A note from Jimmy the Saint
His holiness sent me a set of links that will allow you to obtain
"Resurgence," the complete 24-minute BBC show which features a topless scene
from a 21-year-old Catherine Zeta-Jones, as taped off Jimmy's own TV. To the
best of my knowledge, this is the only place in the world where you can obtain
this show, and may be the only record of its existence. I've never seen it
anywhere else, and IMDb doesn't list this in Zeta's filmography.
I have downloaded it and will work on a compact film clip for tomorrow. If
you want the whole show for your own collection, here are the three Rapidshare
links. RAR is a popular compression technique which you can easily master with
a Google search. I use win-rar to compress and decompress everything,
including all .zip files. (NOTE for the uninitiated: the way .rar works, you
need all three or nothing. Having one part will do you no good. Place all
three files in the same directory, then uncompress.)
I had no idea that Breathtaking had even been issued on DVD, but I found
this clip on USENET, and
it appears to be DVD quality. I've never seen the movie, but I know that it's
a 2000 thriller starring Joanne Whalley. That's a pretty big deal because
Whalley did no nude scenes between 1982 and 2000, so this one kinda came out
of the blue. ("Blue" in more ways than one, as you'll soon see.)
The quality was good enough that I did some captures to go with the clip.
Fur is, as noted in its subtitle, an imaginary portrait of a real
photographer, Diane Arbus, a woman who made a rather sudden transition from a
repressed 1950s housewife to a daring photographer of the fringes of society
and a participant in those fringes. When she was about 35, she separated from
Allan Arbus, a successful commercial photographer who later became an actor
(he was the Sydney the psychiatrist on the TV version of M*A*S*H), and started
her own career. In her twelve years as a solo act she managed to test the
outside of the envelope of alternative 1960s lifestyles in New York City, all
the time chronicling with her lens the people she met along the way. She
photographed visions of bourgeois ennui, but she specialized in the
downtrodden, marginalized people of society.
In Arbus's own words, "Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one
of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement
for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't
quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame
and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy
tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go
through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born
with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're
Her work became popular enough to warrant one-woman shows in the important
New York museums and galleries, and to inspire a collection of articles by
Susan Sontag, On Photography, in which the formidable essayist tried to
expressed why she was simultaneously fascinated with and repulsed by Arbus's
In 1971, at age 48, Diane (DEE-ann) swallowed a vast quantity of
barbiturates and cut her wrists, thus assuring that she would die from one or
the other, and elevating her to the pantheon of rebellious, romantic,
troubled, unconventional 1960s artists who would die from suicide or O.D.:
Joplin, Hendrix, Sylvia Plath, Jim Morrison, etc.
The movie Fur pays essentially no attention to Arbus's career as a
photographer. In fact, if you do not already know about her work and its
themes, you will leave the theater no more enlightened, other than to realize
that she was interested in freaks. The film never really shows the part of her
life when her career had blossomed, nor does it not explain how she developed
her technical or artistic skills. (It wasn't from her experience in fashion
photography. When she decided what she wanted to do, she studied the art of
photography under a master.) What the film does do is to ask a theoretical
question, "What set of circumstances could have transformed a Good
Housekeeping housewife of 1957 into a kinky fetishist in 1967?" It imagines
those circumstances as follows: Arbus meets Lionel, a sideshow freak with a
condition that makes him appear to be Michael Landon in that Teenage Werewolf
movie. (This is a completely fictional character.) She is immediately
fascinated by him, then attracted to him. Through her Beauty and the Beast
affair with the human werewolf, she meets the people who used to be his
colleagues on the sideshow circuit, and is transformed by her fascination with
their world, and how essentially normal and mundane it is beneath the
sensational exterior. She begins to ponder the nature of normality itself.
Fur was directed by Steven Shainberg, who also directed the kinky
Secretary, and seems to have a bit of the Arbus spirit in his own soul.
Shainberg does an excellent job at capturing the tension inherent in Arbus's
point of view, as she takes her first tentative steps from the mainstream into
an underculture which both excited and terrified her. Nicole Kidman and Robert
Downey Junior provide some heft to this project, but the film ultimately fails
for two reasons:
First, Downey's wolfman make-up is inadvertently hilarious when it should
convey dark mystery and an ominous sense that the forbidden and outré are
nearer than they seem. The film works perfectly when Downey is covered by
grotesque masks, but falls apart when the teenage werewolf faces the camera
squarely and makes us giggle.
Second, the film drags on and on as we wait for her transformation and then
fails to show us the results after the great awakening finally arrives. It
feels as if the Ben Hogan story ended with the car accident and a question
about whether he could ever come back. In fact, the film never shows any
examples of the art which Diane would develop after her cultural epiphany.
It's Diane Arbus without the photographs, just as the recent Paltrow movie was
Sylvia Plath without the poems.
It might be a better movie if it had committed to being 100% fictional or
100% biographical. With a better make-up job on the Beast, the movie could
stand by itself with no reference at all to Diane Arbus as the Beauty, since
it treats the biographical details as mere background elements in the
dream-tale of how the Arbus metamorphosis might theoretically have happened.
As it stands, Fur is an earnest and slick art film with only cult appeal. Most
people are reluctant to watch a pretentious real biography of a
tortured artist, let alone a make-believe version of same.
I ran the captures from this film earlier. Here is the
film clip of Nicole Kidman's nude
(A body double did her outdoor scene.)
Here is a capture of a sorta-kinda wet blouse thing:
* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).
* White asterisk:
Blue asterisk: not mine.
No asterisk: it probably
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
The Joys of Jezebel
The Joys of Jezebel (1970) is a bit of grindhouse/drive-in sexploitation
produced by the kings of that particular hill, partners David F. Friedman
and Peter Perry.
Jezebel (Christine Murray) has been killed by throwing her to the dogs. A
man and his girlfriend Ruth (Angela Graves) were responsible, and are trying
to get Jezebel's sister Rachel (Dixie Donovan) to marry a repulsive
foreigner who has a large army to loan.
Meanwhile, on "the other side," Satan wants to bag Jezebel since, after
all, everyone on earth did, but she has her mind set on revenge, and plays
to Lucifer's personal weaknesses. She promises to deliver a virgin to him if
he gives her time for revenge on earth. Having never seen a virgin in hell,
he goes for the arrangement.
Jezebel tricks Satan by swapping bodies with Rachel, and sending her to
hell. She does promise not to sully the body she borrowed. Thus she looks
just like virginal Dixie Donovan as she goes about her revenge on the toad
that is to marry Rachel, the jerk who had her condemned, and Ruth. There is,
of course, a surprise ending, but the point of the film is not the ending,
but the journey, which is filled with wall-to-wall full frontal nudity and
mild simulated sex.
Friedman and Perry created the film under their normal nom de porn, A. P.
Stootsberry, but IMDB credits the fictional Stootsberry with direction as
well. The film was actually directed by Bethel Buckalew, who made several
films for Friedman and Perry, then tried one on his own, but was unable to
sell it. Thus, Stootsberry is listed as a Bethelew pseudonym. To make
matters even more confusing, IMDb also lists Peter Perry as a pseudonym for
Bethelew, when it is actually the real name of a completely different
Assuming that The Erotic Adventures of Zorro represents a C+ in
exploitation, this one is only a C. While it is corny, it doesn't have the
sharp wit of the Zorro film, nor as much acting talent.
It does, however, have much more skin:
IMDb readers score this 4.6, but with only a
statistically meaningless 8 votes.
Phil (Dwier Brown) and Kate (Carey Lowell), advertise for a nanny for their new baby. Their first choice has a mysterious cycling accident, but their second, an English woman, Camilla (Jenny Seagrove), proves perfect. But there soon appear to be some increasingly odd things about Crmilla. A friend of the couple follows her into the woods and sees her lying naked being caressed by the branches of a tree but when he tries to tell Phil and Kate he is torn apart by wolves. Gradually Phil and Kate discover Camilla's true identity as a tree spirit who has come to steal their child as sacrifice to a druid's tree god.
Notes and collages