NOWNESS: The Fight New York Bon Vivant Glenn O

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"The athletic Belgian model Hannelore Knuts challenges Ghana-born American boxer-turned-trainer Kwame Davis in the surreal Douglas Keeve-directed short that casts art writer, style guru and Warhol acolyte Glenn O’Brien as an excitable pundit. Creatively directed by Victoria Bartlett and written by O’Brien, the film celebrates the opening up of a sport that has long been considered a men-only concern. “Boxing was the last holdout, the sole all-male fixture in the Olympics until London 2012, when women's boxing was first allowed,” says Keeve, whose previous work includesUnzipped, a 1994 documentary that spotlit designer Isaac Mizrahi and included cameos from Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss. “This fantastical and comedic bout between Hannelore and Kwame gives a nod to women who continue to break boundaries,” says the filmmaker. NOWNESS asked O’Brien to muse on his long-held fascination with the pugilistic practice.  

I grew up with boxing. It was on TV all the time. The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports sponsored Monday Night Fight and the Friday Night Fight—the latter running 14 years straight. Men and women crowded around their TVs to watch athletes pound each other in the ring, trying to knock the other unconscious, sometimes as us kids looked on. Huge cuts emerging around their eyes. Punches shot blood and sweat into the third-row spectators. Knocked-out men hitting the canvas or slumping onto the ropes where, if the refs didn’t stop it, their opponent might kill them. I saw Emile Griffith kill Benny “The Kid” Paret on live TV in 1962.  He didn’t actually die until ten days later. Griffith was enraged since Paret called him amaric

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.