RIP Andrzej Żuławski (1940 – 2016)

Andrzej Żuławski (1940 – 2016) was a Polish film director. He is noted for the body horror film Possession (above), a powerful divorce allegory.

In Possession, Mark (played by Sam Neill) returns home to Berlin to find his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) is leaving him for an unclear reason.

He initially suspects an affair and snoops on his wife, but he gradually discovers clues that something far stranger is afoot. Instead, his wife leaves him and her lover, Heinrich (Heinz Bennent) for a bizarre experience with a strange tentacle creature.

RIP Jacques Rivette (1928 – 2016)

RIP Jacques Rivette

Above: trailer to Celine and Julie Go Boating.

Celine and Julie Go Boating (French: Céline et Julie vont en bateau) is a 1974 French film directed by Jacques Rivette, often described as surreal in nature. Its plot is non-linear.

Celine and Julie Go Boating is a hypnotic, circular film, which starts slowly with the meeting of Julie (Dominique Labourier), a shy librarian, and Céline (Juliet Berto), a nightclub cabaret artiste, in a library reading room; and ends in a madcap murder mystery involving bloody handprints, time travelapparitions and magic sweets. The film is best known for its playful opening scenes of Julie chasing Céline around Paris; its references (particularly Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Bioy Casares‘s La invención de Morel and Henry James’ stories ‘The Other House‘ and ‘The Romance of Certain Old Clothes‘); and the odd device of the magic sweets. Some viewers have seen in the latter a reference to LSD, although Rivette has denied this.

RIP Ettore Scola (1931 – 2016)

Ettore Scola (1931 – 2016) was an Italian film director.

I remember A Special Day fondly. The story of an oppressed housewife and her gay neighbor who stay at home in Rome and enjoy a moment of tenderness on the day that Hitler visits Mussolini.

And then there was the film Brutti, sporchi e cattivi which literally means Ugly, Dirty and Bad but which was released as Down and Dirty (1976).

There is a scene in that film which I’ll never forget (above).

The background: A large and grotesque family live in an extremely poor bidonville of the periphery of Rome. The protagonist is one-eyed patriarch Giacinto (Manfredi). Four generations of his sons and relatives are cramped together in his shack, managing to get by mainly on thieving and whoring.

The scene: One night, a distant family member comes to the shack, sees the buttocks of the sleeping girlfriend of the patriarch, pulls down her underpants and starts to fuck her from behind. When she turns around and asks him quizzically “who are you?”, he answers reassuringly, “I am one from the house.” Whereafter he continues to fuck her (I believe).

Madonna vs Thatcher

Reginald D. Hunter stand-up routine:

Reginald: “Of all the female icons women are encouraged to reach for almost none of them reach for Thatcher.”

“I mean hell, they almost all reach for Madonna before they reach for Thatcher,”

Woman: “Well, absolutely. Madonna broke that glass ceiling that had been oppressing women for decades. Madonna showed women they could be sexy, healthy and vital well into their forties and fifties, she showed women that they could and should be smart business people.”

Reginald: “Some of that’s true, but how about this? Thatcher reached all the way to the top in the most male-dominated profession in the world and she didn’t shake her ass one time. She didn’t shake her ass, she didn’t undo her cleavage before she went into a meeting with the boys and she didn’t suck a dick to jump the queue, she was true to game.”