Category Archives: love

Love Letters of Great Men

Love letter from Beethoven to an unknown woman (his Immortal Beloved), published in the fictional book Love Letters of Great Men. And I thought my handwriting was bad.

dir – mein Leben – mein alles – leb wohl – o liebe mich fort –
verken nie das treuste Herz deines Geliebten

ewig dein
ewig mein
ewig uns

And this is the English translation

you – my life – my all – farewell. Oh continue to love me –
never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

By Freudian free association: Du and Dir are German words for you. “Du” (Bist Alles)[1] is also the title of a European popular song by Peter Maffay later covered by David Hasselhoff [2]. In 1969, when this song came out, you could also have been discovering Kool & The Gang and The Stooges.

World cinema classics #48


Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981) by Marco Ferreri [off-line]

I’ve been waiting quite a long time to be able to show a clip of Tales of Ordinary Madness by Marco Ferreri (La Grande Bouffe), one of the most devastatingly beautiful films to have crossed my retina when I saw it about 5 years ago.

Memorable scenes include Ornella Muti putting an oversized safety pin to some rather startling uses, and a listful cat and mouse game between Ben Gazzara and Susan Tyrrell which results in Gazarra’s arrest when you least expect it. Some hold the Ornella Muti scenes as some of the most erotic ever confided to celluloid, I’ll take the Tyrrell/Gazzara encounter any day.

The film’s title and subject matter are based on the works and the person of US poet Charles Bukowski.

See also WMC#13.

Update: a few hours after I posted the clip, it was taken down by the “user.”

Do not disturb

“Can desire, the anticipation of pleasure, ever truly be photographed? No one has done it as well as Chas Ray Krider, and no one has equaled his blend of salaciousness and subtlety.” — Esparbec, writer, Paris 2007

Enter Motel Fetish

A new book by “Motel Fetish” Chas Ray Krider

[FR] [DE] [UK]

Chas has a blog with photos like this one. His latest book, Do not Disturb, was published by French imprint/bookseller La Musardine. For a good Esparbec cover, click here.

Will you talk about yourself?

This post is part of the cult fiction series, this issue #5

The Swimmer (1968) Frank Perry

The famed John Cheever short story appeared in the New Yorker and people talked. Now there will be talk again. When you sense this man’s vibrations and share his colossal hang-up . . . will you see someone you know, or love? When you feel the body-blow power of his broken dreams, will it reach you deep inside, where it hurts? When you talk about “The Swimmerwill you talk about yourself?

The sexually frustrated woman

I believe it was Dutch gay fiction writer Gerard Reve who said: “Gij zult het cliché niet schuwen”, which translates in English as “Thou shalt not eschew the cliché.” It is this phrase which has provided me with a rationale for liking stereotypes, archetypes and tropes. For today’s cliché I’ve chosen the sexually frustrated woman. There are two species of sexually frustrated women, the single female (also known as the spinster) and the one in a relationship. We will focus on the second variety as much more information – albeit still limited in comparison to the average frustrated chump – about her is available.

Some quick and dirty research over the course of an hour or so yields our first stereotype of the sexually frustrated woman in Egyptian mythology in the persona of Nephthys. Closer to home and our present age we find her most evidently in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the story of a woman who gets a lover because of her husband’s impotence (a similar plot element is found in von Trier’s Breaking the Waves).

To illustrate her today, I resort to Brian de Palma 1980 film Dressed to Kill and the character of Kate Miller played by Angie Dickinson.

Kate is a married housewife and mother who has just tried to seduce her therapist (played by Michael Caine) who rejects her advances. Later that day as shown in the majestic scene above, we find Kate in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (one of de Palma’s body doubles: the Philadelphia Museum of Art is provided its interiors) and for ten minutes without any dialog she has an unexpected flirtation with a mysterious stranger. Kate and the stranger “stalk” each other through the museum until they finally wind up outside, where Kate joins him in a taxi cab. They immediately begin to have sex right there in the cab, and their experience continues at his apartment.

Let me share that scene with you. One of the most erotic scenes in 20th century sinema, without an inkling of nudity:


However, the sexually frustrated housewife – like many “final girls” before and after her pays dearly for her transgression. She discreetly leaves while the man is asleep, but not before she rifles through some of his papers and discovers that he has a sexually transmitted disease. Mortified, Kate leaves the apartment and gets in the elevator, but on the way down she realizes that she’s left her wedding ring on the stranger’s nightstand. She rides back up to retrieve it, but the elevator doors open on the figure of a large, imposing blonde woman in dark sunglasses wielding a straight razor. She slashes Kate to death in the elevator.

Unsolved trivia: I’d liked to find the titles of the two first paintings (the one with the woman’s face and the one with the monkey) Kate is enjoying while she is sitting on the bench in Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you know, let me do to.

This film is the 45th entry in the category World Cinema Classics.

It has to be offered to her

C K Rajan

The weather is soft. To the right approaches a man, to the left a woman. They will meet within ten to fifteen seconds. His will glance upwards stealthily. She will look straight ahead, knows that she is being looked at. She will only half enjoy this, but she would not want to miss it. It is a gift she refuses, but it has to be offered to her. –Adapted from K. Schippers‘s opening lines on Balthus in Eb.

Collage by Indian artist Rajan c k.

I am not a cinephile

I would have to concur with Alain Robbe-Grillet who stated in a televised interview that he is not a cinephile. He is interested in “certain films,” that’s it.

“What are commonly called true cinephiles are mental retards (débile mentale) who love “the movies”, people who run to any theatre to submit to viewing any film. They consume with the same pleasure whatever genre of film. That is what is known as cinephilia. It’s an illness, though a less common one than it used to be [during the heydays of the Nouvelle Vague],” he concedes.

From Alain Robbe-Grillet : Je ne suis pas un cinéphile ! Youtube clip posted by beethoven000999.

In the same interview Grillet adds that he is neither a devourer of books. The way I like to interpret this soundbite is that Grillet does not follow any medium, but rather is in search of certain sensibilities. Mine include:

absurdalternativeantiavant-gardebannedbizarreclandestinecontroversialcountercultureculteccentricelitistesotericexcessiveextravaganceexoticexperimentalforbiddengratuitousgrotesquehermetichiddenhorrorillegalincongruousindependentintellectualirrationalkinkykitschlibertinemacabremodernmonstrousnon-mainstreamobscureoccultoffbeatoffensiveoriginaloutsiderperversepostmodernqueerradicalrarerevolutionaryscatologicalsensationalstrangesubculturesubversivesupernaturalsurrealtaboo transgressivetravestyuglyuncannyunconventionalundergroundunusualweirdwild

P. S.: guilty pleasure of the day: Yelle – “A Cause des Garçons” Remix Tepr Video Tecktonik, a popular track when it first came out in 1987 in Francophone Europe, here in a recent remix.

Breton’s homophobia

I’ve mentioned surrealist leader André Breton’s homophobia before, so I decided to investigate.

Apparently most of what is known of Breton’s dislike of homosexuality stems from round table discussions that were held in the years 1928 – 1932, long before Kinsey or Masters and Johnson began their clinical surveys. Participants included many of surrealism’s best known figures: Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Antonin Artaud, Benjamin Peret, Jacques Prevert, Marcel Duhamel, Yves Tanguy, Pierre Unik, etc…. Their findings were partly published in the surrealist magazine La Révolution surréaliste. For those of us without access to those magazines (and that is 99.999% of us) there is an English translation available from Verso books with the title Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932, which publishes verbatim accounts of all of these round table discussions.


Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932, page 5, an illustration of many Surrealists', and especially Breton's apparent homophobia. This excerpt from the first session on January 27, 1928.

Quoting from both sides (pro and contra):

André Breton said:

“I accuse homosexuals of confronting human tolerance with a mental and moral deficiency which tends to turn itself into a system and to paralyse every enterprise I respect.”

Pierre Unik states:

“From a physical point of view, I find homosexuality as disgusting as excrement …”

André Breton concludes:

“I am absolutely opposed to continuing the discussion of this subject. If this promotion of homosexuality carries on, I will leave this meeting forthwith.”

Some surrealists came to the defense of homosexuals, most notably Raymond Queneau who states:

“It is evident to me that there is an extraordinary prejudice against homosexuality among the surrealists.

I’d like to investigate further who was pro and who contra, but I am running out of time here.