Thanks to the hard work of the folks at Dirty Looks NYC, I was able to attend a screening of Jacques Scandelari's New York City Inferno last night in Manhattan. I'd seen some of Scandelari's other work, but this was the first I'd seen that he directed as his alter-ego, Marvin Merkins (really, merkins???). If you have a chance to check out any of his work, you won't be disappointed. Oy, the mustaches . . .
From the Dirty Looks Website:
"In 1977, Parisian filmmaker Jacques Scandelari moved to NYC. Under
the equally evocative pseudonym, Marvin Merkins, he produced a doc-style
porno, New York City Inferno, which follows Jerome, a
Frenchman who visits our fair city to find his lover; Paul has fallen
into the teeming S&M leather scene. The world that Jerome encounters
consumes him in all too many ways. New York City Inferno
is a remarkable document of pre-AIDS NYC gay life, as noteworthy for its
experimental aesthetics as it is for the authorized soundtrack provided
by The Village People.
Jacques Scandelari was a French filmmaker, screenwriter and producer. His second feature film, the cult-classic Beyond Love and Evil, was a loose adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy of the Bedroom – featuring
a present-day setting and a cult of libertines set loose on an isolated
mansion. He moved to New York in 1977 and made New York City Inferno, under the name Marvin Merkins, the exploitation film Flashing Lights (aka New York After Midnight; Monique), which starred Breathless actress, Florence Giorgetti, and Victims of Vice."