Classic Nude Scenes
After the HD clip of Phoebe Cates yesterday, it seemed like a good time to
revisit some of the other scenes often mentioned among the all-time great
celebrity nudity. I found three very nice third party clips, and two of them
were nice enough that I thought they could provide upgrades to our still
(1) Kim Basinger in 8 1/2 Weeks. We have plenty of stills of this, so here's
the film clip of
the famous rain scene. I love the visuals in this scene, but after watching it
again I decided I'm not crazy about the music.
(2) Laetitia Casta in The Blue Bicycle. One of the most beautiful women on
the planet in her youthful prime, making love to an original musical score by
the legendary Michel Legrand. The French know how to do romance! This was not
a movie, so it must have been the best TV show ever! French TV must have
improved a lot since I was there in the 80s. Back then it seemed to consist
mostly of one-camera talk shows with people smoking a lot of cigarettes. (Film
(3) Laura Antonelli in L'Innocente, Visconti's last film. You may notice
that she is with Giancarlo Giannini, as required by Italian law. He's kind of
like the Italian version of Depardieu. Although he is now a fixture in all
arty-ass films, Giannini was then an unknown who got the part only because
Alain Delon had a scheduling conflict. If you have not seen this scene, then
you should. It was the hottest scene of its era, and is still pretty damned
hot today. (Film clip.)
It's a movie with an intriguing premise. Rosanna Arquette plays a traveling
medium who rides the small-town circuit in the Bible Belt, claiming to pass on
messages from deceased relatives to the gullible and bereaved. Her life
changes radically one day when she starts to experience genuine messages from
the dead - and what makes it spookier is that the person speaking from beyond
is not dead - yet. One night Rosanna describes a grisly death scene to a
woman. The graphic and depressing scene is off-message to begin with since
people do not come to hear about the suffering of their dead spouses, but what
makes it truly horrifying and confusing is that the allegedly dead husband is
home watching TV. The drama intensifies that night when the husband is killed
by a professional hit man from Chicago, in the exact manner described earlier
Gaining the gift of prophecy could be traumatic enough on its own, but the
impact of it goes beyond trauma and into outright danger when Rosanna realizes
that she has told everyone she can identify the murderer. As a general rule,
hit men do not appreciate publicity (I notice that very few of them use the
Yellow Pages), and this one is no exception. Rosanna has not actually named
him yet, so he gets on a plane to East Jesus, Alabama with a plan to silence
the clairvoyant before she can reveal his identity to the world.
Tom Hulce plays a skeptical reporter who first becomes convinced of
Rosanna's psychic powers and then starts to notice that she's smokin' hot and
becomes her lover. Jason Robards plays Rosanna's alcoholic father and manager
who just wants his daughter to do the bland phony spiritualism that pays the
bills, and doesn't cotton to this new business of actually providing the
communication with the dead that his customers are paying for.
The film is very similar to the old Twilight Zone episodes in that it uses
a supernatural story to make some serious points about society and religion.
Unfortunately, it takes the philosophy too seriously and leaves too many loose
ends in the story. The dialogue is stilted and artificial, like something from
a Tennessee Williams play, while some of the characters' actions seem
inexplicable at times (a major character seems to change loyalties without and
justification or explanation), and the final showdown with the hit man is more
confusing than suspenseful.
The narrative structure is clumsy as well. The story is built inside of a
framing device in which Hulce plays a much older version of himself trying to
find Rosanna many years after the incident with the hit man. There was only
one reason to add the framing device, and that was to add a nifty Rod Serling
ending to his search. Unfortunately, the script keeps going after the "gotcha"
moment has already revealed the big secret.
Sometimes ya gotta know when to sign off and roll dem credits.
It's not a bad movie, just a disappointingly mediocre one, It's one of the
rare films that might actually make a good candidate for a remake because it
had an excellent premise but couldn't make it all work properly.
By the way, if they ever explained why the film is called Black Rainbow, I
missed it. My best guess is as follows. Black rainbows are created by the moon
at night. Although all the colors of the spectrum are present in them, they
appear black to us because they are outlined against a black sky. (The colors
can appear in certain lighting conditions.) Rosanna, however, is a person who
can see those things which are there but cannot be seen by the rest of us -
like the colors in a black rainbow. I realize that is obscure, but it makes
sense, given the tag line: "There is a spectrum of terror that only a few can
Tuna covered this film already, and did yeoman's work to produce good
images from a very weak DVD. Rather than creating inferior images, I decided
to stick to a film clip
of Rosanna Arquette.