"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Girl of the Day - Last Tango in Paris Version (Maria Schneider)

In the old days in college, different groups would raise money by showing a movie.   They would have to rent an actual film, wait for it to arrive in the mail, and then arrange for a projector and a room, and then would charge students money to see the movie, usually a buck or two.   Sometimes a group would arrange to present a film series, usually of "arty" films (it's college, after all, where pretentiousness is the order of the day).   And thus it is that I remember seeing, at age 19 or 20, the French "art film"/porn film Last Tango in Paris, starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.   I saw it in 1979 or so; it had come out in 1972, the same year Brando starred in The Godfather.   I doubt any actor ever had two bigger roles in a single year.   Undoubtedly many in the audience came for the porn, and were surprised at seeing a strange  dark psychological drama in French with subtitles.   I remember how uncomfortable watching it made me, both for the sex and the drama -- basically a slow suicide by a guilt-ridden, anguished Brando.   Now, of course, young college students watch movies (and porn) in the privacy of their own dorm rooms, on their laptops via the Internet.   I don't have any deep thoughts about that evolution/devolution at the moment, other than to note how weird it is. 

Anyway, I've never seen Maria Schneider in anything else since and it's her birthday.   She's 60 today.   That's weirder still.  


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