In March of 2011, Alejandro Jodorowsky traveled to Montreal, Canada to receive the exalted title of Grand Rectum from the University Of Foulosphie. In his honor, local artists paid homage to his extraordinary career as a provocateur, seer, shaman and subversive. Filmmakers and writers François Gourd and Matthieu Bouchard documented the week-long tribute to Jodorowsky, which included theatrical events and happenings celebrating Jodorowsky’s surrealistic mind-fucks: the Panique theater, El Topo, The Holy Mountain and his adept skills in using Tarot cards in the service of healing deeply fucked up people, of which many of us would qualify.
The grand old man still packs heat and his aim is as pitilessly precise as ever. I have very few heroes that still command my respect. Jodorowsky is one of the few still standing.
Oliver Reed wanted a field for his horse, Dougal, and ended up with Broome Hall, a 56-bedroom mansion, with 50 acres of land. Reed fell in love with Broome Hall and with help of 2 or 3 drinking friends set about renovating the dilapidated property. It was a such a passion for the international star that he refused to become a tax exile, instead giving the bulk of his earnings over the government, to ensure he could live in this beautiful former monastery.
This is a delightful short film from 1977, first shown on Nationwide, which reveals a a funny, charming and sensitive-side to the well-known Hell-raiser. Valerie Singleton asks the questions
Rita Moreno will admit to some similarities with that great, comic character Googie Gomez, who she played in the film version of Terrence McNally‘s play The Ritz. They are both survivors, they are not losers, and they will both always come out on top.
Moreno certainly came out on top - she won a Tony Award, for her original stage performance as Googie, in 1975, and was the star turn of Richard Lester’s film version of McNally’s play, the following year.
The Ritz tells the story of Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston), hiding out from the Mafia at a gay bath house. The film crackled with McNally’s superb dialog, and the brilliant performances from Moreno and Weston, with the support of Treat Williams, F. Murray Abraham and Jerry Stiller.
In this interview, from December 1976, Miss Moreno and director, Mr. Lester discuss their roles in the making of this cult film, which certainly deserves to be rediscovered a great comedy classic.
Famed cult actor extraordinaire Udo Kier is a demigod for those of us with a palate for both art house and exploitation. The man has been bringing his own brand of presence and charisma to the silver screen, of which the likes haven’t been seen since Conrad Veidt. Kier’s filmography alone is a paean to the weird and wonderful world of fringe film making, ranging from Dario Argento’s horror masterwork, Suspiria to Paul Morrissey’s double threat of Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein to Lars Von Trier’s The Idiots and Melancholia. Kier was even in The German Chainsaw Massacre, which by title and cast alone is something I desperately need to see. He’s also flirted with the mainstream, appearing in everything from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective to Blade and more recently, an episode of the TV show, Chuck.
But I am not here to regale you with tales of Kier’s idiosyncraticly impressive acting resume. Not at all, because in addition to being a phenomenal actor, Kier also made a music video where he turns into a bird of prey! In 1985, Kier wrote and recorded a song entitled, “Der Adler” and made one incredible video for it. It truly has to be seen to be believed, featuring Kier as a haunted businessman with a loving family that he seems detached from. He becomes obsessed with power until he ultimately transforms into a hawk. There’s lot of great horror-type imagery, including one shot of Kier writhing on the bathroom floor in elegant attire, no doubt an homage to his turn in Blood for Dracula.
Unfortunately, “Der Adler” is the only song that Kier has recorded to date. It would be interesting to see what he would do nowadays music-wise, especially since he’s still very much active creatively. The whole stark-Euro synth feel of the song works perfectly with the lyrics, as well as the visuals. Kier did some promotional work for the single in Europe, in particular appearing on German television. To my knowledge, the only notable appearance of the song in the US was Kier performing a section of it during the infamous lamp dance in Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho.
So if you have lots of love in your stir-crazy heart for Udo Kier like I do, plus have a weakness for sinister Euro-synthpop, then you must check out “Der Adler”. Enjoy!
In this excerpt from British TV show The Real…, Larry Hagman spares no details in describing the time he drove Keith Moon to rehab after the drummer over-indulged in Black Beauties (amphetamine). Moon and Hagman were friends, having originally met on the set of Stardust, a 1973 movie about the Brit rock business starring David Essex.
21 years ago today, Klaus Kinski died of a heart attack at the age of 65.
In one of his rare appearances on German TV, Klaus Kinski dances with Austrian singer and dancer Margot Werner. Kinski manhandles Werner with the intensity of a tiger about to eat his prey. He’s practically licking his paws.
This gives me an idea for a demented version of Dancing With The Stars involving serial killers and assorted psychotics.
The song is “Zuhälter-Ballade” from the Threepenny Opera.
Robert Mitchum started out making Westerns at $100 a week, and all the horse manure he could take home. It was, he says, like “playing Cowboys and Indians out in the fresh air,” and was better than working. The way Mitchum tells it, he got hired to play himself, and only worked when his family got bored of him hanging around the house.
Mitchum may have been self-effacing, but he was always very sure of himself. He was grounded, centered, and that’s what made hims attractive - you knew you could rely on him. In this interview for French TV, Mitchum suggests acting is 10% talent and 90% craft; talks his experience of working on Ryan’s Daughter; and explains why his favorite actor was Charles Laughton.
Milestones is both an intimate and epic exploration of what happened to the young radicals who were involved in the anti-war and civil rights movements of the Sixties. Directed by master film maker Robert Kramer and John Douglas, this three hour-plus film interviews over 50 members of the “Movement” as they struggle to keep their ideals alive in settings that range from communes to urban lofts and decaying tenements. It is a powerful, absorbing and often sad testimony to the complexities and frustrations of being an idealist and activist in a world grown increasingly cynical. Dreams die hard and when they hit the dust we are all given a taste of the bitterness of their dying.