[caption id="attachment_1835" align="aligncenter" width="630" caption="Adam Green in New York City, June 2010. Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images"][/caption]
“We’re all meeting at 2A for drinks,” announced singer Adam Green -- former member of quirky balladeers the Moldy Peaches turned irreverent solo artist -- after the premiere of his first feature film, The Wrong Ferrari. “Do you guys know 2A?” It wasn’t as a joke but I laughed. I was sitting in the plush velveteen seats of the elegantly seedy Anthology Film Archive theater in the East Village in New York City, where the film was screened. In front of me was Strokes’ bassists Nikolai Fraiture and his serene blond wife, to my left was dapper Brit, Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion, and to my right was this dude in an Andean poncho, eyeliner and furry hat who definitely used to tend bar at 2A, the whiskey-stinking dive down the street. Most of the bohemian culturati who’ve shaped the City’s zeitgeist over the last decade passed through that bar on their way from unwashed, wasted kids to established artists with babies and brownstones. Exactly how that transformation happens is the theme of Green’s movie, which he shot entirely on his iPhone and wrote while high on Ketamine. “It makes me feel like a dolphin pressing my nose against a portal staring really close-up at a large expanse of the universe,” Green explains of the drug’s effects. “You disassociate. I’d think to myself: 'Wouldn’t it be funny to see Adam in a Ferrari driving down Bedford Avenue?'"
It would be and it is. The whole film is an absurdist take on indulged-smart-kid urban life in which sweet and insightful dialogue (“You played a Ponzi scheme on my heart”) are juxtaposed with ambitiously depraved grossness. “Everyone asks me, 'How do your parents feel about you taking a dildo in your ass for the movie?'” Green says, referring to a scene where he’s anally penetrated by a gelatinous pink vibrator while the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper” plays. “I’m like, 'Oh, they probably think, wow, that really hurt.'”
Every inspired subculture reaches a collective moment where they look around and realize they’ve somehow survived their twenties; then it’s like, "What’s next?" For Green, the answer is smart, dirty filmmaking, working with Macauley Culkin and about twelve boxes of lukewarm Coors. The evening of the premiere, as scads of girls in torn fur bombers and boys in grimy boatneck t-shirts passed each other cans of beer, Culkin, a longtime pal of Green’s, served as the master of ceremonies. Green, in a tweed newsboy cap and cartoonish bellbottoms, ushered guests out of line at the narrow ticket window-turned-guest list check in and upstairs to the expansive diffusely lit foyer outside the theater. Culkin, in fishnest fingerless gloves, black nail polish and a bowler hat, made a series of announcements perched atop a spiral staircase. Afterwards, like a proud parent at a talent show, Culkin politely stood by as Green answered audience questions, but then addressed one himself. “It came out surprisingly coherent considering it was all written on index cards,” the actor said, laughing. “At the end I was like, 'Oh gosh, there’s actually a through line and there are threads and good for you!'”
Green says Culkin has a project he’d like to work on next, and this nascent filmmaking collective -- which includes Devendra Banhart, Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat, BP Fallon and Jack Dishel, among others -- will help make it happen. Up next for Green, though, is an album of duets with Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro followed by a new film in which he will retell the story of Aladdin. “I’m going to continue to do these projects until I die, just to keep myself interested,” he said, slurping at the lip of a Coors. “I read Dante’s Divine Comedy recently and I saw this movie as a sort of purgatory for me, where I would embarrass myself to the point where I couldn’t be embarrassed anymore. Everything was going to be out there, literally. I mean, you see my penis in this movie.”