There are days I wonder just what a woman finds attractive in men. After all, paradoxically her tastes reach out for the refined, the soft, the gentle, the sweet-smelling. One look at Joe Dallesandro however, that archetypal Adonis, makes me understand immediately what is sexually attractive in the human male.
I’m not sure Je t’aime… moi non plus would work if it was made today. I saw at the local art house cinema in my mid twenties. At the time I was as much in love with the yellow truck as with the decadence of the film, the performances of Jane Birkin, and Joe Dallesandro and the cameo by Gérard Depardieu. As a fan of Serge Gainsbourg, I’m glad to showcase it here today. The striptease scene at the beginning is very typical of this film. Towards the end of this Youtube clip, the footage is underlit.
The clip is directed by French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino (1983). It is an homage to the movie Querelle by Fassbinder. To us, in the early eighties, Querelle was the quintessence of the macho/gay sensibility and it was copied by musicians such as Luc Van Acker on the cover of The Ship album. Jean-Paul Gaultier appropriated this seaman’s aesthetic and celebrated it all through the early eighties.
Fassbinder’s adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel features surreal sets that underscore the dreamlike quality and abstraction of the novel. It was Fassbinder’s final and, by his own words, most important movie.
Digression #1: Axel Bauer is not related to John Bauer:
Mother and child reunited after mother was believed dead
I viewed Pedro Almodóvar’s 2006 film Volver. A very good film (Pedro has yet to deliver his first dud) but not as great as Bad Education or All about my Mother. The DVD extras feature an interview by French distributor Pathé which is on YouTube here. (in French)
One of the most remarkable segments in the interview is when the interviewer compares Pedro to Woody Allen, who also features women prominently in his films. Pedro explains that the difference is that he makes films about women (as a gender group) and how they have been influential in his life whereas Woody Allen, he continues, just like Ingmar Bergman, make films about the women who have been their life partners.
The music of Almodóvar.
A part of the Volver soundtrack here. (the song ‘Volver’ itself starts around 4:00). Here is the song as performed by Estrella Morente who voices Penélope Cruz in the film. The hit tango by Carlos GardelVolver is a leitmotiv of the film. View it here.
Like other gay directors such as the French director François Ozon, Almodóvar’s films are full of campish music. One of my fave soundtrack tracks is Luz Casal’s Un Año de Amor which is presented here as ‘Un anno d’amore’ by Mina recorded live for RAI television in 1965.
I was advised on all hands not to write this book, and some English friends who have read it urge me not to publish it.
“You will be accused of selecting the subject,” they say, “because sexual viciousness appeals to you, and your method of treatment lays you open to attack.
“You criticise and condemn the English conception of justice, and English legal methods: you even question the impartiality of English judges, and throw an unpleasant light on English juries and the English public—all of which is not only unpopular but will convince the unthinking that you are a presumptuous, or at least an outlandish, person with too good a conceit of himself and altogether too free a tongue.”
I should be more than human or less if these arguments did not give me pause. I would do nothing willingly to alienate the few who are still friendly to me. But the motives driving me are too strong for such personal considerations. —from the introduction to Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions (1916) – Frank Harris