‘Susannah York was a vibrant, energetic personality with a devouring passion for work, strong political opinions and great loyalty to old friends. Her international reputation as an actor depended heavily on the hit films she made in the 1960s, including Tom Jones (1963) and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. But, even when her movie career waned, she worked ceaselessly in theatre, often appearing in pioneering fringe productions. It was typical of her that, although diagnosed with cancer late in 2010, she refused chemotherapy and fulfilled a contractual obligation to do a tour of Ronald Harwood’s Quartet.
‘In her early years York was often cast as an archetypal English rose. But, although born in Chelsea, south-west London (as Susannah Yolande Fletcher), she was raised in a remote Scottish village and educated at Marr college, Troon. I suspect that the inbuilt Scottish belief that the devil makes work for idle hands stayed with her throughout her career. From school, she progressed to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, in London, where she won the Ronson award for most promising student. With her piercing blue eyes and gamine appearance, she quickly found work. She was Abigail to Sean Connery’s John Proctor in a TV version of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in 1959. But it was in cinema that she found herself cast as the perfect ingenue.
‘Although she actually made her big-screen debut in a Norman Wisdom film, There Was a Crooked Man, in 1960, it was her performance as Alec Guinness’s daughter in Tunes of Glory later that year that made one sit up and take notice. Behind the good looks, one sensed a certain impish wildness. That was confirmed by The Greengage Summer (1961), in which she played a schoolgirl awakening to the sexual power she had over men. And, while she hinted at darker powers when she played a disturbed psychiatric patient in John Huston’s Freud (1962), she seemed a shoo-in for the role of Sophie Western in Tony Richardson’s much-lauded film of Tom Jones. In fact, York later revealed that she had turned the part down three times and only guiltily accepted it after cooking a disastrously inept lunch for the determined director.
‘After Tom Jones, the film parts poured in. Some, such as a trendy boutique owner in Kaleidoscope (1966) and a cute codebreaker in Sebastian (1968), hardly extended her range. But, at her best, she showed signs of real emotional depth. She was quietly impressive as Margaret More in Fred Zinnemann’s film of A Man for All Seasons (1966). And although Eileen Atkins was the definitive, doll-clutching “Childie” in the original stage production of The Killing of Sister George, York gave the character a neurotic, waif-like edge in Robert Aldrich’s sensationalised, sexually explicit 1968 film. She even managed to look mildly aroused when Coral Browne lasciviously pawed her breasts.
‘She was also outstanding as a flapper who flips out in Sydney Pollack’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? which dealt with the world of marathon dance contests populated by Hollywood hopefuls. As the critic David Thomson said: “She was excellent as the English girl trying to break into sordid movies. There is a speculative flightiness about her in that film; especially in the breakdown in the shower scene, she seemed for the first time a human animal touched to the quick.”
‘Although she lost out to Goldie Hawn at the Oscars for that performance, she picked up the best actress award at the Cannes film festival for Robert Altman’s Images (1972). Here she played a possibly schizophrenic author of children’s books wrestling with her sexual identity. She put something of herself into the character, responded excellently to Altman’s sympathetic direction and, although some found the film mystifying, it retains interest, as Thomson wrote, “because of the actress’s resolute seriousness”.
‘By now it was clear that York was a fiercely independent spirit determined to fight against typecasting. She initially turned down an invitation to the Oscars when she said it offended her to be nominated without being asked. And she said, in one interview: “I hated that appellation of film star. I did not want to have an image and be seen as the blue-eyed, golden-haired ingenue. Being a ‘star’ seemed to lock you into an image and I was always frightened of that because I knew I would disappoint people.”
‘However, throughout the 1970s, she continued to appear in movies and on television. In Zee and Co (1972), she enjoyed an erotic relationship with Elizabeth Taylor, and in Superman (1978), she and Marlon Brando were the hero’s Kryptonian parents. Both were blatantly commercial. But others, such as The Maids (1975), where she and Glenda Jackson played Jean Genet’s murderous, implicitly lesbian servants, were more clearly aimed at the arthouse market.
‘Early in the decade she played Jane to George C Scott’s Mr Rochester in a TV movie of Jane Eyre (1970). She was in Conduct Unbecoming (1975), took the title role in the Australian film Eliza Fraser (1976) and played Mrs Fitzherbert in a TV series, Prince Regent (1979). But one sensed a growing frustration at the roles she was being offered and a feeling that her appetite for the adventurous and unusual could be best satisfied by theatre.
‘In 1978, at the instigation of the producer Richard Jackson – with whom she did 10 projects and who became a lifelong friend – she appeared at the New End theatre in London in a production of The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Exquisitely directed by Simone Benmussa, this was an adaptation of a George Moore short story about a woman who, for economic reasons, lives as a male hotel waiter and enjoys a relationship with a chambermaid. This gave a whole new dimension to York’s career. Further work with Jackson included Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice, which toured globally from 1984 to 1992, and Appearances, based on a short story by Henry James and again directed by Benmussa, which York initially played in French to highly appreciative Paris audiences.’ — Michael Billington
Susannah York @ IMDb
Susannah York: One of the most memorable faces of the British film industry in the Swinging Sixties
SUSANNAH YORK · d’autres étoiles filantes
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Notebook: Susannah York, 1939 – 2011
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R.I.P. Susannah York @ The A.V. Club
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Remembering Susannah York
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Drag Queen lip-sync of Susannah York reading Shakespeare’s Sonnet 109
SY on her temperament
“I have a very quick, strong temper. I don’t smash up things, I just go for people. And I never know when it’s going to happen to me. I can turn in a moment. The thing about my temper is that it takes me totally by surprise so, of course, it takes everyone else by surprise too. My temper is just so fast and after I’ve done something awful, I feel very bad about it. I’ve struggled so hard to reign in my temper because it actually terrifies me.
“Over the years I’ve hit my lovers and I’ve been whacked back in one or two relationships. Then we’ve both been so shocked we’ve sort of stopped dead. Usually, I’ve gone in with my fists to punch a man’s chest and he’s grabbed my arms and twisted them round to stop me. Very occasionally I hit my children, Sasha and Orlando, but not a lot. They taught me patience, even though I’m not wonderfully patient now, but I wouldn’t have learnt patience at all, if not for them.”
“I beat up John Huston, and he’s a very big guy. He made a hideous joke about Monty and I just saw red and laid into him. Monty was worried about his eyesight and Huston said he’d get him a guide dog for Christmas. I hit Huston with tremendous force and he staggered back against the wall. I’m very, very strong.
“The things that make me very angry are injustice and bullying. If I see someone bullying a woman or child in the street, or kicking a dog, I go completely mad.
“I would say I can look after my temper a little better now. “But I can’t answer for every situation. You never know what could happen. I don’t think I’ve hit anybody for a while and I always know never to hit somebody’s face. I get terribly angry with dawdlers in traffic, people who meander and potter about, and people who cut in. But since I’ve learnt about road rage, I’ve really tried to control myself. I tell myself to be careful and calm down, and I talk myself out of my anger. I think by the time I’d actually got out of the car to hit someone, I’d have realised the stupidity of it and stopped myself.
“I feel I’d like to share my luck and my life. Being in love is the best thing in the world. But I’m not interested in two-nights-a-week of sex and that’s your lot. Oh no! A relationship is lovely if you’re happy, comfortable in it and you really like the person. I can think of nothing better. But there’s nothing worse than having a relationship in which you feel no interest.
“Relationships are very hard work so you really have to think long and hard about whether you want to take that on again. A lot of the guys I meet are taken. One has to face that. But I’ve met two men in the past 18 months who are extremely interesting. I’m not going to elaborate and, as far as I know, neither of them are taken.
“I’m very cautious. I’m not a fly-by-night anymore. I’ve had a bit of that in the past, sowing my wild oats, but now it’s got to be worth it. I guess I’ve got quite high standards and can be selfish and opinionated. Men find it difficult because I’ve got so much energy and hardly sleep at night, only four or five hours. I wake up in the early hours and potter around.”
“I went through such terrible emptiness with my children, I almost did it in advance. A year before they left I’d wake up with this horrible ache in my stomach. It’s one of the things women have to go through. Men too, I suppose.
“I often lack confidence but, more than anything else, having children has helped to boost my confidence. My one beautiful thing is my children. If you’ve opened up to one beautiful thing in your life you then see beauty in other things. So much of our lives are dirty, filthy, ugly and cruel. I was actually terrified of having children and didn’t know whether I was capable of making a commitment. But when they came along I fell in love with them, and in a strange way it does open your heart.
“Now I recognise how lucky I’ve been in my life. I’ve had two or three long periods when I’ve been very unhappy, followed by the grief and emptiness of failed relationships. But more strongly than that I recognise past and present joys, and realise how fortunate I’ve been. And I’ve got a strong sense of hope in the future.”
14 of Susannah York’s 106 roles
John Huston Freud: The Secret Passion (1962)
‘John Huston originally commissioned a screenplay about Sigmund Freud from Jean-Paul Sartre. It proved overlong and unwieldy and the ultimate film came closer to one of the respectful Warner Bros biopics of great men on which both Huston and the film’s German-born producer, Wolfgang Reinhardt, had worked in the 1930s. Set in Vienna in the 1880s, it’s about what Huston in his prologue portentously describes as “Freud’s descent into a region almost as black as hell itself, man’s unconscious and how he let in light”. In his penultimate screen appearance, a troubled but generally impressive Montgomery Clift plays the young neurologist who challenges the medical establishment, moving from hypnosis towards psychoanalysis and developing his revolutionary theories, most especially about infantile sexuality and the Oedipus complex. Susannah York and David McCallum play two key patients, with the long-blacklisted Larry Parks as Freud’s friend Joseph Breuer. Douglas Slocombe’s black-and-white photography is superbly atmospheric. It’s a serious, honourable film that makes an interesting comparison with David Cronenberg’s recent Freud film, A Dangerous Method.’ — The Guardian
Tony Richardson Tom Jones (1963)
‘The film is notable for its unusual comic style: the opening sequence is performed in the style of a silent film, and characters sometimes break the fourth wall, often by looking directly into the camera and addressing the audience, and going so far as to have the character of Tom Jones suddenly appearing to notice the camera and covering the lens with his hat.’ — collaged
Jack Smight Kaleidoscope (1966)
‘Kaleidoscope was Warren Beatty’s seventh movie, and his sixth bad movie. After starting his career with a bang in the terrific Splendor in the Grass, Beatty’s subsequent movies had all proved to be flops at the box office. Kaleidoscope was a typical mod mid-1960’s caper movie, trying to capture some of that James Bond-style magic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. Beatty plays Barney Lincoln, a wealthy American playboy living in London. Just for kicks, Barney breaks into the Kaleidoscope playing card factory in Geneva and makes small marks on the presses that print the cards so he can identify which cards his opponent has, and which card he’s about to get. Since Kaleidoscope seems to have a monopoly on supplying all of the European casinos with playing cards, his plan seems pretty fool proof, and he wins a ton of money. Along the way he meets flighty English girl Angel McGinnis, played by Susannah York.’ — Mark My Words
David Greene Sebastian (1968)
‘Early in the production of Sebastian, somebody should have called a meeting to figure out what the movie was about. I guess nobody did. What we are stuck with, then, is a movie that moves confidently in three directions, arriving nowhere with a splendid show of style.’ — Roger Ebert
the entire film
Robert Aldrich The Killing Of Sister George (1969)
‘Like Gertrude Stein, tweedy, randy, butch June Buckridge, the flawed heroine of The Killing of Sister George, has a fondness for the bovine. Stein liked to write about “making a cow come out,” which meant giving Alice B. Toklas an orgasm; Buckridge, one of the most inimitable characters in Robert Aldrich’s filmography, expressed her disgust with the world by letting out a long, plaintive moo!. Released in 1968, Aldrich’s film is one of several the director made about the vagaries of stardom—a mini-oeuvre that also includes The Big Knife, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and The Legend of Lylah Clare. While Baby Jane has long been appropriated by gay men, its most famous line (“But you are, Blanche! You are in that chair!”) repeated in bars and drag shows for decades, Sister George remains a lesbian cult classic that has the distinction of being the first “serious” film to receive an X rating. It was based on Frank Marcus’s London-set 1965 play, which was billed as a “new comedy hit” and opened at New York’s Belasco Theatre in 1966 after a successful West End run. The film, with a screenplay by Lukas Heller, who also wrote Baby Jane, unfolds as a bizarre love triangle. “George” (Beryl Reid, who originated the role onstage), née June Buckridge, is a middle-aged, alcohol-soaked actress on the popular soap opera Applehurst; although she’s nothing like Sister George, the sexless, kindhearted country nurse she plays, her character’s name essentially becomes her own. George lives with her much younger girlfriend, Childie (Susannah York), born Alice McNaught, so nicknamed because of her obsessive attachment to her doll collection. Rupturing the relationship is BBC executive Mrs. Mercy Croft (Coral Browne), who tells George her character is going to die—the “killing” of the title—before diddling Childie and spiriting her away. It was their 119-second love scene (not in the play) that gave the film its X rating.’ — Melissa Anderson, Film Comment
the entire film
Sydney Pollack They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)
‘The fascinating 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? stars Jane Fonda, Susannah York and Gig Young all of whom were Oscar nominated for their work. Gig Young has the Cabaret MC type of role and he won the supporting Actor Oscar. Jane Fonda is warming up for her even greater bitch-on-wheels Oscar winning tour de force in Klute (1971). But of the three performances I was must stunned by Susannah York who has one particularly yowza scene featuring one of the most chilling and sustained loss-of-sanity bits I’ve seen from an actor in aeons. The film is set during the great Depression but, in reflection of the late 60s reality-bites mindset is not some Seabiscuit/Cinderella Man style inspirational-triumph-of-the-human-spirit “we’re all winners” uplift. They Shoot Horses is a spawn of the “life is hell and then you die” school of filmmaking. But you already knew that all period pieces eventually tell us more about the time in which they’re made than the time that they’re about, didn’t you?’ — Film Experience
the entire film
Mark Robson Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971)
‘Directed by Mark Robson (who has given us such diverse films as Peyton Place, Von Ryan’s Express, Valley of the Dolls, and Earthquake), written by Kurt Vonnegut, and starring Rod Steiger, Susannah York and William Hickey, the film has the production values (and similar looking sets) of an episode of The Odd Couple. Based on Vonnegut’s first stage play, it tells the story of Harold Ryan (Steiger), adventurer, hunter, and war-hero (presumed dead), and his unexpected return home to his wife Penelope (York), and son Paul (Steven Paul). Harold had been trapped in an African jungle for eight years with his friend Looseleaf Harper (Hickey), the man who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. The two return to an America that they no longer recognize — the peace movement and women’s liberation are just two examples of changes they are unprepared for. Though some of the issues the film addresses are a bit dated, Happy Birthday, Wanda June is probably the best adaptation of a Kurt Vonnegut piece, and the dialog is razor sharp throughout. Genuinely funny, this is a film that deserves to be resurrected from wherever it’s been buried — the performances by Steiger, Hickey and York simply must be seen to be believed.’ — Film Brain
Robert Altman Images (1972)
‘Altman shot Images (1972) in Ireland during the wet autumn months of 1971, and premiered it the following May at Cannes. It won Susannah York the award for best actress (it’s the role she’s most proud of), but left its Cannes audiences mostly confused. It isn’t the sort of film you feel affectionate about. It’s complex and cold, although not nearly as hard to understand as some of the first reviews suggested. Images is a film Altman admirers should make a point of seeing. Its very differences with most of his work help illuminate his style, and he demonstrates superb skill at something he’s supposed to be weak at: telling a well-constructed narrative. It also shows him in inventive collaboration with Miss York, whose children’s book about unicorns is read on the sound track and supplies her character with an alternate fantasy universe in which strange creatures and quaint legends replace the challenges of real life. But the movie, as I’ve suggested, inspires admiration rather than involvement. It’s a technical success but not quite an emotional one.’ — Roger Ebert
Christopher Miles The Maids (1975)
‘Jean Genet, one of the most celebrated creative minds of the 20th century, receives an unbridled, expertly cinematic rendering in this long unseen film based on his perverse play. The Maids‘ volatile mixture of class confrontation, Freudian passion and criminal mischief frames an acid-etched portrait of two sisters whose hatred and desire twist their tortured lives together into a relentless downward spiral of guilt, degradation, and freedom at any cost. Glenda Jackson and Susannah York play Solange and Claire, Paris maids who tend to cruel socialite Madame’s (Vivien Merchant) unending domestic needs. Whenever Madame is away, the sisters obsessively act out a complex role-playing psychodrama of domination and control that feeds their powerful lust for revenge upon the haughty, disdainful mistress they serve. But after falsely denouncing Madame’s lover to the police, Solange and Claire’s shared terror of arrest and the unchecked aggression with which they increasingly infuse their “ceremony” threaten to destroy them even as they perch on the threshold of ecstatic release.’ — Kino Lorber
the entire film
Jerzy Skolimowski The Shout (1978)
‘Though Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Shout (1978) is equally as complex as Performance in terms of narrative linearity (or lack of it), Skolimowski’s film and its complexity derives not from the identity crisis surrounding individual characters within themselves but instead around the crisis of manipulated relationships; the power-play is not between two opposing (but ultimately singular) forces but really the reaction of a third party between a dominant and a submissive pair of characters. More importantly, however, Skolimowski uses the paintings and aesthetics of Francis Bacon to deploy the affect of this tension, more so than Cammell would do as The Shout features actual works by Bacon as well as a deliberate recreation of a specific painting by the artist as well.’ — Celluloid Wicker Man
Richard Donner Superman (1978)
‘For those who know Jerry Siegel’s and Joe Shuster’s comic strip, which has been running since the ‘30s, no introduction to their hero will be needed. Others will be glad of the opening sequence, which is a prologue showing how Superman came to be launched towards Earth from the planet Krypton. Marlon Brando, the only well-informed member of Krypton’s council, ruling from a cast concrete capital in a landscape of ice, predicts the planet’s destruction within 30 days. When this is not heeded by such experienced colleagues on the council as Trevor Howard or Harry Andrews, he and his wife (Susannah York) decide to launch their baby son earthwards in a spacecraft that looks more beautiful than practical – like a starfish in pale pink ice. Krypton duly blowing up is suitably spectacular; and when, after a long journey, the baby arrives, he’s a little boy capable of holding up car with one hand when the wheel-jack fails. The middle-aged childless American couple with the car who pick him up in a field naturally adopt him, and by the time he’s in his late teens he’s kicking footballs over the horizon and outrunning fast trains, such are his powers.’ — Telegraph
Mel Damski Yellowbeard (1983)
‘If pitching, as Connie Mack once said, is 75 percent of baseball, what value might be assigned to a script destined to serve an extensive assortment of comic actors? For an answer, consider the pirate movie Yellowbeard as the vehicle for a trans-Atlantic cast starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Eric Idle of the Monty Python troupe, Cheech and Chong, Peter Cook, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Spike Milligan and Marty Feldman, who died last year while in Mexico City making the movie. All these frequently ebullient, irreverent zanies are tossed – together with such customarily more staid types as James Mason, Susannah York, Beryl Reid and Peter Bull -into a tale of the quest for treasure cached in 1687 on a tropical island by the bloodthirsty Yellowbeard (Graham Chapman), before his incarceration in London.’ — NYT
the entire film
Richard Franklin The Visitors (2003)
‘Venerable British actress Susannah York and up-and-coming star Radha Mitchell head up the cast of this Australian psychological thriller. Both actresses play the character of Carolyn at different stages of her life; bookended with scenes of the elder Carolyn (York) recalling her attempt to sail around the world, the bulk of the film involves the terror-stricken voyage itself. Only in her twenties, the young Carolyn (Mitchell) is filled with hope and fear for her daring solo journey, but once at sea, isolation and solitude begin to take their toll. Soon, Carolyn is encountering people and situations from her past, sometimes with violent, terrifying consequences. When she begins to notice physical evidence of her nightmarish visitors, Carolyn really begins to lose it.’ — collaged
Jan Dunn The Calling (2009)
‘Half Doubt, half Hollyoaks, Jan Dunn’s latest attempt to put Thanet on the cinematic map unfolds at the world’s busiest, bitchiest convent: St Bertha’s of Ramsgate. Barely a scene goes by without someone self-flagellating, getting pregnant, topping themselves or having a whopping skeleton pop out of the cupboard. But it’s also quite glam, full of female leads of a certain age: Rita Tushingham is sister booze, Susannah York a sinister Prioress, Pauline McLynn a sulky nun, Susannah Harker a slutty nun, and Amanda Donohoe a rookie nun’s mum. Second to none, though, is bonafide Ramsgate resident Brenda Blethyn as Sister Ignatius, she of the wry eyebrows and jaunty wimple, the progressive leanings and splendidly indignant reaction when someone explains they’re vegetarian: “Sister Kevin has already started the chicken pate, and as for the chicken chiplets …” Only she, really, manages to ride the rollercoaster jumps in plot and tone that sadly mean The Calling may fail to speak to many.’ — The Guardian
p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Palm Springs, weird. Living in Palm Springs always seems like the lifestyle equivalent of getting a tan in a tanning salon to me, no doubt unfairly. Oh, right, her daughter Gaby. Thanks for the update, D. ** Dynomoose, Whoa, hey, pal! And ha ha ha, very nice. You great? I sure hope so! Love, me. ** Steevee, Hi. Huh. I’m surprised that episode isn’t on youtube or somewhere. I scoured. The word Hitler is becoming like one of those once-shocking swear words whose overuse has turned whatever it’s applied to into hostile mush. I haven’t seen ‘Staying Vertical’ yet, no. Curious about it. Add me to your coterie that didn’t like ‘Stranger by the Lake’. ** Montse, Hi, Montse! Yeah, I was really surprised not to know it given my constant searching of master/slave sites where you’d think it would be a popular fetish. It embarrasses me a little to remember when I knew Paris patisseries so superficially that I would take you to Fauchon. Not that their stuff sucks or anything. But it’s sort of like if you’d asked to check out French couture and I’d taken you to Zara or something. Anyway, in my initial search, I didn’t find a single patisserie that uses its imagination on madeleines. They seem to be sacred cows. But now I’m more determined than ever to find madeleine auteurs. Oh, we have to shoot at least most of the movie in this region of France called Bas Normandie wherein Caen is the largest city because we received a big grant from the film commission there, and, in return for the money, we have to shoot there and employ people there as much as possible. I love working/writing by myself a lot, but nowadays I find I love working with others (Zac, Gisele, et. al.) just as much. But I am really lucky in those cases to have collaborators whom I’m completely simpatico with, which I’m sure colors that feeling. Japan! You guys must go there sometime. Really, really! It’s a dream. Did you have fun or interesting non-fun today? xxx ** B, Hi, Bear. Yeah, the context of in-flight entertainment can make totally standard, monetarily overfed brain-rot films strangely pleasurable. And yet it can’t, for me at least, rescue movies that are really horrible. So, like, the ‘Thor’ or ‘Hunger Games’ or etc. movies can be decent companions, but when a movie is absolutely dreadful inside and out like, say, ‘Batman vs Superman’ or that last X-Men movie, being trapped in a plane seat doesn’t disguise that. What is the bar gig? Great that another salon is soon upcoming. And have a wonderful time in Boston. I’ve only been to Boston a couple of times, and both times for gigs where I traveled very quickly in and out of the city, so I don’t know it at all. I can barely even remember what it looks like, weirdly. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Sure, of course, about the emotional whirlwind. You just have to see how it settles. Hearts are pretty welcoming things, so hopefully you won’t feel like the love you feel for the new dog is a cancelation of your lost/not lost love. Cool you liked ‘Witch Hunt’. Juliet’s a wonderful writer. My yesterday involved a lot of not so interesting (emailing, messaging, etc.) but useful film prep work. Today has started shittily because my reading glasses, which were already half-broken, completely broke this morning. I’m having to tilt my head back and hold it at an uncomfortable angle just to be able to do this p.s. So I have to go get new ones immediately, which isn’t a big deal, but it vexes me. And today? Your today? ** Bernard, Norman Vincent Peale! I remember that guy. He was a real adult touchstone when I wasn’t an adult. Interesting. Thanks, B. Hm, I wonder if France has grifter gurus. I would guess not unless the Le Pen brood counts, which I guess they don’t, but I’m going to ask Zac and Gisele. I’ve had some pretty good veggie burgers here. The place that had my favorite shut down about a year ago. My new favorite is at Le Potager du Marais, a fantastic in general vegan restaurant very close to the Pompidou on rue Rambuteau. Why do you ask? I think I either did a post ages back on La Specola or maybe had it in a general post. I’ll check. Re: Domenica del Corriere, nope. I’ll look into that immediately. I did quite an excellent Vincent Price Day, and I’ll get that restored and reposted asap. Good idea. I love questions. Lists and questionnaires are two of my fetishes, so keep ’em coming. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Yeah, it was lurker for me too. Right? About that gif? Holy shit. I strangely have never watched ‘Glen and Randa’. I have seen ‘The Hired Hand’. It is pretty interesting and worth watching. I think maybe it’s a bit over-lauded, but it’s a thing to see at least. The A-Frames, yes, wow. I haven’t thought about them in a million years. Huh, I’m going to go revisit them today. Thanks for the tip/reminder! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. That ’50 Foot Woman’ movie gets a lot of traction in the Macrophilia message boards I found, no surprise. As does some mid-late, giant woman-featuring music video by the Rolling Stones. Cool, I’ll go check out the Crasher Kids. Thanks, man. Glad you got some high quality time with your YnY comrades. ** Derek McCormack, Derek! Yay! Well, you should have a firework named after you too. I wonder if there are custom fireworks designers the way there are custom piñata designers. I know there are custom piñata designers because in Zac’s and my new film one of the characters collects pinatas, and he has 37 of them on display in his garage, and we found a piñata designer in Paris who’s going to make 37 pinatas for us in any design we choose. Any ideas? ** Marilyn Roxie, Hi, Marilyn! Thanks, pal. Oh, yes, I see what you mean about your collage. It’s awesome! You take care too. ** Bill, Hi. No, Macrophilia is just as ‘big’, ha ha, among heterosexual guys. I just concentrated on the gay angle to give the post coherence or something. Slogging again already? Sorry, man. Fucking capitalism! Yeah, I’ve found that if you’re okay after the third night, you’re relatively safe. ** H, Hi. I got taught and pulled you guys into my education. Exciting about the Xmas experimental film discoveries. Especially now that’s it not Xmas anymore for some reason. ** Okay. I was thinking about the odd, very interestng actress Susannah York the other day, and … presto. See you tomorrow.
Lovely Susannah York Day! I adore her most especially in “Freud.” Great story about her slugging John Houston over his treatment of Monty.
When screenwriter James Poe was set to direct his adaptation of “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” Mrs. Poe (Barbara Steele who just turned 79) was set to do the part that went to York under Sydney Pollack’s direction (of Poe’s script)
I adore Palm Springs. It’s the bottom of the ocean you know. That’s why it’s called “The Coccella Valley” because there were all these shells there. The ocean went away revealing a whole mess o gay “clothing optional” resorts.
Do you live in Palm Springs year round? I was there in 2001 to see Aphex Twin and Radiohead, but I ingested too much LSD and ended up seeing only the bottoms of my shoes… I remember the city being menacing but also strangely captivating.
If it helps your searching, that program aired on either the TLC or Discovery Health networks. (They share a lot of programming.) TLC may be the single trashiest network on American TV – it seems like they’re constantly airing programs like “My 600 Pound Life” and last week they showed “Too Fat To Transition,” about morbidly obese transgender people who want gender reassignment surgery but need to lose hundreds of pounds for it to be possible physically. (No, I didn’t watch it.)
I’ve finally gotten some feedback from a reader of my script. Most of the script is about politics, but the final paragraph of the monologue is more personal and then it ends fairly abruptly. He suggested expanding it by ending another paragraph of personal ruminations. I decided to incorporate some of the ideas from the songs on the mix CD I’ve thought about: he will talk about his teenage years as a fan of hardcore and anarcho-punk, then getting into reggae and becoming a pothead in college, settling down into middle-aged complacency and winding up back at his rebellious roots after Trump’s election and getting fired.
hmmm, you definitely might be onto something with the in flight movie thing…
the bar gig is nothing too exciting, I get asked to work a holiday party every year for a wealthy businessman and his girlfriend. they are really sweet but a little bit of a pain to deal with (not knowing what they want vs. expecting me to know exactly what they want). it’s at the friars club which is like an upscale NY members only social club, so it’s always fun to get a look inside of there. I may try to catch a show at the park avenue armory tomorrow that a friend recommended. have you ever been? apparently they have something going on where cate blanchett plays twelve different characters projected in their large space as sort of a manifesto on making art. if I do make it out then I’ll come back with the full report!
hope the meeting went well, have a lovely and productive weekend!
Michael Chabon’s son is DEEPLY into fashion
Thank you. I feel really hopeful about us today; maybe it’ll work out and we’ll both be able to get over our anxieties caused by the new situation.
Ah, shit, the broken-glasses-situation must’ve been annoying! I guess these are the little things that aren’t so tragic but still can be real pains in the ass. Did you manage to get new ones?
I spent my day with my writer friend which was great firstly because it’s been a while since we could meet for a whole day and I really missed her, and secondly because I think I’m coming down with some kind of a cold so it was good to have some distraction. So I had a nice day today.
How was yours? I hope it was just as good!
I remember Susannah York’s turn in The Maids was really something, and I’m happy to learn that she’s an interesting, complex person too.
I had never heard of Ms York. At first I thought she was a writer, but then when I began reading the interview… you always choose the most interesting interviews for your subject matter, it reminds me of when Interview magazine used to be on top, before they took a nosedive in the early aughts.
Sorry to hear about your reading glasses FUBAR, did you find a replacement pair? I’m blind as a bat without my glasses, yet I only own one pair.. probably not a good idea. I’d like to return to a simple metal frame, ovoid shaped, but nobody does simple anymore, everything on the market is embellished like it was designed by a celebrity-obsessed power bottom… no, I don’t need epaulettes on my eyeglasses.
Took a break from editing today to read a real book, in book form. I’m reading a book on the philosophy of card games, more or less research for my new novel.
Dennis, your new film sounds more and more exciting as you describe it… 37 piñatas?! I really hope it comes to a big screen near me when the time comes.
Thank you, D. Hmmm, the veggie burger thing is about a project I don’t wanna go into, cause I mention things I’m working on and then don’t get to them . . . so, mum for now, but you’ll see it, I hope. This does have to do with some things I hope to do in Paris, when I hope to visit, hopefully.
I’ve gathered some Domenica del Corriere stuff (along with favorite magazine cover art), so I’ll throw that together for you. Also thinking about classic Hollywood horror (hence Vincent Price). Also I don’t think you ever did Henry Fuesli, the artist who did the famous Nightmare painting everyone’s seen somewhere, sometime obsession of Mary Wollstonecraft, big influence on William Blake?
Susannah York is also a very good and affecting Mrs. Cratchit in the George C. Scott “A Christmas Carol,” which is far and away the best, I think, and I like “A Christmas Carol” very, very much. I read it and watch the Scott version every year, which is my total observance of Xmas except, of course, having a Chinese meal with some other Jews.
I don’t think I’ve told you that I’ve given some time recently to helping out because Doug Lang has had health problems, with all the attendant issues for someone who’s taught and written his whole life instead of making a respectable living. Mortality is on our crowd of poets’ minds a lot, with all the losses this year. You may have seen that the memorial for Ray DiPalma in New York is next week.
I would very much like to think of other questions to throw at you, and the more out-of-the-blue the better, but mostly I’m thinking of old Days I’d like to see again, and topics I wonder if you already did. Have you rerun David E’s Frank O’Hara day, or the Kuchar Bros, or Perec?
Odd – Just last week, I watched that movie ‘The Battle of Britain’ again. Not a great movie, but one I definitely liked as a child, in a Saturday afternoon/matinee style. But she clearly owns the few scenes she has.
before iam so thank for you post. I remember Susannah York’s turn in The Maids was really something, and I’m happy to learn that she’s an interesting, complex person too