Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Remembering David Bergstein

I first met David Bergstein in 1993 in John Rutter's rented house on Laurel Terrace Drive. I had only been in Los Angeles 72 hours at that point. It is now thirteen years later -almost to the day - John is in jail and David is currently producing the new Sidney Lumet movie that stars Philip Seymour Hoffman. I last saw David at some point in March, and in many respects he has never changed. He is consistantly the most bizarre, humorous and engaging individual, while at the same time completely maddening. He will never return phonecalls for months, then out of the blue call me up on the phone. He has been my harshest critic, yet at the same time my biggest supporter - and in some cases, he has been my patron and benefactor. David is an expert in causing havoc. He is adept at making anything seem possible, yet similarly exists outside the realm of possibility. He is generous. He is also cheap. He is ruthless. He is also kind, at the most unexpected moments... I'm sure he is causing havoc in the film business, as we speak. Still, in a world filled with boring bankers, silk-suited accountants, and young execs who wish they were Ari Gold - David is a maverick, a visionary, and a pool hall hustler - all in the same breath... If he were a character in a movie, he might be indescribable. As a character from my life, he remains both a rallying point and a cautionary tale... He is pictured here wearing at hardhat at the groundbreaking of Le Dome restaurant which he owned briefly. I will leave the Village People wise-cracks out of this story - instead I'll keep the fond memory of when he drove my parents to the Costa Mesa mall, or when he came to Margie's suprise birthday party and handed out Cuban cigars... David is splendid, remarkable and ultimately impossible to fathom... I'm not sure if he's a poor man in a very rich man's life, or a rich man living for the hustle and wishing he was still poor... I don't think he was ever in it for the money. I'd like to think he was in it for the thrill... Of course I can't be certain... But now and then I chuckle, and hope David is still fighting the good fight...
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