‘ Last night I went to the after Oscar party for the Banksy movie ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’. I was invited by my friend and composer extraordinaire James Hood whose friend Zam Baring was one of the film’s producers.
I had chatted with the producer Jaimie D’Cruz and the editor Chris King the day before at The Spirit Awards where they won for Best Documentary . They were guests on The Treatment last year. They were sitting close to my table (I was in the documentary ‘section’ , sat beside the filmmakers of the fantastic ‘Marwencol’ , and my friend and director of the wonderful ‘Thunder Soul’, Mark Landsman, was sat a few tables away with Jamie Foxx) . Chris introduced me to the ‘star’ of ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ Thierry Guetta aka Mr Brainwash – when I said I was a colleague of his friend Gregg Lewis & thanked him for the fab KCRW T shirt he designed for our recent fund drive, he gave me a big gallic hug! Am sure that design took at least 2 minutes to come up with knowing the rate at which he works.
So it was good to see them all again last night at their party and they were in fine spirits despite losing to ‘Inside Job’ As Chris King said they were thrilled to have been nominated and had bagged the Spirit award – more than they had ever anticipated for this fascinating film that has attracted both fans and detractors – mostly b/c of the notion that its a huge con. I really liked the film and I think the joke is on the art world.
The party was held in a cool bar / /bowling alley called The Spare Room at The Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd right opposite the Kodak Theatre where all the fun had taken place earlier that evening. The Roosevelt is where the first Academy Awards was held in 1929 .
I noticed Chris Holmes was djing so went up to say hello and introduced myself to the guy who was standing beside him who looked familiar and it was none other than Shepard Fairey – another ‘star’ of the film and famous for his’ Obey’ and Obama ‘Hope’ artworks.
I told him I was from KCRW and we chatted about his visits to the station including bringing in some of his favorite tunes to share with Jason Bentley on Morning Becomes Eclectic. Shepard took over from Chris on the decks and I went over to say hello to Nigel Godrich. I met him years ago when he was a guest on Chris Douridas’s show and have seen him a few times in LA since then as he often records here with artists such as Beck. However he told me this trip was for pleasure as he was celebrating his 40th birthday. He then introduced me to the guy who was stood beside him with a beard and shades and it was none other than Thom Yorke who said he listens to KCRW! I also asked him about the use of Radiohead music in ‘Incendies’ – one of the foreign film nominees but he didn’t seem to know about it. I told him the KCRW DJs were enjoying the new Radiohead album and he seemed very pleased about that.
I had another mojito and chated with director Chris Paine who I met last year through my pal director Lucy Walker (whose excellent Waste Land was nominated) is finishing his ‘sequel’ to his excellent 2006 doc ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’ and he introduced me to the director of The Garden (I’m entering this post in for the most docs mentioned in one blast ever!) and his editor who just cut Gregg Araki’s latest ‘Kaboom’ and then they introduced me to Mogan Super Size Spurlock who was very tall and enjoyed stroking my furry jacket (and I caught a girl having a quick feel of it earlier on – I guess it is a bit provocative to wear real fur !) I also had a chat to Dangermouse who kindly let me have a few goes at bowling (the venue provided some lovely vintage style leather bowling shoes that were a welcome relief to my aching feet!) Alas I was terrible missed all the pins twice! so I retired to the bar only to walk straight into a clean shaven Russell Brand and his mum! The photo below was taken when we taped our second Treatment interview with him at NPR West. His schwarmi (sp?) had turned up and presented him with this lovely flowered necklace – it was a few days before he went and wed Katy so he was a bit tired – pre wedding excitment no doubt! but gave anyone that smiled at him at the studio a lovely bear hug and was charming and witty as ever.
He had presented an award with Helen Mirren earlier that eve across the road at the Oscars. Rusty and Dame H had starred in Julie Taymor’s ‘The Tempest’ (came and went from theatres quicker than you could say sonnett!) and will be reunited on the screen again in the remake of ‘Arthur’ (he is playing Dudley Moore’s role and Dame Helen is his butler – previously played by Sir John Gielgud) As you may know if you are a fan of The Treatment he has been on the show twice and he always a very ebullient guest.
Having read his books I had admired how his mum had battled cancer and was such a support to her often wayward son . His dedication in ‘My Booky Wook’ reads thus…
‘For my mum, the most important woman in my life, this book is dedicated to you. Now for God’s sake don’t read it.’
I noticed Russell chatting to Shepard at the party – they’re mates and he designed the cover to Russell’s latest tome ‘ Booky Wook 2’ (dedicated to the new important woman in his life!)
By two am I was ready to leave this fun and incredibly non pretentious party . Luckily my friend Ross Forrest came to pick me up (we met at End of the Road fest last year – he had come to LA for his first visit to SoCal & this was his last night in LA) and the nice chap on the door let him come into the party (which would probably not have happened if they had of won last night) and he walked straight into me propping up the bar with Russell’s mum. We finally took our leave and walked out of the Hotel Roosevelt to see the red carpet being rolled off Hollywood Boulevard . The awards weekend is over for yet another year thank goodness as I’m knackered and hungover!
P. S – you know the only guy I didn’t meet was Banksy! Or maybe I did?!
(and I haven’t even told you about the Spirit Awards or Free Willy Whale watching! more to come asap…)