This film provoked the most irrational critical response since Troy. In fact, it is worthwhile to contrast the critical reactions to the two movies. Troy was often criticized for being too historically accurate. It treated the ancient gods as bullshit, but bullshit the Greeks genuinely believed in, so events could be influenced by the mortals' belief in those gods, but could not be influenced by their actual intervention. In other words, the film basically asked "what set of real events could have inspired Homer's mythological reconstruction?" Many critics missed the entire point and responded as if the film's creators had somehow forgotten to include the gods. On the other extreme, Marie Antoinette received the opposite reaction. Its critics responded to it as if it were supposed to be a history lecture at Cambridge, and caviled about every miniscule historical detail which the film misstated. I guess there's no pleasing them. A film cannot be either too accurate or too inaccurate. It works like the porridge at the three bears' house. It must be "just right."

Just as they did with Troy, the critics seemed to charge naively ahead in the assumption that the screenwriter of Marie Antoinette (Sophia Coppola, who also directed) simply got all the facts wrong. That, of course, is crap. She knew the facts. She researched the script. She based the film on a work written by the esteemed historian Lady Antonia Fraser. To the extent that Marie Antoinette's real words are known, Coppola used them. And she was undoubtedly well aware that her story was merely the frivolous prologue to Antoinette's life rather than the dramatic meat of her story, which occurred after the royals were forced from Versailles. It's a safe bet that when Coppola decided which part of the story to tell, and when she changed the known facts, she was aware what she was doing, and did so for a purpose. I have no problem with that in theory because the facts sometimes get in the way of a greater truth. My problem with the script is that I couldn't figure out why she made the changes.

Start with the doggie incident. History has recorded that when 14-year-old Antoinette traveled from Austria to France, she was forced to surrender all of her Austrian possessions, including every stitch of her clothing. She had to undress in front of her new ladies-in-waiting and get redressed in French clothes. She was even asked to surrender her beloved pooch, but after much negotiation between the French and Austrian delegations, she was finally allowed to keep the dog. It seems to me that Coppola had an excellent opportunity here. Imagine various and assorted stuffy ambassadors, nobles, and protocol officers debating for hours, furiously negotiating terms and demanding concessions, and ultimately deciding the very fate of nations over a puppy. That could have been a very entertaining scene. Could have been, but wasn't, because Coppola decided to change the story so that Antoinette was forced to surrender her pet, crying, but ultimately conceding when told that she could have all the French dogs she wanted. Now why, I am wondering, did Ms Coppola think that was better than the true story?

Another example. The film shows Marie Antoinette saying courageously that she must stay at Versailles alongside her husband when all the nobles were fleeing the besieged palace. In real life, her bags and the children's bags were packed and she was waiting for her husband's permission to leave. It was Louis who decided that the family should remain at Versailles. This is a key fact in French history, because Louis's decision to force his family to remain was one that he regretted intensely, and one which would cause great suffering for all the people he loved. Antoinette's desire to leave was not cowardice, but just good common sense, a characteristic which her husband famously lacked. (She was not lacking in bravery, as all her future actions demonstrated.) Point one here is that I'm not sure why Coppola wanted a different spin in this scene. Point two is that this particular interpretation angered many people. The French people reacted to some of these intrinsic changes as Americans might react if a French movie version of George Washington wanted to chicken out at Valley Forge but was forced at gunpoint to tough it out. A patriotic American might get away with that, just as a good Frenchwoman might have slipped Marie Antoinette past the Cannes audience without being deluged by a cascade of catcalls. There are just some things an outsider can't mess with.

I couldn't remember whether Marie Antoinette actually took on any lovers, so I checked it out and there doesn't seem to be any truth to it. If there is any nasty rumor which can be circulated about any human being, there is probably a version of that rumor about Marie Antoinette. Some of her more notorious demonstrations of wastrel behavior spurred an entire cottage industry of exaggerations and lampoons of the most vicious and salacious kind. Some of them were based at least partly on fact, some of them were negative "spins" of the facts, and others were just outright fabrication. The rumors of her sexual appetite seem to be in the latter category. I could find no justification for any claim that she was unfaithful to her husband, and I can see no purpose to Coppola's having given weight to the unsupported rumors.

Having made those points let me say that Marie Antoinette is actually a fairly thoughtful film. It is an attempt to portray how Antoinette became whatever she was, and to offer that portrayal from Marie's own perspective. She came to France as a 14-year-old girl, the youngest of eleven daughters of the empress of Austria, and she had never known life outside the court and her own family. She was immediately taken to Versailles and placed inside another completely cloistered, shallow, and self-contained environment, one even more lavish than the one she had left. Exactly how would we expect her to turn out? The same as any of our own daughters would turn out in the same situation. She became exactly what her environment made her. Coppola determined that the best way to show us what the experience was like for her was to portray it in completely modern terms. What would happen if Kirsten Dunst, a sweet and casual all-American girly girl who has grown up in her own sheltered world, were suddenly transported to the 18th century and made queen of a country where everyone lived in ornate palaces, abided by rigid protocol, and spoke with stuffy English accents? It would be almost exactly like the experience that Marie Antoinette had when she came to France from Austria. Kiki was basically herself reacting as she would react in the situations Marie was in. That wasn't bad acting on Kiki's part. This portrayal is precisely the one Dunst was hired to deliver, not to recreate Marie Antoinette at Versailles, but to show Kirsten Dunst at Versailles, to demonstrate vicariously to a modern female what it would be like if she, the viewer, were transported to Versailles and made queen. There would be pressures and pleasures, boredom, frustration, and loneliness. And there would be no way out. It's a fantasy film. The film is not supposed to be like Becket, filled with hand-wringing rhetoric about morality and politics, but rather more like The Wizard of Oz, or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In order to make the points resonate deep within modern audiences, Kiki plays a thoroughly modern woman/child, and the action is backed by modern pop tunes.

Does all that work? Well, critics could not have been much more divided, but I think so. The film held my attention from start to finish. It looks great, and it gives off the right vibe. The pop music is perfect because it's the kind of music Marie Antoinette would listen to if she were alive today. It isn't possible to put modern audiences in Marie's shoes by using the kind of music she actually liked, because that music sounds to modern ears like the kind of music a bearded 60-year-old professor would like, and that would present a "wrong" Marie to modern audiences, even if it is technically accurate. In terms of the score, Coppola made a good and daring choice. I understand Marie Antoinette more after having watched this movie and having thought about its ideas than I ever did from any "legitimate" history. The film triggered me to think, "Oh, I get it." That's a good thing, isn't it? Isn't that one of the reasons we love movies? I know the script has altered some facts, and I'm not really sure why, but on balance I can see exactly what it was trying to accomplish, and my verdict is that it succeeded.

Kirsten Dunst (Zipped .avi) Watch the film closely. After they place the gown over her head, her breasts are clearly visible through it, but only for a split-second at a time when the fabric touches her skin.







Already reviewed this one here.


Hilary Swank (zipped .avi)

Mia Kirshner (zipped .avi)
Jemma Rooper





  • Here's an upgrade of Angela Dodson in Pledge This! to DVD quality.  (Three avis zipped together)

  • Pamela Elser in 16 Candles. Well, it's Pamela's body, anyway. She's the body double for Haviland Morris, whose face is seen in the close-ups. (Zipped .avi)




Balloting is finished

  • See the numerical results here.

  • See the pictorial here.




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





Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.




Fedora (1978)

As the film opens, a woman commits suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. The woman was the legendary actress, Fedora, and we meet our narrator for the story, William Holden, at her funeral. Seems he was a young assistant director on one of her early films, and had a brief affair with her. Cut to a few weeks before her suicide. He is an independent film maker hoping to bring her out of retirement to swing financing for a new picture. He goes to Corfu, and attempts to make contact, but is not welcomed with open arms. Fedora claims she is being held against her will, while those around her claim she lost her mind and they are protecting her. In act three, we finally learn a very different version of the story.

Fedora (1978) was written and directed by Billy Wilder, but it's way too talky. I have seen few worthwhile Hollywood insider films, and was not overly impressed with this one.

  • This is not available in the US on DVD, and is probably not a big loss.

  • IMDb readers say 6.5, but reader comments at IMDb are not kind for the most part.

  • Ebert was ambivalent at 2.5 stars, praising the style, but not the content.

  • It is a low C-, with some talent in the cast and Bill Wilder at the helm, it is technically fine, but does not tell a good story.



Marthe Keller as Fedora shows breasts in the first scene where she meets William Holden.











Today the Time Machine landed in 1985 for "Private Resort." We have three lovely ladies who all show us boobs and butt.


Hilary Shepard AKA Hilary Shapiro


 Leslie Easterbrook


and Vickie Benson.









Notes and collages

The Celebrity Shower Series Concludes



Keri Russell in Eight Days a Week

... I recommend this coming-of-age film. In this scene Ms. Russell is playing with the other "kids" in the spray of the lawn sprinkler not realizing that her geeky male friend is getting a hard-on while watching her from the porch steps.

(I was once a geeky male friend in a similar position as a teen so I empathize a lot with this moment.)



Shannon Whirry in Animal Instincts

... this will be the last collage of my "celebrity showers" series: my skin is getting puckered. Ms. Whirry doesn't really count as an "A" list actress but if she had a brain to go with that lush body I would be THERE.

... my next series will be less "A" list so that I won't be racking my brain in terms of the difference between "A" actresses and "B" actresses...

... I assure you lots of beauty and my next series won't skip a beat from this one ...








Two more of Vejiita's famous comic books



Robin Tunney





Thora Birch






Mostly Italian stuff


From "Franck Spadone." a French modern-day noir caper ...

Italian femme fatale Monica Bellucci sexy and revealing








From "L' eclisse," Antonioni's b&w essay on modern life's alienation ...

Monica Vitti sexy + a nipple visible (but it could be body double)








From "Edipo re,"  Pasolini's reworking of Sophocles' Oedipus tragedy ...

Silvana Mangano sexy + nipple visible (a bodydouble most probably)

+ unknown topless







From "Il giorno del cobra," another police and revenge thriller (he investigates, they kill his son, he takes revenge) starring Franco Nero ...

Sybil Danning nude







From "God's Gun" aka "Diamante Lobo," a rather awful low-end spaghetti western starring Lee Van Cleef ...

Sybil Danning's tit in a blurry flashback sequence







From "Salamander,"  a spy thriller

Sybil Danning sexy







Finally a film clip: a full-screen version of Linda Kozlowski in "Back Street Justice" (Zipped .avi)










Alaina Kalanj in The Pendulum. Here's your girl if you really like Ashley Judd but wish she had a bigger chest.

Jessica Biel shows off the result of two years of ass-building exercise





Pat's comments in yellow...

Saturday, former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was stopped for driving too slowly, found to have a suspended license, and was arrested.  The suspension was a clerical error, and he was released after a couple of hours.  He's now threatening to sue the city government and the police,
claiming racial profiling and that he was targeted, humiliated and severely inconvenienced. 

*  They made him miss an appointment with his crack dealer!

*  And any man who'd run for city council after being caught on tape smoking a crack pipe with a hooker doesn't humiliate easily.

New Scientist magazine says the Internet has given rise to a number of new addictions which are finally getting names.  They include: "Ego-surfing," or compulsively Googling yourself to see who's mentioned you..."Blog Streaking," or revealing intimate personal info on blogs that should remain private..."Google-Stalking," or using the Internet to snoop on your ex or others... "Cyberchondria," or looking through medical sites and thinking you have all the diseases..."Photolurking," or looking through online photo albums of strangers..."Wikiholism," or the inability to stop contributing articles to Wikipedia...and "Cheesepodding," or the urge to download songs so cheesy you'd be ashamed to admit you own them.

*  That last one mostly strikes people who were teenagers in the 1970s.

A pretty, blonde 29-year-old Australian woman claims she's Mel Gibson's daughter and is suing for a DNA test.  Carmel Sloane told the News of the World that in 1976, her then-17-year-old mother Marilyn was hitchhiking to Sydney when a handsome young man named Mel picked her up in his station wagon.  He made her hide under a blanket while he went into his mom's house for gas money, and brought out pillows and a mattress "in case we have to stop for the night."  He persuaded her to sleep in back with him, and they had sex.  At dawn, he said he had to get to work at the orange factory and drove off, never to see her again.  She told him that if she got pregnant, she'd come looking for him; and he said he was going to be a famous movie star, "so you'll always know where to find me."  Sloane said she doesn't want money; she just wants to meet her father.

*  Her mother named her "Carmel" because she was conceived in a car with Mel.

The British government commissioned a report by their chief scientist, Sir David King, on robot rights.  Robotics experts say that by 2056, machines will become so intelligent, they will attain consciousness, which means they would want rights and we would have a moral obligation to grant them.  This means, for instance, that it would be just as unacceptable to kick a sentient robot dog as a real dog, that attacking your computer could lead to assault charges, and that robots could have the right
to vote.

*  Then Al Gore would finally get elected.