DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Mimsy Farmer Day

 

‘Cult icon Mimsy Farmer was a pretty hazel-eyed blonde with the fragile features of a Mia Farrow or Yvette Mimieux and the independent streak of a Tuesday Weld. After playing the innocent virgin in a few movies and on TV, she essayed restless youth roles in a string of AIP drive-in exploitation movies in the late Sixties. Farmer then relocated to Europe, where with a whole new look, she became an international sensation in 1969 due to her mesmerizing performance as a heroin addict in More. Thereafter she remained in Italy in a series of popular European giallos and horror films between some acclaimed dramas that never found their way to the U.S.

‘Mimsy Farmer was born Merle Farmer in Chicago. Her parents, Arch and Suzette Farmer, were reporters for the Chicago Herald Tribune. Though named after her father’s favorite brother, she always went by the nickname Mimsy, which came from her mother who Mimsy suspects took it from the poem “The Jabberwocky” used in Alice in Wonderland. When their daughter was about four years old, the Farmers moved to Hollywood when Mimsy’s father took a job writing news for NBC-TV’s Los Angeles affiliate. While attending Hollywood High, the lovely teenager was discovered by an agent and almost immediately landed roles on TV’s My Three Sons and The Donna Reed Show.

‘Mimsy came close to replacing Sandra Dee as Gidget in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961), but the producers opted for Deborah Walley. As consolation, they gave her a bit uncredited role. Her official film debut was in the heartwarming or mawkish (depending on your taste—there is no in-between) family drama Spencer’s Mountain (1963). It was based on the novel by Earl Hamner, Jr., who later created the popular seventies television drama, The Waltons, and set in scenic Wyoming with the majestic mountain peaks of the Grand Teton Range as background.

‘Unhappy with her performance in Spencer’s Mountain, Mimsy began studying with esteemed acting coach Jeff Corey. Despite keeping busy on television including guest appearances on The Outer Limits and Perry Mason, Farmer kept her job selling candy at a local movie theater. She finally left it when she returned to the big screen in the soapy Bus Riley’s Back in Town (1965) directed by Harvey Hart from a screenplay by William Inge who had his name removed from the credits when Universal ordered a script re-write to make the film more of a vehicle for Ann-Margret. Aping James Dean, the brooding Michael Parks played a disillusioned sailor returning home after three years at sea. He finds his sultry ex-girlfriend (Ann-Margret) unhappily married to a wealthy older man, his job prospects bleak, and his younger sister (Farmer) has become the town tart. The film was not well-received though Farmer does well with her role.

‘For drive-in movie fans, 1967 was a banner year for Mimsy Farmer who had three films in release. Despite her ambition not to become an idol for the young, she became very popular with teenage audiences for a short period of time and began her ascension to cult movie actress. First up was the explosive youth exploitation classic Hot Rods to Hell from quickie producer Sam Katzman for MGM and directed by John Brahm whom Mimsy liked a lot. She credited him for teaching her the trick to crying on screen with a little help from glycerin drops in the eye. Originally made for television as 52 Miles to Terror, it was deemed to violent and released to drive-ins throughout the country instead with a more exploitative title. This was Farmer’s first real bad girl role after playing mostly ingénues. The worried actress remarked that she was cast by her looks alone and hoped she wasn’t going to now be typecast.

‘Mimsy Farmer and Laurie Mock were teamed again by producer Sam Katzman in her most notorious movie from this period, Riot on Sunset Strip. However, the roles were switched as Mock was cast as the out-for-kicks Liz-Ann friend of Farmer’s more conservative Andy who was described in the press book as “a real swinger, who took her first ‘trip’…all the way to Hell and back!” All the ingredients were present—hippies, LSD, protestors, free love, mod fashions, police brutality— to make Riot on Sunset Strip a camp classic of the alienated youth movie genre. The movie’s standout scene is Farmer’s wild LSD freak out dance where she writhes around the floor in her mod mini-dress gazing in wonder at her hands and feet. She then begins dancing around shaking her wild mane of hair ala Ann-Margret (critic Clifford Terry described it as “a dry-land water ballet”). Whatever you label it, it has become a YouTube favorite much to Farmer’s bemusement.

‘Unhappy with her husband and her career in Hollywood, Mimsy headed for Vancouver on advice from actor Peter Brown who told her about HollywoodHospital where they experimented with LSD and psychotherapy. After her own session, she began working there but quit when she realized the hospital never followed up with their patients after their “treatment.” Still in Vancouver, she received a life changing phone call from director Daniel Haller (one of her favorite directors) who wanted her for the female lead in his new movie The Wild Racers (1968), which was going to be shot on location throughout Europe. Mimsy played Katherine the girlfriend of race car driver Joe Joe Quillico (Fabian) who progresses from U.S. stockcar racing to traveling the European Grand Prix circuit. The more successful he becomes, the more his relationship with Katherine crumbles. This was the only film the actress did for AIP that was not a hit with the drive-in crowd. In an interview with the Oakland Tribune, Haller opined that it was a picture “too esoteric in its treatment to make as much money as it should have.”

‘Deciding to remain in Europe, Farmer sought out work there and landed the female lead in More (1969), first time director Barbet Schroeder’s cautionary tale of drug taking with an original song score by Pink Floyd. The actress was introduced to Schroeder by The Wild Racers’ cinematographer Nestor Almendros and associate producer Pierre Cottrell. Though not completely happy with the script or things her character had to do in it, Farmer accepted the role in part because she would get to work with her two friends again. The movie was filmed on a shoestring budget, but you would never guess that when watching the movie.

More was an international sensation and really clicked with young people of the time. It helped to kick off Mimsy Farmer’s European career, which lasted for over 20 years. Her films included Dario Argento’s suspenseful psychological thriller Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) and Lucio Fulci’s The Black Cat (1981). Her last acting credit is the Italian TV-movie Safari (1991) for director Roger Vadim. Today, Mimsy concentrates on her art (displayed on her web site www.mimsyfarmer.com) and sculpture work, which can be seen in such movies as Blueberry (2004), Troy (2004), Marie Antoinette (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), and Clash of the Titans (2010).’ — Sixties Cinema

 

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Stills
































































 

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Further

Mimsy Farmer @ IMDb
Mimsy Farmer Website
Mimsy Farmer Info Site
‘648: MIMSY FARMER’
‘façade: Mimsy Farmer’
‘Hommage à Mimsy Farmer’
Mimsy Farmer films @ MUBI
‘THE TRACK (1975) and more from Mimsy Farmer’

 

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Extras


Mimsy Farmer 1975


Bob Adkins interviews Mimsy Farmer and James MacArthur


A song by Nicola Piovani, performed by Mimsy Farmer


Mimsy Farmer Tribute

 

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Interview

 

Your first big movie role was in Spencer’s Mountain. What was it like to work on this?

When we made Spencer’s Mountain I was fifteen and a half. I was accompanied by my mother and a teacher, and spent most of my time with them (or riding horseback) when I wasn’t working. I didn’t have many scenes with Henry Fonda who seemed pretty miserable and spent most of his time at the local café, or Maureen O’Hara who was also fairly distant. James MacArthur, who was quite a bit older than me, was nice but the person I felt most comfortable with was Wally Cox who seemed to take me more seriously and taught me some lovely Elizabethan songs, which I still remember. Delmer Daves [the director] was more concerned about my weight than about my acting, unfortunately, and kept telling me, ‘watch your bottom honey.’

What do you recall most about your second film Bus Riley’s Back in Town with Michael Parks and Ann-Margret?

I just remember being impressed by being on the same set with Jocelyn Brando [who played her mother], as much as if she’d been Marlon [her brother].

Hot Rods to Hell was your first real big screen bad girl role. What attracted you to the part?

I needed to work and couldn’t wait for a better offer. I also thought, ‘If Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crane had accepted who the hell was I to be finicky?’

Your next three movies were for American International Pictures. Did you sign a contract with them?

No, I had no contract with AIP but I was supporting my ‘cowboy’ husband [he was from Brooklyn and failing to get work as a stuntman in Hollywood] and a bunch of animals. The better directors were not lining up in front of my door pleading for me to be in their movies. They didn’t even know I existed.

You have a great LSD freak-out scene in Riot on Sunset Strip. Do you remember anything special about it or the movie itself?

That ‘great LSD freak-out scene,’ which I took very seriously at the time, has since become for me a source of amusement tinged with embarrassment. Somewhere on the internet someone said, ‘that scene is so bad, that it’s hilarious.’ I agree. I was pretty naive back then and so earnest!

In Devil’s Angels you played a local girl who makes trouble for the Hell’s Angels led by John Cassavetes. How was it to work with him?

I really liked Daniel Haller [the director], a very nice man, and admired John Cassevetes, also a very nice guy. All Cassavetes and I talked about was how much he missed his wife. Actually, I mostly listened. Anyway, doing a movie with him, even though he wasn’t directing it, was a step in the right direction.

Your last AIP movie was Wild Racers with Fabian and your second film directed by Daniel Haller.

I’d left my ‘cowboy’ husband and was working in a hospital in Canada where they were using LSD as a tool for psycho-therapy. The experience was enlightening but disappointing. When Daniel Haller called me, I jumped at the chance to go to Europe and also to see my brother Philip, who was living in London at the time. It was the best move I’d made up to then and I loved traveling in France, Spain, and Holland.

After accepting the role in More did the nudity ever become a concern? A number of your ‘60s contemporaries would not take roles where they has to be naked.

No, not all. Nudity was an integral part of the movies in which I appeared naked. Being flat-chested and boyish helped a lot and, I hope, there was nothing vulgar or lewd about these scenes.

Do you consider More of your best or important movies? Back then you remarked that you thought the idea of marijuana leading to heroin addiction was not believable.

I don’t think it is my best movie, though the role was interesting and Nestor Almendros’ photography was gorgeous. It was, though, very important for my career, both in the positive and in the negative sense. Its success in France was huge and overnight I became a ‘star’ but, as is often the case, I became ‘type cast’ and most of the roles directors offered me subsequently were those of neurotic or outright mad young women. Well, I can’t complain.

It’s true that I said, and still believe, that smoking grass does not in itself lead to shooting heroin. I know many people who light up a joint from time to time who have never touched anything harder and never will, myself included (though now I prefer a good glass of wine).

How would you rate Barbet Schroeder as a director? In an interview you gave to the New York Times you were unhappy with some of his directorial choices.

Well, I think now, that I was silly to berate Barbet and his movie at the time but I still think that it’s naive and moralistic and some of the scenes were an embarrassment to do, all the ‘Zen’ and ‘Lotus’ shots and the ‘unexplored brain’ nonsense. What I didn’t say though was that his movie was pretty daring and unconventional for those years, in Europe anyway, and that he was a better than average director.

Did you find a big difference between working in Europe versus Hollywood?

In Europe, actors were not shuffled off to their trailers between shots and were invited to participate and collaborate with the director and other crew members. It was so different. Nobody was anxious about my ‘bottom’ (admittedly much diminished) and nobody was redesigning my eyebrows and curling my hair. I just had the feeling that nobody wanted me to act or look like anyone but myself—such a relief!

Were you surprised that More was such a hit especially in France?

Yes, More got its chance because it had been so successful at the Cannes film festival but was blasted by the critics in the U.S. Of me, Newsweek said, “She acts the range of emotions from A to B.” Bette Davis once said, ‘Old age ain’t for sissies.’ I say, neither is being an actor!

You seem to have a healthy attitude about bad reviews.

For me, the movies I’ve done aren’t only about how they turned out but also, who was involved in them. Also, on the whole, when you’ve decided to live and work in a foreign country, you are the foreigner, and if you’re an actor there are limits to which and how many roles you’re going to be offered and if you’re working to make a living you can’t be too choosey and you’re mostly grateful when you can work.

 

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14 of Mimsy Farmer’s 68 roles
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John Brahm Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
Hot Rods to Hell begins with corn and is full of corn, though it hits the viewer in waves rather than consistently. No amount of acting talent could have made this film phenomenal, as much of the cheese comes from the script itself. It is amplified, however, by often-exaggerated performances and a plethora of sudden zooms (for “dramatic” effect – usually on Dana Andrews’ face). One thing the film wins legitimate cool points for is style. Hot Rods to Hell is full of great music. Mimsy Farmer rocks some totally groovy outfits. The outfits worn by Gloria and Tina are completely indicative of the late ’60s, which enthusiasts of the era (myself included) will love.’ — The Motion Pictures


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Arthur Dreifuss Riot On Sunset Strip (1967)
‘For about the first two-thirds of the feature, both freaks and cops are sympathetically portrayed. The bad guys appear to be—in art as in life—the Sunset Strip merchants and business owners who used the police to harass longhairs. Wise as Solomon, patient as Job, the paternal Lieutenant Walt Lorimer (Aldo Ray) is the movie’s hero. He tries to broker a deal between the establishment and the freaks, whose number includes his estranged (because mom is a lush) daughter Andy (Mimsy Farmer). If a well-meaning liberal had written an episode of Dragnet, it would look something like this part of the movie. But at 47:55, a hippie cad doses Andy’s diet soda, and the application of a phasing effect to the electric blues on the soundtrack signals that all hell is about to break loose; though slow to build, the freakout that follows is epic, in the sense that it is very long. Now, the movie turns into a regular episode of Dragnet: five wasted youths, who have degenerated through regular acid use to the level of rutting curs, rape Andy while she trips. (If you’re thinking it’s like that scene in Touch of Evil, guess again.) Lt. Walt, who hasn’t seen his daughter in years, finds her naked at the scene of the crime, and suddenly the wealthy businessmen of the Sunset Strip don’t look like the bad guys anymore.’ — Dangerous Minds


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Daniel Haller Devil’s Angels (1967)
‘With only a $4 million gross, Devil’s Angels may not have been a major hit for AIP, but it’s still an interesting and well-done biker film which features several highly recognizable faces from 1960s/70s cinema and television such as Marc Cavell (Cool Hand Luke), Russ Bender (Bonanza), Buck Taylor (Gunsmoke), Bruce Kartalian (The Outlaw Josey Wales) and Mitzi Hoag (Deadly Game). Although not nearly as well-remembered as the Dennis Hopper/Peter Fonda 1969 classic Easy Rider nor as hard-hitting as Al Adamson’s Satan’s Sadists from the same year, Devil’s Angels is a solidly-made, quirky and enjoyable exploitation film that benefits most from a wonderfully complex performance by the legendary John Cassavetes as well as an entertaining and thoughtful screenplay by the extremely underrated Charles Griffith. There’s also a terrific musical score written by Mike Curb and performed by Sidewalk Productions. Not to mention a catchy theme song by Jerry and the Portraits with additional music courtesy of Dave Allen and the Arrows.’ — Cinema Retro


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Daniel Haller & Roger Corman The Wild Racers (1968)
‘Fabian plays Joe Joe Quillico, a cocky, womanizing, race car driver who loves to win! This is not your average racing movie. Filmed in Europe it has a distinctive “art film” feel with interesting edits and scene structure. And it’s got a lot of Grand Prix racing footage! Joe Joe Quillico is hired by a race car owner/businessman to be runner-up for a veteran driver in the year’s big European trophy races. Joe Joe doesn’t like coming in second and blows an engine disobeying the owner’s directive to not win. Eventually Joe Joe is given a shot; he wins a few races and becomes the toast of the European racing circuit. Now he’s a celebrity, gets product endorsement deals and parties like a wild man all while his ego explodes. He uses chicks as if he’s testing race cars!’ — The Video Beat


Trailer


Roger Corman on THE WILD ANGELS

 

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Barbet Schroeder More (1969)
‘The first directorial effort by Barbet Schroeder, the film became a hit in Europe, and today has now achieved the status of “cult classic”. Starring Mimsy Farmer and Klaus Grünberg, it is principally set on the sun-drenched Spanish island of Ibiza. A young German student, Stefan (Grunberg), is taking a break from his university studies. He hitchhikes to Paris for some freedom. He says he wants to be warm for a change, to have a chance to see the Sun. While at a party in Paris, Stefan meets a free-spirited American girl named Estelle (Farmer). He is instantly drawn to Estelle, and pursues her. He will even eventually follow her to the island of Ibiza. In Ibiza they slowly begin a relationship. Estelle introduces Stefan to many pleasures and freedoms, including taking drugs. Ultimately he will even try heroin, to which he eventually becomes addicted. The results are tragic. Schroeder has said that the story of More was modeled on the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, “with Estelle representing the Sun”. The film was shot on location by the legendary cinematographer Nestor Almendros, who was to become a long-time collaborator with Schroeder. More debuted in Cannes at the 22nd Cannes Film Festival, in May of 1969, and the U.S. premiere was in New York in August, 1969. The film’s musical score was unique for the time, as it was written and performed by the group Pink Floyd, they would later release the music as an album, Soundtrack from the film More. The score is now one of the reasons of its cult status.’ — BBS


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Georges Lautner Road To Salina (1970)
‘It was the last movie acted in by Ed Begley, who died the same year it was released. It was the third-to-last for Rita Hayworth, and her role as an out-to-lunch marm is eerie when you consider that she was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It was the only English language movie directed by Georges Lautner, who was a household name in his native France if not a universally appreciated auteur. The film is based on the French novel Sur La Route de Salina, penned by the ridiculously obscure writer Maurice Cury. The theme to its soundtrack (which is stunningly good) was used by Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol 2. There’s nothing particularly strange about the actors who played the two lead roles, but they’re both intriguing thespians. Mimsy Farmer, a quirky American beauty who had recently moved to Europe (she’s never left) and was just beginning a run of notable Euro art house film appearances, portrays a sexy psycho chick in a role not completely dissimilar to the one she’d done the year before in Barbet Schroeder’s cult classic More. The main male part, a hippy drifter, is ably handled by Robert Walker, Jr. son of acting people Jennifer Jones and Walker, Sr. (film noir lovers might remember Walker, Sr.’s beautifully perfect portrayal of the creepy Bruno in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train).’– criminal element


Trailer


Main Titles

 

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Dario Argento Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
‘The little-seen Four Flies on Grey Velvet is perhaps most remarkable for it’s unusual spiritual underpinnings and Dario Argento’s deft attention for sexual signifiers. The title of this third and final film in Argento’s “animal trilogy” is as egregious as the weird science that literalizes the eye as a photographic camera. Rock star Roberto Tobias (Michael Brandon) leaves his rehearsal studio and follows a mysterious figure into an empty theater where he struggles with the switchblade-wielding man. Roberto accidentally stabs the man, who falls evocatively into the theater’s orchestra pit. From a balcony, a masked figure captures the moment on camera. If Argento’s signature use of a black-gloved killer is noticeably absent, this is compensated by the presence of Brandon himself, whose striking features recall those of the giallo director’s. There isn’t much to Four Flies on Grey Velvet besides pent-up rage though much of the film’s sexual frenzy prefigures themes from Deep Red.’ — Slant Magazine


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Fabio Carpi Body of Love (1972)
‘A father and a son meet for a holiday on a beach. The father is 62 and a researcher of insect life, the son is 15 and at a boarding school. They don’t have to say much to each other and both agree to „stop the experiment”. But then they come across the inert body of a unconscious young woman. They carry her to their beach house. She regains consciousness and it turns out that she speaks a language they do not understand. They treat her as their property, take her to the beach, to the small restaurant nearby and on boat trips. The woman’s presence enables father and son to come to terms. One day she disappears and they find her together with her hunky diver boyfriend who speaks her language as well as theirs. Father and son don’t like this intrusion into their harmonious triangle and they start fiddling with the hunk’s oxygen tanks …’ — manuel-pestalozzi


Mimsy Farmer on the set of Body of Love

 

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Francesco Barilli The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974)
‘Written and directed by Francesco Barilli, Il profumo della signora in nero (The Perfume of the Lady in Black) is one of most bizarre Italian giallo films of the 1970s. Starring American actress Mimsy Farmer, the film tells the story of Silvia Hacherman, an industrial chemist who tries to escape from her troubled past. A series of musical and visual cues trigger terrifying visions as Silvia becomes the focus of a series of murders inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland…’ — Quartet Records


the entire film

 

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Armando Crispino Autopsy (1975)
‘Like most gialli, the plot is convoluted and contrived, and the mystery unsolvable. Much is made of Mimsy Farmer’s obsession with death, sexual frigidity, and ambiguous relationship with her father, but director Crispino is little interested in subtext and motivation. Of course, one doesn’t watch a film like this for the story and theme, but rather the cinematography, graphic violence, and over-the-top acting. Autopsy doesn’t disappoint in any of these areas. Shot in Rome on a decent budget, Autopsy is a great film to look at. The colors are rich and vibrant. The camera work and editing, while not on par with Dario Argento, effectively conveys the lead character’s paranoia and disorientation. There is little onscreen carnage after the opening suicide montage. To make up for it, director Crispino gives us good, long looks at Mimsy’s research subject: cold, black-and-white photos of crime scenes, autopsies, and medical anomalies. While arguably a cheap ploy, these are real, grotesque, and sometimes strangely beautiful, and give the film an understated feeling of unease that a dozen fake splatter scenes couldn’t equal.’ — Classic Horror


Trailer

 

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Serge Leroy La Traque (1975)
La Traque is an undeservedly obscure French drama/thriller that is incredibly tense, intelligent, compelling and unpredictable. The title, plot synopsis and awesome movie poster make you assume that this is another variant on the The Most Dangerous Game in combination with Straw Dogs or Deliverance, but the film is much more than that. It’s a dreary Sunday and a bunch of macho males gather in the countryside for an afternoon of wild boar hunting. The group of acquaintances (I really wouldn’t refer to them as close friends) exists of prominent aristocrats, like a land owner and an aspiring senator, as well as middle class guys, like a pair of car mechanic brothers and a former military man. During the hunt, the Danville brothers encounter Helen Wells, a beautiful English tourist searching for a country cottage to rent during the holidays. They viciously rape the defenseless poor girl, but she manages to wound Paul Danville and flee into the forest. Although none of the other hunting party members is responsible for what happened, they all have their own dark secrets and absolutely want to avoid getting linked to a scandal. Therefore, rather than helping Helen, they decide to collectively track her down and silence her. The acts and decisions taken by the lead characters may seem illogical and revolting, but they’re actually very realistic and plausible. In fact, La Traque is much more of a social character study instead of a rancid backwoods thriller. Real human beings are much more cowardly and self-protective than the heroes depicted in movies, as illustrated in the unforgettably bleak finale. The atmosphere of the film is thoroughly grim and depressing, with fantastic exterior locations and powerful camera-work. The all-star cast is sublime, with particularly Mimsy Farmer, Michael Longsdale and Jean-Pierre Marielle giving away solid performances.’ — Coventry


the entire film

 

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Marco Ferreri Bye Bye Monkey (1978)
‘Never one to embrace the ordinary, Italian arthouse director Marco Ferreri went hog wild with this New York City-based oddity starring Gerard Depardieu (back in his early, more subversive years, before turning into a fat French joke). And if you thought Ferreri’s LA GRANDE BOUFFE or THE LAST WOMAN were strange, he was simply warming up for this wrongheaded vision of America. The plot alone is enough to leave your queasy, with Depardieu playing a French cad (a big stretch, eh?) who works with a troupe of half-baked radical feminists (isn’t that redundant?) who feels they can’t effectively argue against rape until they’ve actually experienced the act firsthand. Later, he runs into eccentric old fart Marcello Mastroianni, who, while roaming Lower Manhattan, stumbles across a giant (fake) ape lying dead near the Hudson at the foot of the World Trade Center (shades of Dino DeL.’s KING KONG!), with a baby chimpanzee buried in its fur. And it’s no surprise when Depardieu adopts the cute li’l hairball, since they almost look like father ‘n’ son. The plot continues to spin uncontrollably.’ — Shock Cinema


Excerpt

 

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Lucio Fulci The Black Cat (1981)
‘From Italy’s own Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci (Zombie, The Gates of Hell) comes The Black Cat – a gruesome reimagining of the classic Edgar Allan Poe tale starring Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Mimsy Farmer (The Perfume of the Lady in Black). When a young couple goes missing in a sleepy English village, Scotland Yard Inspector Gorley (David Warbeck, The Beyond) is brought in to assist on the case. But what starts off as routine investigation turns into a murder inquiry when the couple are found dead in mysterious circumstances. Fusing a classically gothic atmosphere with the decidedly more visceral elements that are the hallmark of Fulci’s films, The Black Cat is a too-often overlooked and underrated entry in the Italian master filmmaker’s canon.’ — Arrow Films


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Ruggero Deodato Bodycount (1987)
‘Although no film with David Hess, Mimsy Farmer AND Charles Napier could be a complete waste of time, BODY COUNT is still fairly routine. In addition to showdown!some fairly bad dialogue, it also features the most annoying variation on the chubby practical-joker character that I’ve ever seen, and it takes entirely too long for the killer to end the audience’s discomfort. Still, it’s rarely boring, with a few good moments, and many of the murders are pretty graphic (if not as gory as I’d been led to believe; I mean, this was directed by the same guy that helmed CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1979), for pete’s sake!)’ — Hysteria Lives


Excerpt

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I think you’ll really enjoy the Bill Berkson book. I still haven’t seen the Spike Lee or ‘CYEFM’ yet, both high on my to-see list. ** Kyler, Hi! Thanks a lot, bud! ** Ferdinand, Hi, F! Lovely to see you, sir. Cool, funny = the Butt Magazine thing. I forgot about that. I don’t know Ottessa Moshfegh at all, but I will definitely track the work down. Thanks a lot! And ‘Shirkers’ is on my waiting list. Thanks! Take care! ** Damien Ark, Hi, D. Oops. Nice music list. Ah, I forgot the Autechre. That would gave been on mine had my brain cells been cooperating. Things are a bit crazy here, but only on Saturdays, in Paris at least. But, yeah it’s very nice to live in a country where not only do people actually get out there in the real world and fight/make noise, but where the government takes that action seriously and changes its policies in kind, however inadequately to begin with. In the States, street action seems to just end up being temporary news cycle fodder. Anyway … ** Troy James Weaver, Oh, hey! My great pleasure, man. Fantastic book. I’ll keep my eye out for the Brad Phillips, and I’ll look for the Steve Anwyll. I don’t know it. I’m pretty good, and you too, I hope? Thanks for coming in here. Much appreciated. ** Jay, Hi, Jay. Welcome! Thanks much for your lists. I’ve noted the things I don’t know, which is quite a few. And thank for including ‘MLT’. Very best to you! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Thanks for your lists. We share some. I think it’s going to take me about a year to read that giant Fischer book, but it’s obviously so worth it. Of course about the ‘YnY’ book. It’s a monster. ** Bill, Hey, Bill. Great lists. I’ve scribbled down a lot to pursue. Right, the Ashley Paul was really good. I forgot about that. Etc. Thanks a lot for sharing fodder from your always impeccable taste. ** Sypha, Hi. Right, you’re a fellow list lover. As usual, I don’t know so man of the books you’ve read. I’ll pick a couple and start the digging. Yeah, I saw the Snuggly bundle offer, It seems like a great way to go. I’m going to sign up. Actually, let me … Everyone, Here’s a hot tip from Sypha: ‘Snuggly Books has their new Winter Bundle up… the way it works is that if you buy a bundle you often get most of the books in it before the official release dates. There’s some interesting-looking titles in this one: in particular I am curious about Maurice Level’s THE SHADOW, Justin Isis’ “Neo-Decadent Manifesto of Women’s Fashion” (of which there will only be 36 copies, apparently!), and the Renée Vivien/Hélène de Zuylen de Nyevelt volume. My own novel HARLEM SMOKE is also part of this bundle. It’s available in both paperback and hardcover, though the latter is limited to 60 copies. Strike while it’s hot, is what I’m saying… though I’m sure some will still be around when the book becomes for sale individually on January 15th (yes, that’s the official release date).’ ** Rewritedept, Hi, Chris. Man, I saw on … I guess FB about your abscessed tonsil. Mine its full of phantom, collegial pain now. Feel hugely better. Cool about the interview. Hook us up. Thanks for the music list. I’ve been neglecting rock, and your list provides a good way back in. I’m good, just deadlining on the TV series script and basically eaten up by that. I’ll be in LA in early Feb. for the PGL screening there, but I don’t know when exactly yet. ** Mark Gluth, Hey, Mark! So great to see you!!! Well, yeah, ‘Notre Mort’, you bet. And Michael has been telling me a bit about you guys’ new script and it sounds incredible, and I know he’s super into it. And, yes, about your and Steven’s book! I’m very excited for that! Great music list, thank you so much. There’s a lot on there I haven’t heard. My ears are ready for the cornucopia, so I’ll set off on that journey. I hope you’re doing extremely well, pal. ** Dan Callahan, Hi, Dan! Man, it has been ages, and it’s really great to see you. I really want to see the Aretha Franklin doc, obviously. I’m not sure what it’s French fate is, release-wise, but I know it’ll get here. And gracias for the other film names. I haven’t seen a one. Yes, I’m looking forward very much to your new book! I’m chomping at its bit. Thanks again, Dan, and take good care. ** Dominik, Hi, D! SCAB is the rockin’-est! Yeah, the vibe at the Hatsune Miku show was closer to a ‘boyband’ kind of vibe than any other, but … hard to describe. Which was the great interest there. Maybe by the time you read this it’ll only be 8 more days! And the next time I’ll get to chat with you, it’ll virtually be history. My back is slowly better, thank you. It always takes a while to become its old, invisible-feeling self again. My weekend, week ahead, etc. is all TV script, basically. It’s like you and your job. I’m counting the days, for sure. Have a great, great week! ** JJStick, Hi, JJ. Very cool to meet you, and thanks a lot for coming in. Do so again anytime, of course. ** Scunnard, Well, of course, sir. And much more very soon! ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Oh, yeah, your earlier comment didn’t register. That’s not good. A fine music list. I’m meaning to try the U.S. Girls and Sophie albums. And of course the films on your list I haven’t seen as soon as they’re seeable. Thanks! Excellent news about ‘Culture Shock’. Can’t wait to see it! ** Aidan Collins, Hi, Aidan! A very warm welcome. I know, ‘soil’ is so fucking good, right? I don’t know the Essaie pas record, and I will definitely go find it. Thank you very much! ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. Thanks, pal! So great about the PW thing! That was so great to see, and it was a very nice piece. ** Mark Stephens, Marky-Mark! Old buddy! I know, really sad about Pete Shelley. And good and interesting to see how beloved he was by so many burst forth, albeit a bit too late. Ha ha, well, The Quick still rule! Yeah, maybe ‘Guitar Solos’? I think I might have had that one spring to mind? Hm. Dude, my lower back is an utter shithole right now, so gentle high five. Favorite Xmas album? You know, no, I guess not, because there’s not a thing that springs to mind. That’s kind of weird. No, not a thing. What’s yours? Miss you too, Mark! I’m going to be in LA in early Feb. sometime to show Zac’s and my film, and hopefully I’ll get to see you, and you should come see our filmic masterwork, man. News when there is some. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Well, yes. The Richard Cheim is really fantastic. I just read it too. As is the forthcoming Mark Doten. I’ll check your recommends, thanks. The Michelle Memran film, which I think is my top favorite film of this year, is a documentary about Maria Irene Fornes. Really great. I don’t think Ryan Trecartin’s films show outside of the art context, no. They really should, but I think his galleries don’t like the idea since his videos are ‘for sale’, etc. No, ‘Climax’ isn’t up there with ‘Enter the Void’. It’s Noe regrouping after the disaster of ‘Love’, I think. It’s him doing his thing. It’s not really an advancement, but if you like his thing, it’s very pleasurable. Have not seen the Welles yet. I need to find out how I can. Thanks! ** Krishnaton, Hi. There was something about ‘Winchester’ that made me decide to avoid it like the plague even though the Winchester House itself is one of may favorite things. Thanks for the lists. I should let some rock in. I’ll let your list be one of my guides. Thanks, bud. Well, to me, young people include people in their 30s and 40s and stuff now, ha ha. And there are those who get that far while retaining youth’s boon. Not a ton, maybe. Yeah, I’m no economist either, but I don’t buy the EU going broke thing. I don’t see the evidence. I think Europe will continue to trundle along monetarily with ups and downs. My general optimism adds a color to everything, it’s true, but so does my mega-logical side. I’m weird. ** JM, Hi, man. I think we just became FB friends, didn’t we? Thanks about my list. Well, I’m guilty on the Euro-centrism too, and my living here doesn’t excuse that. Great list! Bunch of stuff I need to see/hear/etc. Thanks for including ‘PGL’. How did you see it? That’s weird. How are you? Are you working on or in something of exceptional note to you right now? ** Toniok, Hey, pal! So nice to get to see you! Wow, I don’t know any of your books or music, cool. I just wrote them down. I use and pen and paper. I’m old school. Thank you a lot for listing ‘PGL’. Hugs to you! ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Aw, thanks about ‘PGL’. I’ve never been a Rechy fan. His writing doesn’t interest me at all. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but he lived up the street from in LA for a long time. And he, as you may know, is a massive egomaniac. And he was always totally bent but of shape that I never referenced him as influence, because he wasn’t at all. I would be walking down the street, and he would be driving by, and he would see me and pull his car over to the curb and get out and come up to me and start arguing with me that he had to be an influence on my work, and he simply would not believe that I didn’t love his work and owe my career to him. What a weirdo. ** James Nulick, Hi, James. Thank you very much about my gif story. Wow, I don’t think I know almost any of your favorite books apart from the two crossovers. Huh. I’ll try to rectify that. Thanks, man. Love, me. ** Right. Give it up for Mimsy Farmer, eh? See you tomorrow.

10 Comments

  1. Hi D.

    yes, sorry for my out of the blue experiences here!! yes, we did just become friends on facebook, I assumed you’d make the connection but also if said connection wasn’t made I have no issue with being known as two separate entities. On ‘PGL’: yes, it really was a major film for this year for me. I saw it because my friend Eli (you quoted his review of ‘Threads’ on Threads Day earlier this year) does a lot of film curation work and knew how eager I was for it. I will, of course, turn into a paying customer as soon as the film hits theaters or blu ray or online hiring over here (and not just out of a sense of obligation, out of love and care for the work too). I’m working in a show right now that I shan’t name seeing as it’s not particularly important work to me.

    I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say in a forum as public as this but I feel fairly safe to say I’ve just had a manuscript accepted by a publisher featured multiple times in yesterday’s list of yours so I have a premiere prose-poetry novella lined up to be dropped sometime next year. if you’re cool with it, I might get back in touch closer to the time for a welcome to the world of some sort? what’s up with you other than the arte tv world ?

  2. Mimsey Farmer is really something. In addition to the films mentioned here I recall her performance in a Taviani brothers movie.

    Have you eer done barbet Schroeder Day, Dennis? Barbet is a truly great and totally original filmmaker, producing everything from “mainstream” art films like “Reversal of Fortune” to cutting edge docs like “Idi Amin Dada” My fave of his s “Our Lady of the Assassins” which is about gay teenage hit men working for the Medellin cartel n Columbia (where Barbet hails from. And ifall that weren’t enough he has a featured acting role in One of the Greatest Movies Ever Made

  3. Mimsey Farmer is Fabulous

    Have you ever done a barbet Day, Dennis>

    I adore all his fims, both fiction (“Reversal of Fortune”) and non (“Idi Amin Dada”) my fave is”Our Lady of the Assassins” which is about gay teenage hitmen working for the drug cartels in Columbia (where Barbet comes from.

    And then there’s THIS!

  4. Dennis, well, to be fair, some of the things on your list I had never heard of either, ha ha. Kind of wnat to check out that K-Punk book at some point, even though I haven’t read anything by the writer in question… a lot of my friends have hyped up his work in the past though.

    Thanks for the Snuggly shout-out. It’s amazing to me how fast that publisher has grown over the last few years. I mean when I first started associating with people from that circle in spring 2015 or so they had still only released a small number of titles, but now their catalog is massive… I think they do a good job of balancing out the reprints of obscure older material with work by new writers… and I can now proudly say that I share a publisher with J.K. Huysmans, Arthur Machen, and Jean Lorrain, ha ha.

  5. Speaking of Barbet Schroeder, I am probably going to be interviewing him next week. MOMA is giving his 2017 film THE VENERABLE W. a week-long run and showing restorations of GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA & TERROR’S ADVOCATE in January. A day devoted to him would be a great idea – his filmography is very eclectic, encompassing art films, Hollywood thrillers and documentaries, and he produced and acted in CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING. He may have started helping popularize Pink Floyd, but at this point their scores for MORE & LA VALLEE are the reasons many people have watched those films.

    My editor says she will send me a finished cut of CULTURE SHOCK today! I have to head out around 6 to see DESTROYER (I will probably also be interviewing its director, Karyn Kusama, next week), and I’ll wait till tomorrow to upload it to YouTube if I get it after I return.

    I would’ve seen AMAZING GRACE, but every remaining screening of its week-long run sold out Sunday.

    Has VOX LUX opened in France yet? I’m curious to hear Scott Walker’s score in isolation from the film when it’s released on MP3/streaming Friday.

  6. Mimsy Farmer looks to have had an storied career, including a few giallo roles back in the day. I have a longtime interest in that genre and will see about tracking some of those down.

  7. This girl she is uncanny. I skipped the house, theres some things I like to skip. “And she’s buying the stairway… bonk!” Haha, well its a movie version of the Disney Haunted House of course. I think its a nicely made and fun movie. Thanks for your lists, I rub my chin, then fight off some ninjas, and then consider it some more.
    Hehe, I feel like there was so much more music. Maybe the Napalm Death record was last year. The Judas Priest is uber, youll hear it. The AIC is like a space journey. STP i just threw that in there cos I love ’em. Keep waiting for the day when Glenn Benton pulls up beside me in the city eating a lettuce wrap praying to Satan on his hog. In Youth is Pleasure as it were. You are a debauched and decriped old thing. LOL. jk. at 85 or so we might pull on your ears. maybe a hug grandpa Mike Tyson kiss. I know a couple or two 40 years olds that Id give the old in out. A really hot one tried the other day but hes married and Im in my Joan of Arc pose right now. But what about suitcase atomic weapons and nuclear war, the Venusians, the nanobots and terminators and super-small pox, the record gimmic, and Black Sabbath playing the End of the World concert! You are a strange one Mr. Cooper. “Wanna, wanna let it burn…”

  8. d-

    feeling much better after the hospital. they pumped me full of antibiotics and steroids. now i just need to quit smoking.

    do let me know when you’ll be in LA. i am much closer so i can come say hi and hopefully see PGL at the same time.

    i’m at dinner right now with my roommate and his young’n, so i must run. get some work done on that tv script.

    full report when i have the chance. life is good for the first time in ages. talk soon. love.

    -c.

  9. Dennis, Mimsy is beautiful.

    Ha! Yes, I had heard that Rechy was a little “off.” I did like City of Night, though I only read it because Jim Morrison had read it and it was a fave of his. He even sings “Or just another lost angel, city of night” in “LA Woman.” I saw a lot of parallels to it in My Own Private Idaho…or at least some homages to it, some of the lines that are used and stuff.

    I’ve never read another of his, though.

    Hmm, egomaniac, yes. Because if he weren’t one, he’d see that your work obviously isn’t influenced one bit by his. Just not happening. It’s a no-brainer. Of course, I’ve never seen the Burroughs influence that people go on about sometimes.

    I think there’s this tendency to assume that any writer who is gay and writes stuff with gay characters just must’ve been influenced by the gay writers before him/her. That doesn’t make sense at all. Subject matter isn’t really an influence.

    It’d be funny if he moved to Paris to come at you again.

  10. ok, i’m home. kinda drunk and had a weird existential thing earlier. listening to spiritualized by myself and being sad for no reason. have you given the new one a good shake yet? i quite like it. i’m really excited to see him next march. i cried like a little bitch with a skinned knee the last time i saw spaceman, so i’m figuring that’ll happen again.

    i think my manager at work has a crush on me. i’m not trying to encourage it, but i would be lying if i said i’d never used being cute to my advantage. so far, it’s good.

    hope all is well. did you pick a buche for the celebration? will michael and benedetta be joining you this year, or are they travelling again?

    talk soon.

    -c.

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