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Udo Kier has a dramatic tone that's too much for truth bombing. so then i picture this as like a video in Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and that's not a diminishing statement but a supportive one, i was all about Ripley's Believe It Or Not. that's how i can like this movie.

Narrated by Udo Kier. Filmmaker Rüdiger Suchsland suggests that the Third Reich was essentially an immersive movie starring the German nation, produced and directed by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Hitler's Hollywood collages key films from the more than 1000 features the Nazis produced from 1933-1945: musicals, melodramas, romances, costume dramas, war films – and when the real war got tough, insanely lavish, over-the-top fantasies. The German volk were portrayed as happy and sporty with lives of exaggerated cheerfulness or, conversely, full of morbid yearning for a death that would serve the Fatherland. Hannah Arendt gives perspective and context: "One of the chief characteristics of modern masses… (is) they do not trust their eyes and ears, but only their imaginations. What convinces masses are not facts, not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the illusion." It's a frightening insight that could just as easily apply to the American political landscape today. – Karen Cooper, Director, Film Forum

Directed by Rüdiger Suchsland
Release Date - April 11, 2018 at Film Forum (NY), theatrical expansion in the following weeks

News and Theory / Re: 2018 Xixax Awards - Nominate!
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on Today at 04:52:53 PM »
Keep 'em coming!
Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread
« Last post by Fuzzy Dunlop on Today at 04:33:06 PM »
Well, I guess that's it. Another project come and gone, and now it's time for the man to go away and dream it all up again.

We were hoping for a great film, and he delivered yet again. PTA continues to amaze and astonish and inspire and deliver the goods.

I Love Films
Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread
« Last post by WorldForgot on Today at 01:13:55 PM »
4/20 Vinyl Release

Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Other actors/directors/etc. who mention PTA
« Last post by Reelist on Today at 12:24:51 PM »
It’s a lot less awkward to watch two people in there at the same time, they should make it a trend

Kubrick comparison starts at 3:31.
Maybe my head was in the sand but I had no idea these projects were connected.

Eiko Ishioka - Costume Designer / Art Director / Stage Director

In 1985 director Paul Schrader chose her to be the production designer for his 1985 film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. Her work went on to win her a special award for artistic contribution at the Cannes Film Festival that year. Eiko's work with Francis Ford Coppola on the poster for the Japanese release of Apocalypse Now led to their later collaboration in Coppola's Dracula which earned Eiko an Academy Award.[6] She has also worked on four of Tarsem Singh's films beginning with the Jennifer Lopez starrer The Cell in 2000 and including The Fall, Immortals, and Mirror Mirror.[1]

She has also done costume design for theater and circus. In 1999 she designed costumes for Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Dutch Opera. She designed costumes for Cirque du Soleil: Varekai, which premiered in 2002 as well as for Julie Taymor's Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which premiered in 2011. She also directed the music video for Björk's "Cocoon" in 2002 and designed costumes for the "Hurricane" tour of singer Grace Jones in 2009.[4]

Ishioka's work is included in the permanent collection of museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Coppola' Dracula

Coppola' Dracula

Coppola' Dracula

Coppola' Dracula

From a 1999 production of Der Ring des Nibelungen

Matthew Barney's Cremaster series

Tarsem's The Fall

The Cell (2000)

News and Theory / Angelyne
« Last post by wilder on Today at 05:11:03 AM »
Emmy Rossum to Star in 'Angelyne' Limited Series Based on Hollywood Reporter Article
November 13, 2017
via The Hollywood Reporter

'Mr. Robot' creator Sam Esmail will develop and exec produce the Universal Cable Productions drama based on THR senior writer Gary Baum's investigative feature on the Los Angeles billboard diva.

An only-in-Hollywood story is finally getting the Hollywood treatment.

Shameless star Emmy Rossum and Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail are teaming with The Hollywood Reporter to create a limited series based on THR senior writer Gary Baum's investigative feature about Angelyne, Los Angeles' mysterious billboard icon.

Rossum will star as Angelyne, the self-created pop culture icon — whose real name, uncovered in Baum's August exposé, is Renee Goldberg. Rossum will executive produce via her Grey Matters Pictures company alongside her husband, Esmail, and his Universal Cable Productions-based EsmailCorp banner. Esmail's manager, Chad Hamilton, will also exec produce via Anonymous Content. The limited series project will be shopped to cable and streaming outlets. Baum, who spent months researching Angelyne's past, will serve as a consultant on the drama.


The Mystery of L.A. Billboard Diva Angelyne's Real Identity Is Finally Solved
By Gary Baum
August 2, 2017
via The Hollywood Reporter

Way before Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the enigmatic blonde bombshell was famous for being famous, perpetually driving the streets of Hollywood in that pink Corvette. But her true identity has remained secret all these years … until now.

"Would you be interested in a story on Angelyne's true identity?" the man wrote last fall under a pseudonym, referring to the enigmatic L.A. billboard diva who has been a pop culture icon of self-creation and self-marketing since the early 1980s — and is now regarded as a forerunner to Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and every personal-brand hustler on social media. "I have many details on her life — all well documented — from when her parents met to early adulthood. It's very different from her public, concocted story — and more interesting."

Angelyne is one of the vanishingly few contemporary public figures whose background has remained shrouded in mystery, along with the conceptual artist Banksy, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto and aircraft hijacker D.B. Cooper. The man, who claimed to work in an undefined role for the federal government, said he was a hobbyist genealogist, occasionally taking on paid assignments in the field as an amusing side gig. A few years earlier, he'd decided it'd be fun to set himself the challenge of cracking Angelyne's case. "And I did," he explained.

Later, at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood, the genealogist — who looks like Michael Kelly's contained political operative Doug Stamper from House of Cards — unfurled an elaborate story of Angelyne's past, based on material he contended he'd enterprisingly pulled and synthesized from a global network of public databases. He laid down a folded printout of a row of yearbook photos.

"This one," he said, pointing at a 1967 Monroe Senior High School sophomore from the San Fernando Valley, third from right, "is Angelyne." A schoolgirl with hooded eyes and long center-parted locks, in a button-down white shirt and tie, stared out across half a century. "Also known as Renee Goldberg."

A redheaded Valley girl in a yearbook from the 1960s.

The Hollywood Reporter has since independently confirmed this is Angelyne's real identity with public records and family members. Far from the archetypal transplant-with-a-dream, as she has tacitly long alluded, she's the locally raised daughter of Holocaust survivors, a Jew who has found refuge in shiksa drag. It's a fascinating, only-in-L.A. story of identity, history and a symbiotic yearning both to be forgotten and to be famous.


The yearbook photo was no smoking gun. By her own cosmetic surgery confessions, Angelyne has had quite a bit of work done — and if the genealogist was right, that high school junior is now 66 years old.

Copies of immigration, marriage and death records pointed to a cloaked prehistory of Renee Tami Goldberg (originally Ronia Tamar Goldberg), which seems to reveal the trauma Angelyne had both emerged and escaped from. She was born in Poland on Oct. 2, 1950, the daughter of Polish Jews who'd met in the Chmielnik ghetto during World War II — they were among 500 to survive out of a population of 13,000, the rest sent to death at Treblinka. According to the documentation — obtained from the International Tracing Service, established by the Red Cross as an archive of Nazi crimes — her parents, Hendrik (aka Heniek or Henryk) Goldberg and Bronia (aka Bronis) Zernicka, endured unimaginable horrors at a series of concentration camps, first together at Skarzysko, where prisoners' main job was to make munitions, and then apart at the 20th century's most infamous hellscapes, including Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.

Bronia later submitted paperwork to Yad Vashem indicating she'd lost more than 40 relatives in the Holocaust, including her father, three brothers and a sister. Shortly after liberation, she and Hendrik married in the Foehrenwald displaced persons camp in Germany. They were eventually repatriated to Poland, which remained hostile to Jews after World War II. So after Goldberg's birth, the family immigrated to Israel, remaining in an ultra-orthodox community of Hasidic Jews called Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv, until 1959. (A younger sister, Annette, was born in 1952.)

They boarded a ship leaving Haifa for New York and settled in L.A.'s Fairfax District. Her father worked as a tool-and-die mechanic. Then, in 1965, her 44-year-old mother died of cancer. Goldberg was 14.

The next year Hendrik (now Henry) remarried another Holocaust survivor, a seamstress divorcee named Deborah, and Goldberg acquired a younger stepsister, Norma. She and her father moved from the Westside to Panorama City, deep in the San Fernando Valley, where she'd begin high school and Henry and Deborah would run a strip-mall liquor store in nearby Van Nuys. She'd have a brief marriage to the son of a Beverly Hills executive, living in Hollywood with him. Goldberg's paper trail ends with their divorce in 1969.

A name-change document filed in 2016 in Ventura County.

Angelyne had single-handedly created and then inhabited a modern myth of L.A.: the platinum blond bombshell in the bright pink Corvette forever circumnavigating the city, seeking to enchant by dint of her sheer superficial glamour. It had the aesthetic power and emotional resonance of genuine performance art, Marina Abramovic by way of John Waters, particularly as she kept on rambling around the city over the decades while she aged.

I'd written a profile about Angelyne for THR in 2015. She attempted to micromanage the terms of our time together in sharp-elbowed fashion before agreeing to let me ride in her Stingray 1LT. Once inside, reality quickly shone through her constructed shallow facade: a keen intelligence, a striking vulnerability. Also something else, undefinable but perceptibly troubled, even haunted.

When I asked about her family and her past, she described herself as an only child and an orphan. "I lost my parents at a young age," she said, "and because of that, I sought the attention of the world through my tricks. I said, 'Well, I'm going to get the love of the world.' " When I pushed for more, she shut me down. "It's just a long story," she said, the cartoonishly girly lilt of her voice gone flat. "I don't want to get into it. I made my way here."

Angelyne was similarly mum or vague when I inquired about other things that might have forged her, from religion ("I've tried them all — Jewish, Catholic, Hindu: too many dogmas") to her place of origin. Some internet stories suggest that she is from Idaho, but she wouldn't talk about where she grew up. A distant hometown perfectly fit her narrative of an American small-town girl coming to L.A. to fulfill a dream. (I searched Idaho public records and could find no indication of someone named Angelyne, Angelyne Lyne or Angelyne Lynne — all names that have appeared on her business filings.)

I came away with an understanding of how she'd built and perpetuated the Angelyne phenomenon — including the business by which she made a living: lucratively marked-up and vigorously hawked merchandise sales out of her trunk, plus licensing and appearance fees. (Of course the Kardashians and other proteges have exponentially scaled and digitized the model.) But I'd fallen short in penetrating who she really is, why she'd dedicated her life to transforming herself into what she described to me as a "Rorschach test in pink" — a figure who simultaneously elects to commute among us and hold herself apart, in her formulation, "on top of a pink cloud on top of a pink mountain."


Jews had assimilated in the postwar period. Surnames Anglicized, religious observance ebbed, kosher compliance curtailed — both to better conform to their American homeland and, often, as a conscious or unconscious departure from the trauma of their European pasts. They'd arrived and imagined themselves anew.

Yet Goldberg becoming Angelyne: That would be a feat far more radical, a leap far more extreme, out of a grim and drab past into a realm of complete fantasy. How fitting it would be for such an act to take place amid the New World shtetl of Hollywood, defined by metamorphosis and make-believe.

To many Jews, Angelyne reads distinctly gentile, the quintessential shiksa, whether by accident or intent. Her taste and status cues exist in a goyish Bermuda Triangle somewhere between Dolly Parton, Loni Anderson and Traci Lords.

But once I floated the idea of Goldberg as Angelyne to friends and colleagues who had been fascinated by her over the years and occasionally had had their own fleeting curbside run-ins, the surprisingly unsurprised reaction (particularly from the Jewish ones) was consensus and instantaneous: That makes sense. The stereotypical old-school shmatte-selling, the hardnosed negotiations, the pure all-purpose chutzpah — "I've known that woman," one happily told me, as if welcoming home a long-lost relative, "all my life."

As thorough as the genealogist had been in piecing together Goldberg's early life, he'd missed an easily Google-able recent connection between Angelyne and her alleged true identity. Late last year, I saw that The Fillmore Gazette, a community newspaper of a small town 60 miles northwest of L.A. in Ventura County, had published online a legal notice on April 28, 2016, that Renee Goldberg had petitioned to change her name to Angelyne Llyne at Ventura Superior Court. (After short-selling her Malibu condo in 2010, she now lives in the Ventura County area of Thousand Oaks.)

An Angelyne billboard in the 1990s.

If the genealogist's claim is to be believed, Goldberg recently had become eligible to collect Social Security benefits. (It is unknown whether Angelyne has applied for such benefits under any name.) While the Social Security Administration had previously not required applicants to document proof, the policy changed in 2005 after Congress took action in response to terror concerns.

I drove to the Ventura County courthouse to get the document. She claimed to have been born on Jan. 26, 1962 (a dozen years after the genealogist's records indicate), and to be from the statistically gentile Louisville, Kentucky. As for the reason for the name change, she states on the form, "This is my stage name that I use and have used since 1978."

Goldberg also listed a residential address that was 2 miles away. When I headed over, I discovered it was a commercial showroom for personalized trophies, plaques, gavels, medallions and clocks called Custom Awards & Engraving. I decided to refrain from asking owners Jerry and Linda Mendelsohn about Angelyne for the time being.


Scott Hennig, a 60-year-old portrait illustrator from Idaho, has been Angelyne's assistant, close friend and gatekeeper since the late 1980s. We'd spoken many times but always over the phone. He'd declined to meet when I requested an interview while profiling Angelyne two years ago, stating he preferred to remain "behind the scenes." I told him that a self-described genealogist had come forward with documentation attesting to the fact that Angelyne was in fact Renee Goldberg.

Hennig scoffed. "This stuff comes up every few years — it seems to get more and more ridiculous," he says. "My favorite one of all was this 300-pound black woman who claimed to be her mother. 'I'm your long-lost brother,' 'your twin sister.' Chalk it up to life in Hollywood. I've never heard of 'Renee Goldberg.' It's laughable, it's outrageous." And as for the genealogist? "This guy needs to get a life. It's almost like ..." He thought for a moment. "Like stalker stuff, it really is. It's kind of creepy. It's weird."

I brought up the name-change document connecting Renee Goldberg to Angelyne, and told him I would be happy to send over some of the genealogist's material for her review. "I'm not saying the paperwork isn't legitimate," he responded, growing testy. "I'm saying it ain't her. Look, I get emails from another Scott Hennig, a karate expert in Texas. People think that's me. There are a lot of girls out there named Angelyne. I don't know what to tell you. And who knows how legitimate this old stuff is, going back to World War II?"

Hennig went on, wondering, "And who's this guy? He's poking into Angelyne's business — why don't we get his name?" I put that question to the genealogist soon afterward, who'd communicated with me under the pseudonym Ed Thompson.

"There's a difference between her and me — and she and most people," he reasoned by phone. "She's a celebrity, and beyond that, she forfeited any claim of privacy when she ran, as a joke or a stunt or not, for governor of California" during the recall race that Arnold Schwarzenegger won in 2003. "As for me," he went on, explaining he had a government job that included a top-secret clearance, "reputation is fairly important, and the controversy that might be involved in this situation is not part of that culture. There's a minute possibility that surreptitious activity — not illegal but surreptitious — could reflect badly on a top-secret clearance."

I sent Hennig the name-change document and the yearbook photos the day after we spoke. Subsequent efforts by phone and email to discuss those materials with him — or, better yet, Angelyne — were repeatedly dodged.

The blonde bombshell in the 1990s.


On a rainy Tuesday evening nearly two weeks later, I was reporting on another story at a Sunset Strip tattoo shop when I spotted Angelyne's new Pepto Bismol-hued Corvette Z06 gleaming under a street light across the street. It was parked in front of 1980s hair metal haven the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

I soon found the reclusive Hennig, clad in a denim jacket and jeans, loitering in an empty upstairs hallway next to a Pantera poster. He looked just like the lanky fellow whose over-exposed vintage photos had appeared beside his boss' in the 2005 premiere issue of Hot P!nk, Angelyne's short-lived glossy fan magazine. Before I could say hello, she emerged from an adjacent restroom, in full regalia.

Her eyes went wide as she shook my hand. I asked if Hennig had conveyed my queries about Renee Goldberg and the Holocaust. While he stood mute a few feet away, she stammered, "I have a weird stalker who has been following me and hanging underwear outside my home and all sorts of things. We're going to catch him — big time!" Usually, she explained of her history with obsessives, "I use reverse psychology on them and they go away."

As Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls" softly piped in overhead, I offered my sympathies, asking if she'd yet taken legal action or informed the authorities. In the past she'd told me she'd filed restraining orders against two stalkers. Angelyne said she and her team hadn't — that they were "building a case."

Left: Goldberg's 1967 yearbook photo as a sophomore at Monroe Senior High School and documents tracing the history of Goldberg's parents in Europe. Right: Goldberg's marriage certificate, dated 1968.

Angelyne cast herself as a victim of a scheme, and me as an unwitting — or even witting — pawn. (The next day I spoke with the genealogist, who'd previously told me that he had "no tie to her other than curiosity," and asked him if he was stalking her. "No, not at all," he chuckled. "It's a contorted, convenient way to try to come up with a semi-plausible story. Or not even that plausible. It doesn't even make any sense. How could this kind of information about her past possibly be part of a plot to force her to do anything?")

I asked Angelyne about the Ventura County name-change document. Her expression scrunched. "It was a complication thing," she said, tipping from one foot to the other. "I don't want to talk about it." I pressed, and she said she'd have her lawyer call me. I asked if it would be her business attorney, William Remery, or the attorney on the document, David Lehr. "Someone else."

She wheeled around to Topic A. "I know you want it to be true because you're Jewish — and that's adorable!" This last word was enunciated with her breathy falsetto inflection, a stagey girlishness that Paris Hilton appropriated. I told her, without success, why my interest was justifiable on journalistic terms. She nodded, unbowed: "Is your editor Jewish?"

She bid me goodbye with a hug — "I know you love me and don't want to hurt me" — and a promise that I'd hear from her lawyer. Angelyne also stated that it's her inalienable right alone to share her story as she sees fit — or not. (Earlier, regarding the details of her past, she'd told me, "I want to save it for my memoirs; that's my right for my own financial interest.") Later, when I left, I saw her on the sidewalk beside her Corvette under a translucent pink umbrella, huddled in what appeared to be an intense conversation with Hennig.

Angelyne in 2017, as always cruising L.A. in her signature pink Corvette.

The next day, curious to revisit those Hennig photos, I unearthed from the bottom of a pile on my newsroom desk the premiere issue of Hot P!nk, which Angelyne bulldozed me into purchasing two years ago for $50 — along with other merchandise — before even agreeing to seriously discuss participation in a potential profile in THR. What instead caught my eye were the advertisements, which on closer inspection all seemed to be personally connected to her: the North Hollywood auto body shop that I'd elsewhere read custom-paints her Corvette; the late Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. George Semel, who she'd previously told me was her "artistic collaborator."

I kept scanning. There was an eighth-page ad from Custom Awards & Engraving, the trophy business Angelyne listed as her residential address on the name-change document. Co-owner Linda Mendelsohn also was mentioned in the text, which congratulated Angelyne on the launch of the magazine. Bingo.


A fortnight passed without word from Angelyne. I rang Hennig and told him I was still looking for clarification. Where, at least, was the follow-up from the mystery attorney? This time he was curt. "I'll tell her you called," he said, his tone cold, hanging up. It would be the last I'd hear from either of them.

The next day I called Goldberg's stepsister, Norma St. Michel, who resides in Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley. I brought up Angelyne. "Oh, I have no idea," she said, an edge to her voice, cutting me off and hanging up.

Then I tracked down Michael Strauss, the Jewish boy (scion of a Beverly Hills dynasty forged by the changeable reader board on movie theater marquees) whom she'd wed in the late 1960s. He was now a family man living in Carlsbad after a successful career manufacturing acrylic furniture.

I told him what I was calling about. "Holy smokes," he said, astonished. "I haven't talked to Angelyne in years. I've kind of followed her on the internet."

We chatted for an hour. Strauss had tender memories of Goldberg, referring alternatively in the past and present to her as "Angelyne" and "Renee." He'd never spoken publicly about the identity of his first wife before, and only rarely in private, he said. (An exception: In 2016 when she applied for a new driver's license, a DMV investigator contacted him to corroborate her true identity.)

Strauss took this photo of Goldberg at his parents’ Beverly Hills home.

They'd met through mutual friends while she was still living on the Westside. "She was the most gorgeous redhead," he said. "She was unique, beautiful, smart." Later, during their short matrimony, they lived together with Annette and her first husband at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, "right where Wolfman Jack used to record." Strauss emailed me photos while we were talking: the pair posing barefoot by the pool at a friend's backyard party, a striking black-and-white portrait he'd taken of Goldberg at his family's Trousdale Estates home. (A budding photographer, he shot the likes of Donovan and War.) And, most importantly, he sent the same yearbook photo the genealogist had shown me.

Strauss explained that Goldberg's childhood had been difficult. Her father, a man with a concentration camp number tattooed on his arm, had been controlling, cruel and narrow-minded, propelling her to flee home early. Like many survivors of trauma, Henry didn't discuss it. This extended, to Strauss' memory, as far as Goldberg's own history; her father told her she was born in Israel, not a German displaced-persons camp. Regardless, "she has never considered herself Jewish."

Strauss was surprised to learn from me that Goldberg's mother had died just a few years before he met her; he'd always thought it had been much earlier, a hardened scar. "She'd never talk about her mother — ever, ever, ever. It was a subject that couldn't be brought up. If I brought it up, it was shut down."

After they broke up — it was amicable — he traveled for several years, returning to L.A. in the mid-1970s. "I hooked up with Renee again, and she was Angelyne," he said. "I wasn't there when she made the transition. All of a sudden, big boobs, blond hair, this voice — the voice used to make me nuts. It didn't compute with who I'd known she was."

It would be another decade before she'd achieve notoriety for her pioneering famous-for-being-famous billboard campaign. "As an entrepreneur, I was sad that she wasn't ever able to be more [financially] successful," Strauss said of her career, which emerged out of punk and new wave bands and occasional bit parts in films. "Why didn't she take it farther? Why not a TV show? She invented this marvelous, crazy, out-of-this-world character but couldn't fully sell it. I was always a Renee rooter: 'Come on, girl, take it to the next level!' But she only had the capacity to take it so far."

Angelyne pictured in 2017.

When they broke up, Strauss held on to some of her effects — personal photos, official documents — "because she didn't want them, and I wasn't just going to throw them away. I mean, what if she eventually wanted them back? Except she never did. I saw her in the early 1990s, and I said, 'I have these things.' She didn't want them. She wanted nothing to do with it. She'd created another life."

Why had she done it? "You'd have to ask her that," he said softly.

Renee Goldberg had purely committed to the fundamental principle of Hollywood — escapism — by inhabiting the character she conjured to the point of no return. Like many dreamers, she adopted a stage name and altered her body and behavior to better position a prospective entertainment career that, like many dreamers, never panned out quite as intended. Nevertheless, far more than most, by any definition of success, she truly became the person she was pretending to be.

Strauss eventually, reluctantly, ventured a guess. "It's a persona that must have suited her," he said. "It made her way in life. It's not an easy world out there."

August 14, 2017 update: Mentions of Annette Block and her husband, Stanley, incorrectly believed to be Angelyne's sister and brother-in-law, have been removed from this story. Subsequent reporting indicates that Annette Goldberg, who was born two years earlier than Block, is Angelyne's sibling.

A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.


The Nearly Complete Angelyne Documentary That No One Knew About (Until Now)
By Gary Baum
August 15, 2017
via The Hollywood Reporter

Just two weeks after the mystery of the L.A. billboard legend was finally solved comes the revelation that a young filmmaker shot a documentary about her past — and in a conversation, he corroborates and expands on what's known about the enigmatic blonde bombshell.

On Aug. 2, THR published an article I wrote about Angelyne and the iconic L.A. billboard queen’s illuminating past as Renee Goldberg. Since then she’s continued to tool around town in her pink Corvette while Hollywood players have begun to contact her in pursuit of the rights to her unique story.

After declining to substantively engage with my findings over many months, Angelyne has spoken to multiple media outlets about the piece. In an on-air conversation with the local public radio station KPCC, she complained of unspecified “inaccuracies” without denying that she’s Goldberg.

Meanwhile, some readers wrote in with their own memories and tips about Angelyne, while many others on various social media platforms speculated about her past and surfaced information allegedly connected to her.

Together, the crowdsourced details continue to sketch out both a quintessential and singular portrait of postwar American life in Southern California. Someone found a 2015 Facebook post from a now-deceased veteran defense industry engineer named John Cornel Kovach in which he recalled that Goldberg’s machinist father (a man Kovach knew as Harry) — who at the Nazi prison camp Skarzysko labored on munitions — worked as a prototype builder at Lockheed Martin’s notoriously secretive Skunk Works weapons development complex in Palmdale, more than an hour north of L.A.

In a Facebook post after THR's article ran, the Hollywood talent manager Sam Lufti (best known for his legal imbroglio with former client Britney Spears) reminisced about how he’d made Angelyne’s acquaintance as a youth in the city. He said she’d once acknowledged to him “that her father was Jewish, but she explained she came from an era where admitting being Jewish wasn’t good for [making it] in Hollywood,” going on to refer to how the Polish Warners of Warner Bros. had anglicized their shtetl names.

The most revelatory correspondent, however, was 27-year-old Jesse Small, a USC film school graduate who sent me an e-mail that began “I don’t know where to start” and went on to note that he’d begun “making a documentary on Angelyne in 2012 and spent the better part of the last five years uncovering the story you wrote about.” He explained that, among other endeavors, he’d visited archives in Europe, spoken to her stepsister Norma St. Michel and looked through a suitcase of old photos and documents with ex-husband Michael Strauss. Small continued, “I’m not a journalist and I’ve never made a film before so I don’t know if ‘scooped’ is the right term to use here, but I guess I’ve been scooped!”

I took him out to lunch at a restaurant near the Sony lot. Small, a keen and wry Playa del Rey resident whose day job is managing his family’s real estate investments, brought a sheaf of research files he’d accumulated and proceeded to unspool a parallel tale of inquiry, which overlaps and expands on my own, and in one place corrects it. My story included a call to an Annette Block and her husband Stanley of Oxnard, California; they were, on account of what turns out to have been a misread of her birth date by my genealogist source, the presumed sister and brother-in-law of Angelyne, who resides in a neighboring town. The real Annette, born two years earlier, spoke to Small while he researched his in-the-works documentary, Angelyne, but hasn’t spoken to her famous sister in years.

This interview has been condensed and edited. It also incorporates material from a subsequent e-mail exchange for clarity.

How did you end up looking into Angelyne?

I was looking for a film project when I graduated from USC in 2012. I had a bunch of different ideas. I was thinking about doing something on [the naturalist] John Muir. This just came to me. I’d seen all her billboards in the city growing up on the Westside, on my way driving to school. I went to LACES, between Fairfax and La Cienega — it turns out Angelyne went to the same school when it was known as Louis Pasteur Middle School. Then, when I started looking into it, the information online about her was very limited, not only just the real story about her, but the comments on message boards skewed thin: negative remarks about her appearance or her age, and how this woman was holding onto the ’80s. There wasn’t much from her perspective and what she wanted to share — I thought that would be absolutely fascinating. I was just, like, “Who is this person who drives around in that pink Corvette?” My original pitch to her was, “Show me whatever you want to show me.” I wasn’t even thinking in terms of story. I just thought it would be fun, entertaining. Someone would watch that.

So what did she think of your original pitch?

She was not into that idea because she didn’t want me to get a bad angle of her. I learned very quickly that lighting — or what she perceived as lighting — was very important to her. She wanted to control her image. She told me something to the effect of, "If someone did an interview and called me a bitch I wouldn’t think twice. But if there’s a bad picture of me, no." So we started working together, kind of loosey-goosey.

Why do you think she chose to work with you?

I think she liked me because I was young. She told me she likes working with unestablished people because she can control them better. I was fine with that. At the time I really didn’t have an interest in looking into the things that she was uncomfortable with. Honestly, I really didn’t have a clear vision. I think we just sort of vibed. She was like, “I don’t really know what this is, but I think I can make it work.”

What was your impression of her when you started spending time with her?

That this was no joke — not an act. I thought she would be a little bit more like Elvira, where it’s definitely a character but then she goes back and forth to herself.

She doesn’t. That’s who she really is. She’s disappeared into the role she created for herself long ago.

I think that’s really an interesting part that people don’t realize. They think that she has, like, normal clothes. I don’t think she does.

There’s no Clark Kent. This is it.


Did she connect you with people around her?

She did, but it was random, like she wanted me to meet her dentist.

She had me meet the dentist too, when I profiled her in 2015.

The dentist tells me, more or less, “We’ve been friends, I was married and then I got divorced and Angelyne’s kind of always been around.” I was like, “Well, what do you know about Angelyne?” “Not much, really.” It was the strangest thing because I was like, “Who actually knows this woman?!” That was my real motivation in talking with her assistant Scott [Hennig] — I thought that he would have that kind of information. I come to find out that he doesn’t either.

You don’t think anybody really knows Angelyne?

No. I’m convinced that there is no person today out there in her life who knows her as both Renee Goldberg and Angelyne — zero. She had a conscious break in the ’70s to bury Renee Goldberg and became Angelyne.

Let’s talk more about Scott. He’s more elusive than Angelyne. He wouldn’t even meet me in person. We could only speak by phone.

Scott’s such an interesting character because he knows more than he would ever let on, and yet he works really hard to not acknowledge it, publicly for professional reasons, but also I think that while it’s her longest relationship of the people in her life, I think that she keeps up that same barrier with him as she does with most other people. I imagine he would never ask, “Is this your real name?” And if he did, she would say no and he would believe her. He’s her No. 1 fan. He himself does not want that illusion to be broken.

He’s in very deep, to the end. He reminds me of Max, Norma Desmond’s loyal butler played by Erich von Stroheim in Sunset Boulevard.

I went to this place he has in Idaho and interviewed him. He spends some time there. What he told me was that he likes this secret place that he lives. He likes the privacy. Initially I had a difficult time understanding Scott and why he was sticking around all these years — what was he getting out of the relationship — and until I went to this place I didn’t understand it. His place, this apartment in Idaho, is a Hollywood memorabilia museum. It is filled, very clean, very meticulously organized, with not just Angelyne memorabilia but old monster movies and Sharon Tate posters and sketches that he has done of pictures of old Hollywood celebrities over the years. And I’m, like, whoa, that’s what it is. He is kind of living in his dream of this Hollywood that I believe doesn’t really exist. And this is the closest thing that he could get to that, by being with Angelyne, because she keeps up the façade, the appearance, unlike most other big Hollywood stars who, if you were to get to know them, you’d be having a regular conversation. Not Angelyne.

Right, the façade is her life. Did they ever have a romantic relationship?

They did in the past. They both told me that they did. I don’t know what that relationship is now. Also, they had a neighbor at the time, Denise, who I interviewed early on. Angelyne got a restraining order against her and they were apparently like the neighbors from hell. She turned off the electricity in Angelyne’s apartment and Angelyne accused her of stealing her underwear and Scott would duct tape the dryer in the common area of the building and whatever. So she also said that they were in a relationship.

Angelyne presented her stalker situations to me as classic stalking, not something that came out of, for instance, a neighborly dispute.

I do believe that to an extent she’s had real stalkers, but I think she’s embraced them. These are the people who would buy personal items from her, beyond the T-shirts — her shoes, her underwear or whatever. They kind of are stalking her, but she’s embracing it. I think the people that she’s called stalkers over the years, I don’t think that they were ever actually stalking her. She’s called me a stalker over the years.

When did this happen?

We were in her Hollywood office and talking about what kind of information is available about her online. She got really upset at me for knowing this stuff. I said, “You can’t control it too much –- this is YouTube.” I pull up a video that identifies her in a scene of an old movie called Can I Do It…‘Til I Need Glasses? where she’s Red Riding Hood. I watched the video next to her, the few minutes of it that it is, and she’s like, “That’s not me.” It was throwing me off. I said, “Really? It’s the same voice as you and you’re speaking in my ear right now.” She’s like, “No, that’s definitely not me. I should e-mail them to take it down." I said you should if it really bothers you. She’s like, “No, no, no, let’s leave it up for right now.” I go, “OK.” That’s when she called me a stalker. I think that’s how she tries to negatively describe people whom she doesn’t want to deal with.

So how long did you spend hanging out with her?

I paid for her life rights and we started right around the time I graduated, the spring of 2012, and we were done by the end of the year. I saw her daily for a period of more than six months.

Why did your work with her come to an end?

It was just psychologically incredibly draining. It was difficult to be spending a lot of time with her. She said to me in the beginning of working with her that she’s like uncut heroin. Without personal experience, I think that’s probably true. Also, it became very difficult not because of her concealing her identity or anything like that but just on a financial level. Every time I saw her she wanted a gift.

I had the same experience when I interviewed her. It was always absurd requests, like I was being pranked. She wanted a bird of paradise head one time. And as a journalist on assignment, I told her all I could pay for during our time together was the cost of shared meals.

She’d ask for bottles of pink champagne, Bulgari Jasmine Noir perfume, Chanel bubble bath. Oftentimes it was not even gifts. She would simply have me fill up her gas tank, and if I refused she would threaten to stop working with me.

Paul Thomas Anderson / Re: Phantom Thread
« Last post by Pringle on Today at 01:51:23 AM »
Well, I guess that's it. Another project come and gone, and now it's time for the man to go away and dream it all up again.

We were hoping for a great film, and he delivered yet again. PTA continues to amaze and astonish and inspire and deliver the goods.
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