Friday, July 23, 2004

Quite a bit of non-news today, most of it suspect, but who cares? I am as happy to wildly speculate at the next gal. Today the IMDB was chock full of tidbits: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are supposed to be dating (while her ex Michael Vartan is co-starring with J. Lo in a new movie--the mind boggles!); Winona Ryder had a crying fit in the bathroom of an LA restaurant while on a borrowed cell phone (what else is new?); Jack Nicholson, fulfilling my prophecy, is thinking about buying Marlon Brando's property which sits right under his--I know, because my mother and I used to "cruise" their shared Mullholland Drive gate in hopes of seeing either one of them come and get the mail or whatever, but sadly, it never happened; Britney Spears is signing a pre-nup (whew! our long national nightmare over THAT one may be over!); and Linda Ronstadt may be brought back to the Aladdin to sing a duet of "America the Beautiful" with Michael Moore--after it is SOLD to new owners. The current owners would apparently rather poke their eyeballs out with hot pokers than let Linda get her clothes out of her hotel room.


..."The Night Porter," the 1974 Nazi-themed naughty movie that I've always heard/read about, but never seen, until now. The artsy-fartsiness was a LITTLE much for my taste, but then, my taste is pretty lowbrow; at one point a beloinclothed male dancer does '70s-style interpretive ballet (complete with miming the old "what is this on my hands? I am filled with anguish!" routine) in an abandoned hospital or somesuch in front of a bunch of bored-looking Nazis. I thought this was supposed to be a kinky sex movie! The naughty stuff mainly has to do with Charlotte "She Is Gorgeous Therefore I Hate Her" Rampling, as a former concentration camp victim, resuming her torrid, doomed affair with her Nazi lover/tormentor Dirk Bogarde after a chance meeting in Vienna 12 years after the war. Bogarde is the night porter at the hotel where Rampling's character is staying with her conductor/cuckold husband. There are creepy Nazis who are somehow in charge of Nazi war trials; a creepy hotel maintenance man who turns on the night porter and made me scared; the creepy famous scene of Charlotte Rampling's character singing some Marlene Dietrich-y German torch song in suspenders, Nazi pants, Nazi cap and nothing else at the same abandoned hospital place to a bunch of bored-looking Nazis, including the night porter, who looks less bored because he loves her; there's a creepy countess/Nazi sympathizer who lives at the hotel; and more general creepiness, dread, and unease throughout the whole movie. The absolute creepiest thing is at the end, when Bogarde puts on his old Nazi uniform and Rampling is dressed like a leetle gurrl in a short pink dress and knee high socks. Ewww! I sorta liked this movie, even though it dealt with the Holocaust (creepy scene where you see young girls, including Rampling, on one of those amusement park swing rides, and then you realize the Nazis are shooting them off, one by one); since it was mostly in short flashbacks I was able to take it. I was a teensy bit disappointed that the relationship between the night porter and "his leetle gurrl" wasn't hotter, but really, it's not that kind of party. This is definitely an Art Film, but at least an interesting one, all in all. Lots of Big Questions about survivor's guilt, Nazi criminal guilt (or lack thereof), Fate, Destiny, etc etc. Great performances from everyone, especially the late Dirk Bogarde. If only they'd left out the male-ballet-dancer-in-loincloth interpretive dance...

Somewhere between Second and Third Base.

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