Thursday, June 24, 2010

How Paul Bartel taught me to make smoothies...

Yes, the Paul Bartel, who directed Private Parts (1972, no, not the Howard Stern movie), Death Race 2000 (1976) and many other slyly clever exploitation movies.

I was in Los Angeles in 1990, doing interviews for my book Filmmaking on the Fringe; I had interviewed Bartel before over the phone, but never in person. I was thrilled to be catching up with him, but I was also running late and hadn't had time to eat. I bought a couple of bananas to eat in the car, but I was a new driver and the freeways scared the hell out of me, so I didn't dare take my hands off the wheel.

Bartel was the gracious host personified, and when I asked whether he minded if I ate while we talked he said, "Let me make you something delicious — I learned how when I was at Centro Sperimentale in Italy." And then Paul Bartel beetled off to the kitchen and made me a banana smoothie, which was delicious as promised.

Bartel is gone, but his banana smoothies live on. I've modified the recipe (if bananas, milk and ice  constitute a recipe) by using coffee ice cubes instead of regular ones, but I don't think he'd mind. Coffee and bananas taste great together and that's what counts... I wish I could have shared a banana-coffee smoothie with him.

1 comment:

adriana said...

I knew Paul Bartel. Met him when he was stationed in the Army with my husband. Yes Paul enlisted in the Arm! He was stationed in Queens where the military movies were made. Continuing a tradition of WWII directors being trained by the Army. David Miller comes to mind. Must be several others.

Paul was a great cook.