Friday, February 04, 2011

A Conflicted Life Ends ... Tango Actress Maria Schneider Dead at 58

It was quite a surprise to see the name of actress Maria Schneider in the Obit column today.

As much for remembering the long-ago crush, as for how long she has been out of the news, the limelight dimmed for quite some time.

Ms. Schneider died yesterday in Paris “following a long illness,’’ a representative of the Act 1 talent agency said, but declined to provide details.
Ms. Schneider was 19 when she starred opposite Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci’s racy “Last Tango in Paris.’’ In it, she played Jeanne, a young Parisian woman who takes up with a middle-aged American businessman, played by Brando.
Full of explicit sex scenes, “Last Tango’’ was banned in Italy for obscenity for nearly two decades, returning to cinemas there only in 1989. In the United States, the movie still has an NC-17 rating for its sexual content, meaning it can’t be seen by children under 17 years of age.

I'm quite sure anyone over the age of 18, back in 1972 either (A) flocked to the movies to see the film 'Last Tango In Paris", or (B) was aware of the controversy surrounding its' explicit sex scenes, or, (C) rushed to the record store to get the smoking soundtrack, featuring the great saxophonist Gato Barbieri.

I indulged in A, and C of the above.

In her youth, Maria Schneider was incredibly beautiful, which was likely the factor in getting her two big roles (Three years after 'Tango', she starred with Jack Nicholson in 'The Passenger').

All the obituaries mention "a long illness", which included drugs and, as a few referenced, "mental illness".

No doubt, 'Last Tango In Paris' was, perhaps, the beginning of what seemed to be a troubled life.

In the film, Jeanne enters into a brief but torrid affair with a recently widowed American, played by Brando. Their erotically charged relationship, played out in an empty apartment near the Bir Hakeim Bridge in Paris, shocked audiences on the film’s release in 1972, especially a scene in which Brando pins Ms. Schneider to the floor and, taking out a stick of butter, seems to perform anal intercourse on her. The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an X rating.
The role fixed Ms. Schneider in the public mind as a figurehead of the sexual revolution, and she spent years trying to move beyond the role, and the public fuss surrounding it. “I felt very sad because I was treated like a sex symbol,” she told The Daily Mail of London in 2007. “I wanted to be recognized as an actress, and the whole scandal and aftermath of the film turned me a little crazy and I had a breakdown. Now, though, I can look at the film and like my work in it.”
The famous butter scene, she said, was not in the script and made it into the film only at Brando’s insistence. “I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci,” she said. “After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take.”

Whatever, it still brings about a veil of sadness.

RIP Maria Schneider.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Breaking News! ...Groundhog Hoax - Famous Phil Balked, Joined Egypt Protest

Controversy has erupted in Gobblers Knob, as sources have come forward, charging that the groundhog that predicted an early spring was not the famous, and well-known, Punxsutawney Phil.

"Phil notified his handlers days before the event," a source close to the event at Gobblers Knob offered, "that he was not going to come out, that he was sympathetic to the protesters in Egypt and wouldn't come out until President Hosni Mubarak left office."

This caused a whirlwind of activity, running up to just hours before the big, public event, of the groundhog's handlers searching feverishly for another groundhog that could stand in, and look like, the famous prognosticator.

Officials at Gobblers Knob refused to comment on the charges.

When reached, protesters in Cairo were pleased that they have the support of an American icon.

"The day we have a free Egypt, we'll bring him over here to celebrate with us." gushed one protester.

This isn't the first time questions have been raised, as in 2005, charges were brought up that Punxsutawney Phil lied about seeing his shadow.

More as this story develops.

Bonus Riffs

Bonus Bonus Riffs

Rumsfeld Goes With The Lies He Wish He Had

Who knew!

Lenny Bruce used to do a bit where he offered this advice;
"Whatever happens, deny it. Flat-out deny it! If you really love your wife, deny it. If they walk in on you, deny it. Even if they got pictures, deny it. Even if she catches you with a chicken, deny it."
I just can't picture Old Snowflakes being into Bruce, so he must have just taken his own advice and said "You go to write a book with the lies you have---not the lies you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Yes, yet another of the Bush Grindhouse, one of their most prolific warmongers, has penned a "Not Me, Not My Fault" book, hitting the streets this week.


“Two weeks after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history, those of us in the Department of Defense were fully occupied,” Mr. Rumsfeld recalls. But the president insisted on new military plans for Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld writes. “He wanted the options to be ‘creative.’ ”
His biggest mistake, Mr. Rumsfeld writes, was in not forcing Mr. Bush to accept his offers to resign after the abuse of Iraqi detainees by American military jailers came to light in early 2004. Mr. Rumsfeld insists that the abuses were the actions of rogue soldiers and that they did not reflect any approved policies, but nevertheless he offered to step down.
While generally defending the Bush administration’s counterterrorism legal policies, Mr. Rumsfeld expresses some regrets. He suggests several times that some criticism and setbacks could have been avoided if the administration had gone to Congress for legislation authorizing the policies instead of relying on the president’s war powers.

"Oh, if we only didn't didn't have contempt and scorn for our critics (you know, the "Appeaserrs ... the morally and intellectually confused" ), and only if we didn't piss on the Constitution and make up our own laws, maybe things would have turned out better."

Heh, that's funny. Of course, since there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and in fact there apparentrly had not been any for a number of years, the reason that Rumsfeld would like to take "that one" back is because he was lying. Maybe someday someone will free the Washington Post from the tyranny of the inverted pyramid and they can actually say that.
Donald Rumsfeld lied.

Jack Stuef, over on Wonkette weighed in as well;
America’s Grandpa of Death Donald Rumsfeld is having his memoir published on Tuesday, serving as an addendum to George W. Bush’s book in that it has actual, alleged facts, opinions, and memories in it. So: Abu Ghraib? Not his fault, but he really wanted to resign over it and feels very emo that big meanie Bush wouldn’t let him. Initial troop levels? Not his fault, nobody in the military ever asked him for more troops. Guantanamo? Not his fault the jail existed, and actually he made sure there was less torture and fewer prisoners. Hmm, anything we’re forgetting here? Oh, that one war. What was it called again? Anyway, not his fault, Bush came to him about Iraq before the U.S. even invaded Afghanistan, but at the same meeting, he also talked about Rummy’s son’s drug addiction, so all Rummy could do was cry about that. Whoops!
And this;
Ah, there you have it. Rumsfeld could have said, “What the fuck are you talking about going to war with Iraq for? Our country was just attacked by a foreign terrorist organization we need to go try to destroy. Iraq has nothing to do with this. Aren’t you more concerned with winning this war we haven’t even begun yet?” But instead, his son had done some drugs. Sure thing, Rumsfeld. Perfectly good excuse. You should drop some leaflets on the families of people, American and Iraqi, whose children have died in that war. “Sorry, my son was doing drugs. I was emotional at the time. Not my fault.”

Stuef also had a suggestion for those plans to invade and occupy Iraq to be "creative" that "Rummy says Defense was preparing for offense on Afghanistan at the time, but Bush asked him to be “creative.” Creative! Perhaps the military could stage a production of Grease for the people of Iraq before taking a bow and dropping a bomb on them?

No instead we just got greasy lies, at the time, and more polished greasy lies now, with the book.

I wonder if his Lie Tour will interfere with his, and his former Shadow President's Armageddon weekends?

Like we said above, Ugh!

Bonus Rummy Riffs