This isn’t the picture of me at the BFI Database. It was sent to me by “John Fairfax”, who saw my posting on Twitter about my last feature film and my irritated comment about how I thought the British Film Institute had mixed me up with another (probably Asian) actress. And the dear chap actually went through the grueling task (in the name of research, of course) to find proof positive that the girl in the sarong in the other screenshot is not me, mostly because of the arms, hair, and height. And he sent it to me! So here I am in Sadie, a softcore version of Maugham’s story “Rain”, entertaining two men on the island, presumably Borneo. The bloke in the cap is my husband Doc, the only one on the island allowed to touch my goodies.
Above: The Who and Pete Townshend’s love song to sex workers everywhere, “Pictures of Lily”.
This was not only my last feature, but the last film of any length (including loops, shorts etc) I did during my screen days in San Francisco, before I got pregnant and eloped with the father of my child to New York’s East Village.
For years I’ve talked about my porn career like it was a lark—a daredevil stunt I pulled and lived to tell the tale. I certainly was never more physically beautiful than when I was in my early 20s, and really, I’ve got to tell you, it is a kick in the first flowering of old age to know that somewhere, somehow, even now yet still, someone is probably doing the stroke dance with one of your pictures. Because as long as a buck can be made from it, porn will never disappear.
Now here comes the freakin’ British Film Institute to spoil my fun. Now I have to consider myself a lousy but legitimate actress rather than a pretty good porn one? Do you Brits have to put a damper on everything?
Lenny Bruce at Carnegie Hall (full audio, February 1961) THE VERY CONCERT RECREATED IN SEASON 4 EPISODE 8 by the wonderful and deeply sexy Luke Kirby (whose portrayal, by the way, won the approval of Bruce’s daughter Kitty) [https://bit.ly/lennybruce2]
Above Rachel Brosnahan playing struggling stand-up comic Midge Maisel and Luke Kirby portraying the once long ago very real Lenny Bruce: Real Lenny performing the actual concert at Carnegie Hall, 1961.
After Kevin (whose family attended Mass at the same church in Wilmington as Joe Biden’s) took me to this Jules Feiffer-penned movie playing at a local Manhattan arthouse he had me re-enact it. We kind of looked like this. Oh, I got him there.
Louise: I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble tonight. Jonathan: You don’t? Louise: No, I don’t. Jonathan: Are you sure? Louise: You wanna bet? Jonathan: How much? Louise: A hundred? (he takes bill from pocket, gives to her; she puts it away) Jonathan: You sound pretty sure. Louise: You’re a kind of man…why shouldn’t I be sure? Jonathan: What kind of man am I? Louise: (slowly, seductively, kneeling between his legs) A real man. A kind man. I don’t mean weak kind the way so many men are. I mean the kindness that comes from an enormous strength… From an inner power so strong that every act, no matter what, is more proof of that power… That’s what all women resent. That’s why they try to cut you down. Because your knowledge of yourself and them is so right, so true, that it exposes the lie which they, every scheming one of them, live by. It takes a true woman to understand that the purest form of love is to love a man who denies himself to her. A man who inspires worship. Because he has no need for any woman. Because he has himself. And who is better, more beautiful, more powerful, more perfect… You’re getting hard. More strong, more masculine, more extraordinary, more robust… (smiling) It’s rising. More viral, dominating…more irresistible… (happy laugh) It’s up. In the air.
CANCELLED: During Easter Week, the holiest week of the year for observing Catholics, John in Santiago, Chile conducting a me-tic-ulously chosen student orchestra, culminating in a concert on Easter Sunday consisting of the always-favorite Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3.
RECORDED: Lastly, re “Meditation” above, that short symphonic intermezzo between the scenes in Act 2 in the opera Thaïs (1893) by Jules Massenet, which my beloved John conducts on his February 2020 album from Chandos (10th cut) and in which Andrew Haveron performs his violin solo like an angel…
Gazing now at John with love and longing and taking this to a private place. Everybody, go away.
My bonny John was 30 when he recorded, with the orchestra that bears his name, this achingly tender theme.
I saw The Bad and the Beautiful (MGM, 1952) for the first time in New York when I was 20, at one of those great cinema art houses, the Little Carnegie I think. Anyone remember that fabulous nosh pit in the lobby of the Little Carnegie? It was set up to resemble an outdoor Parisian cafe, complete with wrought tables and chairs, painted scenery, etc… Here after the show my date treated me to a glass of cabernet and a flaky meat pasty, the leftovers of which the waiter wrapped up for me in a square of foil he molded into the shape of a swan.
What do you do when you’re a passionate actress still in love with a wounding bastard who’s a screen genius? You make the damn movie.
As for Bad+Beautiful: Cast headed by Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Gloria Grahame, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gilbert Roland, Walter Pigeon. Vincent Minnelli helmed. MGM, 1952 (trailer here). 5 Oscar wins. To feel the full effect, get your heart stomped on by a Hollywood louse before viewing.
“The Bad and the Beautiful”
Soft Lights and Sweet Music, album
Classic Angela Morley Arrangements
The John Wilson Orchestra
John Wilson, conductor
*Oscar-winning transsexual composer-arranger Angela Morley (1924-2009) has quite a story herself, which maybe I’ll get to in another posting. For now, here’s a 1977 article in the Independent that should whet your interest.
With 2 meals a day included it came out to $33 a week. You read that right. A place in Greenwich Village, breakfast and dinner, for thirty-three dollars a week. Try to imagine the mischief I got into with all the money I had left over from my weekly paycheck from my first job as a solfeggist at ASCAP, that it’s summer in NYC, it’s 1973, I’m eighteen, cute as a button and old enough to drink, and gorgeous men are everywhere. And imagine too that I’m singing a song (in my heart and sometimes aloud while bounding down the street) that every American girl of my generation inspired by Julie Andrews sang:
I have confidence in confidence alone Besides which you see I have con-fi-dence in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
With the coolest theme on American TV, The Equalizer introduced Copeland’s stunningly unique sound to the mainstream audience. In keeping with the series’ mash-up concept of “tradition merged with New Age high tech,” Copeland’s musical accompaniment would, one: with the exception of hero Robert McCall himself, forego the Wagnerian structure of identifiable leitmotifs, and instead choose to score the city of New York itself as a primary character; and, two: fuse classical structure with the combo of “percussion carrying melody and synthesized strings” attached to world rhythms. Copeland’s would be a coldly ethereal yet dense “urban ballet” sound inexorably linked to the modern cityscape. This sound would influence composers such as Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman.
They shot several episodes in my old neighborhood, the East Village, at great risk to star Woodward (two heart attacks and once he fell through an apartment building roof–not ours thankfully). That’s 610 East 9th Street, where we lived 1981-86. Rent for our 4-room inc full kitchen and full bathroom, 2 bedrooms and 1 living room, facing street: $250/m. You read that right. $250 a month.
Copeland was born in 1952. The son of CIA officer Miles Copeland, Jr (who appears as a character in Norman Mailer’s epic spy novel Harlot’s Ghost), he took up the drums at 12, was raised internationally in Cairo, Beirut, the US and England; and throughout the 1970s alternately worked as road manager and backup drummer for various groups until founding in 1977, along with Sting and Henry Padovani (later replaced by Andy Summers), the English progressive rock band The Police. After The Police went on extended hiatus in 1986, the drummer with a composer’s sensibilities dove headlong into scoring—to this day, one of his most notable works is as musical voice of The Equalizer, on which he composed 51 of 88 total episodes of the series.