Chelsea Hotel Documentary

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
dick
Posts: 1185
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:21 pm

Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by dick » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:18 pm

http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsoun ... w-chelsea/

La weekly blog re Chelsea on the Rocks

This Ain't Your Dad's Sid and Nancy: Film Maverick Abel Ferrara Brings his Chelsea Hotel Documentary to LA
By Gustavo Turner in On the Screen
Thu., Dec. 10 2009 @ 8:30AM

About a year ago, cult NYC film director Abel Ferrara (Driller Killer, Ms. 45, the OG Bad Lieutenant, The Addiction, etc.) wrapped his indiepunk documentary on the legendary Chelsea Hotel. The film premiered at Cannes last year and is now being gradually unrolled across the US. Ferrara is coming to LA to present it this coming Friday at the Laemmle Sunset 5.
Chelsea on the Rocks should delight fans of Ferrara's gritty, hand-held realism (he's been called the heir to Cassavetes and one of the last standing mavericks of the "Easy Riders/Raging Bulls" generation), but it's also obviously of interest to music fans. Under the benevolent dictatorship of manager Stanley Bard, the hotel remained a haven for artists, writers and musicians, both famous and unsung, until its recent takeover by less tolerant real-estate speculators.

Past tenants have included Arthur Clarke, Bob Dylan, Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Miller, Joni Mitchell, Dee Dee Ramone, Larry Rivers, Dylan Thomas, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, Donald Sutherland, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Eugene OʼNeill, Jane Fonda, Leonard Cohen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom Waits, Courtney Love, Sam Shepard, Charles Bukowski, Julian Schnabel, Jasper Johns, Viva, Jimi Hendrix, and many others.

Ferrara has interviewed Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Milos Forman, Grace Jones, and several others about their experiences at the iconic hotel, and he has also included archival footage of legends like Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious (two of his undead muses for the project), William S. Burroughs and Quentin Crisp.

WCS spoke with Ferrara (who's reportedly working on a Jeckyll and Hyde movie featuring Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent!) as he was preparing to come west to present Chelsea on the Rocks.
WCS: When did you first become aware of the Chelsea Hotel?
ABEL FERRARA: I mean, you know, it's like, when were you first aware of the Statue of Liberty? It's the same thing. It's kind of an iconic place. You know, I've been living in New York since like 1975 so, you know, I don't know when was the first time I was there. I mean, I remember being out there way back with Dee Dee Ramone, may he rest in peace, he used to live there or whatever. That was the first time I think I was there, with him. Shooting a BB gun out the window... (laughs) "Dee Dee, what are you doing?" and he said "Hey man, just shooting at the tires." So.

Had you heard Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2" before? [The song is one of the most famous lyrical celebrations of a blowjob in rock history. Years later, Cohen revealed that the fellator was none other than Janis Joplin, who had been looking for Kris Kristofferson, but had to settle for the Canadian heartthrob. Even later on, Cohen regretted that revelation as ungentlemanly.]

Yeah, I'd heard the Leonard Cohen song before, but, I mean you know, whatever, you know what I'm saying? I mean, it's like I was saying [about the iconic stature of the Chelsea], plus I knew it as a hotel in the neighborhood, you know what I mean, a place where people write books or write music. It's a legitimate hotel, even though it was mostly residential at the time, or half and half.

[Note: As a special treat we offer you Cohen's rarely heard "Chelsea Hotel #1," featuring an ethereal angelic choir that improbably hails Janis Joplin's "sweet little sounds"!] youtube link

When you first started spending time there, did you see it as "the last bastion of Beat culture"?
Back then it wasn't. They call it that now, but when I first started going it was a vital... It wasn't seen as a historical landmark. There's certain places, you know, like the Chateau Marmont in LA. I used to live in the Chateau Marmont. There's something about, you know, why did we choose that place? But there's something about certain buildings, certain places that just attract... That just become and then are...and might always be.

What were your thoughts about the music that would best fit a documentary about a place so connected with music history?
You know, I was mainly looking and listening to pieces that were not the obvious pieces--say, the Leonard Cohen song. We had a lot of music, rehearsal tapes, of all kinds of great old bands, and jam tapes, things like that. There's a clip in the film with Janis singing with Rick Danko and [Jerry] Garcia and it was just like a jam session and we were gonna go that way. But what happens with these movies, especially the kinds of films I make [is that] buying music is a) so expensive and b) it's kind of against my philosophy, you know what I'm saying? We're more or less trying to create the music. Cause I play a little music myself, you know? I just play in the movie. But anyway, we kind of created the music for the film.

There's Tony Granier, he's a bass player, he's been playing with Dylan. And G. E. Smith, another guy who played with Dylan, a cat who plays on SNL [Note: G.E. Smith led the SNL band from 1985 to 1995, and was famous for his orgasmic guitar solo faces.] The producer, Hal Willner, he's been the music producer at SNL forever, and he's also lived at the hotel. Hal put the sessions together with some pretty good players.

Also, in the movie, cats play right there for us. There's this one great piano player... I'm not great with names. [Ferrara is probably referring to composer Gerald Busby, one of the Hotel's most memorable characters.]

And also, who's the actor who was married to Uma Thurman?
Ethan Hawke?
Yeah, Ethan. He's playing too.
Did you include the amazing footage of glam casualty Jobriath doing his lounge act on the Chelsea roof? [This performance is the subject of "Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979," a pretty great recent track by Okkervil River.]

No, I didn't know about that. But we recreated the Sid Vicious... [situation? affaire? thing? mess?], because at the Chelsea there's a whole different story of what happened that night, you know what I mean, and it wasn't anything like the movie [Alex Cox's Sid and Nancy]. Because the belief in that hotel is that Sid didn't kill Nancy. So, the reenactments we do are fictitious, I don't know if fictitious... you know what I'm saying? Anyway, that was one of them, and we did some stories about Janis Joplin, recreated those situations.

Chelsea on the Rocks plays Friday, December 11th @ the Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Tags: Abel Ferrara, Chelsea Hotel, Chelsea On The Rocks, Gustavo Turner, Interviews
User avatar
bridger15
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles - ex Toronto
Contact:

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by bridger15 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:01 am

dick wrote:Chelsea on the Rocks plays Friday, December 11th @ the Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Dick, thank you for posting this. I will try and get there on Friday if I can. Perhaps it will open on more screens. I will watch out for it.

---Arlene
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
User avatar
bridger15
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles - ex Toronto
Contact:

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by bridger15 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:27 pm

Chelsea on the Rocks TRAILER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHaN9r0Huuc

The trailer for this documentary runs about 3 minutes.

(Warning: Explicit)

---Arlene
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
User avatar
mutti
Posts: 2003
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:25 am
Location: somewhere in the Pacific Northwest

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by mutti » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:17 pm

Thanks Dick
I put it on my 'netflix' save list for when it is released.
Mutti 8)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
holydove
Posts: 1572
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by holydove » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:07 pm

Dick, thank you for the info about the film; maybe it will come to the East Coast?

Arlene, thank you for the trailer - it has whet my appetite. . .
sebmelmoth2003
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

patti smith - `just kids`

Post by sebmelmoth2003 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:39 pm

patti smith has a new book out which should make interesting reading.

...In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies...

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780 ... index.aspx
--------
sebmelmoth2003
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

just kids - radio 4's book of the week

Post by sebmelmoth2003 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:02 pm

5 episodes each day this week - each episode online for 7 days after broadcast.

presumably abridged.

Patti Smith reads from her new memoir of her life in New York in the late 1960s and 1970s.

In 1967, Patti is hungry, homeless and penniless, until a chance encounter in a bookstore changes her life for ever.

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qzh56
User avatar
neo
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 am
Location: Vienna

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by neo » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:57 pm

Just Kids is the 2010 National Book Award Winner, Nonfiction :D

http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2010_nf_smith.html
What sad religions they want us to believe.
User avatar
Wybe
Site Admin
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:05 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by Wybe » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:14 pm

Take a look in the Lobby from the Chelsea Hotel.
http://chelseaontherocks-themovie.com/#/lobby

Click on the right mouse button to browse around in the lobby.
Click on the left mouse button to visit some of the rooms in the hotel.

Wijbe
2008 -- Brugge, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Helsinki, Oberhausen, Rotterdam -- 2008
2009 -- Antwerpen, Venice, Barcelona .-- 2009
2010 -- 2 x Gent, Lille, 2x Las Vegas, -- 2010
2012 -- Gent, 2 x Amsterdam, Dublin, Verona -- 2012
2013 -- Pula, Rotterdam -- 2013
https://www.icantforget.nl -- +++ https://www.LCeventAmsterdam.icantforget.nl +++ --
User avatar
daveeliver
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:50 am
Location: Liverpool

Re: Chelsea Hotel Documentary

Post by daveeliver » Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:24 pm

Look after yourself and (each)others. All the best Dave ♫♫♫
Post Reply

Return to “News”