Tag Archives: 2020

RIP Jan Morris (1926 – 2020)

Jan Morris (1926 – 2020) was a Welsh writer known for being one of the first celebrity transgenders in the West.

She wrote the book Conundrum about his sex reassignment surgery.

Two quotes from that book:

“I was three or perhaps four years old when I realized that I had been born into the wrong body, and should really be a girl. I remember the moment well, and it is the earliest memory of my life.”

“The first man who ever kissed me, in a carnal way, after my return from Casablanca, was a London taxi-driver who drove me one morning to the recently opened Army museum in Chelsea. We chatted all the way across London, and when we reached the museum he got out of his cab to look at the new building with me. Quite suddenly, slipping his arm around my waist boldly on the pavement, he kissed me roughly and not at all disagreeably on the lips. ‘There’s a good girl,’ he said, patting my bottom and returning to his cab: and all I did was blush.”

RIP Michel Robin (1930 – 2020)

In France, the actor Michel Robin died. He turned 90. He played in more than 120 films. Always bit parts. You can recognize him by his bald head and the banal characters he usually had to portray.

Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (1971)

Favorites are Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (1971), a film about two beautiful adolescent girls who start indulging in a satanic love for evil. Robin plays the simple gardener whose parakeet is killed by the diabolic duo.

There is L’Invitation (1973) in which Robin plays a simple and clumsy office worker who, after inheriting a fortune, invites his colleagues to his new estate. There, those good bourgeois men and women are intoxicated by a spiked drink at the hands of a rogue bartender. The situation escalates. Cult movie.

 Marquis (1989)

And then there is the genius animal head puppet film Marquis (1989) in which Robin voices a certain Ambert, a rat prison guard who is eager to be sodomized by the Marquis de Sade, something Colin, the living and talking phallus of the Marquis does not wish to indulge in.

RIP Nelly Kaplan (1931 – 2020)

Argentina-born French writer and filmmaker  Nelly Kaplan died in Geneva. She turned 89.

She taught, wrote, assisted Abel Gance and directed her own films.

She is best known for a 1969 film, La Fiancée du pirate, “the pirate’s sweetheart”. You can see large parts of that film in a documentary by Zo Anima (they make quite interesting documentaries about film history) that mainly talks about the feminist and witch-like aspects of that film.

But also, it would seem, YouTube has the entire film online:

La Fiancée du pirate

Kaplan also wrote and directed two film documentaries about artists’ lives, a genre that is barely practiced today. Those artist films are Gustave Moreau (1961) and Rodolphe Bresdin (1962). If I am not mistaken, Moreau has his own museum in Paris, just like Wiertz in Brussels, with whom Moreau bears similarities, Moreau was the better painter.

Gustave Moreau (1961

The opening credits of Gustave Moreau states that quotations from the oeuvre of Breton, Huysmans, Racine, Jarry, Lautréamont and Baudelaire can be expected.

RIP Nelly Kaplan.

RIP John Fraser (1931 – 2020)

John Fraser was a Scottish actor known for The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) and Repulsion (1965).

 The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)

My gaydar was effective, I noticed while watching The Trials of Oscar Wilde that Fraser was gay. It’s good that they cast a gay man for a gay part in 1960.

Repulsion (1965)

In Repulsion too, Fraser has that gay, slightly decadent and perverse persona.