Milky's Immortality

episode one, 720p

Daisy Waterstone

The Good Fight

s1e3, 1080hd

Isabella Farrell

Hard Sun

s1e2, 720p

Heidi Monsen


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The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

2013, 1920x1080

Evan Rachel Wood

For many more images from this film, see Oz's companion contribution below.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

Evan Rachel Wood flashes a nipple in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013)

(see a HD film clip in Aesthete's section above)

 and there are lots of unidentified topless strippers.

The Moderns


Linda Fiorentino film clip (collage below)

Abbey Lee and Riley Keough in Welcome The Stranger (2018) in 1080hd

Marina Gera and Laura Dobrosi in Orok Tel (2018) in 1080hd

Cacia Rose in Mom and Dad (2017) in 720p

Carice Van Houten in Intruders (2011) in 1080hd

Theresa Russell in Bad Timing (1980) in 1080hd

Although this film was directed by a major British director (Nic Roeg) and starred Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel and Art Garfunkel, I wasn't really aware of it until I reviewed it. Oh, I had seen the name here and there, but I never associated it with Roeg or with any sort of film achievement. It turns out that my ignorance, and probably yours as well, was calculated by the film's producers, The Rank Organization, who buried the film in the deepest hole they could find because they considered it to be degenerate.

They began by failing to distribute the film to their own Odeon theater chain in the UK. It was the only Rank film which was never shown in a single Odeon theater. The second largest theater chain in the U.K. was owned by Rank's rival, EMI, which had no intention of helping their competitor financially, so the film ended up only in Sir Lew Grade's tiny chain of Classic theaters. The Rank executives were so embarrassed by the film that they even went so far as to remove their trademark opening gong from the film's intro, and kept it from being released on video tape. As recently as the summer of 2004, Roeg felt that the film would never again be seen in its proper condition, as per this comment at IMDB:

The real tragedy is that Bad Timing has never been released on any home video format, and I fear it may never happen. It was made at a time when music licenses weren't automatically cleared for home viewing. Considering the eclectic soundtrack incorporates Jarrett, Tom Waits, The Who, Billie Holiday, Harry Partch and others, the idea of renegotiating deals at this point would be any lawyer's nightmare. Even worse, Roeg himself believes the few prints that Rank struck are probably lost or damaged beyond repair, and one fears for the state of the negative.

Fortunately, The Criterion Collection came along like a white knight and rescued this distressed damsel in 2005. Not only did they managed a digital restoration of the entire film in a gorgeous, anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but they have assembled 15 minutes of deleted scenes, about a hundred rare photos and original posters, an interview with Roeg, and an interview with the star (later Roeg's wife), Theresa Russell.

The basic outline is as follows.

Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell are American expatriates living in Vienna, Art playing a visiting university lecturer and Theresa portraying a free spirit blowing with the wind. Although totally mismatched, they strike up a relationship which begins in passion and high hopes but is ultimately doomed by their incompatible personalities. The 40ish professor wants an orderly, controlled world filled with sensible thoughts, one in which schedules are honored, promises kept, mates won and held. The 20ish woman is essentially a hedonist who is in a stage of life where she wants to experience as much as possible, and to do what she wants to do when the mood strikes her, often without regard to earlier commitments. She also has a flexible attitude toward the truth, which further irritates the older man, and impels him to imagine even greater infidelities than the ones she is really committing. As their relationship inevitably degenerates, they continue to hang on to one another in certain ways, as lovers so often do. Long after it is obvious that they have no future, the professor is still obsessed with her, still jealous of her potential suitors, and still longing for the way things once were between them. Simultaneously, the woman still needs to stay in contact with the professor for the stability and common sense which he brings to her, especially as she descends into a world of depression and alcohol abuse.

A dramatic event drives the film. One day the woman calls the professor to report that she has overdosed on booze and pills. He eventually gets her to the hospital, but a local police inspector feels that there was a great deal of time elapsed between the professor's having received the call and his having summoned assistance. What happened in that period?

The mystery is revealed in flashback, as the woman lies on her hospital bed, struggling for breath, hovering between life and death. Scenes from the suicide night are intercut with flashbacks as the police inspector interrogates the professor, and the audience sees the disparity between the professor's non-committal answers and reality.

So what made the film so damned degenerate?


In order to reveal that, I need to spoil the plot. If you would rather find out for yourself, read no further in this section and proceed to the part below "end spoilers."

It turns out that the professor arrived at her apartment, cut off her clothes, and raped her before calling an ambulance. This was an act trapped somewhere between murder and necrophilia. It might have been considered manslaughter if he had merely failed to call for aid immediately, but he did far worse than that. The sexual act might well have been the very thing to kill her, although it did not. While she was gasping for breath, he was enjoying a masturbatory reverie of the way things used to be between them, while simultaneously feeling despair from the loss of their love and overwhelming shame at his act.


The film's close, uneasy relationship with some ugly truths about reality was exacerbated by uncannily parallel events in the real lives of the main participants. Nic Roeg's obsession with Theresa Russell paralleled the feelings of the Garfunkel character for Theresa's character. Roeg would marry her, and work with her again. They remained together until 2004. If the Roeg/Russell story proved that obsession might work out in the long term, Art Garfunkel's story could not have been any gloomier. At the very end of shooting, just before the film crew was to return to New York for some final scenes, Garfunkel relived the anguish of his character when his own life partner, Laurie Bird, committed suicide. Garfunkel was forced to relive his character's desire to withdraw into himself while the investigating police officers wanted to draw him out. Although Garfunkel had no legal responsibility for Bird's death, his deep sense of guilt reflected the situation in Bad Timing. He wondered what he could  have done to prevent it. He wondered if he had done something to cause it. He was a man deeply obsessed with his woman, happy in his life with her, yet suddenly faced with the overwhelming and final realization that their love had obviously not provided the same happiness for her.
Is the whole film disgusting, as Rank suggested? Is it a great film, as others have suggested? Could it be both? Opinions will vary, but Criterion deserves a standing ovation for having given us all a chance to judge the film ourselves, for having restored it so magnificently, and for having found and created so many additional features.

It's not a mass audience film because the movie is not without flaws, and Nic Roeg's films are an acquired taste to begin with. I have never acquired that taste, yet I feel that Bad Timing is a great work of art in many ways, and I am not talking about its great visuals and a fascinatingly eclectic musical score. It has those elements, but many films do. Bad Timing rises to a higher plane because it is personal, passionate, close to the bone, and complex. It is, above all, a masterpiece of psychological drama because it makes us feel disgust at the professor's actions at the same time that it makes us realize that we could easily have done something similarly callous  in our lives. At the very least, Bad Timing makes us realize that all of us, even those with no great secret like this, have been in doomed, obsessive relationships which ended in some form of regrettable, shameful ugliness. In digging so close to the truth, the film provokes us. It makes us feel the same way we do upon the re-emergence of a repressed memory which we would have preferred to stay subconscious.

By the way, this is definitely your go-to film in the unlikely event that you want to see Art Garfunkel naked.

Sally Field in Stay Hungry (1976) in 1080hd

From 1970 to 1990, director Bob Rafelson had a fairly solid string of successes.

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
King of Marvin Gardens, The (1972)
Stay Hungry (1976)
Brubaker (1980) (uncredited co-director)
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1981)
Black Widow (1987)
Mountains of the Moon (1990)
It's interesting to look at them sorted by IMDb ratings.

(7.37) - Five Easy Pieces (1970)
(7.06) - Mountains of the Moon (1990)
(6.66) - Brubaker (1980)
(6.28) - The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
(6.18) - Black Widow (1987)
(6.04) - The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
(5.51) - Stay Hungry (1976)
By now you are probably thinking, "Among all those famous and/or acclaimed films, how could there be one movie on the list that I've never heard of - a film which scores below six at IMDb?"

That's a fair enough question, but I guess the film in question, Stay Hungry, wasn't that obscure when it came out. After all, it earned a Golden Globe for its co-star, a large muscular man named Arnold Schwarzenegger. About five or ten years later, the big fella hit pay dirt in Conan and Terminator, and the rest is history, but in this film he played a much more realistic role than his usual larger-than-life super heroes and villains. Arnie played a bodybuilder from Austria who was competing in the Mr Universe competition and trying to make a new life in the United States. You have to admit it was a pretty solid job of casting.

Jeff Bridges is the star of the film. He plays a rich boy whose parents died in a plane crash. He lives in his parents' home, but he still calls it "their" home. His own life has not yet begun. He doesn't really fit in with his rich relatives and friends.

Somehow, Bridges falls in with a sleazy real estate syndicate which is trying to buy up entire city blocks to erect high rise office buildings. One project is being blocked by a single hold-out.  (How many movies have used this plot?) A shabby mom 'n pop gym is the reluctant seller, and Bridges is assigned by the syndicate to charm, cajole, or otherwise convince the owner to play ball. Bridges, however, turns out to be one of those rich guys who is more comfortable with genuine working class people, and he strikes up friendships with some of the people in the gym.

(This is a recurring Bob Rafelson theme, and is also the basic concept behind Rafelson's best movie, Five Easy Pieces.)

Bridges pals around with Big Ah-nuld, as well as a slightly trashy but refreshingly unaffected female employee of the gym (Sally Field). Ah-nuld and Bridges form a relaxed love triangle with The Flying Nun, and Bridges pretty much forgets about his assignment to buy the gym, at least until some sleazebags show up to do with muscle what Bridges failed to do with guile.

Meanwhile, Bridges takes a certain perverse pleasure in foisting his new friends on his rich pals, and watching the fireworks between the two groups. Fields finds it callous of Bridges to take aloof pleasure from everyone's lack of comfort in the forced social mixture, so their relationship becomes turbulent.

Rural country music and Ah-nuld's bodybuilding provide the colorful backdrop for the film, often in tandem, because Ah-nuld's character is a helluva country fiddler as well as a bodybuilder! The bodybuilding and musical scenes provide a nearly surrealistic underscore to the film, especially when Ah-nuld's gigantic hands finger the ol' fiddle. Bridges does an amazingly good solo dance number when his character gets liquored up and is persuaded to dance inside a circle at an impromptu country jamboree. He has to perform well, albeit drunkenly, and he has to convey both exuberance and embarrassment at the same time. He pulls it all off with aplomb.
This is not a very good movie, as you can guess by the fact that you never heard of it despite the presence of several major talents. It is kind of an interesting movie in some ways, often veering off into truly quirky and surreal directions. Let's face it, there's a lot of fun in seeing Ah-nuld playing the fiddle, or Jeff Bridges clogging up a storm, or Ah-nuld wearing a Batman outfit, or Sally Field just prancing around in the altogether in her first and last real screen nudity. Perhaps you join me in having a lot of curiosity about seeing what those three big stars looked like forty years ago.

The major problem with the movie is this: after I watched it, I read the DVD box and noticed that it was supposed to be a comedy. I never suspected that for an instant. I thought it was just supposed to be an offbeat romance about a guy trying to find himself. I don't remember thinking anything was especially funny, although certain of the most surreal scenes seem funny in a way. There is a scene, for example, with dozens of bodybuilders prancing through downtown Birmingham in their little bathing suits, occasionally stopping to do pose-downs for the street people, and even riding single-file, standing, on top of a public bus. I guess that was supposed to be funny.

The film was not extraordinarily popular back then; it has been forgotten over the years; and it doesn't seem good upon a fresh look either. Given the presence of Rafelson and some big talents, I expected more than this film delivers, although I still enjoyed watching it for the curiosity value.

Sally Field never got naked on film again, but she came close in An Eye for an Eye (below)