Monthly Archives: June 2019

RIP Latsploitation queen Isabel Sarli (1935 – 2019)

Isabel Sarli was an Argentinian model and actress known for her risqué films. As such, she was the Latin American Brigitte Bardot. The first film to show her nude was Thunder Among the Leaves (1957) which shows her skinny-dipping from 50:09 to 51:38. There are also nude indigenous females (26:34 and subsequent scenes).

Thunder Among the Leaves (1958)

If you are more into the wackier films like I am, there is Carne (1968) with Isabel Sarli as Delicia, a worker in a meat-packing factory; Fuego (1969) with Sarli as a nymphomaniac; and Fiebre (1970) in which Sarli falls in love with a horse when she sees a stallion mounting a mare.

Carne (1968)

Fuego (1969)

Fiebre (1970)

Searching for “Isabel Sarli”, “sexploitation” and “Latsploitation” brings up snippets such as “generally boring sexploitation film about one of those favorite characters in male reveries, a nymphomaniac.” ([on Fuego] in Cue – Volume 40, Issues 1-13 – Page 67 (1971)); “Isabel Sarli breasting her way through further south-of-the-border sexploitation affairs. […] There’s never been a nudie movie queen more amply endowed than Argentina’s Isabel Sarli who simply has to shed her clothing to make things like story and characterization seem irrelevant.” (Film Bulletin – Volume 39 (1970)); “Woman and Temptation is zero as art, but the talents of the buxom Isabel Sarli make this a top sexploiter entry.” (Filmfacts – Volume 12 (1969)) and “While we cannot claim that Sarli’s films would adhere to a feminist agenda …” (Latsploitation, Exploitation Cinemas, and Latin America (2009)).

RIP Maurice Bénichou (1943 – 2019)

Maurice Bénichou was a French actor, best-known internationally for his part in Amélie. His other work includes three collaborations with director Michael Haneke (Code UnknownTime of the Wolf, and Caché). He has also played in Peter Brook’s 6 hour film version of The Mahabharata.

The death of Bénichou may be a good occasion to dive into the work of Haneke, one of the more interesting of contemporary directors.

Majid (Bénichou) committing suicide in Caché.

Bretodeau (Bénichou) receiving a phone call and his youth treasures in a box in Amélie.

Unnamed character (Bénichou) defending Binoche from sexual aggressors in Code Unknown.

RIP Sylvia Miles (1924 – 2019)

Actress Sylvia Miles died. She was 94. I discovered her via the book Cult Movie Stars (1991) which I bought the year it came out. It describes Miles as a “quirky, funny, busty blonde New York character actress.”

The 1990s was the time of video rental stores and I after I had read Cult Movie Stars from cover to cover I scoured Antwerp looking for old films. So I saw a handful of Miles’ films including Heat (1972) [above], as well as many other Warhol films. Heat opens with the wonderful John Cale song, “Days of Steam” from the album The Academy in Peril (1972).

Sylvia Miles is mainly known for her part in Midnight Cowboy (1969) but she also starred in Denise Calls Up (1996), one of my canonical films.

RIP Dr. John (1941 – 2019)

Dr. John was an American singer-songwriter best-known for his single “Right Place, Wrong Time” (1973).

There are two songs from his debut album Gris-Gris (1968) on YouTube, “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” and “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”, both have very nice percussion breaks.

Of note is the likeness of “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” to the work of Tom Waits (think Swordfishtrombones, 1983), esp. the aforementioned percussion breaks.

Dr. John is one of these figures one could study for a week, there are so many connections. Below is him reading “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Trivia: the beginning of “Right Place, Wrong Time” sounds like the beginning of “Spirit in the Sky” (1969) and the whole of “Right Place, Wrong Time” is very much reminiscent of a seventies groovy soul song with a chorus of “your love, your love” with something added like “is unforgettable” or “is extraordinary”, the title of which escapes me.

RIP Roky Erickson (1947 – 2019)

Roky Erickson was an American singer-songwriter, lead singer of the garage punk band The 13th Floor Elevators.

You’re Gonna Miss Me

He is best-known for his song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (1966) which was featured on the compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968 (1972).

From his later period, this very charming “Goodbye Sweet Dreams” from the biographical movie ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’.

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