Born in the late 70’s, my childhood views of what to expect from High School were dictated by the films of John Hughes, and a little later and more excitedly, by HEATHERS. A little later still, while actually IN school in Southern California, we got CLUELESS, but none of these reflected anything comparable to what I’d come to call my alternative, generation x, angst filled days growing up near the beach wearing all black with crayola tinged hair.
Then came Gregg Araki.
A queer young filmmaker who seemed to be one of my friends, or at least spying through our windows. He created a sex filled, obscene, apocalyptic world of stories packed with the music we listened to, the clothes we wore and a hundred different new ways to curse. His films THE LIVING END, TOTALLY FUCKED UP and THE DOOM GENERATION gave an entire generation of weirdos and freaks and fags and dykes a voice, hope and camaraderie. It also started the careers of many new, fresh talents. His teen films were dubbed The Teen Apocalypse Trilogy, and the last film of that trilogy was NOWHERE. Released in 1997 and featuring a jaw dropping cast that included dozens of up and coming young talent (James Duval, Rachel True, Jordan Ladd, Ryan Phillipe, Heather Graham, Mena Suvari, Guillermo Diaz, Sarah Lassez, Christina Appelgate, Jeremy Jordan, Debi Mazar, Kathleen Robertson and Jaason Simmons to name a FEW) and some awesome cameos by legendary film and television stars including John Ritter, Beverly D’Angelo, Traci Lords, Shannen Doherty, Rose McGowan, Jan & Peter Brady AND Mrs. Garrett herself, Charlotte Rae! NOWHERE was called “Beverly Hills 90210 on Acid” and “Clueless with Nipple Rings” but it was more than that to me, it was a film that told me I was seen, that I was not alone, and that one day I’d find others out there that were like me. It has yet to receive a DVD release and is a hard little film to find, but has always remained one of my biggest influencers for style, humor, color and intensity. Araki went on to make more masterpieces in his career including MYSTERIOUS SKIN with Joseph Gordan Levitt, SPLENDOR, SMILEY FACE with Anna Faris, WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, KABOOM and most recently directed four episodes of the Netflix series 13 REASONS WHY.
He’s one of my heroes, and now one of my friends.
This shoot happened almost a year ago. And took nearly a year to organize. It wasn’t FOR anything, no magazine or assignment, it was for me, and for them, and now, for YOU.
Personal art projects are always the best anyway. I’d worked with two of the cast members from Nowhere before. Shooting my friends Guillermo Diaz and Jaason Simmons for personal projects of our own (political protest stuff, horror stuff, sexy stuff, stuff involving sharks) and realized the anniversary of NOWHERE was fast approaching. I suggested getting a few of the other cast members together for a reunion. The boys loved the idea. And thanks to the magic of Twitter, we reached out! One by one we gathered the original crew together and once everyone’s schedules finally gelled, I flew out to Los Angeles to shoot. The shoot itself was done in Beverly Hills at Clive Barker’s Seraphim Studios. The cast brought Gregg Araki along as a surprise and slightly flying over my own body, I shot portraits of all six actors and the cast and director together. It was one of the best days of my career, I cherish all the folks in these photos as real friends and co creators. Funny thing is, I love them so much and these images are so special, I hid them from the world, from this site, from your sight.. it was “too special”.
But, it’s a NEW YEAR, and this year is for ART! VISIBILITY! THE NEW! THE UNUSUAL! THE UNDERGROUND! THE QUIET VOICES THAT NEED TO BE HEARD! and I believe it’s for US. I hope you enjoy what we made. (All Photos by KRYS FOX, Shot in Beverly Hills CA, Feb 2017)