I was the perfect fan

It’s a bit of a cliché, going to the movies to wax nostalgic about long gone film stars I realize, but that is what I did to while away the time. In an essay about Mel Brooks, written in the late-1970s, Kenneth Tynan quoted someone who said,“We are all basically antennae. If we let ourselves be bombarded by cultural events based on movies, we won’t get a taste of what’s happening in the world”. I don’t think this to be true but when I read it at the time wondered if infact I was not really living but co-existing in the world, with life on one side, and me observing a parody of it through films, the side I was on. Hollywood’s reality and the dishonesty, sleaziness and drugs, and even crime I disregarded, what little of it I knew about. Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon 1959 book was a vile look into the vileness of it all, though much of it was questioned in regard to it’s accuracy and truth. So, I simply ignored that aspect of Hollywood and the books which did not paint a pretty picture of the scene, sordidly told by Anger and others, even by my avatar Louise Brooks in her book Lulu in Hollywood. I was into the ideal beauty and it was Hollywood’s histrionics that bedazzled me. History would prove that Kenneth Anger for example, invented completely the relationship between Ramon Novarro and Rudolph Valentino, as well as the factoid that Novarro who was murdered, was murdered with an Art Deco dildo which Valentino gave him, an idea I loved. I only related to the aspects of Hollywood which made me dream, nothing else mattered to me especially grime reality and the embellishment of it by various authors. I was the perfect fan.


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