Sunday, 3 October 2010

Monkey Ghost at the Monkey Bar

After months of planning and deliberation, the night of my dinner in NY for Apichatpong arrived. Brian Phillps of Black Frame and I had talked and planned for some time, the idea coming up even before P'Joei won the Palme d'Or in May, we love his work and I still want to adopt a monkey ghost from Uncle Boonmee.

On Monday 27th September at the Monkey Bar in NYC, the host committee of Tilda Swinton, Marc Jacobs, Francesco Vezzoli, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Brian Phillips and myself invited our friends to celebrate Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives at the Monkey Bar, on occasion of it winning the Palme D'Or and also premiering in the US for the first time at the 48th New York Film Festival (2 screenings to a packed out theatre and riveting q and a sessions).

Arriving at the Monkey Bar before our guests, I had really no idea what to expect but by the time I had floated around and met some guests, did a couple interviews of the director, his producer Simon Field, Lee (in from bkk that day) and Nanda Hampe, I was greeted by a sea of people of whom included Cindy Sherman, David Byrne, Shirin Neshat, Steven Klein, and Waris Ahluhwalia . .and of course our friends, old and new, and P'Joei's friends and supporters.

10 minutes before . . .
Brian, Terence Koh and Derek Blasberg

It was a wonderful night . . . the booths intimate, everyone excited to meet this director who's name they find hard to pronounce, thus, they settle on Joe and this movie about a man called Uncle Boonmee which takes them on a surreal journey where nothing is ordinary, yet at the same time, evokes a certain memory or a certain time. I was wedged between Waris and the floor so I could circulate. A lovely lady called Emily Holt from WWD, Diana Picasso who I had not seen in ages so we had quite a bit to catch up :) and the lovely Juliana from Black Frame. It was a rather nice little booth as P'Joei was to my left and Ambra Medda and her bf, Greta Gerwig and Derek Blasberg to my left. Some funny moments there . . . oh and I gave a little speech during dessert . . . nerve wrecking.

Julien Cahn, Polina Aranova, Lee Chatametikool and Patrick Li

Nanda and Derek
Diana Picasso and Me
Jeremy Dawson and Waris

Fashion, art, music and film converged to celebrate the success of P'Joei, his film, his vision . . . one man, with his unwavering vision, cheeky grin and subtle ways and sense of humour that brought everyone together that night. It is a start and I hope something that can be repeated . . .again and again and I very proud to have been part of this start and morever be able to share it with our friends who were present that night as well as friends and supporters who from behind the scenes, supported us. It was truly Bangkok in NY seeing as Singha, ERB, Boyy, Mahanakorn and 4x4 made it possible and of course, the help and love I had from our patrons Russell Willimanson and Nat Sarasas. And of course from Brian Phillips and Black Frame, our host committee particularly Francesco and Rirkrit for inviting their friends, and last but not least P'Joei for being their and Simon Field, Marcus Hu, and Lee for all that support.
Francesco Vezzoli and Me
P'Boyy, P'Joei and Jesse

P'Joei, a friend of P'Joei's, P'Rirkrit

P'Joei, Goh and Nook

On a grey rainy night, we said our good-byes as they ushered the last remaining people to the bar of the restaurant . . . what fun it was - I woke up to my little Uncle Boonmee Boyy goody bag and a message from P'Joei as he was on his way back to Bkk and felt happy, satisfied and hopeful that we will a ll meet again in NY, perhaps not for Uncle Boonmee but something else . . .

This was last Monday, I wanted to wait to see who would get to this before me and I am very happy that they did,, wwd, wisekwai, WSJ . . . and more coming . . . totally icing on the cake and yes, the Monkey Ghost on the poster looked rather happy at the Monkey Bar that night.

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