LOS ANGELES—A memorial service was held on Sunday for award-winning adult director David Aaron Clark at the New Beverly Cinema, a venue which Clark frequented. The ceremony was arranged by Christian Mann, a longtime friend of Clark's.
Clark, who made just 54 movies in his 12-year career as an adult director, died on Nov. 28 of a pulmonary embolism. He reportedly had no living relatives.
"David had told me for some time that it was his wish to premiere a movie here," said Mann, who, as owner of Video Team, had released more than one-third of Clark's productions. "He talked about doing it for this last movie he made, Pure, and in talking about a premiere, part of it was the idea that he wanted to have his movie premiere in an actual theater, but part of it was also that he wanted to do it specifically here in this theater. He was a regular attendee at this place, and he had hired it out as a location and shot some of his stuff here, so this place was special to him."
Mann thanked several people who had helped make the event possible, including two of his more mainstream contacts, Michael Manning and Charles Pinion, both of whom contributed video collages of Clark's life, including photos from his stint with the rock band Flaming Virgins, his critical writings for Screw magazine and some of his more obscure video work.
Mann also thanked porn star Aiden Starr, who, he said, "was really David's soul sister. She took care of David all the way before, during and after his last days here in Los Angeles, and my heart goes out to her."
Manning spoke next, telling of the mixture of grief and wonder he felt as he helped Starr and another longtime photographer friend of Clark's, John Nystrom, clean out Clark's apartment at the Gaylord Hotel in Koreatown.
"The process yielded revelation after revelation about the rich, weird and complex life that David had lived," he said. "Summing up David's life would be a futile task. Others have done and will do a better job than I ever can."
Manning first met Clark after "DAC," as he was known to friends and associates, had criticized some of Manning's photographic works.
"I was immediately impressed with this mountain of a man who was as intelligent and well-read as he was tattooed and pierced," Manning recalled. "A gentleman pornographer in the best Oscar Wildean tradition ... I would often catch a good-natured ribbing from him about what he perceived as my 'sensitive hippie' attitude."
"There won't be any new David Aaron Clark films, no new short stories, no new columns or articles, no one to call 'bullshit' on the overly privileged, the smugly self-satisfied, the politically correct and morally bankrupt, and no one to tell The Truth with a capital 'T,'" he lamented.
Several more of Clark's friends and co-workers also spoke, including Nystrom, Pinion, college pal Eric Gladstone, producer Marc Kramer, Video Team production manager Kimberly Winn, video technician Glenn Baren, video editor Michelle, actress/poet Kimmy Kahn, actor Mr. Marcus, and Evil Angel owner John Stagliano, who had distributed Clark's last movie.
"Some of the most satisfying artistic moments of my life were reading [David's] reviews," Stagliano assessed. "David had a beautiful mind. ... I remember we'd go to these trade shows in Las Vegas, and I'd be in not terribly interesting conversations most of the day, and then David Aaron Clark would walk up, and I'd drag him into the booth and say, 'Save me from this idiocy. Let's talk about something interesting,' which we always did."
Several other friends also sent in remembrances, including dancer/artist Jade Blue Eclipse, XRCO co-founder Jared Rutter and author Susie Bright.
Also present for the services were actress/producer Lia Baren, and former AVN editors David Sullivan and Mike Albo.