Dirtbag Journalism

Robert Smith Jr : Bound For Glory Holes

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2009 at 2:00 AM

Robert Smith Jr has recently made a short film that puts a different spin on the mysterious hole in the wall. Glory Holes is a video exploration of several personal pilgrimages throughout a Brooklyn safari dreamscape.  Before we got into the whole thing, Robert thanked me for doing the interview and also for interviewing another Brooklyn queer we all love, Chris Garneau. Robert wanted to let Chris Garneau know that he’s single and available for coffee anytime. Johnny B Mag loves making love connections or at least help form a new gay bromance!!!

1. In your own words, what’s this film all about ?

Robert : It’s like being in a safari, watching wildlife in their natural habitat. The animals are young, queer New Yorker’s.

2. How did you come up with the concept ?

Robert : The script started out as a short story I wrote when I was in college 7 years ago. Back then I was really into Bret Easton Ellis, especially The Informers, so I modeled my characters around these vapid, sexy young kids that I found in all of his books. Fast forward 7-8 years later and I’m in New York, taking a screenplay writing class. I kind of just translated that story into script form and wrote that script with all these crazy scenes in it. I knew some scenes would be impossible to shoot, but I wasn’t really thinking about that at the time. I was just trying to figure out the craft of screenplay writing, so out of both boredom and maybe a sense of pride and curiosity; I sent the script to friends and creative people I love and admire, just to see what they thought and secretly hoping maybe some body would offer to collaborate. I ended up getting a really encouraging email back from a director whose work I admire and he sent it to a few people, including a camera guy, who ended up being the camera guy I used. He did a great job for very very little money. The end product naturally changed into something entirely different and that’s what you got now.

3. What was the hardest part of bringing this concept together ?
Robert :  Just convincing myself that this project was worth the time and effort, so I could convince others. However, presenting it has been the big problem; which is why I think it’s so cool that you’ve asked to put this up on your blog. I think that’s kind of fitting and serendipitous and I hope it happens again. I sent it out to a couple festivals, but never heard any thing back. I even had the director of The Queer Experimental Video Festival here in New York take me out to lunch just to tell me that my movie was the most talked about video submission of the year. Unfortunately, it was too controversial to screen. I’d rather get a couple emails a week from some cute punk kids who saw my movie on dlist anyway. I like the idea of being too controversial.  If I didn’t think it was any good, I would’ve assumed it wasn’t good enough. But I know better and I’m proud of myself , my actors, and Ned and Jorge. I also don’t mind sounding like a woman scorned. I’ll accept that as part of my process, if I ever stop being upset about my voice and vision not being heard. I guess that’s when I’ll stop making art.

4. What would you say to a guy if he said ” I want to die with your dick in my mouth” ?

R : I actually got that bit of  the film dialogue from some graffitti that was written on the top of a slide in my neighborhood playground when I was a kid. This was when I was in 2nd grade and I still remember it. It was one of those slides with a domed roof at the top of it and somebody scratched “i wanna die with ure dick in my mouth”. I just remember sitting inside of that dome staring at that phrase and being really turned on, so I’d probably feel the same way now. My turn-ons haven’t really evolved much over the years.

5. There is this mystique that surrounds glory hole culture. Have you ever been to a place with glory holes ? What are you feelings toward them ? What do you think draws men to them ?

R : To me, they sort of represent an older generation of gay men. It’s obviously a tool for repressed men to engage sexually with other men- in a sort of anonymous zone. Some thing that is done in secret and devoid of intimacy. I also understand that some people are just turned on by them, ‘repressed’ or not. In a very simple way, I can see how sticking your dick through a hole really fetishizes the whole cock. It totally becomes a symbolic kind of icon for worshipping, sucking, or whatever. A big dick coming out of a hole in the wall is kind of cool, but i personally could not get past the idea that there is a pretty big possibility that the person attached to that penis might be a huge creep.

6. The whole idea of these kids being in the wildlife is great. The filming style really illustrates the beauty and grittyness that New York embodies . What are some of the most beautiful things in New York that you feel people forget about ?

R : I think people forget about just that, the really gritty parts. The parts way out in brooklyn, that really have yet to be fully represented in cinema oddly enough. The New York landscape is still always represented somewhere in Manhattan and that’s just not the case any more. I know very few people that actually live in the city; that’s why I wanted to use my neighborhood Bushwick because I love my neighborhood and I wanted to share it.

7. Overall, I thought the film was quite good. However, can you explain the end of it ?

R : I chose Glory Holes as the title because I wanted it to be a voyeuristic experience for the viewer. I wanted the viewer to feel as if they had an intimate, anonymous experience with these characters. When the “fag” character opens the door to the glory hole booth and looks directly at the camera; it’s my hope that the viewer feels like they’ve been exposed or  at least forces the viewer to feel engaged with all of the “observations” they’ve made throughout the 17 minute video exploration.

8. Tell us about your photo blog ?

R : I’ve always had a digital camera handy and loved taking pictures of things I’d see just by hanging out around the city. When dash snow died, I pulled a bunch of pics from Iphoto and put them together. I’m not even sure why, but people have responded to them.

9. Do you have a favorite blog for nudie pics ?

R : Not really. I’ve been going back to www.lovethecock.com for some reason I keep finding hot little clips there. They all last an average of 5 minutes or so, which is about all it takes for me to jerk off.

10. What other projects do you have in the works ?
R : I have a couple ideas for shorts, but I’d really like to feel like I did my best to get people to watch Glory Holes. I know there’s not much of a market, but I kind of like the idea of kids having it embedded on their fag blogs and maybe facebooks. At least I want to know that I covered my bases and given the right people the chance to watch it. I mean, the cast is pretty hot, so pass it around. Also, I host and read at my queer reading series, Brother, My Lover. It  happens once a month at Home Sweet Home in conjunction with Envoy Enterprises here in New York

http://robertcsmithjr.blip.tv/

http://yeathatsthespirit.blogspot.com/

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