Archive for November 29th, 2009

Advice and pictures: NSFW Brigitte Bardot edition

November 29, 2009

I was going through old folders I’ve managed to restore and realized I’d not yet shared any pictures of Brigitte Bardot, which is a scandal because I find her very interesting and entertaining. She is not a patron saint, but there is something about her that I found refreshingly real, albeit crazy and sometimes even racist. This is probably not fair because she’s outlived her famous beauty and the fame she enjoyed while societally-standard beautiful I think sort of warped her. But in her day …


A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.

I absolutely loathe luxury. It is the one thing I cannot stand.

Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.

Those are all quite beautiful quotes, actually, and each one is provoking thoughts in me. I will have to reconsider her patroness status.

Movie Moment: The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

November 29, 2009

The Eyes of Laura Mars is a brilliant and appropriately grody American entry in to the wonderful giallo genre, with all the campy-but-seductive hallmarks and tricks of that trade — ice picks to the eye, topless models in front of burning cars, erotic obsession and guns — you might expect. I feel that the cinematography helps it to transcend any of the sillier stumbling blocks it faces with script and story.


This is actually the cover of Laura’s book, not the movie poster

The John Carpenter-penned flick (he has sole story credit and shares co-writing duties with David Zelag Goodman and some half-dozen others) stars Faye Dunaway as the titular character. Barbra Streisand turned the part down, although she does perform the main song on the soundtrack, “Prisoner (Love Theme from The Eyes of Laura Mars),” which had modest chart success with its release in ’78.


The photographs seen on Laura’s walls, in her book, and in her gallery showing are all actually done by world-reknowned photographer Helmut Newton. Kick ass!

Laura Mars is a risque photographer of violent erotica who begins to have visions of brutal murders. Tommy Lee Jones has an early and steamy turn as brash young turk Detective John Neville, an art aficionado and lead investigator on the case of the serial killer whose crimes Laura is seeing. At first, Laura only sees the victims when she looks through her camera lens, but soon, she is having the visions all kinds of inconvenient places, including behind the wheel of her car.


This scene is modestly famous and has been imitated in fashion shoots and on America’s Next Top Model.

We see Laura first struck by a vision when she is photographing for an advertising client in the first part of the movie, doing a shoot with burning cars and lingerie-clad models Lulu and Michele, who later wind up murdered in various states of undress, fighting each other. Here are some more of her models, with whom she is depicted as having a very friendly but I think rather condescending relationship, topless because why not? I’ll tell you why not:


Nude girls who die. It’s giallo and all, but it wanted to be taken more seriously, so I’m going to give it a serious talkin’-to real quick.

I realize models get demeaned a lot but when you’ve got a film which treats the topics of violence, sex, and imagery as interrelated in a logical thread, then you run the risk of implying the girls deserve it when you have them parade about naked and additionally get patronized by the better-than-them, wryly maternal heroine, the “smart girl” with the camera who is superior and holds some kind of moral ace so may not be as likely to die, does that make sense? Just sayin’.


“Let’s look hella g in 3,2,1 — GO.” “Were we going on 1, or on GO?” “Forget it, Laura, I’m already hella g’er than you.”

Also featured are baby Rene Auberjonois and baby Raul Julia as Laura’s best friend and ex-husband, respectively; always great to see either of them in a cast. Rounding out the suspect/victim list is this handsome fellow, Brad Dourif, who plays Laura’s chauffeur Tommy. Tommy has a checkered criminal past, but, as you can see, he has cleverly thrown everyone off the trail by styling himself like Charlie Manson.


Brad Dourif as driver Tommy Ludlow, another red-herring suspect who ends up in the victim body-pile. They’re dropping like flies, Laura! Flies with mutilated eyes, that you could have saved.

Neville seems to suspect her initially but, already an admirer of her photography and with an inarguable chemistry between them — hard-working detectives go to gallery shows on their off-nights, happens all the time — they grow to trust one another and he becomes her lover. Raise your hand if you agree with this decision. SPOILERS FROM HERE ON: IF YOU SOMEHOW HAVE NOT ALREADY GUESSED THE INEVITABLE AND DO NOT WISH TO KNOW THE ENDING OF THIS FABULOUSLY RIDICULOUS BUT SOMEHOW TOUCHING AND MEMORABLE FILM, READ NO FURTHER!!


Look at him absolutely pimping: open shirt, check. Sideburns, check. Gun and sexy lady? check and double-check! Too great.

Has she never seen a giallo film??? Laura! He is clearly hella the killer. You always sleep with the killer, innocently making him breakfast and smiling to yourself as you watch him walk down the steps, calling him to cry later when you find your friends dead. You’re falling in love with him as he mercilessly murders everyone else in your life who matters to you, coming closer and closer to the real objective of killing you, circling in a lazy loop like a hawk who is picking off mice in your orbit in whom he has less interest, merely maiming them and dropping them in your path, just to see you scamper faster!


Laura gets in a car wreck because her eyes are busy envisioning her best friend being murdered, and naturally runs straight to Neville for some scotch and sexytimes. Dig the tartan blanket on her and the red scarf on him!

Whoa, that analogy got completely out of control. All apologies. Giallo movies are just so fun to yell at. Anyway, I loved the story that the following series of screencaps told so much that I took a cap of it myself to demonstrate the strength of the cinematography in this film, the discourse between camera and viewer which itself points up the voyeuristic relationship between the observer and the observed and sex and death in the movie.

In this scene, Det. Neville has just finished a rambling, disjointed story to Laura about how Tommy the now-dead driver’s mother was a prostitute, and how Tommy’s father came home one day, and “outraged by the condition of the child,” he slashed her throat, but as he tells the story and Laura has shades of doubt (she knows Tommy and knows he didn’t grow up the way it’s being described), Neville slowly and chillingly begins to transpose the pronoun “I” for “he.” He winds down the story with the totally creepy line,

“I sat and watched the blood dry on her face, until it was just about … well, the color of your hair.”


The series of caps themselves tell a story; reminds me of the work of Martin Arnold (Life Wastes Andy Hardy).

He throws this shocking revelation down and then just flashes her the g’est look ever, waiting for her to piece it together. And that’s the story this series of screencaps tells. How awesome, am I right? Continuing in that vein, note how the mirror in the below shot continues to toy with ideas about perception, reality, objectification, and physical verisimilitude.


Laura has finally caught on and has in her hand the gun Neville gave her when he was being a pimp several screencaps back. I will not give away the final twist of who kills who or how. See how honorable I am?

Now you see what I mean about the cinematography in this movie? Victor Kemper did a top-notch job with what is essentially a very campy and “b” quality script, almost singlehandedly raising the level of quality to the movie. It’s that and the acting (mainly) that I think have made The Eyes of Laura Mars the giallo cult classic that it is.

This may be the longest Movie Moment yet. It was more like a Movie Half Hour, huh? Sorry. To wind things down, I need to throw a major thank you out to Screenmusings.org, from where I originally got all these grand screencaps. (Any reduction in quality they have suffered in my crops and resizes has been entirely my doing — these are, like, enormous, gorgeous HD quality original screencaps on screenmusings, take my word for it.) Check it out, tons of great movies, screencapped and beautiful.

The course of true love did never run smooth: Old School soapy comics edition with David Lynch movie stills

November 29, 2009

Damn that Nan and her grooviness! Trina, you are just a doormat. Of course, it is possible to go too far in the other direction…

Whoa, Twink — how ’bout you crawl out of Jill’s butt about this? What a lady does behind closed bedroom/car/McDonalds’ restroom doors is her business.

So. Which one would you choose? And remember that things are not always what they seem; Trina could be a doormat because she has been raised according to a view of fundamentally-Biblical, sublimated femininity that also extends to keeping it on clampdown ’til after marriage, and even then, just every third Saturday and only if neither one of you enjoys it! Do you really want a lifetime of hot meals but frigid nights?


Still from Blue Velvet (1986), l to r: Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini, and unbelievably gorgeous slice of ’80s man meat Kyle MacLachlan — three guesses who the next Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day is going to be.

Meanwhile, that alleged whore Jill might actually be acting out because she has been abused, and, like a kicked cat who has not been loved well enough, will just as easily cut you with a broken bottle as blow you.* She may even be one of those chicks who downs a bottle of bourbon and sleeps with your dad so you’ll beat her up, just so she can feel anything.

Ups and downs, blondes and brunettes, femmes fatales and ingenues –and which is which??– deconstruction of assumed codifications. Oh! Such a Lynchian conundrum!


Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, Mulholland Drive (2001).





*Your cat blows you, right?…right??

NSFW November: Divini Rae, Miss November 2003

November 29, 2009

The lovely and talented Divini Rae had already come a long way and traveled the world before posing for the centerfold as Playboy’s Miss November, 2003.


Photographed by Arny Freytag


Growing up in a home with no running water or electricity, Divini became an avid reader and graduated early from high school. … A vacation to Sydney, Australia led to modeling and voice-over work. (“Divini Inspiration,” Playboy, November 2003)


TURNOFFS:
Negativity, gossip, jealousy, narcissism & hypocritical puritanism.

ITEMS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
A bottle of water at all times, a notepad & pen, dental floss, Chapstick, mango butter lotion & antibacterial hand sanitizer.

FIVE PEOPLE I’D LIKE TO INTERVIEW:
Baz Luhrmann, J.D. Salinger, Marlon Brando, Diane Sawyer & Hugh Hefner, again. (data sheet)

These days, you can catch Ms. Rae on her official site or on the myspace. She is still active in modeling and is pursuing acting and writing as well.

Oh, man. I am so glad I saw this cover of Daryl Hannah. It is hella going to be Daryl Hannah day around here soon. I think about her all the time. Fun facts I randomly can access in my memory banks about Daryl Hannah: 1) She slept with a teddy bear and sucked her thumb well past the age of high school. 2) She and JFK, Jr. had an intricate and complicated nearly-lifelong relationship that spanned the gamut from friends to first sexual relationship to occasional engagement to an eventual bond like brother and sister. His death drove her in to private mourning for several years. 3) She’s never been officially diagnosed, but agrees she is probably borderline autistic, most likely being a rare female with Asperger’s (usually it’s the guys who have that). Wow, I am a huge Daryl Hannah fan. Maybe it’s best we live far apart. ‘Scuse me while I freak out over my freakishness … I just made myself uneasy …

Advice: Wordy words of wisdom from Jean-Luc Godard that could be construed as pretentious horseshit, I suppose, depending on your outlook but I like them, featuring Anna Karina (slightly NSFW)

November 29, 2009

Quotes from Godard illustrated by his wife and early muse, my own style inspiration and personal patron saint, the lovely and talented* Anna Karina.


*Not sure if you’d noticed, but I only bill as “lovely and talented” those who take it off. Write that down.

All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun. (Journal entry, 5/16/91)


“Light me up!” Still of Anna Karina as Natacha van Braun from Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution / Alphaville (1965)

I don’t think you should feel about a movie. You should feel about a woman. You can’t kiss a movie.


Still with Jean-Paul Belmondo from Une femme est une femme / A Woman is a Woman (1961), previously highlighted with “Look, Ma, no gag reflex!” still here back in September.

“In films, we are trained by the American way of moviemaking to think we must understand and ‘get’ everything right away. But this is not possible. When you eat a potato, you don’t understand each atom of the potato!” (Interview with David Sherritt, The Christian Science Monitor, 8/3/94)


Une femme est une femme / A Woman is a Woman (1961)

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. (Critique called “What Is Cinema?” for Les Amis du Cinéma , 10/1/52, a work which advanced the auteur theory but also kind of ripped off Bazin, which is weird cause Bazin would’ve read it and was a big influence on Godard but this was done contemporaneously of Bazin himself working on something titled this, about this, so maybe the quote is misattributed? … or maybe there is more to it than I know with my tiny ken of French movie guys, maybe it was a done thing to borrow titles from one another, or perhaps it was a continuation of a dialogue they were already having both in person and via publications, or, finally, it could even have been an “understood” question which anyone might use as the title of a book or article … I am probably over-reading it.)


Hands down my favorite picture of Anna Karina

Beauty is composed of an eternal, invariable element whose quantity is extremely difficult to determine, and a relative element which might be, either by turns or all at once, period, fashion, moral, passion. (“Defense and Illustration of Classical Construction,” Cahiers du Cinéma, 9/15/52)


Cover or liner art for her album, a collaboration with the dread Serge G

The truth is that there is no terror untempered by some great moral idea. (“Strangers on a Train,” Cahiers du Cinéma 3/10/52 — Godard wrote extensively and insightfully in his early career about the movies of Hitchcock, one of my favorite and I think misunderstood directors; I’ll try to share some good nuggets from time to time)


Anna cahorts about topless as Anne in 1968’s The Magus, also starring Anthony Quinn (Zorba the Greek), Michael Caine, and Candace Bergen (Murphy Brown) — no one seems to like this movie but me. That’s okay, because I like it a lot.

Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second. (Le petit soldad / The Little Soldier, 1963.)


With Jean-Paul Belmondo again, this time as Ferdinand and Marianne in the sort of romantic-tragi-comedy-crime-caper Pierrot le fou / Crazy Pete / Pierre Goes Wild (1965).

To be or not to be? That’s not really a question. (unsourced)


Screencap with subtitles from Une femme est une femme / A Woman is a Woman (1961).

Daily Batman: Gotham Girls, “Sirens” edition w/ bonus Mr. J

November 29, 2009

l to r: Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy.

Cover art from Batman Reborn, “Gotham City: Sirens” Issue No. 4, November 2009. (actual release date: 30 Sept 09) Written by Paul Dini, art and cover by Guillem March. (go buy it go buy it go buy it — I know I am hopefully going to just as soon as I submit and am paid for the project on The Godfather I’ve been working on.) I guess the Joker shows up in this one (he’s been MIA since Batman RIP, according to the divine comicvine), and I somehow only just heard about this after Halloween!

From the look of things, he is none too pleased that his shrink and erstwhile girlfriend Dr. Harleen Quinzel has been palling around with that guy Hush. (You always knew he’d kill her.) So last week, finally having some free time, I hit up Bonanza Books and Comics looking for this and they said they had sold whatever copies they had to begin with, but assured me they’d get some more. Booyakasha: air heel click!

NSFW November: Raquel Gibson, Miss November 2005

November 29, 2009

I actually really like Raquel Gibson, Miss November 2005. She seems to be a fun, family-oriented girl, but also a serious multitasker with plans for taking on even more, so it resulted in a surprisingly entertaining Playboy interview.


Photographs by Stephen Wayda and Arny Freytag

Plus she has a stunning pair of eyebrows. Seriously, those things are wicked-great.


Raquel–who already has a culinary school degree [from Chef Jean Pierre Cooking School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida] and a real estate license–plans to go back to school to become a pediatrician someday, with a practice someplace warm. “I can’t stand the cold,” she says. “I can’t see myself dressed like an Eskimo walking down the streets of New York, and I’d miss going to the beach and playing football.” (“Raquel’s World Party,” Playboy, November 2005.)


Just don’t ask Miss November to go into the water–there are too many sharks. “The news will show a helicopter flying over with 200 sharks in the water and people just swimming and playing around them. I think, Are you guys dumb?”


Yes! Finally! Someone agrees with me. What the hell is the matter with you people who are all in to sharks? I believe I have the most logical phobia on the planet in my fear of sharks. I acknowledge it’s a little nuts to open my eyes in the shower every 30 seconds to check and make sure none have swum up the drain and are preparing to sink their zillion rows of teeth in to my foot, but still!

If you cannot at least muster enough care for your life not to place it in peril by descending in to the depths of the ocean (which is another planet to begin with; you cannot even breathe through your mouth under there and live), then show some fear and respect of God and his creations, both yourself and the shark. Just ugh all around and a heartfelt shudder to boot.

Raquel did not end up pursuing her degree in pediatrics, remaining busy in the spokesmodel and entertainment worlds instead. She often models these days with her older sister C.J. (one of her five siblings, of which she is the baby). They bill themselves as the Gibson Sisters.


CJ Gibson. Yes, I found and used the one picture of her in a Yankees jersey probably in existence. It’s my blog!

If you are interested in some lengthy flash presentations and embedded music that you have to scour the creatively font-faced page to turn off, give Raquel’s official site a spin. She asks that you please not contact her to attempt to book anything pornograhpic or TFP.


Oh my god, how dare you imply she would do pornographic modeling with her sister, what is the matter with you?!

TFP = Trade for Prints, a handy piece of largely-chicanerous-publicity practice in which neither party — photographer nor model — gets any money out of the transaction; it’s purely to boost notoriety for both and is generally a very bum deal for the model, as the photog pads his portfolio and can use the pics forever in gallery shows, etc, while the model just has one more nudie photoshoot out of probably a dozen jammed in her little notebook. It’s a move that a lot of amateurs fall for; glad to see she is too wise to go for it!

Speaking of The Girls Next Door, there they are.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: “Get Well Soon” edition

November 29, 2009


Ottawa, Canada

NSFW November: Miss November 2000, Buffy Tyler

November 29, 2009

Your Y2K Miss November was Buffy Tyler, who posed for her Playboy centerfold and soon joined Hef’s at that time very large posse of girlfriends, coming and going at the mansion in Holmby Hills as she pleased, because what’s a 70-something old man with a business to run and seven other girlfriends going to say about it?


Photographed by Stephen Wayda

Eventually, somebody had something to say about it, of course. Buffy got the boot when everyone else did, which is to say around February, 2002 when (until recently) brilliant Holly Madison dug her french-manicured fingertips deep enough in to Hugh Hefner’s inner circle to become his number one gal and, with Kevin Burns, select two other distinct women — Bridget Marquhardt, the sweet, quiet one, and Kendra Wilkinson, the sporty, brash one, both of whom were clearly coached to play second fiddle to Holly’s alpha status as brains and beauty of the operation — and sell him on the idea of the highly marketable “Girls Next Door.”

Thus began a very clever publicity juggernaut, including well-covered frequent trips to Disneyland and the Bajas, film crew coverage of which eventually got them all on cable television and has essentially revived the then-flagging company. The Girls Next Door and its spinoffs and specials have established a firm and even semi-legitimate toehold for Playboy television projects on more channels than merely their own, opening a wide door for expansion of their corporation. Unfortunately, the recent dips in the market across the board have meant that, despite their being more famous and popular than ever, proportionally, Playboy has suffered some losses and seen their stocks drop.

The Gentleman even mentioned to me over soosh bombasticos not long back that he’d heard it was rumored that Hef, who is a 70% shareholder, was finally looking to sell. This does not mean that he is trying to totally get out from under Playboy like it is some lead balloon that is falling fast, do not mistake the feelers for that, but rather that he recognizes they are presently holding on to an unfortunately precaroius top in a notoriously difficult business (its ups and downs mirror the economy and, as a businessman, you are constantly threatened by cheap and abundant competition; think about it).

With their recent highly-public successes, despite their shaky numbers in the last year, now’s still the time to finally start taking some of the bids from media mega-conglomerates like Hearst and Conde-Nast, who have approached Hef time and again over the years hoping to acquire his empire under other names and start reaping the benefits while still appearing not to have their hands soiled by the skin-rag trade. (Don’t be fooled by articles that have other corporations listed as the top bidders — media peoples is veddy tricksy, okay.)

Again — *sigh* — I am so disappointed in Holly Madison for abandoning her project right when she was on top. This could have all been hers to share! This is partly her victory! What a time to develop short-sighted integrity, over a sleazy scumbag magician, no less. I thought she was flintier and more patient than this. I mean, I empathize: I have loved me some rotten, rangy, skeevy, drug-addled assholes in my day. But they totally ruined me, so, it’s like, what is she thinking. Whoa. Maybe that’s part of my disappointment. I’ll have to think about that.

Back to Ms. Tyler. Hit her up on the myspace (current mood: “flirty!”) or gawk at pics of her with sometimes-girlfriend and present roommate Suzanne Stokes (Miss February 2000). And may I add that, when it comes to sexual behaviors, one of the few things I hate more than overly-slowly-paced foreplay — get a move on and let’s do this!, is how I see it — is chicks who only lez out when there’s boys around. I’m not surprised, given the dates of their Playboy appearances, that they’re trotting out this tired gimmick, though. Remember in the early 2000’s when faux lesbianism in front of men was all the rage? Girls all half-heartedly tonguing at every barstool, not even closing their eyes. Lame. If you’re not going to do it in the dressing room, then don’t dry hump on the mainstage, you know what I mean? False advertising: I decry it!

I like to do really outrageous things – I jump headfirst instead of feetfirst. I cannot sit still.” Oh really? “I was dating this guy and had his name tattooed on my rear,” she confesses. “The next morning I said to myself, ‘Oh, Buffy, what did you do?’ Now that I’m no longer with him, I’m going to have to get and arrow drawn through it or something.” (“She’s So Buffy,” Playboy, November 2000.)

As much as I just bashed Ms. Tyler (sorry, chitlin!), I do think that’s a cute and a fun story right there. I’m not an illustrated lady, myself, but if I can say I admire a thing about those with tattoos, I guess it’s that they feel things passionately, and that is always a sweet and endearing quality in a person.

I note that Chyna is the cover model. As much as I admire an all-around kickass lady and good-time-gal, I have to say that these days I would more likely pay her to stay dressed than to take it off. Sorry, Chyna. Please don’t come and squash me.

NSFW November: Pamela Saunders, Miss November 1985

November 29, 2009

Miss November 1985 was the lovely and talented Pamela Saunders. Despite claiming to hate public speaking when she was younger, the Texan bartender spilled a lot of personal refried beans to Playboy during her disarmingly candid and rueful, charming interview.


Photographed by Kerry Morris


“I love men to death,” she declares. “But, you know, they aggravate me. I let men get to me, and I’ve got a nervous stomach. I don’t think I want to get married.” (“Dealing With Dallas,” Playboy, November 1985)


“I guess working in a bar ruined me — you know, watching the way some of these married men act.” Pam medicates her nervous stomach with a steady diet of beer and junk food.

That is totally the way to do it! See, what did I tell you?? Funyuns and Newcastle and a gypsy curse — it’s a three-step weight loss program and it could be right for you!


“I suppose [men] think girls, especially blondes, are stupid. Well, you know,” she says, laughing, “I’m not a true blonde. … I am a klutz. I fall down stairs, spill things. I have to watch myself out on a date.”

This picture is adorable. And finally, in addition to being a klutz who likes beer and junk food, Ms. Saunders doesn’t give a shit about your social niceties when it comes to spic-n-span eat-off-the-kitchen-floor nest-feathering either:

“No, I’m a klutz; a slob, too.”

It’s love. Call me!

Final thought — Seth Godin was interviewed in this issue, just after the MENSA spread, about his work with then-employers Spinnaker Software, though he is better known now as the co-founder of Yoyodyne and for coining business terms like Purple Cows and permission marketing. You should check Playboy out, because that old saw about the articles being really good is actually the god’s own truth, y’all.