Earlier this year I interviewed Australian creative Robert Coleman. For tips on how to get blacklisted from the hipster mecca of the world, Berlin, and what not to wear to an interview, check out Part I: Blacklisted in Berlin.
If you’ve read Part I, read on now…
After the New York Times piece was published, the story was syndicated around the world, including Germany. Needless to say, many Berlin inhabitants were less than impressed with being labelled “creative tourists” and Coleman found himself unable to rent an apartment. He had been hipster blacklisted from the creative capital of the world.
Plunging into a vortex of drink, drugs and cigarettes, Coleman was rejected from over a dozen apartments in Berlin before finding one to call home, if only briefly. Over a period of 15 days Coleman churned out an astonishing 80, 000 words of what would become his second novel. After which, taking a quick jaunt to Paris to sleep on a friend’s couch was the only logical course of action.
A clear penchant for writing crazy quickly, under extreme circumstances and lets face it, slightly intoxicated, Coleman needed an inscrutable eye to glance over his work.
And who better than Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho), internationally renowned novelist and, oh yeah, friend to Robert Coleman.
Coleman tells me the tale of how he met Ellis in an interview line up, the only journalist not to have read a single one of his books and from the sounds of it, the only one not attempting to kiss his ass. The two bonded over champagne and years later kept in touch, with Ellis promising to read Coleman’s work and eventually turn the screenplay of his novel into a film.
Not yet a film, Coleman is still trying his hand in the genre. Having directed several short films in the past few years to sharpen his skills. “It’s all part of my plan,” he tells his Dad, to portray his work in several mediums.
“Everyone interprets things differently,” Coleman tells me. The ultimate goal is get the dark, twisted tale of the young Australian who slips into a psychosis while discovering himself in Berlin up off the pages and onto the screen.
The Berlin Album sounds more than a little autobiographical, and I ask Coleman how much of the story is directly about him.
“There were times when I was pretty smashed on drugs, I’m not proud of it,” divulges an earnest Coleman. “It’s some pretty dark shit and reading it now is really hard because it makes me upset.”
Now in talks with a well known publishing house, hopefully Coleman can face re-reading some of his darkest work so we get the chance to see The Berlin Album as ink on paper soon.
Besides writing novels, jetsetting off to war zones, turning screenplays into films, playing in a band and fitting in paltry interviews, what’s next for Coleman?
Maybe the cheap cost of living and burgeoning creative community in Bangkok is a lure too strong to resist, Coleman hints. But who knows, maybe it’s time for Berlin round three? How long does a hipster blacklist really last for anyway.