• * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.







Olga's House of Shame


Part 1

Today is a "Babe in Bondage" day as the Time Machine goes all the way back to 1964 for the black & white flick "Olga's House of Shame".

Brenda de Naut shows off some massive cleavage as she is tied up and gets those boobs tortured by a creepy guy. Caps and a clip.

Then Brenda is joined by Susan Small as they are tied to a tree, have their tits exposed and are whipped by another girl. Caps and 2 clips.

Both women

Small alone

Part 2 tomorrow.







Kate Winslet film clips. Samples below.



Scoop's notes:

 "Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light"

 .... Dylan Thomas


"I feel as if I'm sailing into darkness."

... Iris Murdoch, on the onset of Alzheimer's


Iris is the story of the noted author and Booker Prize winner, Iris Murdoch, who died about three years ago, after struggling some years with Alzheimer's disease. The story is based on two books about Iris (Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire, and Elegy for Iris ) by John Bayley, Murdoch's famous husband. The film was financed in part by the BBC.

The film moves between two time frames. In the earlier time, a feisty young Iris (Kate Winslet) goes through lovers of both sexes, and experiences various Bohemian adventures before settling with the conservative, stable Bayley. In the second part, Bayley helps the older Iris (Judy Dench) cope with her failing years. The two halves form a portrait of a resilient marriage between two good, strong, intelligent and devoted people.

I liked this deeply flawed movie for many reasons, not all of which are logical.

My mother, who was an accomplished woman by the standards of her time, a college graduate, a teacher, and an opera singer, was also an Alzheimer's victim. I wasn't really present to watch her descent. For the last decade of her life, my sister took care of her, and my dad did what he could, despite physical problems of his own. I lived around the world, in places like Sydney, Oslo, and Vienna, and for me she was mostly just a voice on the phone. The movie Iris let me see what I missed, and filled me with guilt and sadness, as well as admiration for my sister and father. I felt, at the same time, guilt that I had missed the closing chapter of her life, and great relief that I had not seen her like that, and then guilt again for feeling that relief.

I was lucky, you see. I am still able to remember my mom as the impressive woman she once was, without having to remember her as a burden. And I feel guilty for that luck. Guilty that I let other people face the problem without my help.

I was living in Oslo in the early 90's, and mom was still calling me once a week, and writing quite often, sending English-language puzzle books, and American snacks, and family photos. Then the letters stopped. The phone calls stopped from their direction. I called them once in a while, of course, and noticed that my mom was starting to make less sense each time. I visited home in the late 90's. My sister called my mom in from her bedroom.

sister: Mom. Greg is here.

mom: Greg who?

sister: Your son Greg

mom: I have a son?


The dying of the light.

I guess you can figure out how the visit went from there. She had been "out of it" for a few years by the time of that visit, and would die within a year, so she was then in the later stages of mental deterioration, and in a stage of physical decrepitude that I wasn't prepared for from phone conversations. Alzheimer's patients aren't very interested in dentists or hairstylists, nor are they especially welcome patients, and they normally live about a decade after the first diagnosis of their problem. I would not have recognized her if I had passed her on the street.

She did figure out who I was, but then asked me the same question about 30 times in a row, had no idea how many wives or children I had had, or what I had done during my life. I don't have to spell it out. You know the drill. She only perked to life when I sang some of the solos from her career. She practiced them so many times when I was a kid that I knew them by heart. Her eyes sparkled with recognition, then she sang along softly with me, her voice still smoother than mine, her ear still more acute. For some brief moments, her great talent defeated not only her disease, but even her age.

Then she was on her ship again, sailing back into darkness.

The movie is very subtle for a dread disease film. It is honest in its portrayal of the characters and their flaws. It is never rhetorical or cloying or ingratiating. It is a simple, unembellished story told with candor. The acting is remarkable. Four actors play two parts seamlessly, down to the voices, accents, and mannerisms, so that the time shifts are managed to perfection.

I said before that the film was deeply flawed. The reason is that this movie could be about anyone. It really has nothing whatever to say about Iris Murdoch. If you do not know now why she is a great writer or thinker, you will have no idea after this film is over. The script doesn't show her being brilliant. The film does not really even give many solid examples of her brilliance. We are left to assume it. Furthermore, there is a gaping flaw in the character development. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to ascertain how Murdoch chose Bayley as her lifelong companion. Bayley's recollections formed the spring whence this story flowed, and he was guilty of excessive modesty. There are times which call for modesty and self-deprecation, but in this script those characteristics turned out to be liabilities because they created a credibility problem.

If you don't know anything about Ms. Murdoch, here is what the movie is about:

A sexy much-desired woman, who is pursued by nearly everyone of both sexes, ends up marrying a complete dweeb who is obviously hygienically challenged. There is no way to understand why she chose such a complete loser, but it's a damned good thing that she did, because he tended to her faithfully decades later when Alzheimer's took away her mental and physical allure, and all of her other friends deserted her.

Can you see what is missing here?

1. There must be a damned good reason why she chose Bayley. It would have been wise to clear out Bayley's posturing narrative modesty and demonstrate it. By all accounts, Bayley was a brilliant literary critic, extraordinarily well-read on English and Russian literature, and a witty man. You would not know that after watching this film. You'd think he was a faithful lap dog who was grateful for Murdoch's table scraps.

2. Why is Murdoch such an important figure in English letters? The film assumes that you know. Warren Spahn once said that he couldn't figure out why people thought Casey Stengel was so smart, because he was the only guy to play for Casey Stengel before and after Casey became a genius, but not during. (The Boston Braves pre-Yankees, and the Mets post-Yankees). This film gives you the Warren Spahn look at Iris Murdoch. It shows you Murdoch before she was a genius and after, but not during.

Because of those flaws, this simple, touching movie is not great, but merely good. When I was a kid, mothers used to give their children cod liver oil. We took it, not because we wanted to, but because we were told it was good for us. Iris is the cod liver oil of movies. It is not a movie that you really want to see, but one that you should, because it's good for you. The portrayal of Murdoch's deterioration is painstakingly accurate, and the love of her husband is touching.




Anna Beatriz Barros, Pirelli shoot

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Pirelli shoot

(This year's apparent Pirelli theme: women with double last names.)

Anna Paquin at the Golden Globes. I thought her breasts were bigger than this.

the women of A l'Aventure:  Lisa Bellynck. You remember her from Exterminating Angels, which was directed by the same guy.

the women of A l'Aventure:  Carole Brana

the women of A l'Aventure:  Nadia Chibani. Her screen debut, and only IMDb credit.



Film Clips

Adrienne Sachs in In the Cold of the Night

Elisa Mouliaa and Miryam Gallego in Aquila Roja

Stephanie Ann Smith in Under Lock and Key

Rie Saotome in Sex and Fury

Sybille Waury and Isabell Brenner in another "Lindenstrasse"

More of Elena Anaya and Natasha Yarovenko in Room in Rome, from a promo reel. Samples below. With apologies in advance to Atom Egoyan's Chloe, Room in Rome will obviously be the lesbian-themed movie of the year.

Even if the movie sucks.

Which it probably will.

Kimberley Williams in Elephant Juice in slo-mo (sample right)