Musings and Mirth
One of my earliest cinematic memories was Jean-Jaques Beineix’ Betty Blue starring the luminous volcano, Beatrice Dalle. Back in the 80s, believe it or not, cinema was still relatively open to sexuality depicted on screen in a healthy, explicit way. Something happened in the ensuing twenty years to change that. Perhaps PG-13 happened to that. The target demo and biggest money makers in Hollywood are PG-13 movies. Rated R movies aren’t that profitable. Better to keep them on TV.
But the French don’t think like that, as Blue is the Warmest Colour has come along in the long tradition of gorgeous naked sexy French movies featuring women the big screen will never forget. Certainly, Dalle is one of those. And she was the one for me in the 1080s. I wanted to BE her. I wanted to feel as she did with a man. I wanted to be crazy like that (didn’t have to try too hard). But not to the brink of my own demise. Betty Blue is a tragedy. But before it gets to tragedy it is all about wildness, love and beauty and yeah, sex.
The year was 1986. I’d graduated high school three years earlier. Only three years. That would make me around 21 years old. But at that age, I’d never seen anything like what they do in Betty Blue. I’d never seen a French girl with unshaved armpits, not to mention one who dressed like that, carried her body like that and seemed to have no shame in any of it.
The French are so free when it comes to the body, to natural impulses that strobe through our circulatory system. Where did America go so wrong? Why are we so strange in this culture? I know it isn’t only Americans exclusively. I know plenty of French men who are repressed and addicted to porn. But maybe it isn’t even about America vs. France. Maybe it’s just about American film versus French film.
Betty Blue was, to me, a fantasy. As I look back on it now, I think it gets to real passion and love like few other films. It brings me back to it now that I’ve seen the equally erotic and passionate Blue is the Warmest Colour, which is about two girls, not a man and a woman. But, can we just say — leave it to the French to figure it out because we Americans are just not ready to go there in the light of day.
My ideal beauty — or who I wanted to be — was Beatrice Dalle. I still doubt whether I’ve ever seen a more sexy, beautiful woman on screen. I’m not sure what I learned from all of this. It would be years after my 21st year that I would ever make any kind of real progress in the sexuality department. Ironic, since at 21 I was likely in my prime. But the idea of Betty Blue, of that kind of beauty – those colors, that music…even the tragic dive it takes by the end is all of the stuff that life is made on. The sublime and the ridiculous. The desperate and the content. The vulgar and the graceful. It’s all there in this crazy little movie.
Cigarettes, mousse in the hair to keep it up like that, fishnets and black leather boots. Polka dots. Ah, the ’80s.
Hi there, ten people who read this site. You might have noticed my dabbling (“Listen to me, dabble”) in poetry a bit. I figure poetry is one of those things that must find its way out – even it’s bad (as witnessed on this season’s The Bachelorette) – I don’t expect mine to be good but it’s the kind of thing that you’re better off doing than not doing.
But here is a great poem by a great poet – maybe the best or certainly one of the best. His poems are the kinds of things that leave me generally in awe of the human race and our giant brains.
Here’s to opening and upward,to leaf and to sap
here’s to opening and upward,to leaf and to sap
and to your(inmyarms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain
and here’s to silent certainly mountains;and to
a disappearing poet of always,snow
and to morning;and to morning’s beautiful friend
twilight(and a first dream called ocean)and
let must or if be damned with whomever’s afraid
down with ought with because every brain
which thinks it thinks,nor dares to feel(but up
with joy;and up with laughing and drunkenness)
here’s to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of blood is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon
Damp clothes, steam rising,
Recorded in sequence–
played back again.
Then once more again.
Once more to yes.
Coming in fresh,
before the sun comes up —
where your hands ran
the roadmap of every curve
of flesh clothed and naked
Fevered hands cupped
the horizon line
You were blind for the touching.
Over and under,
as though it was the last time
they would be there,
rounding the wide oval of my ass,
then back upwards, anchored there
in accidental, unpredictable electricity.
Only words don’t come.
Once again the hands dive back down
Up the side,
down the back, around and up
and back down.
No borders or roadsigns,
no speed limit.
Just the light on the road
taking us there. Again.
When I’m walking the streets of Telluride I can’t not take pictures of dogs. Ask me why — go ahead. Right, no answer except that dogs are just happy to be almost anywhere if they’re being treated kindly. Dogs at Telluride are maybe the happiest I’ve seen anywhere. They are always wagging their tails, smiling, guarding their homes or their owners. They’re so loyal and unique.
They each have their own personalities – you can really see it when you “meet” them on the street.