Monthly Archives: March 1975

Conversation with Paul Morrissey (Part I)

From Oui (March 1975). I no longer recall whether or not the editors changed the wording of some of my questions; I suspect that in many cases they did. Because of the length of this interview, I’m posting it in two parts. -– J.R.

Excerpted from the Introduction [obviously not by me]:

“Jonathan Rosenbaum interviewed Morrissey in Paris, shortly after the director had completed his latest films [Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula aka Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Andy Warhol's Dracula (sic, sic), only the second of which I’ve ever seen, then or since. -– J.R.] He described being greeted at the door by Nico, of the original and most durable Factory regulars:

“Nico entertained me with comparisons of Paris and Los Angeles, while Morrissey served me orange soda from his refrigerator,” he said. “Morrissey enjoys talking –- the interview was nearly a monologue –- and he speaks in a slightly nasal tone, a cross between Brando and the Bronx.”

OUI: There’s a noticeable difference between your early movies, such as Trash, and your latest ones, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein and Andy Warhol’s Dracula. Is it true, as some critics contend, that you’ve gone from the underground to the surface?… Read more »

Conversation with Paul Morrissey (Part II)

From Oui (March 1975). I no longer recall whether or not the editors changed the wording of some of my questions; I suspect that in many cases they did. Because of the length of this interview, I’m posting it in two parts. -– J.R.

Excerpted from the Introduction [obviously not by me]:

“Jonathan Rosenbaum interviewed Morrissey in Paris, shortly after the director had completed his latest films [Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula aka Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Andy Warhol's Dracula (sic, sic), only the second of which I’ve ever seen, then or since. -– J.R.] He described being greeted at the door by Nico, of the original and most durable Factory regulars:

“Nico entertained me with comparisons of Paris and Los Angeles, while Morrissey served me orange soda from his refrigerator,” he said. “Morrissey enjoys talking -– the interview was nearly a monologue –- and he speaks in a slightly nasal tone, a cross between Brando and the Bronx.”

OUI: Let’s talk about political content. Your films are usually much more poignant and compassionate than you yourself are reputed to be. In some quarters of the film world, you have a political reputation that might be compared to Ronald Reagan’s.… Read more »

Life Size (1975 review)

From Oui, March 1975. –- J.R.

 

Life Size. A wealthy dentist (Michel Piccoli) buys a shapely, life-size female doll and immediately falls hopelessly in love with it. He dances with it, gently places it in a dentist’s chair to go over its bridgework, takes showers with it, talks to it and masturbates into its working orifices. When his indulgent mother (Valentine Tessier) finds him curled up in bed with it, she chuckles, dresses it up in old-fashioned clothes and briefly adopts it as a knitting companion. When lsabelle (Rada Rassimov), his wife, starts imitating the doll out of desperation, he dumps her into a closet and moves into a new flat with his synthetic bride. He even video-tapes their mock wedding for his amusement. But when his video-tape machine reveals that a Spanish repairman has been using his beloved for more immediate and less romantic purposes, he starts to “punish” his doll. The trouble with Luis Berlanga’s exhaustive movie is that what he has to say could probably be squeezed into about ten minutes without much sweat. -– JONATHAN ROSENBAUM

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THE GAMBLER (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, March 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 494). — J.R.

Gambler, The
U.S.A., 1974

Director: Karel Reisz

The limitations and pretensions of James Toback’s script for The Gambler are so formidable that it is difficult to conceive of any director redeeming or transcending them. A Q.E.D. (indeed, virtually ABC) demonstration of a masochist’s steady progress to self-obliteration, peppered with ‘significant’ flashbacks and literary quotes, it involves gambling no more and no less than The Conversation involves tape recording — which is to say, incidentally rather than substantively. By the end of the first reel or so, it is already painfully clear that Axel Freed (James Caan) is more interested. in losing than winning, and from that point onward narrative interest is increasingly diffused by a clinical spelling out of his condition which has all the earmarks of a stacked deck. The problem is not so much a surfeit of psychological analysis — the script offers hints, not explicit causes explaining Axel’s condition — as too little to account for his behavior naturalistically, and too much to permit any sustained acceptance of the character on an allegorical or mythical level. Unlike the abnormal, high-strung and death-defying auto racer played by James Caan in Hawks’ Red Line 7000, there is nothing in Axel that suggests hidden depths; indeed, despite Caan’s consistent professionalism, the actor appears to be as uninterested in his character as Axel seems to be in himself.… Read more »

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, March 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 494). — J.R.

Ain’t Misbehavin’

Great Britain, 1974 Directors: Peter Neal, Anthony Stern

Cert–X (London). dist–Focus. p.c–Al0K Pictures Ltd. p–David

Speechley. ed–Peter Neal, Misha Norland. m/songs–”Please Be Kind”

performed by Django Reinhardt; “The Man I Love” by George Gershwin,

Ira Gershwin, performed by Django Reinhardt; “Honeysuckle Rose”,

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” by and performed by Fats Waller; “Adagio in G

Minor” by Albinoni; “Don’t Be a Baby” performed by Ahmed Rai,

Betty Underwood; “Ain’t Gonna Be Your Dog” by and performed by

Meade Lux Lewis; “Cabaret Echoes” performed by Anthony Parenti’s

Famous Melody Boys; “Charlie Is My Darling” performed by Black

Dyke Mills Band; “No One But the Right Man Can Do Me Wrong”

performed by Sophie Tucker; “Animals’ Ball” performed by Lizzie

Miles; “My Canary’s Got Circles Under His Eyes” performed by Elsie

Carlisle; “Shy Guy” performed by Nat Cole Trio; “Londonola”

performed by Roy Fox; “Boogie Woogie at the Civic Opera” by and

performed by Albert Ammons; “My Old Man” performed by Lilly

Morris; “With My Little Ukelele in My Hand” performed by George

Formby; piece by Ivy Benson Orchestra. titles–Ray Cowell, Freeman

May Studio Ltd.

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