Nothing Attracts Women Quite Like the Unattainable Man

by Julia Smith

"I stalked him like a strange fan," said Madonna of getting Ukrainian musician Eugene Hutz to play the philosophical narrator and one of three main characters in her film Filth and Wisdom. -

"I had become obsessed with Eugene," writes documentary filmmaker Pavla Fleischer. "That's what it was. One drunken car ride with him in the summer of 2004 and I could not get him out of my mind.

He was loud and obnoxious but with a passion I rarely saw in men I have known. He serenaded me with Gypsy songs, and enchanted me with his spirit. I needed more time with him but sadly, Eugene did not need me.

He was after all the lead singer of New York's notorious Gypsy Punk band, Gogol Bordello, with no shortage of female fans. Like a woman possessed I played my final card, and appealed to the only thing I could: his ego.

'I'll make a film about you,' I proposed and to my delight, he agreed."
- Pavla Fleischer

A few weeks ago I didn't even know who Eugene Hutz was. But I'm reading Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer for a reading challenge, and even though I hadn't finished the book I asked my husband to bring home the DVD from Blockbuster, where he works. Playing the Ukrainian translater for New York-Jewish Jonathan was Eugene Hutz, turning in a remarkable performance for a non-actor. Now, like these other women, I'm quite obsessed with him.

I find it comforting to know that two creative women resorted to making films in order to spend time with this man. What is it about Eugene that inspires such wild attraction?

I'm certain it has to do with his passion.

It oozes from his pores.

Like most people whose lust for life is infectious, Eugene's energy spills over to whomever he's with. Including complete strangers like myself who have never even met him before.

I started thinking about Eugene's charismatic hold over women.

I believe it's his Unattainable Man persona.

Who could be more unattainable than a part-Gypsy globetrotter whose undying passion is Music?

Here's a little taste of what drew me to Eugene - a scene from Everything is Illuminated:

And here is the authentic Eugene, speaking for Unattainable Men everywhere with Wanderlust King.

This is the documentary Pavla Fleischer made so she could hang out with Eugene:

And here's a performance documentary made by yet another woman, Margarita Jimeno, showcasing the carnival atmosphere of Eugene's band:

And this is part of an interview promoting Madonna's film Filth and Wisdom.


  1. I haven't read the book and haven't seen the movie either so I am completely unfamiliar with this guy :-) He looks like a fascinating character though.

  2. I haven't read the book, but I watched the movie. Charisma is hard to define but he has it.

  3. Louise - The book is SO-O-O good. The character of Alex is so well-drawn that I already heard his voice clearly in my mind. And when Eugene-the-actor's real voice came onscreen, it was exactly the way I'd imagined it.

    Lynne - The film captures the feelings of the book so well that seeing it is all you really need. But the writing is so amazing I'd hate to deprive anyone of the experience.

    And Eugene's charisma - his family fled the Chernobyl disaster but it cranked his charisma up to nuclear levels.

  4. Gypsy punk! What a strangely wonderful combination! Just like Eugene's passionate performance in the video, and then his quiet insightful conversation in the interview. He's quite a chameleon, able to take on a creative task and turn out a stellar performance. His passion definitely oozes from his pores, as you said, Julia! Thanks for sharing him (I'm sure Eugene loves to share himself often!).

  5. Wow, Julia! What an intense fellow. Here in Oregon we have the "Oregon Country Fair" every summer in Eugene. For many decades, this was the ultimate gypsy-hippie fest. Set on nearly 300 acres and featuring amazing acts, strange and wonderful food, and a motley collection of wandering souls. It was there I first saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers. *grin*

    The clips you shared here were amazing and reminded me of the frenetic, joyful exuberance from my early 'gypsy' experiences.

    What a fabulous article, my dear. WOW. I really enjoyed my introduction to Eugene! The Everything Is Illuminated scene had me in stitches. :-D

    Bravo! Play on!!


  6. Cate - 'Thanks for sharing him (I'm sure Eugene loves to share himself often!)' - LOL!! I sneakingly suspect the same thing...

    Chiron - I guess Eugene has the quintessential gypsy name! I really recommend the whole film if you loved the clip. It has hilarious scenes and very, very moving scenes.

  7. Always fun to hear/learn about a new artist!
    Glad you stopped by my Magpie's Nest today so I could find you!
    I enjoyed the video clips and would like to check out the Illuminated movie!

  8. Julia - WOW! I just watched the clips and I can see where the appeal comes from - he definitely has a lot of passion and charisma. You know that is something that women seem to react to more in men than vice versa. I think men always react to face and form and women to what emanates from within. He's got it! ;D Thanks for letting us know about his music and films.

  9. Patty/Magpie's Nest - I'm glad you enjoyed meeting Eugene. Everything is Illuminated has quickly become one of my all-time favorite films.

    Joanna - Yes, I think so, too. Eugene grows more handsome the more I hear him sing and watch his performance. That's just the way we're wired, I guess.


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