Gen's upcoming events and Misc.upcoming projects...

GENS MISC. UPCOMING PROJECTS: Heartworm Press are publishing “Collected Lyrics and Poems of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Volume One 1961 to 1971. Later they will publish Gen's first novel, written in 1969, “Mrs. Askwith”. Other books will follow.

Monday, May 24, 2010



The movies of Ed Wood are really an acquired taste, though at this stage in the growth of his expanded cinema “cult” the peer pressure to claim to love them is almost as overwhelming as the ridicule they received when he first wrote and directed them. However, interest or not in his films has no essential bearing upon an appreciation the incredible life and times, obsessions and addictions exposed and celebrated in this book.

Of course, most of us know the movie based on this book featuring Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette and Martin Landau, but what becomes clear very quickly whilst reading through the original biography is how much hilarious and heartbreaking; courageous and eccentric material was left out. Needless to say much of this additional information centers upon sex and drugs and aberrant activities, making the plethora of supplementary anecdotes an unexpectedly sordid (which in this context is a positive value)
and fabulous bonus.

Take this little gem from the memory lane of writer, producer, director,Tony Cardoza for example:-

“In India they sent a 13 year old girl up to Tor’s hotel room. So he’s sucking her breast and it tastes kind of bad, and so he turns on the light, and finds that she was dirty, not dark-skinned! And her tit was white where she was sucking it.”

Rudolph Grey has chosen to collect who knows how many interviews and then painstakingly sifted and assembled these to form a powerful and compelling biography that flows uncannily well. The fractured persona of Ed Wood, transvestite, dreamer, inept hustler and, probably, naive genius is scarily believable and contemporary. It might be easy in the 90’s with Ru Paul on national television and Hollywood making movies on a seemingly regular basis about drag queens and transvestitism to forget the recklessly courageous honesty exemplified by Ed Wood’s “coming out” in Glen & Glenda. No matter how kitsch his treatment might now seem, make no mistake, he was brave, and he was risking everything when he introduced us
all to the now mythologised pink angora sweater.

Apart from the fascinating interplay of wild and bizarre characters around Ed Wood, and of course his intense friendship with Bela Lugosi, we learn just how truly prolific he was. Apart from the central core of 32 movies that he more or less completed, there were at least 155 television commercials as well, and even more surprising and pleasing for me was finding out about 48 books that he wrote too. These in particular beg to be re-printed as seminal explorations of transvestitism, cross-dressing and 50’s era hustler

Rudolph Grey prints a synopsis of all of these books, and they certainly give an impression from these descriptions alone of being the closest we’ll ever get to an autobiography of Ed Wood. Ostensibly written for a sexploitation publisher of cheesy paperbacks the excerpts selected suggest a richness and brutally revealing serial confessional that can only consolidate and increase the reverence in which we might hold this extraordinary man.

Ed Wood died an impoverished and delirious alcoholic, something that Tim Burton’s film really should have addressed to lend an agonizing realism to his demise. For, in the end, what really becomes most apparent and undeniable, and what makes this book and the heroic life it so vividly describes absolutely essential, is all the deeply serious implications concerning identity and self and artistic expression symbolised and personified by the conclusion we inevitably must draw that... it takes a real man to wear a pink angora sweater with pride. You gotta love him!

All hail Ed Wood, saint of the gender defused.


No comments: