Saturday, January 8, 2011
Tina Mascara & Guido Santi - Chris & Don. A Love Story (2007)
CHRIS & DON: A LOVE STORY, perhaps an understated title for the unlikey but true story which covers the 30 year relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood (whose book I am a Camera was the basis for the film Cabaret) and American portrait painter Don Bachardy who was only a boy of 16 when aged 46, Isherwood took him as his life partner.
From Isherwood’s childhood in England, to his Kit-Kat-Club years in Weimar Republic and his consequent emigration to the West Coast of America & to the gay beach where he was to meet two gay brothers and whilst courting the older, fell in love with the younger, we are led into the subsequent life that ensued and in particular the effect on a young boy who found himself suddenly living under the shadow of a famous writer.
Bachardy’s contemporary reminiscences (in the Santa Monica home he shared with Isherwood until his death in 1986) artfully interact with great archival footage, rare home movies (with glimpses of friends W.H. Auden, Igor Stravinsky and Tennessee Williams), re-enactments, and animations based on the cat-and-horse cartoons the pair used in their personal correspondence.
What we witness here is an intimate biography of an anusual if exceptional relationship set in contrast against the outward trapings of a life lead in the limelight of some of the most glamourous and cutlurally influential people of the 20th Century.