Friday, August 15, 2008

The luckiest guy on Earth

Or, at least, on the Buffyverse.

Charisma Carpenter became a worldwide wet dream girl when playing Cordelia Chase, first on Buffy, The Vampire Slayer (1997-1999) and then on Angel (1999-2004). Despite starting out as the vacuous "bimbo" in the first season of Buffy, she quickly won the love of viewers everywhere, smitten by her charisma (pun, obviously intended) and her ample charms... some of which became very prominent whenever she donned a tight shirt. Indeed, as the Playboy photo shoot she did for the June 2004 issue well attested, those wonderfuly round breasts are natural fuel for male fantasies everywhere.

Well, it was on Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Angel's son Connor, that fell the burden of groping Ms. Carpenter's right breast in the episode Slouching Toward Bethlehem (episode 4 of season 4, 2002). The episode marks the return of Cordelia from the "higher plane" where she has been herself slouching for the previous three episodes of the season. Returning with a bout of amnesia, Cordelia takes refuge with Connor, who doesn't waste any time replaying the most complex Oedipus on modern TV. Sensing the presence of intruders from the evil law firm of Wolfram & Heart, and pretending to be warning her not to scream, he takes the chance of palming Cordelia's breast, in a what-the-fuck-were-they-thinking heart-stopping moment.

Lucky bastard...

Can this be the craziest dream sequence...

... ever to grace the screen of an adult film?

Crazy, eh?

I feel particularly dumbfounded by the milk squirting from Cinderella's breasts. Can it be a statement on mortality and the fleetingness of youth? A manifestation of fertility? Probably the yearning for the fulfilment of carnal needs that would surely tempt a young recluse on the brink of missing the hotter event of her sheltered life: the Prince's Ball.

In this light, we could read this scene as the fear - the surrounding forest that spits out this aging satyr, as well as her cruel stepsisters - of being forever under the boot of her elders, subject to every form of humiliation and degradation, never being able to enjoy life and youth. The milk spurting from her tender younger breasts would signify both her obvious sexual fertility and the fear of ending as an old matron, milked by all those around her.

Be as it may, it is a scene fit to rival with the famous pastoral romp on Borowczyk's LA BÊTE (1975), another dream sequence filled to the brim with squirting fluids. And, surely, it is the craziest dream sequence ever.

Or is it?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Keeping Centinella

I was just watching HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN (1987), when it came to me that I had never noticed how beautiful an actress Cec Verrell really is. A rapid search through the actress's roster of movies on the IMDB quickly told me why: Ms. Verrell must be the most underused actress in the history of B-movies. Now, I must confess I've never seen any of her other films (although I sure intend to, now), and even in FROGTOWN, she isn't given much to do with her role. Despite a totally needless, gratuitous - but oh so welcome nude scene - she keeps such a debonair that clearly elevates her performance above the camp value of the movie itself.

Clad in the most ravishing set of post-apocalyptic military garb that clearly ante-dates Milla Jovovich's in RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION (2007), she quickly out-shines Sandahl Bergman, herself sporting a wonderful wardrobe, both as the nerdy science type and the daring secret agent in safari garb or erotic dancer robes (no nude scene, alas).

And few actresses can look as good in military garb - remember how dreadful Demi Moore looked in G.I. JANE (1997)? - caressing the M-60 heavy machine gun as if was a trained pet, or wearing ammunition-belts as if they were Cleopatra's bejewelled necklaces. But above all, I was smitten by the playfulness with which she imbued her performance. As if she was there just to lend a little light to the movie; better, as if she was in altogether different movie, looking down with warmth on the silly proceedings.

Maybe it's her classic visage, the short hair, the summer blue eyes... Or, probably, that coy little smile, so simple and so alluring, telling us that although she could (should) be in so much better films, with so much more deserving and rewarding roles, she will still give her best in this wacky exercise on sci-fi camp. And to give her best she needs but to smile, like Gioconda before her, to warm our hearts.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hot Summer swim

There's a moment where form meets perfection, where zig complements zag, where the wave laps the sky in an embrace of endless blue. We're given one such moment to contemplate, while miss Alba turns cool refreshing water into a blue-burning liquid furnace. And the ocean stands still, thankful for such a gift. Nature, subdued, turns playful, welcoming that desirable mermaid that stuffs the dreams of all us land-imprisoned sailors.

Hell, it's hot outside...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

She died a little that night

If one is to believe it, death is the first step into transcendence. Well, the French said it better, when they called sexual orgasm la petite mort (the little death). And I can't remember a more convincing and ecstatic orgasm then the one this beautiful lady conveys in an unforgettable scene from Joe Sarno's VIBRATIONS (1968), after being inflamed from the animal love-making sounds that filtered from next door through the wall of her bedroom.

If she surely died a little that day, she will live forever in our memory, as an affirmation of unrestrained beauty and joy, through the radiant whites that Sarno used to paint the complicit shadows.

Monday, August 4, 2008

She's got the look

Surely no one today can deny that Joe Sarno is an aesthete. His earlier movies are chiaroscuro compositions of shadows cut by radiant whites; his later movies, are candy-colored explosions of subdued meaning. All his films are dynamic odes to the beauty of the female body and to the complex mental workings of the beings inhabiting them. Each and all of Sarno's characters have depth, an history that demands viewer empathy. And the story on-screen is most vividly detailed when seen through his character's eyes; for they are the windows through which viewer expectations are juggled by the master trickster.

Case in point: SIN IN THE SUBURBS (1964). In less capable hands it would be just another boring story about bored housewives in search of a passion that can substitute for their absent working husbands, their escapades obsessively timed by the train schedule, the weather or the unexpected appearance of their daughter's boyfriend, tick-tocking down the slope that will eventualy lead them into a world of sex clubs and anonymous lovers. With Sarno holding the helm, it becomes a captivating study of social mores, loneliness and need. Among the couples whose stories we're invited to partake, Audrey Campbell (later famous for the OLGA series of films) gives a fascinating performance as a housewife and mother of a teenage girl, driven by loneliness and boredom to the arms of whomever happens to be at hand. These ephemeral substitutes, however, prove to be as boring as loneliness itself.

In an unrivaled moment of frustration, during one of the afternoon reunions in her home where she entertains a man (her lover) and another couple, and with this other couple already upstairs, she manifests to her lover the growing sense of frustration and routine that begins to tarnish their 'relationship'. While he remains nonchalant, she dares him to go watch the other couple's lovemaking. And there, standing near the bed, looking down on the lovemaking couple, on the steaming sex (conveyed through sound alone), we see in her eyes the need, the hunger, the desire, the great void that is consuming her. We sense that she is feasting upon their ardeur, rekindling a fire that burns intense and oh so fast.

And we keep watching her eyes although her lover is fleetingly touching her breasts...

... unbuttoning her dress...

... kissing her earlobe...

... her neck...

... removing her bra...

It's her eyes that held us, although her nipples are peeking from under her arms, it's her eyes, it's her look, as she shows us what's going down on the bed - hot, passionate lovemaking - that draws her like a moth to a flame, that draws her as her eyes draw us into her, until she finally joins the contorting bodies and we don't see her eyes anymore.

But we know she's happy, at least for a fleeting moment. And we rejoice with her, for through her, we've also made love to the couple on the bed, made love to her...

And we're left to always search for that look on a woman's eyes again.