Ok, so you probably skipped the Oscars to watch The Walking Dead and Girls instead, and believe you me Spreadeagle author Kevin Killian gets that. Still it’s fun to see what stars show up looking high (Renee, the Kristens anyone?). Here’s the saucy highlight reel 2013 Academy Awards wrap-up to save you from your DVR.
Didn’t your mama…er…the movies ever tell you that silence is golden? i.e. shut off that damn cell phone. Yes, no, maybe? This year that little saying, worthy of Emerson, means something more apparently. Kevin Killian and his Oscar party crew do their annual send up of the idols of Hollywood.
Fanzine arrived at Moby Dick in San Francisco just in time to see Whitney sing Step By Step on February 11th in a televised tribute to her own life, as happens with celebrity, the product outliving the person, a self-made monument. Fanzine took the long way home, reflecting, and stayed up late watching her films. Kevin Killian’s 2008 essay, with fellow fan Bradford Nordeen, analyzes her mythic presence through her movies, locked in the vice-grip of fame, of performance, of the voice.
So you’ve saddled up to your desks and are wondering what the hell happened at the Academy Awards last night, or actually why they may have been the least surprising in years… still there remain a few head scratching queries in Kevin Killian’s inimitable style, like: Personally, all it took was nine words, “Gwyneth Paltrow will perform ‘Coming Home’ from the film Country Strong,” for me to hand back my SAG card, the way that boys my age used to burn their draft cards in the age of Vietnam. Where was poor Cher? as Randy Newman may have wondered. It’s another homestyle San Francisco Oscar Party!
In Kevin Killian’s review of Justin Spring’s Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade, Killian recounts his own close encounters with Steward, who lived in the Bay Area in the ’80s, and his divergent viewpoints with a man whom he found, while not entirely fascinating, intriguing, not only for his sexual prowess and Stud File, but for Steward’s relationship with Gertrude Stein, his life as a tattoo artist in seedy postwar Chicago, his artistic endeavors, and multiple identities during an age of homosexual persecution. It was a transitional time for Killian as well, and his initial apprehensiveness toward Steward as subject matter gives way to real understanding.
Some changes in the Oscars over the years, and especially this year – 2010 sees 10 best picture noms as opposed to 5, a woman winning best director, and no gilded Miramax flick in the bunch, right? Except that “damned Helen Mirren” still got unwanted attention from co-host Steve Martin. Kevin Killian notes what has changed and looks back on a man who maybe got the Oscar show rolling in a new direction long ago, Allan Carr, who once ruled the Hollywood party scene and blew it all on a weird Snow White night. There’s a new book out about him by Robert Hofler called Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.