Experimental Cinema But Eying France Nuyen at Cinecon 50

At the Cinecon banquet, it looked like every table had one celebrity. My celebrity was Neile Adams, a film and TV actress from the 1950s-90s related to Enrique Iglesias through their Filipino ancestry. Neile is also famous for being the first wife of actor Steve McQueen.

Neile and Steve McQueen

At the table behind me sat Julie Adams and her son, Mitch. I had chatted with both earlier at the banquet and on the previous day at Julie’s book signing. I’ll get back to them in a few days.


At the table in front of me sat the elegant but relaxed France Nuyen. Her hair is now blonde instead of her signature dark brunette. Nonetheless she is still a regal beauty. I saw her take small bites so she does eat but remains trim. She occasionally spoke to an older woman beside her. I don’t know their relationship but I assume they came together.

France Nuyen

I came alone but had great companions at my table. The man to my right was young, perhaps younger than I. I am no spring chicken but I definitely was one of the youngest guests at the event. I forgot his name but he studied experimental and avant-garde film in Colorado. He’s the one who told me Kenneth Anger was present at the Meet Me in St. Louis screening.

Four years ago I was clueless about experimental and avant-garde film but learned through a mentor of sorts. I felt rather good having heard of all the filmmakers my table companion mentioned: Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Maya Daren, and Kenneth Anger. Kenneth Anger was the only experimental filmmaker I was familiar with before I met the mentor of sorts. Due to my family being readers of The National Enquirer, of course we had read Hollywood Babylon.

Thank goodness this young man wanted to expand his repertoire and is showing an interest in films from his grandparents and great-grandparents time. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside when my generation and younger appreciate films made in the early half of the 20th century.

To my left, sat a wonderful couple from Palm Springs. I don’t remember the name of one of them. They are die-hard aficionados who hosted a fundraiser to pay for Loretta Young’s Walk of Fame star in Palm Springs. One was shocked after I told him Maria Montez doesn’t have a star in Hollywood. He told me I too could have a fundraiser although it would be costlier than a star in Palm Springs.  I should have attended Cinecon at least a decade ago to have met more stars of my (true) era.

Anyway this couple watched me eying France Nuyen. I told them how she is one of my favorite Hollywood beauties and desperately wanted to speak to her…maybe practice my French. They told me to go for it. I said “but she’s eating.” They replied, “go.” I moaned “but she’s speaking to that lady.” They replied, “go.” I looked at them questioning, “you don’t think it’s rude?” They replied, “go.”


France Nuyen