam down upon us, there is no mercy for the wylde and the wycked. Adieu mes cher  amis, til we meet again.

Bangkok Film Festival Awards


The Chatrium Suites, located hard by the Chao Phraya River, is the venue for the closing ceremonies of the Bangkok International Film Festival, The Golden Kinaree Awards. I take the lift to the fourth floor. Nicholas Snow and his associate Natalie are interviewing film actors Rachel Nichols, action star Gary Daniels, the charismatic Joe Cannon and producer Bill MacDonald. Cannon is a veteran of films like, Wildcats, and the latest Jean Claude Van Damme opus. Rachel is fresh from G.I. Joe and Star Trek. MacDonald was mentored by the legendary John Huston. After Nicholas and Natalie wrap for the cameras, I hang in with the cineastes.

Joe Cannon reveals that his favourite actor is James Cagney. I roll with Gary Daniels. He is tremendously fit, as befits a martial arts advocate. I had the privilege of working with him on, The Lazarus Papers, shot here by Jeremiah Hundley. MacDonald is a gifted raconteur. He waxes eloquent on John Huston. We both lament the decline of the Hollywood Western, of which Huston was a master craftsman. MacDonald concludes that Huston was a master at adapting books for the screen. He was indeed a lion among men. Bill was drinking partner and sorcerers apprentice to the hard drinking,former football player and director of screen classics that are in many ways unparalelled. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is as relevant today as it was before. He came from a tradition when cineastes and film stars revelled in high end spirits and luxury tobacco. It was a sign of stature and wealth to drink and smoke oneself to death.

Afterwards we are ushered into the Grand Ballroom. The Golden Kinaree Awards are on song. Dramatic music plays as the audienceof cineastes rises to their feet, in honour of the entrance of HRH Princess Ubol Ratana. The beloved royal is beautiful in a tasteful red dress. HRH sits ramrod straight, bejeweled earrings glitter, her hair is gracefully pulled back, there is an air of serenity and grace about her. A gorgeous presenter, Khun Ning, is the MC. Ning introduces the opening act, Ericka Lemay.

Lemay is a distinguished artiste from Cirque de Soliel. She is class incarnate, a dancer cum acrobat with flawless technique and a powerful presence. Her show brings down the house. The stage is now set for a retrospective of the work of celebrity photographer, Douglas Kirkland,whose portraits of the Golden Age of Hollywood are extraordinary and brilliant. Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando roll on screen in their pomp, as do Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, Paul Newman and Robert Redford reprise the characters of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. John Lennon and Ringo Starr in their psychedelic glory. Angelica Huston is in good company, as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin flash across the screen. Kirkland is in fact a film historian. His work chronicles the splendour that once was Rome. It is a tribute to the art of cinema that once possessed philosophy and glamour, unlike the vulgar reality TV trash and fabricated instant coffee celebrity of the New Hollywood.

As the awards conclude, the audience is told to wait for the departure of her serene Highness. HRH is to pose for pictures in the foyer, after her departure we are to follow protocol and descend to dine  downstairs.I stop to chat with His Excellency the Argentine Ambassador, Don Felipe Frydman, who graciously introduces me to Andres Aguilar of the Embassy of Chile. I spot Kirkland at a table and cross to engage him in conversation. Douglas is accompanied by his lovely wife Francoise. We exchange pleasantries in French. Douglas was an habitue of Greenwich Village in NYC during the 60s.  His eyes light up as screen legends roll off his tongue. James Dean,Steve McQueen, David Winters, Elizabeth Taylor,Ava Gardner, Richard Burton. Legends of whom we may never see the like of again.

We repair downstairs for a lavish buffet and wine. I stop at a table where Gary Daniels dines with film producer Tom Waller and his sparkling actress date, Crystal Vee to wish them bon appetite.Man about town Joe Cummings greets me at the Authors Table. We dine with Jerry Hopkins author of the Jim Morrison classic,Nobody Gets out of Here Alive. The Doors Connection awakes the sleeping dragon. I met Jim Morrison when he was in his pomp. We were introduced by the mythic Beat poet, Michael McClure. I have penned a theatre piece entitled, Minuit Aux Pere Lachaise. The play is set against the backdrop of the cemetary Pere Lachaise in Paris. The hour is midnight. Amidst the tombstones and gravestones, the protagonists appear at the grave of Le Roi Lezard. The Lizard King  is joined by Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf to celebrate the legacy of literature and song. Minuit Aux Pere Lachaise has been translated into French by Anthony Georges Whyte.  Those who possess interest in the legacy of Le Roi Lezard, the immortal Oscar Wilde, and consumate chanteuse Edith Piaf can consult

We are joined by James Newport who has a new book out entitled, Chasing Jimi, looslely based on Jimi Hendrix. James was the production designer on the film Brokedown Palace, which starred Clair Danes.Newport was also the production designer on the TV series Lost. Scotch and sodas appear on our table as Cameron Pearson pulls up a chair.Local film producer Ray Huber rolls by with his posse, Hollywood reporter and film maker Joel Gershon schmoozes Jeremiah Hundley and Crystal Vee, who was the female lead in his film, The Lazarus Papers, produced by Jude Walko.

The wine stops flowing, so we bust a move to the afterparty at Bed Supper Club. Cummings , Cameron Pearson and I grab a taxi and roll up to the scene of the crime. Le Club is shaking and baking with film stars and the usual suspects who prowl Bangkok after dark. Cameron is on his way to Los Angeles, where he has a film in competition at the Venice Film Festival. We are rolling deep in the street. The Big Mango is awash with celebrity among the beautiful and the damned. There is no rest for the wycked. Bespoke spake Zarathustra.

Jim Belushi in Bangkok

Jim Belushi: Steal my show!

by Joel Gershon

In town for the Bangkok International Film Festival, the sitcom star shares his impressions of Thailand’s food, football access and bootleg DVDs
Jim Belushi

Jim Belushi on the red carpet at Thursday night’s opening for the Bangkok International Film Festival

Actor Jim Belushi recently arrived in Thailand to headline the Bangkok International Film Festival, spending a few days in Phuket before mugging for the cameras here in Bangkok on the red carpet Thursday night.

The 55-year-old stars in the long-running TV sitcom “According to Jim,” and will be heard as the voice of the (formerly cowardly) lion in the upcoming animated movie “Dorothy of Oz.” We sat down with the Chicago native for a rapid-fire chat following Thursday night’s festival opener.

CNNGo: Can you compare a Chicago bratwurst to a Thai sausage?

Jim Belushi: I haven’t tried a Thai sausage yet, but it sounds good. I love the food here, and the heat is so much more intense than the Thai food I get in Chicago. I’ve been breaking out into sweat when I eat here.

CNNGo: What have you been eating?

Belushi: I loved the fresh fish in Phuket, but I’ve been eating the very popular typical tourist stuff: pad thai, green curry with chicken. It’s so much better here.

CNNGo: What were your first impressions of Thailand?

Belushi: The airport was big. I saw a Starbucks; it felt like Miami. Actually, I immediately felt the sweetness here.

CNNGo: Have you seen your series, “According to Jim,” sold illegally on the streets of Bangkok yet?

Belushi: Yes, and I love seeing that, actually. It seems to be a popular title, too, which I think is great. I’m happy that so many people are watching it.

CNNGo: Are you planning on staying up until 3am on Monday morning to watch the Chicago Bears game? Football diehards in Bangkok have been known to do that.

Belushi: Oh, really? I didn’t know I could watch the game here. Well, if I watch it at 3am, that will be a laidback night, comparatively. We’ve been pulling all nighters.

Bangkok International Film Festival


I consult my vestuary and select a black 3 button suit with slim lapels ,constructed  by bespoke tailor to the stars, Lucky Ricky. A crisp white cotton dress shirt with French cuffs, is complimented by a skinny black tie emblazoned with Jolly Rogers, and initialed silver cuff links complete the ensemble. Once again in the guise of bespoke poet, I bust a move to attend the opening ceremony of the Bangkok International Film Festival, in order to slay dragons and lig with film stars.

James Belushi, Jean Claude Van Damme, Ving Rhames, and Asian superstars Sung Kang, Richard Ng and Johnny Nguyen are to join Rachel Nichols at the Grand Opening. The red carpet is celebrating the arrival of dignitaries outside the World Trade Center. My tailor will do anything for money, and my guise as lysergic pirate of Savile Row goes down a storm. I queue behind some dazzling starlets, and pimp down the red carpet, nobody knows wassup, so I don my Ray Bans and affect anonymity as the punters take photographs. I pose for my dedicated public.  The cameras go off as I decline to sign autographs.

Gregg Hale, producer of The Blair Witch Project is on the scene. Danny Leiner, director of the smash comedy, Dude Wheres My Car has come to share the creative juices. Elaine Dysinger, producer of Memento, graces the festival with her presence. I lig at the bar with local actors Erich Fleischman, Cameron Pearson and his mate Ian, who is in Mammoth , the film which stars Gabriel Garcia Bernal that is to be screened at the festival. I sneak out to the car park for a cigarette. The smoking lamp is lit. Alcohol and nicotine abound, as I consort with Arisa, a rising and lovely Thai starlet.

Veronica Ngo Thahn Van, star of The Rebel, is one of the faces that are hot and upcoming screen actors. Actors Kyle Galiner and Olivia Thirlby complement the cast. William J. MacDonald, star of Rome, chats with me. He is a devotee of John Huston, does not fancy remakes of classic films, and concedes that Method Actind as espoused by Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner, inspired by the philosophy of Michael Chekov and Stanislavsky, produced the greatest cinema actors of the American Century. He believes actors should live thrir life and their craft, celebrate life, be in tune with high philosophy and deplores the anti- intellectual franchises that dominate film and literature today.

I roll to the bar and grab a beer. Author Jake Anthony joins me. I stop to chat with legendary Thai film director Prince Yukol. Tan Mui, as he is known to his fans is in good nick, and is filming the second installment of his epic Naresuan,Jude Walko, resplendent in beard and earrings hangs tight. He produced The Lazarus Papers, in tandem with Jeremiah Hundley, a dashing young writer-director from Atlanta, Georgia.I take photographs with a charming bevy of female TV  journalists from China. The house band plays the theme song to American Bandstand, then segues into , Beyond The Sea.His Excellency the Argentine Ambassador engages me in conversation. Don Felipe Frydman is in good cheer, he is cultured and charming, and is a lover of tango, literature and cinema. Viva Argentina.Viva Hollywood Glamour.

Peter Rnic makes a sophisticated entrance, followed by his camera crew for Sawasdee Pattaya TV. Johnny Diamond, selected by Pattaya People TV as personality of the year, accompanies me to the upstairs bar. Lames Belushi is conducting interviews . Producer Bay Logan is hanging with a beautiful 6 foot actress who stars in his new action movie shot in Hong Kong. We are rolling deep.

Peter Rnic insinuates himself next to James Belushi, and introduces himsef. Not to be outdone I shake James  hand. James is gracious and charming. Peter proceeds to interview James as the TV cameras roll. My agent, Kaprice Kea schmoozes at the bar. He is engaged in a production of a film entitled, Glory Days. It is to be directed and produced by Roy Alfred. His father composed music and lyrics for Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Glory Days will shoot here in November. The line producer is my dear friend and colleague, Ed Harper.

The Wener Herzog film , Bad Lieutenant,starring Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes, is about to be screened. We congregate outside the cinema. The film is a remake of the original which starred, Harvey Keitel. Remakes usually pale next to the original, But this version is an exception. Cage gives a bravura performance. He snorts coke, smokes crack, does smack and smokes pot as he brandishes his Magnum 44 and fornicates with hookers. He is one evil hombre.

Eva is his love interest. She is sexy and curvaceous, and layers her performance with a brassy vulnerability, and spices it up with bravado and cunning. Herzog takes the viewer deep into the heart of darkness. It is arguably his most accessible film in many years. The film is set against the backdrop of post 9-11 New Orleans. The Big Easy all but steals the show. The levees and ghettos, high rises and low life, blues and jazz make for a fascinating tableaux. The film is an engaging entertainment. New Orleans has offered the most incentives and tax breaks to film makers than any other city or country. A stageering 120 TV shows and films have shot on location there since The Big Easy introduced these incentives. They have outpaced Toronto, Detroit, Brazil and Hollywood. Thailand could learn from this. The summer before last 6 foriegn. films  shot here. Last summer no films shot here. Thailand gives no financial tax breaks or incentives. One does not have to be a member of MENSA to figure it out.

The credits roll, the film has been well received, the guests loiter in the lobby and trade repartee. Still one place to go, let me take you down to the Soul Kitchen. An after party is on the cards at Q Bar. My posse and I sortie out into the Bangkok night. W e grab a cab and head to the party. Ita a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Last Days of Carradine released via Maxim

You read it here first on the and now it’s reached mainstream print media.

You can read Mark Ebner’s full article on the David Carradine death.

Mark Ebner article on David Carradine

Mark Ebner article on David Carradine

The Rolling Stone Connection


The story all began back in the halcyon days of the British Invasion, in London at a bar, The Last Resort. It was situated on the Fulham Road, opposite Warwick Road, in SW3 hard by Saint Johns Wood. Nick Evans was a student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. London was the epicenter of the rock and roll culture. Nick and his mates decided to open up The Last Resort as a tribute to the music and lifestyle of Swinging London.

Nick and I liasie with British line producer Ed Harper in Pattaya, at the Apex for breakfast. Ed resides in Thailand, and has decades of experience as a film producer. Ed possesses a Stone connection. Upon graduating from University ofA Edinburgh, Ed was the keyboard player in The Artwoods. Ronnie Wood played bass guitar. Ted Woods bashed the drums. Reg Squires was on stand up bass. Art wood was the singer and front man, and Ed harper was on piano. The p;ayed classic rock, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. They gigged at the Marquee Club, The 100 Club and the Q Boathouse.Ronnie Wood soon left to join Stevie Marriot and the Small Faces.

I saw the Small Faces at the Concert for Bangladesh at the Wembley Poole organized by George Harrison. Rod Stewart was the lead singer. He wore a leopard skin suit which was auctioned off for charity after the gig. It was purchased by Anthony Chatterton Smith for 500 Quid.

Nicknamed American Nicky, Evans became a face on the London Scene. The Last Resort was the local for Jim Price, and his wife Carol. Jim was along with Bobby Keys were the hottest horn section team in rock and as in Derek and the Dominoes, Bonnie and Delaney and The Rolling Stones.The Last Resort was opened and sponsored by original investors, Ringo Starr and Keith Moon, who kindly opened their phonebooks to make The Last Resort the premiere drinking establihment for late night ligging in London. Anita Pallenburg and Keith Richards, who were an item became regulars, as did the rest of the Stones avec entourage.

The Carribean art deco ambiance and especially the mixed drinks ie American cocktails and the 3am closing time, one of only 5 late licenses in London at the time brought an incredible mixture of flamboyant faces. Keith Moons sponsorship brought the Small Faces on board. Ian McLaughlin, Ronnie Wood, Rod Stewart, Steve Marriot all made the scene. A frequent patron, David Bowie, tended bar in drag and pulled the American waitress, Kathy to the blaring overture, Starfucker, and she returned the next day with a black eye fron her boyfriend for sleeping with Bowie.

Nick has a show business pedigree. His father was Michael Evans, the British star of stage , screen and TV. Aworking actor for 65 years, some of his credits were as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the movie , Bye Bye Birdie , the stage show Camelot where he succeeded Richard Burton.

Nick Evans accompanied Mick Taylor to Brazil. They stayed at the Copacabana Palace. They went on a rock and roll sex rampage.The local press went crazy and Nick and Mick were mobbed by the Brazilian cariocas at Ipanema Beach. The 2 wayward lads escaped the screaming cariocas and returned to London after a fortnight of mayhem. Nick acquired a taste for Brazil. He returned in the future to promote rock concerts. The artists were icons like Miles Davis, Rod Stewart, and Queen with Freedy Mercury.

Nicholas Wedgwood Evans now lives in Beverly Hills adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel on Doheny Drive
, and is a regular at Dan Tanas and the Troubador up the street. He is returnibg to Hollywood to attend the reunion by his pals Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal, and the Phantom Blues Band, originally The Bump Band which possesses 80 plus platinum records on its own. The show is at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood. Be there or be square.

My bookmarks for August 13th through August 30th

These are my links for August 13th through August 30th:

  • WordPress ? Arras Theme « Free WordPress Themes – Magazine-styled theme with tons of features. Ready for alternate styles. Includes featured posts slideshow, different post layouts, multi-tabbed sidebar, custom single meta fields for reviews and many other customisable features.
  • StatusNet ? Open Source microblogging service – # Keep your brand on your own domain
    # Integrate with Twitter and Facebook
    # Promote your own Web presence
  • Aardvark – Aardvark’s advice is always current, obtained on the fly from those we trust, like friends, but whose collective expertise far exceeds that of the relatively few people we happen to know personally… a great fountain of hitherto untapped information.
    ? Randall Stross, New York Times
  • Spring Blog » Blog Archive » Social Media Breakfast at Statesman video – You can find the full one hour video of the Social Media breakfast at MySpace, and Veoh . . . feel free to use the embed code on these pages if you want to use this on your blog or website, and rate it and review it if you like. You can see the 6 clips starting here: YouTube, Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, DailyMotion, and Veoh
  • Texas Longhorns football practice – Texas Longhorns football practice

Cameron Diaz – Man, Woman, Film


Pearson and Diaz

Pearson and Diaz

Producer, actor, director Cameron Pearson invites me inside his well appointed penthouse in a trendy area of Bangkok. In 1999 he shot Man Woman Film on location in Los Angeles starring Cameron Diaz, featuring Lee Arenberg and Ian Stevens.

As a crimson sunset crowns the Bangkok skyline, Ian arrives sweaty from a game of tennis, and invites us to indulge in the obligatory evening martini. Ian also appeared as an actor in the Diaz movie. He tosses up the libations, shaken not stirred, and we roll deep as Pearson trots out a photo of he and Cameron Diaz on the set. Ian was also featured in the motion picture entitled, Mammoth, which will be screened at the Bangkok International Film Festival, and stars Gael Garcia Bernal.

Cameron Diaz appeared in the Pearson film prior to the release of her smash comedy, There’s Something About Mary. His third film, a feature documentary entitled, 34th & Park, shot on location in New York City, has completed the final edit, and may world premiere at the forthcoming Bangkok World Film Festival.

Hip- Hop music plays in the background, Pearson reminisces about acting for 3 months, on the movie, John Rambo, starring Sylvester Stallone shot on location in Thailand. Pearson also featured in Shanghai, with John Cusack, Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li. In his opinion, Cameron Diaz was the most accessible, coolest and gracious film star he worked with. Being an actor alongside  the unrelentingly intense and charismatic Sylvester Stallone was the highlight of his acting career.

Pearson lived in Chicago until he was 18. He obtained  degrees in English and Theatre at the University of California at Berkeley. He was the recipient of a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University. He was awarded an MFA in film making from UCLA. Before coming to Thailand, he worked as an associate professor at NYU and The School of Visual Arts in NYC.

Serge Gainsbourg, revered by the French  as their modern Baudelaire sings in the background, as Ian uncorks a bottle of Saint Emillon. Man Woman Film is a parody homage of the French New Wave. It is the only feature film in which Cameron Diaz appears in black and white. Pearson is on sabbatical from his film productions, and is in the process of writing a novel entitled, How To Be a Serial Killer,an autobiographical Handbook.

His film script, Pirates, is currently under consideration for production, by the Weinstein Company and Winkler films.

Pearson and his suave sidekick Stevens slip into their evening gear. It is time to make an appearance at The Creative Ministry Fashion TV soiree at Koi, the new ranking hot spot for the in crowd. It is the local watering hole of choice for the actors, producers, directors and fashionistas in the Bangkok art scene. He feeds the chat noir de la maison, and teases me with the fact he has a secret film project in development, slated to be his first masterpiece. He pets the black cat and smiles.

A starry carpet of night descends on Bangkok,as we hail a cab to take us to the party. The forest shadows are dark and deep, we have many secrets to keep, and we have long to go before we sleep.

Flamenco Odyssey


The flamenco odyssey has traveled overland and by sea for over a thousand years to Iberian shores.The gypsies originated from India, and their exodus via Eastern Europe and the Meditteranean, culminated in its evolution when Andalusia was the center of Moorish-Arabic culture. It was highly evolved, bringing poetry and the chanson, architechture, medicine and mathematics to Andalucia.El Cid and the indiginous Spaniards may have finally expulsed the Moors from their rule of Andalucia, but the influence on the culture of the Iberian peninsula was forevermore altered by the infusion of  all the aforementioned. Flamenco was the ultimate beneficiary.

Juan Antonio De Los Reyes introduced me to the flamenco odyssey when we met, back in the day in Madrid, at the dance studios, known as El Amor De Dios. Very important dance teachers like Maria Madalena and Antonio Marin plied their trade there.Ciro, who once owned flamenco clubs on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and in San Francisco, also imparted his knowledge.Antonio Del Castillo and Raul, also were rising stars who taught there. Raul was famous for his fast and flashy footwork.

Madrid and Andalusia introduced an era when Flamenco fused with many confluences, especially from North Africa. The zambra is danced with finger cymbals. Its roots are in North Africa. A fusion of the dumbeki, or arabic drum shaped like a toadstool, was integrated into flamenco with chords often alluded to on the oud. A mixture of Arabic and Spanish dance and chanson became popular among the young and adventerous, as Iberians returned to explore cultural and genetic roota.

If Madrid was the merger between the classical ballet  and flamenco, the heart and soul of flamenco was to be found in Andalusia. Sevilla and Moron de la Frontera were renowned for the devotion to authenticity, passion, and tradition revered by lovers of the gypsy genre and lore. Juan Antonio De Los Reyes is continuing his long odyssey, with his own brand of fusion of all these influences and elements, bringing his 16 strong troupe of dancers, singers and guitarists to Greece.

The flamenco spectacular he is bringing to Thessalonika, is inspired by the rendering of the great Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca, as a tango. Verde que te quiero verde, is one of his great poems. It has been covered by the Gypsy Kings and Manzanita, and is often sung to rumba.Tango comes from the Latin , tanhere, and implies to touch.Tangos originate from Malaga and Extremadura, and celebrate the joy and passion of flamenco.

The farruca origins are from Galicia and Asturias. It is sung in Galician., and often accompanied with the gaita, or Spanish bagpipe as well . Farruca is a virile , macho dance. The immortal gypsy artist Carmen Amaya danced farruca dressed in the masculine attire of the tradition, in effect breaking tradition and establishing new ground. I studied with her cousin Sandro Amaya, at the Dance Centre in Covent Garden back in the day in London.

The guajira recalls the Spanish colonial times in Cuba.The longing for Iberia, and the Cuban influence on flamenco is hereby expressed.Allegrias are derived from medieval songs, and are also referred to as cantillas.Its origins are in the gypsy culture of Andalusia and the medieval songs of Galicia.

The tablao flamenco is a highlight of the show.The presentation is performed on  a wooden floor.The program may include tangos and rumbas, allegrias and bulerias, one of the most beloved gypsy dances, the syncopated rythmns of bulerias are a celebration and a joy.Rage, sensations of anger, blood and inspiration are inspired by seguirilla, as night falls, it is impossible to sleep, and the artist must express duende, or soul.Flamenco is not for the Philistine. Juan Antonio De Los Reyes will honour Greece as the cradle of Western civilization, as the flamenco odyssey returns to the roots of its origins and philosophy.

Just as brave Odysseus traveled round the world before his return to Greece and his wife Penelope, the adventure and romance of flamenco has sailed around the planet. These conquistadores come in peace, bringing the love, passion and historicity of this beautiful and singular art form in a pure expression of democracy.Flamencologists world wide understand the influence and divinity that flow and sing in the bloodlines of the flamenco tradition. Like the matador, the flamenco artist is rooted to the earth, its centre is low to the ground, it smells of virgin olive oil and red wine, and reeks of blood and sand.Juan Antonio and his flamenco ballet will bring all these elements to the Grecian night, where the minotaur and centuar sing and dance amidst the phallic ruins, and the philosophy espoused by Plato and Aristotle reign supreme. Viva Flamenco.

My bookmarks for July 28th through August 11th

These are my links for July 28th through August 11th:

  • /SAbackchan – Mark Lightin’ “Rizzn” Hopkins wrote an incredible piece about how wordpress might be the natural successor to twitter, facebook and friendfeed and one of the reasons is this sabackchan theme which his organization uses for their “backchannel”
  • What are the people of the NY Times saying on Twitter? – What are the people of the NY Times saying on Twitter?
  • denius fields google maps – Google Maps – Where the Longhorns practice early in the morning and other points of interest on a map of the University of Texas
  • SocialToo – Your Companion to the Social Web! – SocialToo can help you be a social networking power user. Keep your follower lists in sync across networks, and learn more about your relationships. Send surveys to your followers and more! To get you started or log in, please connect with us through Twitter or Facebook:
  • CrunchPad or Apple Tablet? Why I?m Leaning CrunchPad? – its industrial design mockups are equal to, if not better, than the ones I have seen allegedly from Apple so far. The CrunchPad also promises to be lower cost, and forces a new paradigm of being 100% a Web device