Tales of Hoffman vol. I: Unicorn Slaves of America.

by GD Hoffman

New York City – October 2017


The 1951 film The Tales of Hoffmann is an adaptation of an 1881 opera fantastique based on the dark poetry of E.T.A. Hoffmann, who is set as the main character drunkenly telling his story of love and loss in a pub to anyone who will listen, unaware that doing so will lose him his current lover.  GD Hoffman inherits the title and adds a modern approach to his own story.  Similarly told in 5 chapters, we begin with Hoffman attempting to define his own happiness as he relates to the outside world.  To do this, he introduces us to Iris and carries us through his tumultuous love affair with her in fantastic detail.  He then moves back in time to tell us about Rochelle in chapter 2, and how her infidelity shaped his present world view.  Chapter 3 sends us back to Hoffman in college, providing a view into his study of media and exhibition, and his brother’s girlfriend.  In chapter 4, Hoffman contrasts himself with his friend and rival.  He comes to terms with his own personal contradictions as a makeup artist, beauty advisor, photographer, writer and would-be casanova.  This marks the return of Iris into his life 3 years later, but, he realizes, only as a device.  Now he notes his continued effect on her and how she’s changed, only to find that he’s the same at the core, which means he cannot work with Iris again.  The story concludes by folding onto itself and eventually returning to the present, in a group sex scene that suggests maybe Hoffman understands that sharing his life through words and pictures, basing this work on his personal experiences, is the only way he can be faithful and honest to himself and anyone else, and probably the only way that really matters. He cannot separate his experiences with the women he’s loved from the work he does about them and himself.  Does his lack of a professional “career” in the arts keep him from maintaining conventional relationships?  He would never admit to it, even if he believed that, but the answers are probably in the bridge that connects Hoffman’s past to his present.  Unicorn Slaves is the stream of consciousness documentary of an artist analyzing himself in an attempt to decide if his life is worth living the way he wants it to, which can only be shared with others both personally and professionally.  Told completely through narration, it has the literary feel of a novel, intimately inside the protagonist’s thoughts, however designed with a cinematic treatment regarding its interpretation of the protagonist’s words and emotions.  First written as a short story, then adapted into a screenplay and also intended to be converted into a graphic novel, “Tales of Hoffman vol. I: Unicorn Slaves of America,” is a work meant to transcend.

The Playwright

GD Hoffman is a writer and former makeup artist with a degree in communication design.  He has previously worked as a radio producer, ringside MMA camera operator, script reader, screenwriter, video producer, postal worker, and political campaigner.