Derek Jarman plays Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1988 student film ‘Ostia’


 
Twenty years ago yesterday, Derek Jarman succumbed to AIDS. Around the time that he was first diagnosed of the illness, in 1986, Jarman starred in a student film by Julian Cole about the last days of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Pasolini, was one of the few homosexual cinema icons Jarman could look to for inspiration, his grotesque murder in Rome in 1975 was a blow for film lovers all over the world.

In 1985 Jarman published a movie treatment, never realized, with the title P.P.P. in the Garden of Earthly Delights that spanned Pasolini’s life from the shooting of the final scene of Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom through to his death. (Reminiscent of Jarman’s Caravaggio, the treatment apparently drew in the works of Hieronymus Bosch too.) The extent to which that treatment influenced the development of Ostia, Julian Cole’s 25-minute homage to Pasolini (named after the site of his death), is not entirely clear, but the fact is that Jarman agreed to appear in the movie as Pasolini. (According to John Houghton, Cole found Jarman’s acting to be at times so atrocious that it was a considerable challenge to edit around it. Oh, well.)
 
Ostia
 
In the final volume of the director’s journals, Kicking the Pricks, Jarman relates the following reminiscence:
 

Last year Julian Cole asked me to play Pasolini in his graduate film Ostia. Getting murdered and buried in freezing mud at 4 am as an uncertain sun came up was gruelling, but there was compensation in a trip to Camber Sands where we filmed a desert sequence in the dunes. I took my Super 8 with me and one shot from that day, my shadow racing across the sand, ended up in The Last Of England.

 
London and the coastal stretch of Camber Sands were never going to pass comfortably for Rome, but to my eye Cole did a pretty good job pulling off the switcheroo. (The spiffy Alfa Romeo helps.) Ostia is purest experimental moviemaking of the mid-1980s, which means it ain’t the easiest thing to follow, but the final chunk depicting Pasolini’s death can’t help but be profoundly affecting.

Jim Ellis comments in Derek Jarman’s Angelic Conversations:
 

As Jarman’s words [meaning the P.P.P. treatment] indicate, there are profound sympathies between the directors that go beyond the biographical similarities, and indeed, it’s difficult to name a film by Jarman that does not contain some echo of Pasolini, from Sebastiane, where Jarman comes closest to emulating Pasolini, to Blue, which calls to mind the all-blue painting made by the son in Teorema, after a homosexual affair has stripped away his bourgeois pretensions.

 
If you’ve seen any of Jarman’s movies, you won’t be surprised to learn that Ostia is also strictly NSFW.
 

 
via {feuillton}

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
When Jayne Mansfield met Jimi Hendrix
02.19.2014
08:36 am

Topics:
Movies
Music
Sex

Tags:
Jimi Hendrix
Jayne Mansfield


 
Sex appeal, according to Jayne Mansfield, is a wonderfully warm, healthy feeling that isn’t manufactured, or has anything to do with measurements or lipstick color, rather:

“An effervescent desire to enjoy life, that’s what sex appeal is to me.”

Though Mansfield regularly played-up to her vital statistics, she was no dummy. Jayne allegedly had a genius IQ, spoke five languages, and was smart enough to buck the Hollywood system—breaking away to achieve international success as an actress, singer, burlesque and cabaret entertainer starring in sell-out shows on both sides of the Atlantic

In 1965, Jayne cut two tracks in New York with a young session musician named Jimi Hendrix on guitar. Apparently this strange combo happened as Jayne and Jimi shared the same manager.
 

A-Side: As Clouds Drift By—Jayne Mansfield with Jimi Hendrix on guitar and bass.
 

B-Side: Suey—Jayne Mansfield with Jimi Hendrix on guitar and bass.
 
Below, Mansfield speaks from a bed on the set of Brit flick The Challenge (aka It Takes A Thief) to comb-over interviewer, Robert Robinson, in 1960:

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Seizure’: Oliver Stone’s disowned directing debut


 
Although it seems as if he’d like to do everything he can to disown it and pretend that it doesn’t exist, Oliver Stone’s 1974 directing debut, the low-budget horror film Seizure, is nothing to be ashamed of. It may not be the best film he’s ever made, but it’s certainly not the worst either (U-Turn anyone?).

In terms of cult movie catnip, Seizure boasts stars like Jonathan Frid (“Barnabas Collins” from TV’s Dark Shadows), B-movie queen Mary Woronov, Bond girl Martine Beswick and Hervé Villechaize, the dwarf actor who played “Tattoo” on Fantasy Island (Villechaize, a well-known actor in NYC experimental theater circles, was Stone’s roommate at the time). Frid plays a horror writer who is terrorized by his own fictional creations. The surreal plot that is loosely based on Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf.

Here’s what the VHS cover looked like:
 

 
Mary Woronov claims that one of the film’s producers was gangster Michael Thevis, who anonymously bankrolled the film to launder money while he was under investigation by the FBI, something also mentioned on IMDB.

Seizure has never come out on DVD, but in the early 80s, it was easy to find on VHS for $2.99. According to Mary Woronov, Stone bought the rights to the film and it would appear that he intends to keep sitting on it. It’s easy enough to find, of course, if you know where to look. Ahem.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Movies R Fun!’: R-rated movies drawn in the style of a children’s book
02.17.2014
08:49 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Design
Movies

Tags:
Josh Cooley


The Graduate
 
Pixar storyboard artist Josh Cooley‘s new book Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile will be available to purchase on March 1.

I’m going to hold out for Cooley’s XXX version children’s book.
 
The Godfather
 

Rosemary’s Baby
 

Léon: The Professional
 

Seven
 

Fargo
 

Blues Brothers
 
Apocalypse Now

Pan’s Labyrinth
 

Silence of the Lambs

Via Imgur

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
New Slint documentary trailer released
02.14.2014
12:11 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Movies
Music

Tags:
Slint
Lance Bangs


 
On the heels of Touch & Go’s announcement of an insanely comprehensive Slint box set comes the release of the trailer for Lance Bangs’ documentary on the band, Breadcrumb Trail. Bangs’ impressive resume includes music videos for Arcade Fire, Pavement, Kanye West, The Shins, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Belle & Sebastian. Slint, of course, were the band of Louisville kids who dropped a very quiet atom bomb called Spiderland in 1991. The album hugely influenced math rock, slo-core, and Post-Rock, and so had a massive impact on the independent music of the 1990s and beyond. I’ve drooled on at length about it before, so I’ll not rehash. I’ll just point you here.

One thing about the trailer that’s just killing me—I am about Slint’s members’ age, and so I was a 19-year-old kid in college when the album came out, and damn if they don’t look ridiculously young to me now. So, how’d YOU change the world before you finished school?

Per Vice, screenings of Breadcrumb Trail don’t begin until mid-March, but I’m crazy-excited to see it. I’m especially keen to see how well it complements the 33 1/3 book on the album, which is thus far the single best source of information I’ve found on the somewhat mercurial band.

Enjoy the trailer.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Forget ‘Reefer Madness,’ 1938’s ‘Sex Madness’ is your new favorite moral panic film
02.13.2014
08:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
History
Movies
Sex

Tags:
exploitation films

movie poster
 
Premarital sex! Lesbians! Syphilis! These are the the threats of Sex Madness, the most unintentionally hilarious moral panic film I have ever seen! And I watched Reefer Madness in a fit of herbal-induced giggles, if you catch my meaning, if you get my drift…

The plot is charmingly anachronistic, (if you can forget all the shame, damnation, and sometimes prosecution that has historically befallen less-than-respectable sexual practices). Paul Lorenz, our resident protagonist and “concerned citizen” fears the growing threat of “social diseases”—perhaps my favorite euphemism of all time. Meanwhile, additional plots serve to support his wholesome concerns. A New York burlesque show sets the stage for the aforementioned debauchery.

Most compellingly though, is the storyline of Millicent Hamilton, a good girl from a small-town who came to New York after winning a beauty contest. Poor Millie caught syphilis on the “casting couch,” and hopes to be cured by the time she returns to her sweetheart, Wendell. “Wendell”—now that’s the sort of name you can take home to mother.

Though it’s tempting to reduce the fervor of Sex Madness to puritanical pearl-clutching, in 1938, the US was still battling a syphilis epidemic that physically and mentally ravaged the populous. As with most STD outbreaks, a fair amount of shame, naivety, and pseudo-science contributed to the spread of the disease. Yes, Sex Madness is mostly prudish scare tactics and moral condemnation, but it also emphasizes that syphilis can be cured with legitimate treatments, warning the audience of the quackery that pervaded the time.

Of course, making a movie on these scandalous subjects risked censure at least, prosecution at worst, since the Motion Picture Production Code quite plainly forbade such filth on celluloid. Even the word “sex” could be grounds for action! Attempting to skirt potential repercussions, the film was released multiple times under different names, including such titillating titles as Human Wreckage, They Must Be Told, and Trial Marriage. It’s also possible that it was released multiple times to trick audiences into seeing it more than once—and with such prurient titles, wouldn’t you?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Ichiban Bond: Gorgeous Japanese James Bond posters
02.12.2014
12:27 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
James Bond
posters


 
Lovely vintage Japanese James Bond posters.
 



 



 



 

More posters after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘A Field in England’: Director Ben Wheatley talks about his head-trip Civil War movie

dielfnagenland222.jpg
 
There’s an horrific scene in Ben Wheatley’s latest film, the truly excellent A Field in England, which proves the merit of the old adage that the most gruesome moments in any movie are more effectively achieved when they are suggested rather than revealed.

In this particular scene, the character Whitehead (superbly played by Reece Shearsmith) is tortured by the diabolical O’Neill (another excellent performance from Michael Smiley). Rather than showing what happens, Wheatley audaciously keeps any physical violence out-of-vision, leaving only Shearsmith’s terrifying screams to suggest the worst, the very worst. It is one cinema’s genuinely horrific and visceral moments, and yet nothing is ever seen.

A Field in England confirms Ben Wheatley as the most talented and original film-maker to come out of Britain since the glory days of Ken Russell, Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson and John Boorman in the swinging sixties.

Unlike most young directors who show flair with one type of genre film before going on to make variations of the same time-and-again, Wheatley has shown with his first four films that he is an immensely talented and important film-maker, whose movies defy easy categorization yet engage their audience with intelligent and sometimes disturbing ideas.

His first major film Down Terrace was a blackly comic tale of murder and violence set in a working class family home, which Wheatley co-wrote with the film’s star Robin Hill. It was described as being like The Sopranos as directed by Mike Leigh. It’s a nice soundbite but doesn’t quite encapsulate the thrilling intelligence that was at work behind the camera.

Wheatley’s next film was the brutal, disturbing but utterly brilliant Kill List, which contained one of the most harrowing endings ever committed to celluloid. Kill List was written by Wheatley and his wife, the writer Amy Jump, and starred Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring and Michael Smiley.

Having shown his aptitude for gangster and horror films, Wheatley then made the black comedy Sightseers, written by the film’s lead actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, in conjunction with Amy Jump.

Wheatley’s latest film A Field in Englandwas also written by Jump, and together this talented duo have created an intelligent head trip, a radical genre-bender, that mixes alchemy and the occult, with history, horror, psychedelia and folk tales. Starring The League of Gentleman‘s Reece Shearsmith, along with Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Ryan Pope, and a terrifying Michael Smiley, A Field in England is certainly one of the best films of 2013-14.

Without giving too much away, the movie centers around four men escaping from a battle during the English Civil War (1642-1651), when the forces of democracy or Parliament (the Roundheads) fought against the Royalist armies (the Cavaliers) for control of England. The main players in this war were the Cavalier, King Charles I and the Roundhead, Oliver Cromwell, and the poor canon fodder in-between.

Wheatley’s interest in this momentous period of English history came through his work with the Sealed Knot Society, a group of individuals who specialize in reconstructing battles from the English Civil War.
 
dielfgendnal.jpg
 
‘A Field in England’ is in cinemas now, or can be watched from Drafthouse Films here.
 

 
The interview with Ben Wheatley follows after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
The painting Hervé Villechaize gave to Greta Garbo
02.12.2014
04:55 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Television

Tags:
Herve Villechaize
Greta Garbo

Hervé Villechaize
 
Hervé Villechaize, famous to all Americans during the 1970s and 1980s as a malevolent twerp in The Man with the Golden Gun and most particularly as “Tattoo” on the long-running ABC television series Fantasy Island, was a pretty interesting dude. His thick French accent and vaguely exotic countenance suggested a pint-sized “Most Interesting Man in the World” type years before the Dos Equis ad campaign. The truth wasn’t that far off: despite the physical handicap of “proportionate” dwarfism, Villechaize studied art at the Beaux-Arts school in Paris and had a successful exhibition after his graduation. He moved to Manhattan in 1964 and worked as an artist, painter and photographer. He acted in a Sam Shepard play, in Oliver Stone’s directorial debut Seizure, in Conrad Rook’s Chappaqua (with William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg), and (much later) in Richard Elfman’s delirious avant-garde cult movie Forbidden Zone.

Villechaize was infamous for constantly macking on his female co-workers, and he dated his fellow Forbidden Zone actor Susan Tyrrell, who told Michael Musto in 1983, “Herve’s a brilliant man, hilarious sense of humor, who’s very paranoid. He carried a gun and a long knife all the time. I loved him very much. You ask any woman he’s been with—he’s a very sexual man. He knows what to do!”

Sadly, Hervé Villechaize took his own life in 1993.

Incredibly, another woman in his life was Greta Garbo. In late 2012 a painting went up for auction with the following description:
 

An acrylic on panel painting of white and yellow flowers on a green background, with three embedded circular mirrors. Signed lower left “Hervé Villechaize.” Given by the actor to Greta Garbo as a gift.

 
Here is that painting:
 
Villechaize
 
Not many people know that Garbo herself tried her hand at painting as well. In the same auction, these two canvases by Garbo went up for sale:
 
Garbo
 
Garbo
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
The Pink Palace: Jayne Mansfield’s mansion makes Barbie’s Dream House look austere
02.11.2014
11:03 am

Topics:
Design
Movies

Tags:
Jayne Mansfield

mansion
Mansfield in her pool, surrounded by one of the odder experiments in early celebrity merchandising, hot water bottles made in her likeness
 
In addition to her rubber-necking beauty, Jayne Mansfield was known for a lot of things. There’s the famous side-eye from Sophia Loren, though that’s obviously nowhere near the most exposure her breasts received (Hugh Hefner was arrested for publishing her nudes). The gory details of her death are also the subject of much obsession—while she was not decapitated as is often rumored, the car wreck that took her life was horribly grisly. And she was romantically attached to a string of powerful and famous men, including Robert F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, and Anton LaVey (which lead to wild stories about her death as the result of occult activities).

I prefer to think of Mansfield as a delightful eccentric, with a warmth and charisma that bubbled rather than smoldered—sort of a free-spirited bombshell with a girl-next-door sweetness. Nothing quite so beautifully encapsulates her explosive personality like these photos of her Los Angeles home, which she named, “The Pink Palace.” Mansfield purchased the 40-room Mediterranean-style mansion in 1957 and immediately began renovating. She didn’t stop at painting the exterior pink—think of an entire bathroom furnished in pink shag carpet, walls and all. As clever as she was lovely, she wrote to furniture and building suppliers requesting samples for her new home; those “samples” totaled over $150,000 ($1,246,742 in 2014 dollars). The house itself cost only $76,000 ($631,682 in 2014 dollars).

At the end, you can see video of Mansfield’s second husband, former Mr. Universe Miklós “Mickey” Hargitay, showing off his line of freeweights, poolside. Jayne also does a little demo of her own exercise routine, choosing not to remove her high heels—the camera quickly switches angles to shoot her from below in an obvious cinematic ogle.
 
mansion
 
mansion
 
mansion
 
mansion
 
mansion
 
mansion
 
Via Messy Nessy Chic

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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