Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. 4 | Winter 1984

TRIDENT COUNTRY 51SibfOUQ" ’oXteO W do poop'* “ Lon S lu"M ” . Lx l-i rrewS0""3 ouiellys’" " * ” ana loiter* hom“ petty ™ W*91 submarma gather Bu91'° . u , up >o ’* „„ies m‘»«n” missile shoe- 8 h nutM'XO'. hoI0 me g S ® .... ... loading me Jmck "^u“0 (Balcxe «• send Hrcarl to< locally prodepart. n* huys , Jmoiopy. "hie"19 ducedOa-noTrident.) (onrofiic/e ofa- (Rafe yf t nas been 11 years exact- ly . one decade plus one ... since I lost my virginity through rape within the first tew hours of a spring vacation in Baja, California. It haa been two years since a relationship that was straining to last forever, exploded after four years and died. He said It was because I actually hated him all along. Because I hated men. Because of Bale. I said, "Eek." strictly on vacation. Our political dedication was flimsy. r Suddenly something made me J"turn around away from the 2 CLINTON IT. «UA>T»LV That Grand]- wnd sound of Bettycarter«DexterCordon By Lynn Darroch They ate voraciously as Dean, sandwich in hand, stood bowed and jumping before the big phonograph, listening to a wild bop record I had just bought called "The Hunt," with Dexter Cordon and Wardell Cray blowing their tops before a screaming audience that gave the record fantastic frenzied volume... From the,land of the bossa nova BRAZIL MIRACLE ONTHEBRINK in DAVID MII.HOl I WD (visited Brazil for 6 weeks in May-June, 1977. Speaking little Portuguese, traveling very light, my wanderings took me through many regions and gave me an eyeful. Though I knew something of her history and had always dreamed of spending a Carnaval in Rio. nothing had really prepared me for what I was to see. Everywhere I went, from the smog-bound megalopolis of Sao Paulo to the most distant reaches of the Amazon Basin, things were on the move. My entree was a bus ride from the Paraguay border to the coast, some 600 miles, a stretch I'd always understood to be largely unsettled. Our ultra-modern bus, driven whenever possible at breakneck speed, passed literally hundreds of farm-to-market vehicles, and the raw red soil of newly broken land stretched to the horizon in every direction. LIVES OF THE Offis Aseemingly endless land with untapped resources and miraculous opportunities has always beckoned the adventurous to Brazil ... As here, only a few "ignorant savages" stood in the way. sparkling within this Mexican sunset. There was a movement in the brush behind us. I saw two male figures wearing full-face black masks, walking over the small hills. They were screaming, Viva Zapata1" I saw a longbarreled title and a golden-and- ruby-jewelled sabre They pointed theTr weapons at us lying prostrate and screamed, "Don't Barn! There was a major movement in my mind. Everything changed. Instantaneous terror I was jacked nghrinto high speed first person I met as a college stu- dent was a depressive. She coped with the perplexing Independence of lite away from home by wallowing. And even though I don't think I even knew what depression was . . smalltowns rarely acknowledge psychology ... I copied her. And my confusion, henceforth, had a name. Comely coedness hadn't tit Radical polltlcallty hadn't fit. But gloom. Gloom was easy. We hated . and we made fun. It lit well. So, the three of us werq off the shy ones . . going south of the border in our borrowed van those weapons The terror. My body immediately began convulsing .. subtly Incessantly. My body grabbed the terror and housed It, leaving my mind comparatively free to devise plans . lor my survival. And my mind j searched efficiently like a supercharged. finely tuned motor And this search pulled my life more tightly by far than anyone or anything ever has ... for four hours The two teenage bandidos bound, gagged, and blindfolded spoken, and extremely active friend whom I had lured through my darkness and sparks. She was yellow ... sun-yellow ... and she shone. But Carol was somehow pitless. like the part of California from which she hailed ... the southern section . . no clouds and no shading. John was little, warm, and wonderful. John was one of the empathetic souls atrocities may simply be too large for the human imagination to grasp, but having lived one, I've got to try. So here I grasp ... wlth our borrowed tape deck. ; the back of the van. Thev drove King Crimson tapes, ice chest 1 off, stopping 20minutes later, at a tilled with sugared and sugar-free ' house. One went in. then came sodas, marijuana well hidden, ! out. We drove on. know Is that ter Clinton St. Quarterly QUEEN ELIZABETH DROPS BY THE Q.P. FOR A CUP OF HOT JAVA One year ego I became infatuated with a member of the highly disciplined literary Intelligentsia. He was utterly convinced that the only way to keep wild, let alone terrorized, psyches intact was through cathartic writing. "Write about Baja!" he Implored. "Only then shall you be thought: Why Is he talking to me? Old I havea terrorized psyche? Nine months Ago I began writing about my night In Ba|a. Perhaps the 10that had controlled my life for tour hours more completely by tar than anyone or anything ever has ... the terror that was instantaneously stuffed Into an IGNORE FOR NOW file in blockino system of my brain ... perhaps that terror was actually powering the movement of the that terror had organically matured and already been quietly released. Or perhaps that terror still sits within . rotted and t was spring break from college, 1971. Carol, John, and I were going off this year . south of the border .. down Mexico Way. I'd known Carol since the first week of school, two and a half years before, and we'd both known John for a year and a halt. Carol was a pale, softwhose hearts live as strongly for friends as for self. Perhaps more so. which may have been the cause of his loneliness. His heart overwhelmed you. His warmth intimidated you. And his stomach walked the thin edge just this side of despair. Then there was me. Nineteen years old. smalltown, and starv- Ing for .something bigger, smarter, and not so damn flat. I had tasted my first bit of sophistication at a great western university. and it had moved me .. right into chaotic confusion. The bunson burners, car-sick pills. .. We left late In the afternoon from Carol's mothers house In San Olego. We crossed the border with no trouble and drove about 60 miles Into Bajabeforedeciding to stop tor the night on a small beach. Darkness was approaching. We pulled In, turned on the cassette deck, laid out our sleeping bags, smoked a |olnl, started a small fire, and relaxed, watching the waves fluoresce, turning shades of red as the hot sun set. The pitiful ramshackle poverty we had passed was but a fleeting wound. It was ugly, but we were We soon stopped again. Somewhere. A dark stretch of beach. They took oft our gags and blindfolds. One hustled John away. The other got out our sleeping bags and set up two camps. John was gone. I heard Spanish chatter. I heard John angry and pleading. Stop II. Stop It. you motherfuckers. Just slop It. John. John. I was with John. I knew they were taking him off to his death. I thought I heard gunshots. I thought they got John. I couldn't believe It. My mind swltchetfTnto a higher gear, and my body switched into a more convulsive

JOIN WITH US IN MAKING ^APPLEMAN WILLIAMS Stereotypes The Clinton 500 Pledge Iny Dee Name Phone Pleasereturn to Clinton St. Quarterly, Box3588, Portland, OR97208. Thankyou. Clinton St. Quarterly ome Birthing rn s Strong Hands § ™ore than 100 supporters have already pledged to contribute their $100. Don’t delay in helping us make publishing history. Each $100 contribution will be commemorated with a numbered certificate and a lifetime subscription to the CSQ. You will also be invited to a celebration of the Clinton 500. “Sophisticated. Aesthetic. Satirical, lyrical, literary, eclectic. It’s Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly and National Lampoon. ” * The Business Journal, November 12, 1984 nor oioooioa. puncioreo uw —- - — - Ss, rU D LI3nlnvi ^ PIRE | XVrd^ioeed.a^ SMB M V M8HMBW ^BB MM M J H a L z had raumoa mm ^ ^ B AHBQ g^^^KBBBVr B^B ^Bw SBV ' n 191tjtf a N I want to be a member of the Clinton 500.1pledge to contribute $100. But at this point in our history it is necessary for us to take the CSQ onto another level for it to grow and prosper. For the creation of the Clinton Street Quarterly all those years has been a labor of love. That must change in the near future. Long-term profitability of the CSQ requires us to expand to a larger market where 100,000 press runs, and the higher ad revenue that implies, are feasible. We have done excellent ground work in the Bay Area and have a top-notch development firm ready to raise $200,000 there for us to enter that market. With the wealth of talent in that area, the quality of the paper is bound to improve as we grow into a major voice of the West Coast. To take the next step in the journey, we need your assistance. To solidify the local operation so we are positioned to make the leap into the Bay Area, we are asking, for the firstand only time, for a financial boost. With the move into the Bay Area, we have the potential to be the magazine of our wildest imagination, all the while remaining headquartered in the city that has nurtured us. What a nice cultural reversal. To make this step we are creating the Clinton 500. Five hundred individuals or groups that donate a tax deductible $100 to launch us d in this new direction. We have come a long way since 1979 when the CSQ was laid out on a dining room table. This issue celebrates the completion of our sixth year, and we have endeavored to make it one of our most memorable. But we have barely scratched the surface of what we can become as a paper and as a society. Join us. " Address State □ Contact me to talk further about this c/iao&? dPear o f i de dar/t? dle^ations/if /udares? QJid /bate'm en? dear t/ie/n? Q/esert' vengeance} /Pas S /ridd/ed toitA scar tissue? Q)idd/ate- seco? । dudden/g neededto /nnae it childbirthing to its origins. I've been tortunate over the years in having as a friend a TP/at cou/d -d /dame orb dot. fttefd dag im G8af&? ^omfdsioe ■ or many of us, coming of age meant, above all, the belief that we could make our fantasies a reality. A bit innocent, to be sure. Consequently, it seemed quite natural that after years of shooting the breeze as to the failings of the local press, a few friends would join together in starting a newspaper. The idea was a simple one. There is awealth of underutilized talent and wisdom inthis society. If we could make a magazine that was truly outstanding, it would serve as as shining example of the possibilities that lie before us. Six years later we are printing 40,000 copies of each issue, split evenly between Oregon and Washington editions, and have become an influential forum in Portland, Seattle and Eugene. In the past four years we’ve won 32 awards from the National Society of Professional Journalists and now produce the most attractively designed and one of the most unique tabloids in the country. No other publication provides such diverse blending of art, humor, fiction, features and political analysis. Our articles on Latin America, many appearing before the national press discovered the issues, not only catalogued the history of U.S. involvement in the other Americas, but have provided the missing cultural perspectives on those countries and their people. We’ve looked at the untapped social and economic potentials of Northwest Regionalism and followed the Northwest's growing contributions to America's nuclear dependency from Trident to the Tri-Cities. In the last 20 years progressives have been right about so many things, from Civil Rights to SE Asia, from feminism to the environment, yet historically have found themselves discredited and generally ignored by the media. The Clinton Street Quarterly was created to reverse this trend. Because the paper is visually attractive and avoids rhetoric, the CSQ’s positions on controversial issues have struck a sympathetic r chord. The CSQ crystalized the campaign that helped stop the huge Cadillac-Fairview development planned Tor downtown Portland. It helped build support for the Black United Front's successful campaign to restructure the city’s busing of school children. And it buttressed the triumphant drive to stop the proposed, environmentally dangerous garbage burner in Oregon City. In each case, the CSQ was the only Portland paper to support the grass-roots activists. That's not all. In our brief history, we have published such internationally reknowned writers as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, E.P. Thompson, Petra Kelly, Carolyn Forche and Carlos Fuentes. And we've featured as well, some of the finest work of such regional luminaries as Ursula K. LeGuin, William Appleman Williams, ^Walt Curtis, Katherine Dunn, Lynn Darroch, Leanne Grabel, Rick Mitchell, Sharon Doubiago, Rick Rubin and Penny Allen. Our art features and illustrations have broken new ground, featuring the work of such artists as Jack McLarty, Lucinda Parker, Liza Jones, Fay Jones, Tad Leflar, Henk Pander, Lynda Barry, Michael Graves, C.T. Chew, John Callahan, Dana Hoyle and many, many more. This is not mere name dropping. The CSQ has tapped into talent no other Northwest publication has begun to touch. he sun rising over the Romono mountains was waking me when I first knew of him. At least when I was first conscious of knowing him. I was sleeping on my back on-the sum porch. My mother had said it will feel like faint little scratches from inside, very low. near the pubis. and when you realize its the baby moving you'll realize that you've been feeling it for several days. You |ust didn't know,what it was. l coll the beingTknevythen a "he" because I found this but later. At the time, the issue of gender was unim- portant. it was the least of considerations, the least of the experience I was having. I certainly didn't have a preference, though I think his father did. It was all tod newlor me. I felt so pqssive in that riverine light, in the enormity of the possession, the sense of being totally possessed. Maybe because I was so young, still just a girl in my parents house Was it his legs, his arms, his fingers scratching at me trom inside, so low? 4’ . months along. I lay there in the ray of sun feeling the human being inside me. kicking, hitting, grabbing, pleading, ho'ding.- The beginning. this is the hardest work they'll ever do. so ■Ration well, For it’s total surrender to a ^^^natural process. ^gMmericans have been ^B^see themselves as ^BBmreedom and democracy. ■Hn recent years, have world Beemed to turn against us? In this irkable article, historian william -nan Williams brings us lace to lace Radio

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Clinton St Quarterly VOL. 6, NO. 4 WINTER 1984 STAFF Co-Editors David Milhoiland Jim Blashfield Lenny Dee Peggy Lindquist Design and Production Jim Blashfield Production Assistants David Milholland Sharon Niemcyzk Camerawork Laura DiTrapani Proofreaders Stan Sitnick Betty Smith Marketing Director Anne Hughes Ad Production Stacey Fletcher Beverly Wong Ad Sales — Portland-Eugene Lenny Dee Anne Hughes Dru Duniway Neil Street Sandy Wallsmith Ad Sales — Seattle Joe Racek Christopher Mascis Contributing Artists Michael Cacy, Claudia Cave, Fay Jones, Tom Prochaska, Barbara Sekurka, Isaac Shamsud-Din, Steve Winkenwerder Contributing Photographers Doniphan Blair, Lynn Darroch, Eric Edwards, Janice Pierce Gus Van Sant Typesetting Archetype, Richard Francis, Marmilmar, Pendragon Graphics, Sherry Swain, Jill Wilson Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Public Relations Cramer/Hulse Thanks Linda Ballantine, John Bennett, Michael Coan, Lorna Dawson, Stephanie Denyer, Bill Fletcher, Stuart Landefeld, Tyra Lindquist, Paul Loeb, Melissa Marsland, Laurie McClain, DNA, Brad Shaw, Kay Sohl, Jim Styskel, Sue Jane Widder EDITORIAL Intolerance and prejudice are frightening, tracing back to fear of the unknown and the desire to protect one’s own. While few of us admit comfortably to such unseemly character flaws, fewer still could claim to have banished them from their innermost being. It is still, however, shocking to come across blind intolerance in our “civilized” culture. And despite its seeming universality, no excuses can be made for behavior which makes minority groups into scapegoats and worse. Although immigrants from around the world have metprejudice, and sometimes violence on their arrival here, the U.S. experiment in developing a multi-ethnic culture is paralleled in few other countries on the planet. People have flocked here for the economic opportunity, the overall lack of repression and a chance to begin again. Few imagine the rigors they will face in this land of free enterprise. But though some return home, most settle in and adjust, and a few succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Here in the Northwest, our lives have been enriched a thousand-fold by the successive waves of Latinos, Asians, Africans, Europeans Scene from Bill Plympton and Jules Feiffer’s animated film, Boomtown. and even immigrants from other regions of the U.S. Yet an insularity remains, a nativism which has shown a "dark side” too frequently in recent years. A few years ago there were the Iranians, appearing nightly in our homes to pour out years of pent-up resentment against the U.S. and the suffering they'd experienced under our quisling, the Shah. No one wished to see our overseas personnel held, but the reaction quickly turned ugly. Iranian-Americans experienced incidents that left them shaken. Americans had an easy target, and they went for the jugular, no less here than elsewhere. Blacks, who for years have remained at the bottom of the economic and political ladder, have had to organize and struggle for the small piece of the action they’ve obtained. So it was heartening when this November election, the same debacle which swept the Reaganites back into office, gave us two strong black contenders for the Portland City Council seat vacated by Charles Jordan. The top two candidates in a slate of 18 were Herb Caw- thorne, a progressive activist who has worked within the black community and through his position at Portland State, and for the last five years on the Portland School Board to bring about creative, positive change for the entire community; and Dick Bogle, best known as a newscaster, with experience as both a policeman and an aide to Council member Mildred Schwab. The race promises to be a hot one, with the potential for giving Portland a truly progressive majority on the Council. With only 3-4 percent of the city’s population being black, it’s a sign that city residents saw these candidates as the most qualified, and wanted to cast a vote for fairness as well as leadership. A sorrier chapter is unfolding to the east of us, as the reactions and counter-reactions to Rancho Rajneesh have taken us to a dangerous, potentially violent impasse. The Rajneeshies provide us a test, not only of our legal system, but our values as well, It is necessary to sort out the complex political and environmental concerns, all the while working to avoid inflammation and the mutual prejudice which results. Let’s now take a step back and examine what’s transpiring, before it deteriorates more. We owe it to ourselves, all of us. DM CONTENTS Cover Claudia Cave The Rebirth of Mala Noche Katherine Dunn 6 Streetwise Dennis Eichorn 9 Radiation on the Rocks Melissa Laird 12 Bud Clark Close Up Rich Rubin 19 Three Country Doctors Lynn Darroch 23 Carino Kim Antieau 28 Black South Africa: One Day Soon Alexis de Veaux 34 Fupand Other Stories Abd al-Hayy Moore 39 The Computerized Forest R.H. Ring 41 The Citizens ’Forester Talbot Bielefeldt 42 Christmas Gifts for Jim Blashfield Chickens & Will Spray Drawings by Steve Winkenwerder 46 Last Night in Managua Doniphan Blair 48 Advertising Index 53 The Correspondence of Bob Desnos Musicmaster 54 The Clinton St. Quarterly is published in both Oregon and Washington editions by Clinton St. Quarterly, Inc. Oregon address: Box 3588, Portland, OR 97208, (503) 222- 6039. Washington address: 1520 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 682-2404. Unless otherwise noted, all contents copyright© 1984 Clinton St. Quarterly. This is a deal. Don't even consider doubting our word on it. What better gift to give than a subscription or two to the Clinton St. Quarterly, the Northwest’s favorite multiple-award-winning journal of fiction, humor, political and cultural writing and wham bam graphics? Oh, gosh. It's gift-giving time again, isn't it? That's why were showing you this picture ofjolly ol' Saint Nick. He wants you to spend all your money right this minute! Mr. Nicholas and various deer SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THEM ^^^ I trust you and I believe in Santa. Send the following folks a subscription to the CSQ. I have enclosed $6 for four issues. They will receive a card saying I sent it. TO___________________________________ :_______ :______________________________________________ ADDRESS_____________________________■_ C I T Y STATE____ ZIP___________ FROM —_____________________________________________ _ _________ _ ________________________ Send these folks a subscription, too. TO __________________ ____________________- __________________ ADDRESS CITY STATE____ ZIP FROM_________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME_______________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS CITY STATE____ ZIP SUBSCRIPTION FOR Y 0 U ? m ^ ^ Yeah sure. I have enclosed $11 for 2 subscriptions for me, one for them, (or make up a list of friends ... each additional subscription only $5.) NAME_____________________________________________________________ ,_______________ _ ADDRESS.____________ '______________ CITY________________. STATE____ ZIP. Mail to: CSQ, Box 3688, Portland, OR 97208. Thank you.

voice in rassed names, another the dark breaks into an embar- laugh at confusing the two “That’s the common slip,’’ says voice, “we all do that. We call “The Killer-Dude!" shouts a voice from the audience. On the screen, the other boy, taller, muscular, with a calm watchful face, is waving a twenty-dollar bill. “Where’s Walt? I mean Gus?” The Clinton St. Quarterly Mala Noche. Gus Walt and Walt Gus all the time.” The cast and crew, seven strong, of Gus Van Sant’s black and white feature film adaptation of Walt Curtis’ book Mala Noche is watching rushes of the film shot that day. Between reels, actor Tim Streeter considers the reason for the cast’s frequent mental reversal of the book’s author and the film’s director. “Maybe,” speculates Streeter, “it’s that you think of the source of the script, the one who puts the words in your mouth, as the boss. Though Gus wrote the script and is the director, Walt is around the shoot often enough so we think of him as the source of the story. It’s not that Gus and Walt are much alike. Or anything at all alike.” Such confusion irritates a local writer who knows them both. “The only thing they have in common is mania. How could you mix them up? It’s like confusing a locomotive with a Lear jet.” The style contrast is dramatic. Walt Curtis assaults life with the fervent, bellowing exultation of a sensual evangelist. Gus Van Sant is discreet as a cat burglar or a first-class pickpocket. He arrives silently like the Ninja who paralyzes the sentry with a single whispered joke and then melts into the darkness without raising an alarm. Gus is quiet in everything he does. Walt leans toward bombast. Curtis, an Oregon City native, is the patriarch of Portland’s bohemian street poet population. The book, set in Portland and focused on the Burnside desolation, is an obvious outpouring of Curtis' life and emotional experience. Curtis disguises his educated blue-collar heritage in the protective coloring of the poverty that both fascinates and appalls him. He dresses in early Goodwill style, his wiry frame draped in sagging jeans and layers of tattered shirts, in a time-honored Skid Row anti-chill technique. His home is a bare apartment in a decayed rooming house. His car is an aging, recalcitrant station wagon loaded with emotional burdens. “My father drove it for years before he died!” His living is the spartan penury of part-time clerking in the wino grocery stores that have haunted his writing for years. His politics and his religion are inextricable, churchlessly Christian and humane, both expressed in an impassioned rant that alternately moves and maddens his audience. As a prolific writer of prose and poetry, as a scholar of Oregon literature and history, as a painter of wild imagist icons, Walt Curtis may never have understated a topic in his life. Then there is filmmaker Van Sant, low key from his sports jacket, knit shirt and slacks to his immaculate, purring BMW, his carriage house digs in Dunthorpe and his genteel and well-to-do background. Walt parks his car on the way to the weekly open-mike poetry brawl, and grabs a thick blue binder from the sliding piles of paper in the back seat. Hunched to use the light of a street lamp nearby, Walt sits leafing through the pages of a film script. “I don't know what to make of this little fucker Gus Van Sant. He says he wants to make a movie out of Mala Noche. He wrote to me out of the blue. He’s writing the script. He keeps sending me new drafts to read. He’s put in a lot of work. Can he do it? I don’t know. Maybe it's all a joke..." Mala Noche, published in 1977 by Portland’s Out Of The Ashes Press, is a 50-page novella drawn from Curtis’ Skid Road experiences. The story of Mala Noche (the obvious Bad Night is an inadequate translation; think also of “Endless Night”...“Limbo Night”) is told by the voice of “Walt, a clerk in a wino grocery store, who falls into fascinated and futile love with a teenaged Mexican boy named Johnny. With mothlike devotion, the clerk tries to buy the boy’s affection with food, money, rides in the clerk’s battered car, and obvious attention. Johnny accepts and solicits gifts but always dances but of Walt’s reach. Johnny’s friend and traveling partner .is Pepper, another Mexican boy who ekes out the winter gap between farm labor jobs by

Below left, Director Gus Van Sant (Photo, Gus Van Sant); Right, Doug Cooeyate as Johnny (Photo, Eric Edwards) occasional homosexual prostitution that scantily supports both Johnny and himself. The short book reels through Walt’s lustful affair with Pepper as a surrogate for Johnny, and his growing sympathy for the boys’ situation as illegal immigrants harassed by the law, speaking very little English, and unable to work in any job outside the fields. It is a dramatic, controversial tale of Walt’s shafting or wanting to shaft the boys, the boys shafting or wanting to shaft Walt, the boys being shafted by the laws and the complacent indifference of American society, and they, in turn, doing their best to return the favor. What on the surface is an occasionally pornographic saga of pederastic opportunism, develops into a continuously shifting daisy chain of exploitation with victims and villains switching roles with dizzying randomness. Mala Noche is, also and always, a strangely powerful, sometimes hideously honest, love story. The thing that happens when a book is “made” into a movie is always strange. It is not the same thing that happens when a violinist plays Mozart, or a jazz singer improvises on “Summertime.” In the original author’s mind it is often more akin to a painter interpreting a piece of music in colors and forms on canvas. The filmmaker freezes the work in his own specific visualization, excluding all other interpretations by all other readers, including the author. The film is the dream of the filmmaker. The original novel or story is sometimes reduced to little more than the indigestible irritant that triggered the dream. The film is an entirely new and separate entity, responsible for its own success or failure on totally different terms than is its written source. It is sometimes disappointing for the reader who sees the film to discover that his personal picture of characters or events has been replaced by someone else’s idea of the same things. It is always shocking to the writer to see his beloved infant transformed into a fish that swims away. Thirty-two-year-old Gus Van Sant started out, and continues, as a painter. A native of Connecticut, Van Sant moved to Portland when his father became president of White Stag, Inc. A graduate of Catlin Gabel School, wnere he made his first film in collaboration with awardwinning cinematographer Eric Edwards, Van Sant went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. Heading for Los Angeles after graduation, he snagged a job as right-hand man and general drudge for writer-director Ken Shapiro (Groove Tube), and began making short films of his own on the side. In LA, Gus wrote and directed his first feature-length film before he was 30. The ironic comedy, called Alice in Hollywood, Van Sant now sees as a failure. Viewer enthusiasm for the many strong points of this deftly-sketched satire leaves Van Sant pleased but dubious. His reaction to praise or laughter is a mild “Really?” with raised eyebrows. Dedicated to the idea of small-budget films—most of his films have cost less than $500 to make—Van Sant decided to save enough money to make another feature. “I wanted to come back to Portland to make a movie. I always liked it here. I seem to have more fun here than anywhere else.” Van Sant went to work on Madison Avenue producing television commercials and saving money. ‘Tve never been satisfied with my own writing skills," he says, “I think that was the major flaw in Alice in Hollywood." His most successful film so far is an ironic and precise adaptation of William Burroughs’ story, The Discipline of D.E. With the cooperation of Burroughs, Van Sant created seven minutes of grey-lit, black and white that is filled with strangely disconcerting wit. Shown at the New York Film Festival, the film’s rental fees bring Van Sant a small but regular income. In a discussion of Van Sant’s filmmaking style, Willamette Week quoted him as saying, “My stuff is funny and frightenClinton St. Quarterly 7

ing at the same time.” Film critic Kristi Turnquist writes, “The blend is evident in the first three chapters of his autobiographical film, a life-long work in progress that he compares with a diary. My Friend, a three-minute short in which he discusses a sexual attraction to his best friend, is deadpan funny, but it has its scary side as well. “I’m falling in love with a guy,” as Van Sant puts it. “So that’s frightening, isn't it? It’s frightening to me.” The newest film, Whered She Go? , was inspired by the death of Van Sant’s grandmother, who on her deathbed gave him marketing advice. “Buy IBM." Casual observers tend to interpret Van Sant’s disarming humility as self-doubt. Further probing suggests that it is standard issue equipment for his brand of perfectionist. While others may consider Van Sant’s writing gifts considerable, he has never felt comfortable about his skills. “Using someone else’s story frees me to concentrate on film. I can rely on the plot development being there,” I had worked as sound man for Penny Allen’s film Property. My friend Eric Edwards shot that film, and we both knew Walt Curtis from his acting in Property. Eric sent me a copy of Mala Noche. I read it and started writing to Walt.” Van Sant finished work on the script while still in New York. Then, quitting his job, he moved to Portland in December of 1983. “The problem was casting," frowns Van Sant. “I was ready to start shooting the minute my plane came down if only I could get the cast. Casting is a terribly underrated and critical part of filmmaking. I had to have the two Mexican boys and they had to be right. I couldn't settle for almost.” Van Sant’s search lasted from January through the beginning of September. He put out general calls, went through talent agency listings, attended endless auditions, advertised in Variety, and flew to Los Angeles to repeat the pattern. He went on "painting, his humorous, faintly- ominous oils selling to the Heathman Hotel and to many well-placed collectors. He continued to play his guitar, composing, singing and recording his wry, low- key songs with their bite of Randy Newman influence. He began studying piano. But his main purpose was perpetual scouting for the right faces and identities for Mala Noche. Van Sant met Channel 12 news cameraman John Campbell at Teknifilm one day and the two collaborated on a series of public service announcements. With Walt Curtis joining in the search, Van Sant visited the migrant labor camps of Cornelius, Woodburn and Oregon City. In mid-summer, at the offhand suggestion of a sports reporter, the two strolled into the boxing gym at Matt Dishman Community Center and discovered Ray Monge. He is the 21-year-old amateur boxer who coaches part-time for the park bureau’s boxing program. Monge, a 1984 Oregon State Golden Gloves Champion, is a disciplined athlete with a reserved self-confidence beyond his years. Though Ray speaks little Spanish, he had the right look and presence for the role of Pepper. Van Sant explained the story and the role carefully, having run into hostility to the homosexual angles elsewhere. Ray’s only hesitation came out immediately. "Would I have to kiss him? I won’t kiss a guy." “No, of course not’” said Van Sant, rewriting in his head. Monge, with no acting experience at all, agreed to take on the job. In the book Mala Noche, the clerk, Walt, spends many hours ceaselessly cruising the streets in hopes of catching sight of the boy, Johnny. Heartened by the discovery of Pepper, Van Sant continued his own version of the search for Johnny. Early in September, Van Sant’s advertisement in Willamette Week set an open audition at the Civic Theatre. “There were six people there when I walked in,” remembers Van Sant, “and none of them was right but I went ahead with it. Then Doug walked in, late and shy. I knew the minute I saw him.” Doug Cooeyate, a 17-year-old Beaverton High School junior and guitarist for heavy metal band Raging Darkness, is a feisty, natural performer whose mother had seen the ad and advised him to try out. “I just walked in,” says Doug, “and suddenly there’s this skinny guy waving a Polaroid at me. It was Gus.” With Johnny and Pepper lined up, and treated consistently like miraculous gifts from heaven, another casting problem still puzzled Van Sant. Whether or not to have Walt Curtis play himself in the film. Curtis, always a showman, was ambivalent about the prospect. “In a way I really would have liked to play myself,” says Walt. “But at the same time it would have been a terrible burden.” Van Sant had similar feelings. “A lot of the script is actually Walt’s poetry. It would have given the film a certain character.... But Walt doesn’t have a phone and it’s always hard to get in touch with him, which was one bad thing about using him as the lead...of course, there was also his self-consciousness, his inability to act, his inability to take direction, and his inability, ever, to do it twice the id- moinia. J I MU- could MOU mux. them, wp? I t d. LikeDoug Cooeyate, Gus Van Sant and cinematographer John Campbell on location near Roy, Oregon (Photo, Janice Pierce); Below, Ray Monge as Pepper talks to extra Ann Buffen (Photo, Eric Edwards) same way. The issue was settled when Van Sant found Portland actor Tim Streeter playing in the Actors Repertory Theater production of Plenty. “Tim was right for the part and he was a way out of the Walt rut. I felt a lot of enthusiasm again with these new characters and faces to work with.” Streeter immediately began letting his beard grow for the part which made one of his several roles in Plenty impossible for him. The clean-shaven Van Sant stepped into the bit part with no notice and did it discreetly until the end of the play’s run. Having worked successfully with cameraman John Campbell, Van Sant asked him if he would like to shoot the picture. Campbell says, “I had read the book when it came out and was stunned, by its honesty and its power. I was tre-' mendously excited when Gus told me he was making the film but I was worried that the portrayal of an unfair sexual power battle could be used to harass a whole minority. In talking with Gus, though, I didn’t detect any sickness. His attitude was—It's a great story and I want to make a film out of it.” Campbell agreed to be paid in percentage points of the hypothetical future profits, "though Gus and I decided in the beginning not to worry about trying to make a commercial film.” Taking an unpaid leave of absence from his Channel 12 job, Campbell threw himself and his personal film equipment into the project. With the rock-show experience of audio technician Pat Baum on tap to handle the sound taping, and David Thorstein, a friend of Walt’s, as grip and general assistant, the crew was complete. The tavern is not open for business. It is only open for shooting Mala Noche. A dozen of Walt’s friends, poets most of them, are signing release forms to act as extras, occupying the tables and booths. Tim Streeter leans against the bar as a spotlight is angled and measurements are taken. Streeter is unshaven and bleary. His baggy jeans are torn, his flannel shirt rumpled as though it has been slept in and on for days. His ensemble is completed by a ratty, grey, flasher’s topcoat. Watching from a booth is actress Nyla Hawkins, who went from the lead in Plenty to a small but sympathetic role in Mala Noche. Hawkins narrows her eyes briefly at Streeter and comments thoughtfully, “A few days ago the Tim you see now didn’t exist. It's been interesting watching his persona gradually change.” The real Walt Curtis, his silver fuzz of hair haloed by the spotlight, tips a beer bottle to the ceiling and swings over to talk with Tim. Not only is Curtis acting as consultant to the film, he is making himself available for research in character for Tim, and playing a tiny cameo role as an unidentified street poet. John Campbell, hunched over the viewer of the camera, gestures toward Pat Bahm to hoist the boom mike higher so it won’t appear in the shot. Van Sant steps in and bends to peer through the camera. He looks absorbed and tense but he is moving carefully, thinking before he speaks. His voice is calm and soft. “Time for the fog machine.” Van Sant has changed too, since the shooting began, though not as dramatically as Streeter. His thin frame seems even slighter in worn blue jeans and a shapeless sweater. His usually crisp short hair is longer and uncombed. Maybe the ’ pressure of work has made him relax his habits. Or maybe the lure of the Skid Road fate is tempting him. Is he flirting with the Fall? Or absorbing it so he can pump its mysteries into the film? The real Walt Curtis is protesting volubly about a line in the script. “He just wouldn’t say that! He wouldn’t say anything at that point!” Van Sant listens, respectfully, nodding, then continues to set up for a shot. “You must understand,” says an admiring John Campbell, “how incredibly well organized Gus is. Part of being able to make this film sd cheaply is the amount of work Gus put into it before we ever started shooting. This film was completely designed by Gus, almost frame by frame. He did a complete storyboard for every shot, every angle, a huge 500- page storyboard with every shot detailed and planned as though he were Hitchcock.” Also like Hitchcock, Van Sant is suspected by some of a kind of artistic voyeurism. What impresses a visitor to a Van Sant shooting session is a cool but relentless compulsion to execute a very specific effect. The seemingly frail director is moving constantly, involved in every detail, never appearing to rush but working constantly. “I come to filmmaking from painting," says Van Sant. “I’m used to being able to decide and control what happens. I have trouble delegating anything. I feel uncomfortable telling somebody else to do anything, even change a light bulb. It’s easier to do it myself.” This tendency carries over to his study methods as well. Taking Tim Streeter’s bit part yi a play is characteristic of Van Sant’s explorative style, giving him access to Tim’s life and character as well as to theater life. Gus watched Walt Curtis perform his stage poetry readings at the open-mike nights at the Satyricon Tavern for months. Finally Van Sant himself took the stage briefly, reading one of his song lyrics to the boisterous, highly- critical crowd. Van Sant finished and stepped down with an odd satisfied look as though he finally understood what that scene was about. “I think my news work instincts have helped in getting tight and pick-up shots so there will be enough for variety to work with in editing. But Gus has been very active in lighting and designing the whole look of the film. Sometimes I get these anxiety attacks before the rushes are shown. I mean your soul is up there. But I feel great about the quality we’re getting. There are times when I feel like a carpenter as much as a cameraman because we have to measure nearly every shot. We're using very low light levels. That makes focusing extremely delicate. We’re working a lot with pools of light rather than overall lighting, literally with spotlights. This was a deliberate decision to achieve a certain look, very contrasty, a lot of shadows, a lot of back lighting.” “To demonstrate how well organized Gus is, let me just say that in the five weeks of shooting so far, we are not off schedule by an hour. That’s almost unheard of. Everybody gets behind schedule. “Gus really has a lot of quiet strength and wisdom...I was worried when we shot the love scenes all in the first week. I thought, Oh God, we get this smut right off the bat with everybody brand new!’ Ray kept saying, If my dad knew I was doing this he’d kick my ass!’ But the way it was shot is suggestive rather than explicit. Ray and Tim are both straight and neither of them had to do anything they’ll ever regret. As it was, the process of filmmaking is so gritty and unromantic that it was no problem at all. Gus was right to get i.t over with early. It might have worried everybody all along otherwise.” The unedited rushes of the love scenes, filmed in Walt Curtis' apartment, seem startlingly innovative to viewers in8 Clinton St. Quarterly

ured to the extended bump and grind graphics of the last decade. Deep shadows yield up warm flesh that the camera eye seems to caress. The image of a hand moving across a man's chest contains the sweet tension of a complete act of love. The viewer comes away from these scenes breathless and convinced that the open-ended power of skilled suggestion is far more erotic than the imagination-crippling specifics could ever be. Van Sant's organization does not exclude happy chances and lucky shots. “Did you see the neon EXIT sign behind Tim?” he asks after the shoot in the Satyricon. “I should have made sure to get that. I’ll go back and shoot it. Little details like that add up and give you a lot of texture. Maybe the audience won’t really click on it seeing it once, but it helps build up the feel. Details, opportunities. I want to be alert and catch them along the way....” This lust for detail becomes a crew joke as shooting proceeds. “There goes Gus!” is the cry as Van Sant accosts a colorful pedestrian gawker on the spur of the moment, getting him to sign a release and submit to a few moments in front of the camera. An ironic road sign, a police car parked long enough to let Johnny and Pepper stroll by on film, are all snatched from the moment, available because Van Sant is shooting on location with a tiny flexible crew. These are his natural building blocks substituting for massive casting of extras, blocking off streets, or renting locations. The crew meets at the big green house in Northwest Portland that sound technician Pat Baum shares with several roommates. The sign on the porch says Funeral Home. Pat ushers guests into a land- lord-green kitchen highlighted with red plaid contact paper. She calls it “The Acid Nightmare Kitchen.” Pat eats cold cereal at the table. Van Sant comes through the door cautiously balancing a McDonald’s paper cup of coffee. Grip David Thorstein, aka Grasshopper, arrives apologizing for missing work the day before. “You missed the big fight on the set,” says Van Sant. “Really?" “Yeah, a great fight,” Pat chimes in. “I blew up and screamed at Tim,” deadpans Van Sant. “I screamed, Furk You! and threw rocks at his car. Fe jumped out and went storming off into the apple orchard.” Grasshopper is horrified. “It was leftover stuff from the shoot at Multnomah Falls the day before,” explained Van Sant later. “Actors do that, push and test the director. Tim was doubting my ability, questioning my directions. He didn't feel he could trust me. When I blew up it seemed to answer his questions. I went up into the apple orchard after him, to apologize. He had already turned around and was coming back down. We met halfway. “Doug treats me like an authority figure, like a dad. He kicks but in a kid way. Ray is the easiest one to work with. He’s used to working with a trainer and has no problem following directions." “There is a definite, unstated hierarchy in the crew,” muses John Campbell. “And Gus is definitely the father figure. Maybe that makes me the mother figure. I’m not sure how I feel about that but it’s there, and there’s a warm, personal chemistry with all of us.” Six intensive weeks of daily work with Above, Tim Streeter as “Walt”; Inset, writer Curtis (Photos Eric Edwards, Janice Pierce) a small crew under grueling conditions is exhausting. Frictions occur, minor verbal fracases rise out of absurd trivia, as in any working crew, whether they lay gas mains dr make movies. Van Sant’s crew struggles to smooth them over. obay: /\lW 6th and Coned— A few abandoned or closed buildings, a grocery and junk store and the parking PRODUCTS OF THE IMAGINATION —MADE REAL DA VINCI L-A-M-Y Safari pens — so named because of their sturdy dependability — stand up to a lifetime of use, guaranteed! But it's their lightweight, West German craftsmanship and design that make these fine writing instruments such ajoy to use. These and other fine pens from the Becker and Becker collection are available from $5 to $200 at DaVinci. YAMHILL MARKET • 222-5442 Clinton St. Quarterly 9

lot across the street surround the Club 101. Young Doug is not due yet but the rest of the crew is ready to shoot until they discover a light meter missing. “We’ll break for breakfast,” says Van Sant. The 101 has a reputation for violence and unpredictability among its usually staggering clientele. The waitress is a pearl in a bad spot, a bright, efficient grandmotherly type who acts like this is the Ritz and Van Sant’s seedy crew of imitation vagrants are tycoons in for brunch. Gus begins needling Grasshopper about missing work the day before and his need for a shave. The needle is wry and low key but evidently sharp. Grasshopper is apologetic and embarrassed. Gus looks around the crew. “We’ve been looking for a title for Grasshopper’s function on the shoot. Shall we call him the scapegoat?” “No, the Scape-Dude!” says Pat, and the laugh rolls around the table, taking the sting off Grasshopper. Scape-Dude means Grasshopper from then on. Back out into the cold on the corner after breakfast. Doug comes kicking up the street hunched incredibly thin in his Levi jacket and pants, talking tough, every third word man,” about whose ass he’s gonna kick or rip or trash. He’s excruciatingly young and the whole crew seems to like him, to mother him. Ray starts telling Doug about the Big Fight between Gus and Tim yesterday. Pat demonstrates Gus throwing rocks at Tim’s car and yelling Fuck You!’ with appropriately lean hand signals. Doug says, “What a fuckin' trip!” and they all go around Tim's battered Dodge to show Doug the little nick in the car door made by a rock. They stand staring at the small dent—among many less distinguished dents—amazed that Gus would lose his temper. “Tim shouldn’t have acted that way to the coach,” says Ray seriously. “Gus was right to blow.” Doug and Grasshopper, not needed for the moment, clamber into the cab of the van to keep warm. “Boy, Gus is ready to flip,” says Grasshopper reverently, “he’s right on the edge. I’d say there is a possibility of a serious mental breakdown. One little tip could put him over.” Doug, tough guy, pounds the steering wheel, “Great! Let’s do it!” Grasshopper shakes his head gravely. “No way! Not me!” Doug grins, bouncing and twisting the steering wheel in delight. “I’ll do it! I’ll wring his skinny little ass!” Grasshopper is not joking. “If you do you’ll have to go through me first...” Doug whips a look sideways meeting Grasshopper’s serious eyes. “Aaah?” Grasshopper shakes his head. “That’s part of my job is to keep people from getting riled up on the set." Doug is silent, staring out through the windshield. Up the block a wide-shouldered young black guy is walking away. His hair is covered by a black plastic bag tied neatly in place. Doug bursts out angrily, “Why do these guys wear Hefty bags on their heads? How can you walk around the street and be tough when you’re wearing a Hefty bag?" An old man shuffles across the street in front of the van. “See that guy in the hat?” Doug points, “I saw him and a bunch of other dudes holed up in a doorway eating Velveeta slices!” He doesn’t know whether to be disgusted or amused. He doesn’t dare show sympathy. Grasshopper, the wise old man of 21, nods gently. “That’s the way it is down here. That's the street.” Doug looks at him amazed. “Velveeta is the street?” Grasshopper nods seriously. They both double over their own laps, laughing. .Lede. Gartner NW 6th- and Glandle^— Having rented the storefront behind Katina’s Deli, the crew creates a wino grocery overnight...with the help of expert Walt Curtis. “I went over to Baloney Joe’s,” says Walt, “and loaded my car with empty wine bottles to wash to use as props for the store. These bottles, Christ! They were covered with puke and mucous and filth. I washed and sterilized them and filled them with Kool Aid and put the caps back on. My God they were filthy! All these years of selling these bottles and this was the first time I’d ever really thought about what happened to them afterwards. The crew begins shooting the central scenes which will bind the story together. The local residents are recruited selectively to act as customers. On the sidewalk just outside, Walt Curtis stands nipping at a beer bottle and watching through the store window as his film incarnation, Tim Streeter, sells the bottles of unsweetened Kool Aid back to the winos. Doug/Johnny and Ray/Pepper are kicking their heels in a corner waiting their turn for the camera. Doug is cartooning madly with a felt-tip pen on paper napkins. A bearded monster is John Campbell, a Gumby figure labeled Gus' gets tacked up on the shelf behind the cash register. It blends with the price signs below the Tops tobacco and above the Midnight Express wine. Gus, scanning the scene for the next shot, says mildly, “Take that down.” “Don’t be so sensitive, Gus!” “Take it down.” “Oh, oh, he’s getting authoritarian.” Van Sant says, coolly, “I don’t care what you call me but this is my movie and I don’t want that in the shot.” The napkin cartoon disappears instantly. * Jlancd time:GiiwLaA dbeU— At the big rear table of the deli, the crew collapses, eating hungrily. Catching Van Sant between potato salad and sandwich comes the question. “So, what’s the redeeming social value of this flick?” Van Sant looks, uncharacteristically, surprised. “I don’t think of it in terms of its social value.’ I just think of it as my art. I’m just doing my art. It's up to the audience to decide what its value to them is.” If art is, as some wiseacre ancient once said, “The world viewed through Temperament,” it’s reasonable to assume that Van Sant’s Mala Noche will be different from Walt Curtis’s. “I respect the actors and what they’re doing,” Walt insists, “but they are not the same as the characters in the book. I would have kept them more true to the originals if I were doing this film. I would have made it almost a documentary, with a camera just following me around the streets and taking in the winos passed out in the doorways.... There’s a lot of social and political message that I would have focused on more.... But this film has taken on a life of its own. Gus says, though, that he’s going to dub in a soundtrack with real Spanish-speaking voices and my narrative stuff. He’ll have subtitles. Maybe I’ll do the narrative. I think that’s a place where I could impose my will on this film.” Reminded that political and social preachiness is one of the grounds that the book has been, justifiably, attacked on, Walt points out that the film won’t be like that. “Gus isn’t making it that way.... Gus is a very low-key guy but there’s a lot of steel in him.... But in that narrative voice-over I might be able to gain back some ground....” Katherine Dunn is a well-published novelist and writes for a number of local and national publications. Her beat is boxing. Xhe streets of Seattle can be be bleak and deadly. But when the streets are all you have, they become your home. It’s no secret that Seattle, like every major city in the world, has a population of homeless young people who have nowhere left to go. If you pass through Seattle’s downtown streets you’ll see them, and if you get close enough, they’ll reach out and touch your life. Most of us never get that close. Streetwise is a film that takes you in too close for comfort. Based on “Streets of the Lost,” an award-winning Life article on American street kids by writer Cheryl McCall and photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, Streetwise is a heartrending documentary filmed in Seattle’s inner city. It tells the story of the lost and confused runaways who drift through Seattle en route to adulthood or death, and it tells it in their own words. ......... If you’re a kid on the street in Seattle, you’re one of four or five hundred youngsters who have no place to sleep, no legitimate income, and very little faith in humanity. You’re as young as eight years old, but more likely 11 to 17. You probably come from a broken home, and you have probably been sexually abused. You need food, shelter, friendship and love. You need to survive. How do you do that? You can beg...the ranks of the panhandlers in downtown Seattle get younger every day. You can steal. You can sell things that you steal, you can sell drugs, you can sell yourself. Prostitutes of both sexes line the Seattle streets at all hours. The degradation of humanity and the ruination of young lives never stops. We go home, but the beat of the street continues. The only people that street kids trust are others like themselves. They fall in love with one another, form alliances, identify their enemies. That’s why the making of Streetwise is so remarkable. Getting the cooperation of the kids who have managed to survive is no mean task. Directed by British director Martin Bell, Streetwise was filmed largely on Seattle’s Pike Street between First and Second Avenues. The film focuses on several street vets, one of whom commits suicide in the course of the documentary. The film takes us to his funeral, then goes on to other matters no less bleak. You can sense the human lives going down the drain and flowing into the river of no return. When I went to the film’s Seattle premiere at Holy Names Academy on Capitol Hill, I found that Streetwise had become a cause celebre. Six hundred well-dressed patrons had ponied up $25 to see the film, with the proceeds destined for the Catholic Church’s Orion Center, a downtown haven for runaway youth. The movie-goers applauded generously at the movie’s end, then endured seemingly endless posturing and backslapping from the filmmakers before moving en masse into the lobby to sip wine and nibble on hors d’oeuvres. Downstairs, the post-show press conference revolved around the presence of Country star Willie Nelson. Nelson, the film’s backer, projected the most composed, laid-back persona imaginable, fielding questions*with a mellow nebbish charm that offered virtually no substance. Cheryl McCall and Connie Nelson, Willie’s wife, are friends; thus, the Nelson dough to back the film and the Nelson name to promote it. “I was a kid like that,” Willie Nelson told the media. “Mostly in big cities in Texas.” “There’s no simple answer,” McCall said to end the press conference. “But I do know that these kids need and understanding. That’s the bottom line.” McCall had been slightly defensive when questioned about the making of Streetwise. This may be the result of being accused by Katy Joost of staging scenes for the film. Ms. Joost, a young production assistant, was fired from the project in 1983. After the press conference, I strolled through the building’s lobby while well- groomed Seattleites discussed the film’s merits. I walked through the rain a dozen blocks west to Broadway, where small groups of reckless kids were making life rough for unwary strollers. “Hey mister, want a date?" a young punkette asked me. I declined, and kept walking, heading down Pike Street toward the bottom of the hill where Skid Road lies. Skid Road was packed. Small groups of street kids were everywhere, interspersed with their older brethren. Date offers and pleas for spare change abounded. Youngsters huddled in urine- soaked, garbage-strewn doorways, dodging the cold drizzle. The problem hadn’t changed since the making of Streetwise, other than to intensify. The trickle-down theory of social relief was still at work. Streetwise will probably never become a hit film. It’s film festival fodder, and will inevitably double-bill with other verite peers such as Pixote, a stark look at Brazilian street life. But Streetwise deserves to be seen, especially if you live in the Northwest. If it does nothing else, the film may make a star out of Baby Gramps, the Pike Place Market street busker who croons “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” twice during the course of the film. I hope its effects will be more far-reaching. I’d like to think that the proceeds from the film’s premiere and the added focus and attention on the plight of kids on the run will eventually have a beneficial effect on the problems in the streets. But for the time being, there’s no help in sight. If you don’t believe me, just go downtown and take a look yourself. Dennis Eichorn’s last article for the CSQ was on Vietnam photojournalist Tim Page. 10 Clinton St. Quarterly