Thursday, 23 August 2012

Rudolph Valentino: 86 Years Ago Today

 
 
It's 86 years today since Rudolph Valentino died, and even after so many years his memory is potent. He was the inspiration behind that very excellent recent film, 'The Artist', and other projects are in the pipeline--myself and Vlad Koslov, an actor so very much resembling Valentino that it breaks your heart, have been involved in separate projects for a while, and only two days ago I signed contract for a cinematic project involving Valentino and others from this most exciting time on our history. Based on my book, 'A Dream Of Desire', this is expected to surface in 2014. Some of these things take time, but they as usually worth it in the end!
I think we can now safely say that Rudy preferred the boys to the girls. This does not mean that he preferred gay sex to straight sex--he just preferred to be in the company of men. This was why, when his body was brought back to Los Angeles, only these very intimates were permitted to touch his coffin. With other men, Rudy could let his hair down. In most aspects of his private life, he equates mostly with Rock Hudson. Both lived in large houses, well-guarded from the outside world. It's no good speculating what went on there--nobody knows, though the photographs which have surfaced reveal that he was just like any other normal young man when having fun. The new project will centre on this--along with 'The Last Supper' scenario, which few researchers even know about.
Rudy was at his happiest while in France. The great love of his life was André Daven, who started off his career as a reporter for a French newspaper before taking over as manager of the Theatre des Champs Elysees. Daven part produced the Revue Negre which starred Josephine Baker. This took up up the first half of the Damia bill in 1926--Damia being France's top female singer between the two wars, pre-Piaf. I knew Damia, and she was a fabulous woman. Rudy stayed with her when he first went to Paris, as a teenager. This was an important but little-known period in Rudy's life, but there is SO much documentation--mostly ignored because some people have a preconceived idea of how they want their Valentino to be, and tend to skip the bits they don't want to believe. And believe me, there's nothing 'dirty' or shameful about this period in Rudy's life!
My book, 'A Dream Of Desire', sold exceptionally well in Britain, the United States and Australasia. It's one of the few books I wrote that never came out in paperback--the reason being that the hardback just kept on selling. It's coming out again next year, in a revised version, in time for the project, and with many new photographs that I've collected since the original. Will there be extensive notes at the end? Who knows. They're not really necessary. People either believe what I write or they don't. Two or three people have 'criticised' the book--many thousands have just bought and read it. I'm not sure, but I think it may have hit the six-figure mark. Miraculously, 'A Dream Of Desire' was given a new lease of life a couple of years ago, well over a decade after its publication, when a couple of unimportant critics brought it to relatively minor attention--while I and a few others elevated this to the major. What a great favour these people did me!
So, it's onwards and upwards--and how ironic that the new project should be signed up on the anniversary of Rudy's death. Well, yesterday--but as the production company pointed out, tecnhically it WAS his anniversary--in Australia!


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