Ok, so this is going to be sort of a long post, but it totally deserves all of the attention, so if you have the time, please keep reading, as I think you will find this very entertaining and a fun read. I will skip many small details, as if you are a reader of this blog, you already know we are totally dedicated to the preservation of our archives and we are always conducting film transfers, interviews, commentaries, etc…..which is a great lead in to this story…………….
It was this past Friday afternoon and I just got to the NYC, I was awaiting the arrival of my friend, Joe Rubin, and another associate of ours. They were both flying in to JFK and they were going to meet at baggage claim, in order to share a cab into the city. I have known Joe for a while and despite his young age,he is one of the finest authorities on mainstream films,cult classics, sexploitation and XXX films. As well as being a film student, Joe has taken on many film oriented responsibilities ranging from lecturing in academia, to organizing late night grind-house film screenings across the country. In addition to these tasks, Joe has been assisting me with several projects from film transfers, to organizing theatrical screenings, to conducting interviews/commentaries. He has sort of dedicated his life to film preservation and is a great resource. Last week, we were in LA together for the “ROOMMATES” commentary with Veronica Hart and Kelly Nichols, and now, here I am waiting in NYC for Joe to arrive to work on another project.
The associate that I am referring to is the legendary XXX director, Shaun Costello. Shaun is known by many as the king of the ONE-DAY Wonders. Basically in a very short period of time, Shaun had produced some of the greatest 1 hour sex films, for a pair of porn theatre icons”the Greeks”( Teddy and Tommy), who ran the Capri Cinema on 46th and 8th in NYC. He made about 32 films for the Greeks and in that time he and Bill Markle, his camera guy, became infamous for some of the most wacky-sexy-and sometimes violent, stag films of the golden age, and he helped turn the Capri Cinema into a “cash cow”!!
In our never ending mission to properly release our library it has been a goal of mine to get a chance to work with Shaun, as well as a slew of others. Since we recently unearthed film elements for “The Passions of Carol”, and we remastered the film, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have the legendary Shaun Costello, record his first ever commentary for a film that he wrote his first ever screenplay for, “The Passions of Carol”, an adult adaption of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol….and a very strange, funky, but technically well done film.
So, I got word that they both landed and were on there way to NYC to midtown, where we would meet at the FLATOTEL, where Shaun was staying. I was a bit anxious to meet Shaun for the first time, so I spent about an hour at the bar, slowly nursing a few corona’s to ease my nerves. After about 3 beers I notice Joe and Shaun at the front of the hotel lobby and I proceeded toward them to greet them, I hugged Joe and then gave Shaun a warm handshake and half a hug. It was amazing, and then Shaun turned around to check in and get his key, only to realize that he had left his wallet in the cab!!! Holy shit, what a fucking bummer. We were all sort of bewildered. He did not have any money in the wallet, but his license, bank cards, etc. What is he going to do? How will he get back on the airplane without proper ID?
The first thing I did was call 311, a free NY-5 borough emergency number, mainly dealing with parking and towing issues, ad well as power outages, etc. But one of the area they deal with is the taxi and limousine commission, so I called and gave them all the proper information in order to generate a lost and found report, for any taxi drivers who may report something found in a cab. The operator told us to go to our nearest NYC police precent, in order to fill out a form that would enable Shaun to get a temporary identification, in order to be able to get back on the airplane. We all had a few laughs as we walked about 5 blocks to the the nearest precent to file our report. We were greeted by a young cop who was sort of rude and looked like kojak, but who are we to talk, we looked liked 3 characters in a precent on a Friday night.
So he directed us to a window beside the area, where the more hardened criminals were being brought in, and we waited in the front of the precinct while our number was called. In the meantime, Shaun was on the phone, frantically trying to explain to the credit card companies, that he needed some assistance. It was then that Joe and I realized that it was just one of those surreal moments. I mean, here we were, the 3 of use, we looked like a crew of nomads, tourists, but we had style! Anyway, the precinct on 54th and 8th, is pretty tough and lots of typical NY cops. About an hour later, Shaun was called to the window and he filled out the correct forms which would enable him to get a temporary ID, so he would be able to get back on the airplane. She was a big, and sweet, black woman and she even rushed through the document, which meant she faxed it over, instead of waited until the next day, which is typical protocol. So being the putz that I am, I slowly and very non-chalantly,slipped her a $20 for her troubles and even though she worked for the city, she grabbbed that $20 like it was the first she had seen in years….she was great!!A big thanks!!
Anyway, we went to a wonderful dinner at the red-eye grill, we actually tried to get into the place next door, called Trattoria del arte, but it was so packed, both places are right across the street from NYC famous Carnegie Hall!