// THE IMAGINATION THIEF — Literary Fiction with a touch of Magical Realism and a dusting of Horror

Those New York ’Nineties—Film & TV acting by Rohan Quine

Those New York ’Nineties
Film & TV acting by Rohan Quine

(thankless roles and buttock-clenching performances)

 

This footage that I’ve called Those New York ’Nineties (residing in the top-menu called “Film & TV Acting”) is just for fun—a frisky little soufflé laying no claim to profundity, presented for moral instruction. My presence in all these 115 items of footage, including my acting in the 64 items of film/TV on this page, probably adds up to something like one full B-movie’s worth of performance in total. A general introduction and an insufficient apology for Those New York ’Nineties as a whole is here. See also:

list of film and TV acting projects at the IMDb (Internet Movie Database);
film and TV demo reels at the IMDb;
headshots at the IMDb; and
page at the Oz TV Wiki.

Rohan Quine - New York - Zoolander(1) Zoolander. As a snippety nightclub doorman named Malachi, giving a hard time to Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander because he’s only last year’s male-model-of-the-year, in the feature film Zoolander directed by Ben Stiller, shot in Yonkers NY.

Any snippy little guestlist-wielding 1990s door-whore in NYC needed to be two things only: ALL THAT; and a bag of chips. In this scene, I was the bitchiest of a series of four successive doormen who guarded the doors of four increasingly exclusive nightclub rooms, each room being nested within the previous room, as in a Russian doll—the VIP Room, the VVIP Room (mine), the VVVIP Room and the VVVVIP Room. (The VVVVIP room was so exclusively tiny that pretty much only Winona Ryder and Owen Wilson could fit into it, crammed onto a small sofa that filled the entire room.) IMDb listing here. (26”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - 100 Centre Street(2) 100 Centre Street. As defendant William Livingston in court with Alan Arkin, in the premiere episode “Bobby and Cynthia” of the TV show 100 Centre Street written and directed by Sidney Lumet.

My character had been written based on a similarly cheeky real-life defendant who’d inhabited the dock in the real-world Manhattan Night Court as his own personal theatre and had chatted back at the judge in just such a snippety fashion, as observed by Lumet who was watching from the Court’s public gallery at 2.00 a.m. doing research for writing his screenplay.

While shooting the scene, Lumet was hidden out of sight somewhere in Court, directing with just his voice through the public-address speakers, through which I remember him saying “Rohan, you look like a Christmas tree.”

When I first shook hands with Arkin, the first expression he directed towards me was a grimace of pain, because I somehow forgot that my right hand was still clutching a tiny sharp pencil (it was tiny in order to fit in my pocket, so I could make last-minute annotations to my script) and I somehow managed to spear his palm with this pencil while we were shaking hands. He immediately said “Ow!” in quite a loud voice. Super-smooth, I was. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (1’42”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Election(3) Election. As an ex-student on Hudson Street with ex-teacher Matthew Broderick, in the feature film Election directed by Alexander Payne.

Here’s a long-suffering Matthew Broderick, with me in my best black leather mini-skirt, as I bring an understated ruggedness to the role of a chatterbox ex-student whom he bumps into in Greenwich Village. My fictional boyfriend and I are shown bumping into him on Hudson Street, at the NE corner of Perry Street. As a Greenwich Village resident at that time, Broderick certainly had the easiest commute to the shoot: he just had to roll out of bed only a couple of street-blocks away, whereas I had to schlep across town from the East Village at crack of dawn in my mini-skirt.

To match the purple tights and purple polo-neck, I turned up wearing a purple beret too. For an hour before the camera rolled, I could see that the director Alexander Payne was peering at the beret, on his own silent emotional roller-coaster of “To beret … or not to beret?”, before he finally told me to take it off, alas. IMDb listing here. (24”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Third Watch(4) Third Watch. As Loretta, a crime witness in leopardskin, in Season 1 Episode 14 “32 Bullets and a Broken Heart” of the TV show Third Watch.

She’s sticking up for an off-duty cop, in the aftermath of a shooting by a gunman who’s been targeting gay people. This episode had the enjoyably noirish title “32 Bullets and a Broken Heart”. The other speaking queen in the scene was Lily of the Valley.

IMDb listing here, “Third Watch Wiki” here and Wikipedia page here. (41”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Oz(5) Oz. As prison-queen Kiki Faye Downing, inmate number 94D696 in the “Emerald City” wing of Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility, in the TV show Oz, in many episodes, especially “Straight Life”, “Cruel & Unusual Punishments”, “Secret Identities”, “Obituaries”, “A Town Without Pity” and “Medium Rare”.

Throughout this cult drama series written by Tom Fontana, my character Kiki Faye only seldom moved the plot forward and did hardly a stroke of work, frankly—because let’s face it, there was always the much more important business of flitting around in various slinky and erection-revealing outfits based on the tights-&-hotpants-&-babyTshirt concept (always an influence on New York Fashion Week). The sparkliest outfit was as “ring girl” in the boxing ring, at matches between pairs of dangerous inmates whose masculine grappling with each other created a spectacle that was always … relaxing. Her virginity didn’t last long in Em City.

You can see Kiki Faye there in the opening credits of Season 1, sitting alone in a corridor, accompanied by that gloriously sleazy theme music. She voices her anger that the character Cramer’s gayness went against him at his trial; and it’s often been said that Oz deserved an Emmy but that its gay content was too risky for the Emmys to have dared to award it back in the mid- to late ’90s when the show was airing. Today they wouldn’t have been such nervous nellies about that. IMDb listings here, here, here, here, here and here. Also see, on the “Oz TV Wiki”: Kiki Faye’s page here; my own page here; and the gay inmates’ pages here and here. And see Kiki Faye’s mentions in the “OZ Daily” LiveJournal blog here. (10’45”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Spin City(6) Spin City. As a party-goer bumping into Michael J. Fox, in the episode “There’s Something About Heidi” of the TV show Spin City.

This is me giving a hard time to Fox’s character, for whom this was one of those cussedly uncooperative days, when every little step of the day insisted on slapping him around for no reason: even just the task of passing a stranger in a doorway seemed intent upon turning into some kind of bitchy struggle. To prepare for the performance or our brief conflict about the opening of a door, I put myself through a session of “emotional hinge work” beforehand… In an unrelated moment, later in the episode, a paparazzo snaps a photo that appears to show Fox’s character kissing supermodel Heidi Klum’s bottom.

His character was part of a fictionalised version of the New York City Mayor’s office. This fiction was innocent compared with reality while the show was airing, when the real Mayor was Rudolph Giuliani, whose legacy includes the Disney-fication of the Times Square area’s multifarious organic seediness into something more characterless and inorganic and lamentably family-friendly. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (16”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit(7) Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. As a Chelsea art gallery assistant, in the premiere episode “Payback” of the TV show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

It’s fair to say I was playing someone whose power and authority across the international art world are perhaps still a work in progress. In this, the very first episode of Season 1 of the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, my character was the kind who has a tweezy poise and a ferny fragility, don’t you know, and he was probably a bitch on a stick—because after all, this was the art gallery district on the far west side of Chelsea. In this environment of painful hipness, the less money you were paid as an Art Gallery Assistant, the more pouty and pantsy and tragically chic and generally up-yourself you were expected to be. (The casting was against type, of course—I had to stretch for this one.) With Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni and Ronald Guttman.

In that Chelsea gallery among all those big red lips, probably no one expected that this premiere episode, which aired on 20 Sep ’99, would lead to 23 seasons, with Mariska Hargitay recently appearing in its 500th episode. I like her smile of suppressed mirth in our scene here.

I get quarterly royalty cheques from L&O:SVU that are just about enough to buy me a raspberry Frappuccino with sprinkles (and in some quarters, the cheque won’t even stretch to the sprinkles). This episode’s IMDb listing is here. Being the first-ever episode, and being written by the whole Law and Order world’s creator Dick Wolf himself, this episode is unusual in also having its own Wikipedia page, here. (49”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Basketball Diaries(8) The Basketball Diaries. As a druggie with Leonardo DiCaprio, in the feature film The Basketball Diaries directed by Scott Kalvert, shot in a Brooklyn subway station on the G line.

This subway rat’s morsel of skankitude was shot in the restroom of a Downtown Brooklyn subway station on the G line—the lime-green line that performs a unique and superb shrug of indifference to Manhattan, instead remaining resolutely Brooklyn and Queens only. In the ’90s, many Manhattanites (being unable to function anywhere off that island) were probably a little foggy about even just the existence of the G line.

The subway restrooms had all been closed by the time I got to NYC, as they’d become a hotbed of just the kind of drug-sniffing and godless fornication depicted in this movie scene; so my own drug-sniffing and godless fornication had to occur elsewhere. IMDb listing here. (18”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Threads (f.k.a. Garmento)(9) Threads (f.k.a. Garmento). As 7th Avenue fashion designer Lee, in the feature film Threads directed by Michele Maher.

Wielding a pantsy pout of painful fashionableness, my character Lee owes his job security to his ability to tread on eggshells around the fragile ego of his high-maintenance boss, the lead designer Poncho, in whose presence a suitably worshipful demeanour is advisable.

Leading up to this scene, the fashion house of Poncho Ramirez (“Peel off my Ponchos”) has recently launched a line of men’s underwear whose padded cup is conceived as the male answer to the Wonderbra. The movie’s production company caused just such items of underwear to be manufactured, and distributed them freely to all cast and audience members for which this seemed to be indicated: my own such freebie has served me most aspirationally ever since. IMDb listing here. (1’34”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Simply Being(10) Simply Being. As art gallery owner (and unnecessary eyepatch-wearer) Marc Osgood, in the short film Simply Being directed by Luis Marin.

Some art gallery owners just don’t feel complete without wearing a fashionably pretentious eyepatch—even if that eyepatch gets embarrassingly “outed” as being 100% unnecessary, as happens here. Some art gallery owners see so much better when using only one eye. And some acting performances take ridiculous goofiness to a whole new level. It’s dirty work, but someone has to do it (and it’s probably good for us, somehow). (4’17”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Last Days of Disco(11) The Last Days of Disco. As an ornately white-wigged Marie Antoinette, on one of Kate Beckinsale’s disco nights out, in the feature film The Last Days of Disco directed by Whit Stillman.

This was a role so brief as to be almost confidential. The location was an opulent old movie palace or theatre from some decade of the early 20th Century, in the Journal Square district of Jersey City NJ. But our holding area was several street-blocks away, which led to my making numerous trips between those two locations, through populous and grungy streets, dressed as Marie Antoinette in the middle of the day, often unaccompanied… Er, nothing to see here, boys, could you all move along please.

I remember Kate Beckinsale seeing me in the dress, smiling into my eyes and saying, “In real life you’re so different from this, aren’t you.” It was a single sweet little comment, and the only exchange we ever had.

Wearing the dress was a bit like wearing a rococo cake. I was told it had been created to be worn by the actor Lothaire Bluteau, and in order for it to be worn in this later film here, the production company needed to find someone with the same measurements as he’d had; so enter size-zero me. I hope the dress is still doing good service, getting wheeled out of mothballs for other movie scenes now and again.

But what a horrendously uncomfortable wig it was. It was such a relief to get out of that wig, which dragged my real hair in truly painful directions. I suppose there’s no art without the resistance of the medium. IMDb listing here. (14”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - $1,000 Shoes(12) $1,000 Shoes. As a magical bric-a-brac shopkeeper named R. Steelchen, and as a hair salon proprietress, in the short film $1,000 Shoes directed by Evan Camfield (who told me the “R” in my name perhaps stood for Rumpelstiltskin).

In a flicker of fairy-tale genderfluidity, my sinister shopkeeper morphs, by some dark magic, into an even more sinister empress of a hair salon. It was a mystical transformation, which has continued to occur spontaneously in me from time to time. IMDb listing here. (2’12”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Next Big Thing(13) The Next Big Thing. As an Artiste in a bar, in the feature film The Next Big Thing directed by P.J. Posner.

For a quick snippet of art-biz frippery, this is me as a rising player in New York’s overheated art market. In fact my character has become so smokingly in-demand, so painfully on-trend, and doubtless so deliriously up-himself, that his team of professional art-fabricators no longer just fabricate his artworks—they also come up with the ideas for his artworks, so he’s spared from the tiresome grunt-work of coming up with the ideas himself. IMDb listing here. (16”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Same Thing in Reverse(14) Same Thing in Reverse. As an ornament in a bronze skirt, in the music video for “Same Thing in Reverse” by Boy George, directed by Matthew Badger and Erica Federman.

This is me as a random wisp, floating around for no apparent reason behind Boy George while he lip-synced to his own beautiful voice, alongside various androgynous reprobates from New York’s clubland.

It was in some film-stage in the Meat-Packing District, pre-gentrification, when the nocturnal labour force on far West 14th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues was still a raw but harmonious juxtaposition of wholesale meat-packers and transgender sex workers. With not one expensive designer fashion outlet or chi-chi cocktail bar in evidence yet, the Meat-Packing District still packed actual meat instead of designer shoes.

There on the SW corner of West 14th Street and 10th Avenue, the Liberty Inn, where many of the trans women used to take their clients, remains triumphantly today (against the odds, given the above-mentioned gentrification), somewhat spruced up but still proudly rentable by the hour.

The skirt was part of my “shimmers in bronze” period. IMDb listing here. (1’22”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - A Sublime & Atrocious Spectacle(15) A Sublime and Atrocious Spectacle. As despairer Bartleby, in the short film A Sublime and Atrocious Spectacle directed by Ray Mia and Tiziana Blancato.

In a moody piece of black-and-white noirishness, this is me as a mysteriously enclosed character who seems as imprisoned in himself as he is by the window bars of his New York City apartment, and who was inspired by the character in Herman Melville’s iconic short story Bartleby, the Scrivener.

The film’s dramatic title stems from when it was being developed as a feature-length project, instead of the enticingly dark but quieter short film that it ended up as when its talented directors Ray Mia and Tiziana Blancato didn’t quite attain feature-sized funding. That claustrophobic, scungy, vertical light-well between dense-packed apartment buildings, so flavoursomely characteristic of Manhattan, was just outside their sitting-room window, somewhere in a far-west block on the Upper West Side; and of course they had to make a unique, clambering trip out through the window into said light-well, for those dramatic horror-flashing shots facing in at me from outside.

Then when they shot me from behind while I stood at the window, in order to make it look as if the opposite wall of the claustrophobic light-shaft was coming nearer to me, they physically dollied the camera further away from me while simultaneously having the camera zoom in towards me by an identical amount, so as to effect a subtle progressive “shrinking” of the apparent distance between me and that opposite wall. (The cast just took it easy in that shot, I confess.) (4’22”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - New York News(16) New York News. In a girl’s bath, in the episode “Broadway Joe” of the TV show New York News. The closing head-tilt required lots of emotional “tilt work” beforehand, of course.

This particularly flimsy and insubstantial snippet of silliness was shot upstairs in the Little Flatiron Building, in the Meatpacking District (the building that comes to a point on the south side of 14th Street between 9th Avenue and Hudson Street), back when that corner still constituted the eastern edge of trans hooker central. A few floors underneath us was an after-hours joint called J’s Hangout, which had a shockingly sleazy basement.

With its memorably pointy nose of a footprint and its then-decadent nocturnal location, the Little Flatiron Building has been used in quite a few movies, as a malleable evoker of a kind of essence of Downtown: Ed Harris lets himself fall out of one of its upper windows, in the middle of a chat with Meryl Streep in The Hours; and it was Glenn Close’s apartment building in Fatal Attraction. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (14”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Nick & Jane(17) Nick and Jane. At the Tunnel nightclub, receiving from David Johansen a thoughtful appreciation of my right nipple-ring, in the feature film Nick and Jane directed by Richard Mauro.

Both when evaluating nipple-rings and when not, Johansen (a.k.a. Buster Poindexter) is proto-punk royalty, having been the vocalist of the New York Dolls, who’ve often been seen as an early influence on the Sex Pistols, Guns N’ Roses, the Ramones and the Smiths. among others. The legendary Tunnel was a cavernous and labyrinthine nightclub on the West Side Highway between 27th and 28th Streets. IMDb listing here. (14”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Too Much With Us(18) Too Much With Us. As boyfriend and recent suicide Gavin, in the raw dailies for a short film Too Much With Us directed by Cradeaux Alexander, which Cradeaux never got round to editing—filmed in L.A. rather than New York, in fact. (2’56”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Too Much with Us Audition(19) Too Much With Us Audition. As the same Gavin when he was alive, in an audition tape for a short film Too Much With Us directed by Cradeaux Alexander. (2’43”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Unzipped(20) Unzipped. At the entrance to designer Isaac Mizrahi’s show at Fashion Week in Bryant Park, in the documentary feature film Unzipped directed by Douglas Keeve.

For a snippet of fashion-world fakery, here’s me hovering in a small gaggle who are trying to gain access to Mizrahi’s show. The resultant miniature bitch-fest appears to occur because we’re not on the guest-list. But in reality (and unknown to the hapless real-world front-desk employees to whom we’re being snippety), the bitch-fest occurs because we’re not actual show-goers at all: we’re actors employed just to give a hard time to these real-world employees, while Mizrahi’s own documentary director’s camera records us discreetly from nearby, to suggest how sought-after were tickets to Mizrahi’s own show.

Who would have suspected there was such a cheeky level of artifice in the fashion world?…

I could have pitched in and spoken rudely to the door people, but I didn’t want to (they were probably being insulted from all directions)—so I was content to turn this appearance into just an “H&P” booking (i.e. “Hover & Pout”), while letting the other actors move in for the verbal kill.

“I was skinny in Paris … my entourage has an entourage … I’m too famous for a business card… ‘Abstraction’: the perfume…” IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (18”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Shelter(21) Shelter. As a one-night stand named Trick in a Long Island beachfront house, in the feature film Shelter directed by Benno Schoberth.

I’m visiting an unfamiliar house, expecting to find nobody other than the guy I’ve arranged to pick up as a one-night stand—only to find that a woman (whom I wrongly assume to be his girlfriend) seems to have shown up too and is glaring at him and me from across the room, dressed in scarlet, with her arms folded ominously. He and I do still leave together, but it’s an awkward moment.

We filmed in a house overlooking the sunny autumn sea, somewhere on the North Fork of Long Island, almost two weeks after 9/11. IMDb listing here. (39”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - To Iron John and Back(22) To Iron John and Back. For a heartwarming dose of sarcasm and conflict, to spread that warm-and-fuzzy feeling, this is me playing a bitch-on-a-stick of a film-school teacher, in the short film To Iron John and Back directed by Hamilton J. Paul, filmed in a classroom in the New York Film Academy on Union Square. The student whom I insult is having none of my bitchiness, however, and proceeds to take backchat and lip and insubordination to a whole new level, by bidding me “give in to temptation and go f___ yourself”. #NurturingClassroomScenes (1’36”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Dellaventura(23) Dellaventura. As a Soho clothing boutique assistant, in the episode “In Deadly Fashion” of the TV show Dellaventura.

For a heroically flimsy and insubstantial video clip, here’s a performance of mine that took stamina: it’s a whole five seconds long. Centring on Danny Aiello as a detective, Dellaventura got cancelled after just one season—a resounding cancellation that I can proudly claim to have played a very small part in. This time, I didn’t get to say my usual few well-chosen words; I was cast as the strong, silent type, let’s say. But I did get to pout, while whisking a curtain open in a painfully chic fashion boutique in Soho, which was some consolation. The acting preparation beforehand required some detailed “Emotional Curtain-Whisking” work, of course.

(If you let the video-player just keep auto-repeating the five seconds, with full-screen enabled and the music volume raised, then it morphs from a cancelled TV show to a piece of video-art whose obsessive repetition may be helpful to zone out to, for someone who’s easing out of a bad trip—or it may make the bad trip worse, I’m not sure.)

I have fun memories of swishing and mincing around the boutique with its owner/empress, the venerable Hungarian designer Marianne Novobatzky, there on Mercer Street at Broome Street (now long gone, R.I.P.). IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (05”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Party(24) Party. At the velvet rope outside a Meatpacking District nightclub, in a pilot for a TV show Party.

In this snippet, the dramatic heft and complexity of my contribution consists of me calling out “Hell-o, hell-o, hell-o”, with the kind of attitudinous, over-it, hands-on-hips tone that suggests you’ve queued too long to enter a nightclub. Yes, this clip is nothing less than that—and (more relevantly) it’s nothing more than that, either. It was dirty work but someone had to do it. Party was an MTV production; and these velvet ropes were outside a real club named Lava, whose location in the Meatpacking District is evoked here by its entrance door’s position on one of those wide loading-platforms to which big trucks would back up, in former days when a different kind of meat was traded there.

The end of the clip shows how not to make a smooth exit from a club. (14”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Dresser(25) The Dresser. As an actor’s dresser, in a monologue from the play The Dresser by Ronald Harwood.

For a bit of agitated thespian devotion, here’s an audition tape of me spouting a monologue. Working in a theatre company that tours the provinces of England in the mid-20th Century, my character is employed as the personal Dresser of the theatre company’s lead actor, who’s a Grand Shakespearean Ham by the name of Sir. Sir is a thundering old-world theatrical type, who can’t even order a simple cup of tea without sounding like King Lear On The Heath—and he’d probably go off the rails altogether, if it weren’t for my character the Dresser’s fierce and somewhat neurotic loyalty to him.

At that time I lacked the funds for a professional audition tape and had no video camera, but my friend Koji had one, so I nipped across the East River and he taped this in his studio apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, one sunny winter afternoon. (2’03”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Music Video Awards(26) 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. In spikes and dark-blue nail polish, interspersed with ’97’s hottest music video contenders in the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

Here’s me dressed in an understated ensemble involving three spiked-black-leather chokers, nose-ring, nipple-rings, kohl eye-shadow, cheetah-skin drop-earring, and enough rings and bangles to fill a branch of Claire’s Accessories.

These were pre-recorded segments, edited with kaleidoscopic effects, that were later used as interstitials between live-broadcast segments of the actual VMAs ’97. During the broadcast these snippets were played out on the fly, presumably whenever they were helpful for smoothing over transitions (and filling up those awkward silences), interspersed with contending music videos by Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, No Doubt, Rage Against the Machine, Puff Daddy, Iggy Pop, Jamiroquai, Beck, Bruce Springsteen and others.

My favourite blast-from-the-past fragments here are the Prodigy’s “Breathe”, Gwen Stefani in No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”, Missy Elliott’s “The Rain”, and Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug”. Jammed together in quickfire juxtaposition here, they’re like some Long Island Iced Tea cocktail recipe devised by Marilyn Manson, who’s also in the mix here.

I think I recall our studio location was the venerable Silvercup Studios, in the Long Island City neighbourhood of the borough of Queens, NYC—a neighbourhood that included a gloriously urban tangle of elevated subway tracks, elevated highways, industrial streets, extensive projects and a grungy glamour, with a lively nocturnal street economy to match. I hear L.I.C. has now been much gentrified, but its iconic views of the 59th Street Bridge and the Manhattan skyline across the East River will be less changed. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (5’05”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Puffy Contest(27) Puffy Contest. As an inappropriately Gothic/punky contestant in a promo titled “Puffy Contest”, which was a broadcast invitation to enter P. Diddy’s / Puffy’s / Puff Daddy’s contest for aspiring rappers. As one of a sequence of facepalm-inducing hopefuls, I was M.C. Rohan, serving serious nose-ring from the ’hood … the results being less hip-hop and more hippety-hop, I confess. (15”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - It's Good to Be Alive(28) It’s Good to Be Alive. As a mugger of a blind woman, in the short film It’s Good to Be Alive directed by Matt Greuling.

In a departure from all the fern-like artistes, ditzy brunets, male bimbos, fey boys and assorted fluffy-bunny roles that fill much of the demo reel, this clip shows me instead as an evil mugger. Shot in a busy Midtown, on East 57th and East 53rd Streets, its stark snapshot of human wickedness is lightened by one redemptive element: our victim beats her muggers, because we don’t, in fact, succeed in stealing what we were aiming to steal.

I’m glad we don’t get her bag. But I also like the aesthetic honesty in the fact that it’s only luck that prevents us from getting it: we’re sent fleeing by the sound of a police siren, but there’s nothing to suggest that the siren is anything to do with us in particular.

It being a silent black-and-white film (on venerable 16mm celluloid), I suspect my being cast probably had something to do with providing a visual contrast of physique with the seeming bruiser who played my accomplice. Luckily I’m too affectionate a bunny to mug anyone (and would probably make a complete podge of it, if I ever tried to). (1’23”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Zoo(29) Zoo. As Goat-Boy, confessing my feelings at an animal-fanciers’ group therapy session, in the feature film Zoo directed by Alexandra King.

This snippet of gentle dark comedy is set in a rural small town, whose townsfolk love their animals in perhaps too literal a sense. Sitting behind me, listening in on our rustic confessional, is the film’s big-city detective protagonist (played by Stephen Gevedon), who looks both sceptical and exasperated at what he hears.

Before the shoot, I heard there were plans to cast a real goat (a union performer, I assume) named Gemilla, and to have her join me on camera. As it turned out, though, I was never introduced to Gemilla on set—so for me she will always remain, poetically, as the goat that might have been. IMDb listing here. (28”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Untitled(30) Untitled. As a thoughtful fence-nailer, in the short film Untitled directed by Natsuki Kida, shot in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

For this enigmatic film, I was shot alone in a deserted and derelict corner of Red Hook, Brooklyn, one sunny afternoon. I liked the fact that Natsuki never gave me any reason for what she asked me to do there, and I had no wish to request one—I was content simply to do what she instructed, in all its stark plainness and simplicity.

Her resultant edit of that 16mm black-and-white film-stock, lasting 1 minute and 51 seconds in total, is quiet and dignified and assuredly defiant in refusing to explain itself. It is what it is; and within its rough-edged miniatureness there’s a subtly timeless flavour that makes me smile. I don’t believe I ever met her again, after the couple of hours we spent on that empty boarded-up side-street in the sun, but the uniqueness of our meeting chimed well with Untitled.

Near where we filmed, there were once huge docks, until they went into serious decline in the second half of the 20th Century. The waterfront half of Red Hook was so atmospherically forlorn, whenever I wandered alone through it, with hanging metal signs squeaking rustily in the wind from across the empty docks, and many abandoned lots, and vegetation pushing through the sidewalk. It was as if the area’s depression-era feeling had soaked into that wooden boarding, and from there into Natsuki’s celluloid. (1’51”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Independent Love Song(31) Independent Love Song. As Cupid’s target in Times Square, wearing a black leather mini-skirt in the music video for “Independent Love Song” by Scarlet, directed by Marcus Nispel.

For one long humid day in summer ’94 in Times Square, with the odd torrential rainstorm bucketing down on the thousands swarming through that centre-of-the-world intersection, I inhabited a sealed-off bubble of a music-video shoot, where two quiet and charming young women from Hull dominated the grand space of towers and Avenues, through the shoot’s top-volume playback of “Independent Love Song”—their band’s biggest hit, as it would turn out. For one intense day there, around the apex of Scarlet’s five-year lifespan, they both sat serene on a tall piano amid the crowds (having never set foot in the USA until late the previous evening), calmly miming for hours to their own gigantic playback … while a great violence of on-set power-politics raged around them, between the director Marcus Nispel (who went on to direct mainstream Hollywood features) and some of the crew.

Meanwhile, wearing my best black leather mini-skirt, I played one of Cupid’s targets: first, flitting among the multitudes, rather to the multitudes’ bemusement; and then in the close-up kissing shots, for which Nispel’s expert hands steered the back of my head in a micro-calibrated control of the framing throughout each take, while the black-and-white celluloid rolled.

Between shots, I was a glad little groupie of Scarlet there, under the tarpaulin where we sheltered from the rain. I hope life has treated them both kindly since they disbanded in ’97. There isn’t much about them online, but somebody’s set up a sweet little fan site here, with a few cute mid-’90s shots of Cheryl (vocals) and Joe (piano) here.

I only appear now and again, and the VHS copy that I was given had almost disintegrated into flickery dropout-streaked unplayability before I got round to digitising it in ’06 or ’07. However, my sound-memory of one particular part of the song has remained accessible in me ever since that day—its soaring chorus (hear it loud through headphones), whose glorious transcendent celebration of freedom from oppressive traditional expectations was belted upwards by Cheryl most joyfully towards the tops of those Midtown skyscrapers. (3’49”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Chaos Theory(32) Chaos Theory. As the Mystery Driver in a pre-arranged car collision, in the feature film Chaos Theory directed by Edward Vilga.

My sinister mien may suggest I was responsible for engineering the car collision I’ve just been involved in here, especially when the end of the clip suggests I also have a glamorous partner in this mysterious chicanery.

I remember there was nearly as much drama off-camera as on-camera, when one of the high-school-age lead actresses threw a seriously dramatic tantrum at the Wardrobe Mistress, over being forced to wear a pale-yellow top, which she said was NOT her colour at all…

We filmed on a suitably grimy and oil-spattered Midtown street-block, somewhere around the Avenue that’s more obscurely hidden-at-the-centre-of-things than any other Avenue in Manhattan—Dyer Avenue, which sneaks along between 9th and 10th Avenues from 30th to 42nd Street only, surrounded by a tangle of underpasses and elevated traffic lanes, through Ballardian spaces of rust-stained metal and concrete never walked on or touched but seen by millions through windscreens. Anyway, what Manhattanite drives, in Manhattan, where the yellow cabs are so cheap and you can ride the subway all night? IMDb listing here. (58”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - The Beatnik Beat(33) The Beatnik Beat. Doing a head-stand and a cod-French accent, in a promo titled “The Beatnik Beat”, for MTV.

There’s been pretty much a thousand years of argy-bargy with the French across the Channel, fussing over one thing or another (we’ve not forgotten the invasion in 1066). So, as my own dubious contribution to cross-Channel détente, this is me speaking with an appalling French accent. I should add that I was directed to do so, while we filmed in MTV’s studios overlooking Times Square.

I was also directed to deliver my lines while standing on my head—a position whose playfulness I found had begun to wear a little thin by the time we reached take number eight or ten. I forget whether they’d told me that this would be my position on set. I don’t have any memory of auditioning on my head—though this may in fact be partly caused by my having done so for that many takes.

The speaker who shares the camera with my upturned feet is MTV’s main VJ then, named Kennedy. (18”)
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Rohan Quine - New York(34) Swampass Diary. As experimental dancer Xanthan Merchant, in the short film Swampass Diary directed by Chad Heeter.

For a change from my usual “rugged lumberjack” type of role, I was here cast as a fey and effete little “experimental dancer” named Xanthan Merchant, which was quite a stretch, as you may imagine. This vol-au-vent of silliness is from a quietly hilarious mockumentary film, in which the lovely Janet Amateau and I get to bitch and swoon, respectively, when we’re interviewed about a legendary male dancer we used to know, who had the power of a cheetah and the grace of a swan. Here, Janet here puts the haught back into haughty; while I run the gamut from delicate to fernlike, then from fernlike all the way back to delicate again. (1’26”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Destination Anywhere(35) Destination Anywhere. As an arguer on a Chelsea street, in the shorter feature film Destination Anywhere for Jon Bon Jovi directed by Mark Pellington, which is both a shorter-length feature film and an extended music video for the singer’s album of the same name.

This snippet is a slow-motion montage of argumentative couples. First we hear me arguing with my onscreen boyfriend on a busy block of 8th Avenue (though in reality the shiny-black-vinyl-and-orange outfit would have been more East Village than Chelsea). Then comes Demi Moore, going hammer-and-tongs at her onscreen boyfriend, Bon Jovi. The cast also contains Whoopi Goldberg and Kevin Bacon. For the daytime scene at the end, we were on the corner of Mott and Prince in Nolita, beside a long, venerable, weather-beaten red-brick wall that runs along three sides of its city block and that always felt to me as if it spilled its old red-brick warmth throughout the neighbourhood. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (50”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Sitting Down in Public(36) Sitting Down in Public. As psychopath Graham, in the short film Sitting Down in Public directed by Judd Eustice.

After deep-kissing an alluring woman in a darkened car, sticky-taping deranged notices onto Lower East Side lamp-posts and brooding on a bench on Pearl Street, my character Graham’s chosen location for committing bloodthirsty murder is a suitably marginal space of echoing concrete beneath the booming of the elevated highway along the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge; and his thoughtful post-murder stroll is beside the World Financial Center, staring out at tiny lights across the grand span of the Hudson River, reflecting on what he’s done and who he is.

If the character had been just another brainless brutaliser of women on film, I’d not have auditioned. I decided I’d do so, because Graham isn’t a thoughtless thug: he’s a lost individual who evokes pathos, he’s the only character who gets naked on camera, and he’s a clear contender for the Norman Bates emotional maturity award.

In fact, I recall it was mentioned that if Judd had been able to afford to cast Anthony Perkins, then he might have been tempted to approach him. (4’25”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - The Bourne Identity Crisis(37) The Bourne Identity Crisis. As fusspot Matt, in the short film The Bourne Identity Crisis directed by Lara Wood.

In this bit of broad comedic parody, I was cast (against type) as a fey little high-maintenance drama-queen and all-around bitch-on-a-stick. Thea de Sousa and I play two identically black-clad rivals for the affections of my onscreen boyfriend Jason Bourne. This one was filmed not in New York but in West Hollywood, on a sunny North Laurel Avenue between Sunset and Fountain.

It also has Cradeaux playing a member of “The Gay Mafia”—a shadowy, elite, international cabal of powerful alpha-males, whose sinister conspiracy is to control which city neighbourhoods around the world will be infused with enough cultural capital to become nice tony ones, and which neighbourhoods will be permitted to become overrun with bridge-and-tunnel tackiness or just remain heathenly bereft of artisanal vegan coffee coves etc. (This making light of the Gay Mafia is all part of a cunning plan to cover up our global power, of course.) IMDb listing here. (4’20”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Time Warp(38) Time Warp. As a Hare Krishna devotee, in a promo titled “Time Warp”, for the Showtime TV channel.

Here’s an almost heroically tiresome 21 seconds of video, including me as a Hare Krishna devotee, looking stoned and gormless while I play with one of those iconic spring-shaped toys called a Slinky. This piece aired on Showtime to promote a season of classic 1970s movies on that channel. It was a tolerable and silly day’s shoot on 10th Street, beside Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. And yes—as a phoned-in, half-awake, late-’90s evocation of the ’70s, this little promo is just as heart-warmingly unconvincing and cheesy as we’d hope it would be. (21”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Eresmas.com(39) Eresmas.com. In a black hat and suit, following Spike Lee, in a TV commercial titled “Eresmas.com”.

For a snippet of Spanish, this is me saying “Yo soy ella”, meaning “I am she” (a phrase I’ve always found helpful in Barcelona after dark), immediately after Lee says “Yo soy Spike Lee”.

The commercial was for Eresmas, a Spanish Internet service provider that’s now long vanished. Soon after this shoot, a friend of mine went on a holiday to Spain, where he happened to notice some full-size billboards showing a still image of me as shown here, advertising Eresmas, so it was evidently a print campaign too.

They created the suit specially to be very cinched-in like that; the only element I provided was the black nail-polish. In the Polaroid from the fitting, I see they’d included a white top-pocket handkerchief and a big red rose on the lapel, though these were seemingly removed before the camera rolled. The target demographic was presumably a liberal urban one (my reel is sadly lacking in commercials targeted at rural mountainfolk).

I can just about hear my own delivery of “Yo soy ella” there, but the editor also precisely overlaid it with a deep masculine voice saying the very same words—either (1) because Eresmas’s advertising executive became a nervous nelly at the last minute concerning the element of androgyny in how I delivered it (the ’90s being a somewhat less genderfluid decade than now), or more likely (2) because my accent was simply too dire to have been understood by itself in Spain. (15”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - American Dreams(40) American Dreams. As building superintendent Chet, with Miho Nikaidoh, in the shorter feature film American Dreams directed by Hidekazu Samei.

For a happy dose of surreality, this is me as perhaps a somewhat atypical building super. Miho, who plays my tenant, had starred in the cult classic feature film Tokyo Decadence a few years earlier.

We filmed in an apartment on an upper storey of a building on Carmine Street, Greenwich Village, where I have fond memories of flitting up and down that spiral staircase many times. American Dreams was produced by the lovely Momoe Melon, who also directed An Endless Game (from which my scenes are included elsewhere in this demo reel) and who sweetly made sure that the set was always well stocked with a favourite chocolate drink of mine. (5’35”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Semiotics of the American Family(41) Semiotics of the American Family.

As theatre make-up artist Lance, in the short film Semiotics of the American Family directed by Keith Dunlop.

For a smidgen of thespian silliness, this somewhat broad comedy is set in the world of amateur theatre. My character Lance, a snippety make-up artist, is working in a less-than-happy theatre company. He makes sure to stay positive, though, by making bitchy comments in the dressing-room, by hovering judgementally in the wings while the play is performing (which is always reassuring to the actors on stage), and even sometimes by applying a bit of make-up. (1’16”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Mel's Snipes & Spikes(42) Mel’s Snipes and Spikes. In a somewhat buttock-clenching snippet of silliness, this is me as a gormless art-gallery-goer, in a promo titled “Mel’s Snipes and Spikes”, for Tanqueray Vodka (“Spike me…”), shot in Soho.

Regarding the “Mel” in the title, this was intended to introduce her as Tanqueray Vodka’s own elusive fictional epitome of fun-loving self-mocking cultural savviness. She was designed to be a young female version of Tanqueray Gin’s older male fictional sophisticate “Mr Jenkins”, whose face on collage-style billboard ads may ring a bell for anyone who was running around Manhattan in the mid-’90s. (As a reminder of him, he’s visible on the back of a magazine, three or four seconds after the start of this video.) But alas, this new “Mel” turned out to be so elusive that her name never caught fire at all, let alone attained the ubiquity and longevity of Mr Jenkins—and so she was gracefully retired, soon after this piece. R.I.P., Mel.

I’m pleased to see the “Mr Jenkins” Tanqueray Gin ad campaign is findable online. One of its posters was captioned “The fresh scent of juniper berries in his Tanqueray cocktail helps brace Mr. Jenkins for Mrs. Woodrow’s indiscreet attempts to play footsies under the table.” Another poster was captioned “Mr. Jenkins knows from personal experience that properly warmed up, the diva is indeed capable of hitting some very high notes.” And the campaign’s tagline: “How refreshingly distinctive.” (50”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - I Wanna Go Where the People Go(43) I Wanna Go Where the People Go. For a rocky blast of rambunctiousness, this is me in a Welsh hat and carnivalesque company, in the music video for the Wildhearts’ “I Wanna Go Where the People Go”.

Outside the film studio doors was the disreputable western rind of the Meatpacking District; while inside the doors, we misfits clowned around on a stage-set decorated as a Victorian photographer’s parlour … for no discernible reason, frankly, but who needs discernible reasons anyway?

The band were in full excitable form on set, while their manager tried in vain to prevent the lead singer, Ginger, from getting even more joyfully drunk than he already was (and it was only lunchtime). This hopeless bid for temperance wasn’t helped by the fact that one of us carnivalesque types—the older guy who’s literally about three feet tall—was fully living up to his natural air of danger and mischief, by promising to escort the band afterwards to some place where a comprehensive menu of serious drugs would be available. This was an offer that the band were keen to take him up on, and the guy soon had them enthralled with much salacious patter. Meanwhile the manager looked ever more as if he feared getting hauled over the coals by the record label executives for letting the Wildhearts run out of control across New York City, which would doubtless end in their skidding calamitously off the tracks somehow. (I never did learn whether the drug expedition happened.)

The video also shows a charismatic blast of Newcastle getting boomed out through New York, as a flat-bed truck with the band performing on the back of it is driven through the Manhattan streets. I’ve only ever known this one track by them; but they were a blast of fun, Ginger Wildheart was clearly a force of nature, and I’m pleased to see online that they’re still going strong. Wikipedia page here. (1’44”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - This Corrosion(44) This Corrosion. As pagan Axel in the woods, in the shorter feature film This Corrosion directed by Mitch McCabe.

For a dose of Rohan-gets-naked-in-a-freezing-autumn-woodland, this is me as a modern-day pagan named Axel. The nakedness is subtle rather than graphic, but the freezingness was pretty graphic for us pagans, as we danced around our mystical bonfire. Ah, the pampered glamour and cushioned ease of film production.

In the chaos of our cavorting, I noticed one of the actresses had squatted and was peeing beside the bonfire (while cackling maniacally), though I don’t think the camera caught this, alas. She’d been tippling from a hip-flask of brandy in the icicled mini-van that served as the cast’s holding area, so her voluminous stream through the fallen autumn leaves probably made quite a few woodland beetles pretty tipsy. IMDb listing here. (2’38”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Save Yourself(45) Save Yourself. Wielding a light in the music video for “Save Yourself” by Nation of Abel.

In this video for the catchy and danceable “Save Yourself”, I’m wielding a super-trouper spotlight and generally flitting around doing busy-work, while lead singer Romel Henry provides the cool—in a literal sense, because he’d brought us all to a freezing-cold warehouse in the middle of winter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where we could see our breath emerging in clouds of vapour. Nation of Abel’s discography is here and the track listing of their album Save Yourself is here. (2’02”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - First We Take Manhattan(46) First We Take Manhattan. As the Crowd Designer outside a couple of nightclubs, in the feature film First We Take Manhattan directed by Guy Frenkel.

Here I play an attitudinous wisp whose job is to decide who gets to enter an over-hyped Manhattan nightclub. I wield a painfully exclusive guest-list at those velvet ropes, where the clubgoers queue up in eager hope. (One should spend a sweaty half-hour struggling to gain entry to any club worth relaxing in.) As evidenced first by the shimmery bronze skirt and then by the pink-and-purple ensemble, I’m no common-or-garden door-whore queen, if you please, but rather an actual “Crowd Designer”, excuse me … though in both scenes, the crowd’s respect for me is revealed to be somewhat lacking.

The closing shot, when I get my bottom pinched so respectfully, was filmed outside the front doors of the venerable Roseland Ballroom on 52nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue—a grand, cavernous party palace for decades, until it finally closed those doors in 2014. When that building first opened in 1957, it was described as having “purple-and-cerise tent-like décor that creates a definite harem effect”. By the time we filmed there, that purple-and-cerise décor had vanished, sadly; but maybe our wardrobe department was channelling some faint ghost of it in my outfit, which centred on an understated day-glo pink faux-leather jacket (vintage ’80s from Kensington Market). (1’10”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Kingdom Come (f.k.a. Snuff Cop)(47) Kingdom Come (f.k.a. Snuff Cop). As sadist Jake, in the feature film Kingdom Come directed by Shannon Goldman.

Here I play a demented and deservedly assaulted creature named Jake, alongside Cradeaux whose character is no saint either, in a dystopian feature film formerly titled Snuff Cop. A couple of evil little queens we were. I mean really, can’t we all just get along?

We shot in a Little Italy apartment on the west side of Mott Street just south of Houston Street. Fake blood, hanging plastic sheets and a less-then-caring demeanour … until a bunch of vigilantes burst in on the two of us and spoil our rascalry (almost throttling me in the process, which felt all too real, I recall).

The bronze skirt is the same one I wore in the Boy George video—bought from TJ Maxx (discount girlheaven) in Chelsea, I think I recall. IMDb listing here. (1’18”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Big Bad City(48) Big Bad City. As a party doorman in the short film Big Bad City directed by Edward Vilga.

Here’s one of those dusty, steep-stepped old wooden staircases up which you have to spend at least four aerobic minutes heaving yourself heavenwards through the six storeys of some battered-looking tenement building in Manhattan, bearing a bottle of wine, before you reach the top-floor walk-up apartment where there’s a party going on inside and you knock on the door, panting with exertion. As a suitably annoying reward for your efforts, someone like my character here may then open the door and tell you you can’t come in, if you’re a gate-crasher. In this shoot, the tenement was on Grand Street in Chinatown.

Like a silly sausage, I’d forgotten to set my mobile phone to silent before “Action” was called—and so, while I was dealing with the second pair of guests as the camera rolled, my phone rang. Luckily this occurred at the ideal moment, in between appropriate lines of dialogue, as if scripted, so I went ahead and pulled that little scarlet phone out of my handbag, while the guy who played the final guest just improvised around the phonecall. The friend at the other end of the line had no idea their call was being captured on celluloid and the director was happy to have life intruding on art in this way, so all was well. (1’14”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - An Endless Game(49) An Endless Game. As a demon spirit named Fujin, in the short film An Endless Game directed by Momoe Melon.

In this demo-reel compilation of my scenes in An Endless Game, the lovely Momoe’s vision has an authentically fairy-tale quality of deadliness and magic. The exterior and interior of the brownstone building was in Harlem; the park was on Forsyth Street; and that happy sequence of trippiness and inventive surreality, where I move in mysterious ways while a light drizzle of fish-heads comes down around me, was filmed in a desolate corner of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

(A black-and-white film record of the very same red corrugated-iron fence can be seen in Untitled, elsewhere on this demo reel. In view of its two appearances here in Those New York ’Nineties, I feel affection for that old fence, which was probably removed when Red Hook stopped having desolate corners.) (5’43”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Last Goodbye(50) Last Goodbye. Kissing my boyfriend Cradeaux in a loft apartment in Brooklyn, in the music video for “Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley, directed by John Jesurin.

I last spoke with Jeff when I bumped into him in Saint Mark’s Bookshop in the East Village, just a few days after he’d come back from two years of touring almost non-stop: he told me he was enormously looking forward to spending a good few weeks of not travelling anywhere.

For the filming of this fleeting moment of music and romance, Cradeaux and I were in the company of only Jeff and the director. The previous year, in his notes on the back of the sleeve of his first commercial record, the four-song EP Live at Sin-é, Jeff kindly mentioned our names along with the names of several others, such as Mal and Kim, who’d been lucky to see and hear some of his early performances within the intimate confines of the mighty Café Sin-é, 122 Saint Mark’s Place, between Avenue A and 1st Avenue in the East Village. This track was included on the album Grace. IMDb listing here and Wikipedia page here. (15”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Angel's Baby(51) Angel’s Baby. As dive-club waitress Nana, in the short film Angel’s Baby directed by Magdalena Solé.

Working in the less glamorous end of NYC nightlife, my character Nana is going through some hassles. So too is my colleague, here in the bar’s cramped dressing-room—a woman named Angel, whose job is to writhe suggestively with a feather boa on a tatty little stage. But tonight at last Angel has had enough of this, and of our boss’s groan-worthy comedy performances: she just walks offstage and out of the dive-bar for good, saying no goodbyes to us. I think I recall this was shot in the well-worn Jupiter Lounge, in a pre-gentrified Lower East Side. (1’48”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - The Errant Girl(52) The Errant Girl. As rent boy Nate, chatting with my agent on a Harlem stoop, in the short film The Errant Girl, whose director I must apologise to because I’ve since lost track of her name.

For a tongue-in-cheek snippet of Harlem hustle, this is me on the stoop of a brownstone just above Central Park, one yellow-lit summer afternoon. Nate appears sheepishly unable to hand over the agreed-upon commission to his hard-working pimp named Flames, who is less than impressed at such errant behaviour. #lifeimitatesart / #researchingtherole (41”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Bad Reputation(53) Bad Reputation. As a creature of the night, in New York’s Meatpacking District, in the music video for “Bad Reputation” by Freedy Johnston.

This rasher of the Meatpacking District is served as the result of a late-evening shoot on Gansevoort Street. It being in the ’90s, this was around the hour when many beautiful trans sex-workers were starting their work just a couple of blocks away on a stretch of 14th Street. That stretch was from around 9th Avenue outside J’s Hangout, westward to where the Liberty Inn offered rooms by the hour on the SW corner of 10th Avenue (which it still does, albeir in a more tourist-targeting way, now that the girls of West 14th Street have long since scattered elsewhere). (34”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - If the Shoe Fits(54) If the Shoe Fits. As Kiki the stylist at a shoe fashion shoot, in the short film If the Shoe Fits directed by Tanya Fenmore.

Here’s me bringing a red-blooded, rough-hewn earthiness to the role of Kiki the stylist—an emotionally draining and thankless role (for the audience, at least).

This wispy little vol-au-vent of fierceness has a soundtrack including Rupaul’s “Supermodel (You Better Work)”. Depicting a shoe fashion shoot (“show me a little more toe, please”), it captures something of the down-to-earth moral gravitas of the fashion industry.

May our heavenly guardian Stylist never shirk from dusting the powder-puffs of tinglement upon the cheeks of our tinglability. (1’13”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Sexuality & Our Faith(55) Sexuality and Our Faith. Two happy atheists, gladly hired to appear in an educational video titled “Sexuality and Our Faith”, which was designed to help ensure that most Christians’ understanding of human love relationships remains broader than most bishops’: giving Cradeaux flowers on a Long Island station platform. (33”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - I'm a Slut(56) I’m a Slut. Under the elevated subway tracks in Long Island City, in the music video for “I’m a Slut” by Howlin’ Maggie.

There are a couple of blink-and-you-miss-them moments showing Rohan, in this video for this wholesome little punk-inflected track. Filmed near the Queens shoreline of the East River, it shows one of those battered-looking urban spaces under elevated subway tracks, which NYC does so well. (27”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Welcome to the Family(57) Welcome to the Family. As a boutique manager visited by a mobster, in the feature film Welcome to the Family directed by Anthony Costanza.

I perpetrated this bit of tightly-wound fashion boutique management in Hoboken NJ, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Here we see my shop being visited by a mafioso who most surely didn’t go to charm-school. Some mobsters are smooth, but this one was like a bull who carried his own china-shop around with him.

Mobsters are strangely impervious to one’s would-be menace, I find. I confess that my attempts to be authoritative usually work only on small rabbits. IMDb listing here. (3’12”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella(58) Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella. Chatted up in Sheep Meadow, Central Park, in the short film Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella directed by John C. Sheehy.

This was one of the earliest projects (maybe the earliest) after I arrived in NYC—a short silent film by a film student. It’s simple, but it’s sweet, shot in a romantically sunlit Central Park on a summer afternoon, with a flavour that somewhat evokes the feeling of some long-vanished and illusorily innocent New York City of yesteryear, preserved here on flickery black-and-white 16mm or 8mm celluloid.

In this little tale, “Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella” directed by John C. Sheehy, our male protagonist decides just to walk away from his complex emotional entanglements with two young women who are arguing with each other, and simply goes off with me instead, across Central Park’s Sheep Meadow towards those Midtown skyscrapers, and into the sunny distance together. (58”)
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Rohan Quine - New York - I'm Macho(59) I’m Macho. As waiter and flirt, in the music video for “I’m Macho” by The Meek.

In this lively dose of musical fun and gender-political mayhem, I caper and slink around as a leopardskin-clad nightclub waiter. Cast by Meredith Jacobson Marciano of Ameriflilm Casting, we filmed on far West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District, in a club called Mother—a transgender-beautified cocktail-quaffing venue at that time. My favourite rhyming couplet in the song’s lyrics is probably “I’m macho, I’m macho. / I’m cold, like gazpacho.” I’m sure straight male machismo will continue being just as ripe and comedic a target as it’s remained ever since this video. (1’18”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Huffer(60) Huffer. As aerosol-sniffer and less-than-successful shot-putter Jackson, in the short film Huffer directed by Eben Baume.

In this whimsical romp of gently surreal slapstick, I play a sniffer of spray-cans, whose highs cause his surroundings to grow strange: a figure in an elaborate wig is wheeled through Central Park; a tiny stuffed-toy dog is taken for a walk in Chelsea; and my character Jackson is corralled into being an unlikely (and hopeless) contestant in a shot-putting championship that breaks out at the foot of the grand Plaza Hotel on Central Park South.

It’s a sweet caper, redolent of those 16mm-celluloid days, and of the New York City sunlight. There’s a kind of joy in its low-budget inventiveness, whose non-sync sound and flickery black-and-white give it an echo of the silent movie era. This echo chimes obliquely with the horizontal digital artifacts you can see in certain scenes, because these digital “drop-out” artifacts testify to how this film was almost lost to me: I delayed so long before digitising my original VHS copy, that the emulsion on the plastic tape had already started disintegrating, causing some of the emulsion’s embedded metal particles to “drop out” (and then to fall cheerfully into a silvery dust in the inside corners of the plastic tape cassette), thereby also extinguishing small horizontal fragments of Huffer itself, because this little motion picture existed solely in the magnetisation of those tiny embedded particles, for only as long as they remained embedded … and so shall all our human creations, in due course, get nibbled away by entropy! (4’51”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Trouble with Happiness(61) The Trouble with Happiness. As art gallery-goer Luke, in the feature film The Trouble with Happiness directed by Lynn Powers.

This is me as an excitable little art-fancier at a gallery opening, shot from the POV of a never-depicted but evidently saucy artwork. I think this was somewhere in Nolita, at one end of a loose swathe of small commercial art galleries that people like Luke would flit along in the first half of a Friday evening, flouncing their way through a free glass of questionable wine at each of 10 different gallery openings across Downtown Manhattan, until they were plastered enough to maintain incisive levels of Socratic conversation throughout the second half of their Friday evening, wherever that might end up occurring. IMDb listing here. (31”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York(62) Radiohead. Remembering happiness, in the short film Radiohead directed by Krisna Lumenta. (51”)
(See video here.) (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - The Hole(63) The Hole. As the character Man, in the stark and powerful short film The Hole directed by David Kagan, for New York University’s graduate film programme. (3’50”)
(See video here.)  (read more…)

Rohan Quine - New York - Sex and the City(64) Sex and the City. As a twenty-something bar patron, in the episode “Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys” of the TV show Sex and the City.

A gossipy perkiness? A serene certainty that the civilised world ends at the shoreline of Manhattan? A curious paucity of non-Caucasian characters?… It must be Sex and the City.

This blink-and-you-miss-it moment shows me as an eponymous twenty-something in a bar, earning a paycheque to ensure my continued eligibility for Screen Actors Guild health insurance. In fact I’d forgotten this altogether, until years later when the eagle-eyed Marianna Di Giacomo sweetly alerted me of its existence—so here it is, a doll-sized teaspoonful of the ’90s. IMDb listing here. (23”)
(See video here.)  (read more…)

 

 

 

The above “Film & television” videos in Those New York ’Nineties are also here:

And in the Vimeo album Those New York ’Nineties—Film & TV:
Zoolander, 100 Centre Street, Election, Third Watch, Oz, Spin City, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Basketball Diaries, Threads, Simply Being, The Last Days of Disco, $1,000 Shoes, The Next Big Thing, Same Thing in Reverse, A Sublime and Atrocious Spectacle, New York News, Nick and Jane, Too Much With Us, Too Much With Us Audition, Unzipped, Shelter, To Iron John and Back, Dellaventura, Party, The Dresser, 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Puffy Contest, It’s Good to Be Alive, Zoo, Untitled, Independent Love Song, Chaos Theory, The Beatnik Beat, Swampass Diary, Destination Anywhere, Sitting Down in Public, The Bourne Identity Crisis, Time Warp, Eresmas.com, American Dreams, Semiotics of the American Family, Mel’s Snipes and Spikes, I Wanna Go Where the People Go, This Corrosion, Save Yourself, First We Take Manhattan, Kingdom Come, Big Bad City, An Endless Game, The Last Goodbye, Angel’s Baby, The Errant Girl, Bad Reputation, If the Shoe Fits, Sexuality and Our Faith, I’m a Slut, Welcome to the Family, Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella, I’m Macho, Huffer, The Trouble with Happiness, Radiohead, The Hole and Sex and the City.

And in the YouTube playlist Those New York ’Nineties—Film & TV:
Zoolander, 100 Centre Street, Election, Third Watch, Oz, Spin City, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Basketball Diaries, Threads, Simply Being, The Last Days of Disco, $1,000 Shoes, The Next Big Thing, Same Thing in Reverse, A Sublime and Atrocious Spectacle, New York News, Nick and Jane, Too Much With Us, Too Much With Us Audition, Unzipped, Shelter, To Iron John and Back, Dellaventura, Party, The Dresser, Puffy Contest, It’s Good to Be Alive, Zoo, Untitled, Independent Love Song, Chaos Theory, The Beatnik Beat, Swampass Diary, Destination Anywhere, Sitting Down in Public, The Bourne Identity Crisis, Time Warp, Eresmas.com, American Dreams, Semiotics of the American Family, Mel’s Snipes and Spikes, I Wanna Go Where the People Go, This Corrosion, Save Yourself, First We Take Manhattan, Kingdom Come, Big Bad City, An Endless Game, The Last Goodbye, Angel’s Baby, The Errant Girl, If the Shoe Fits, Sexuality and Our Faith, I’m a Slut, Welcome to the Family, Two Girls, One Guy and an Umbrella, I’m Macho, Huffer, The Trouble with Happiness, Radiohead, The Hole and Sex and the City. (If playback of any of these videos looks at all fuzzy on YouTube, then you can quickly and easily adjust the YouTube video-player’s playback “Quality” setting, by doing the following: (1) if you’re on a mobile device, first touch the video image, then touch the three-dots symbol that appears in the top-right corner of the player, touch “Quality” and choose “1080p” (or the highest other setting available on your device, e.g. “720p”); or (2) if you’re on a laptop/desktop device, click the cog symbol on the lower edge of the video-player, click “Quality” and choose “1080p” (or the highest other setting available on your device, e.g. “720p”).)
 

Rohan Quine - 'Those New York 'Nineties'
Rohan Quine in Times Square, New York City, in Reality 8

 

Rohan Quine and Ben Stiller on the set of 'Zoolander'
Rohan Quine and Ben Stiller on the set of Zoolander

 

Matthew Broderick and Rohan Quine in 'Election'
Matthew Broderick and Rohan Quine in Election

 

Rohan Quine and Michael J. Fox in 'Spin City'
Rohan Quine and Michael J. Fox in Spin City

 

Chris Meloni and Rohan Quine in 'Law and Order Special Victims Unit'
Chris Meloni and Rohan Quine in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

 

Rohan Quine and Boy George in 'Same Thing in Reverse'
Rohan Quine and Boy George in Same Thing in Reverse

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ROHAN QUINE (photo by Safeena Chaudhry)

ROHAN QUINE (photo by Safeena Chaudhry)

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Film and TV Acting: Those New York ’Nineties

Film & TV Acting

Films inside ebook of novel “The Imagination Thief”

Films in The Imagination Thief (novel)