Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
THE CONFORMIST (1971)
“Molina is the moviegoer as auteur.
Babenco was reaching for something
larger, something tragic and aggressively
moral”—Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
Perhaps this film, “The Conformist,” directed by Bernaldo Bertolucci is the reason why Manuel Puig preferred Jean-Louis Trintignant to play Molina in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”—rather than William Hurt.
European directors like Bertolucci, Visconti and Pasolini—as well as actors like Jean-Louis Trintignant—are relatively more sophisticated and acquainted with decadence and homosexuality on the screen.
“The Conformist” was probably seen by Puig in Buenos Aires—known as the Berlin of South America. The way Trintignant plays Marcello, a repressed homosexual in pre-war Fascist Italy, is perhaps close to what Puig had in mind in terms of an actor who could authentically play a gay personality like Molina.
Molina and Marcello aren’t naïve when it comes to being gay in a repressive anti-gay fascist society—in many ways Italy and Argentina are scenes of the same perverted fascist belief systems.
Pauline Kael in her review of Spider Woman in The New Yorker quipped that “Hurt as Molina is like having a basset hound playing a chihuahua.”
The problem is did William Hurt have any experience or idea what goes through the head of a Latino drag queen—who like so many movie-loving gays had arranged a personal theater of romantic fantasy constantly playing inside her imagination.
Puig in his novel is saying that queens may be useless, silly window-dressing, like movie romances—but it can be lovely to enhance life, making it more rapturously giddy despite or because of how awful the world around them can be.
Trintignant plays Marcello in “The Conformist” with a homoerotic depth much more seriously and authentically—than a rather clueless Hurt who never quite manages to capture the pathos, irony and fag jouissance of Puig’s Molina.
The Italian novelist Alberto Moravia who wrote the acerbic “The Conformist” met Puig in a colloquium discussing movies in Rome. Moravia, a seasoned cineaste, was asked by Puig how a star’s presence affected the interpretation of a novel—wondering if it either strengthened or weakens a character.
One has to ask would Trintignant playing Molina had been as successful at Cannes and the Academy Awards—as William Hurt playing Molina was?
Obviously, one has to also ask to what extent did the Hollywood str8t bourgeoisie mentality—purposely “transumptively” recast Molina as a politically correct courageous heroic fag femme fatale in respect to Puig’s quite different version of Molina in his movie?
Puig wasn’t a sentimentalist. There is no authorial voice as such—and the motives behind what the men say are elusive.
There’s an indication that both men are subversively using each other. Molina using Raul Julia to squeal to the warden—and to get her release. And Julia using Molina to pass the time and fuck every once in awhile.
The movie supposedly about Molina’s transfiguration thru the power of love, happiness and self-respect (that is shedding his effeminate mannerisms)—all this bourgeois redemptive crap is as phony as the forties screen movies that Molina watches.
Puig shrugged—responding to interviewers with an author’s fatalism, alluding to the nasty old Hollywood story in which writers so often felt cheated fiscally as well as creatively.
Posted by pugetopolis at 4:15 PM
THE OTHER MOLINA
“Ahora yo…soy tū”
(Now I…am you”)
Kiss of the Spider Woman
“Puig had definite ideas—
about the kind of actor
who should play Molina.
His first choice was Jean-
—Suzanne Jill Levine
Manuel Puig and the
Spider Woman: His
Life and Fictions
Just because La Hurt gets—
awarded the Cannes Palme d’Or
as well as the first Oscar for
Best Actor playing a faggy queen,
Manuel knew that such str8t
recognition was just a facade
It was the way that “La Metro”—
Hollywood posed & pretended
to be tres avant garde, rolling
out the red carpet for itself to
be God’s gift to the queers.
"I found myself getting
used to watching Hurt
playing Hurt playing
When really it was just simply—
Gloria Swanson doing her tacky
old Norma Desmond routine all
over again like “Sunset Boulevard”
with another great comeback as
she descends the spiral staircase
ready for her DeMille close-up again.
Glorious gauche Silver Screen—
tragic tacky Technicolor so very
crummy with Cinemascope and
syrupy Stereophonic kitsch with
lewd vapid VistaVision schmaltz,
butchy reverberations and dark
sinister faggoty misgivings
earthy levity and
a huge abyss."
Manuel Puig and Kiss
of the Spider Woman
La Hurt playing maudlin Molina—
masculinized ersatz muy macho
dying for a heroic political cause,
missing the while point Puig was
making: that effeminate queens
aren’t necessarily cowardly when
it comes to being gay and proud
Posted by pugetopolis at 4:40 AM
Saturday, January 26, 2013
AFTER THE REVOLUTION
—for Richard Blanco
It was in the early Sixties—
and here they all were
spread out from Miami
all the way to New Orleans
Such a loud and nervous—
bunch of exiled young Cubans
speaking Spanish so very
quickly nobody could
keep up with them
Exiles of Castro’s revolution—
children of all the wealthy
Havana elite class: doctors,
lawyers, politicians, spawn
of gone Batista fat cat days
This was Latino diaspora—
Arenas, Servo Sarduy,
Even Manuel Puig and
Kiss of the Spider Woman
exiled gay writers that
were more like me than
anybody thought back then
My exile was slower—
about as revolutionary
as a slug track of mucous
in some Garden of Str8t Eden
from which I’d been cast into
my own “gringo” diaspora
I was born in bondage—
raised in a pig sty of
bigots and exiled the
minute I started lisping,
swishing, flipping my
nelly fag weak wrists…
William Hurt as Luis Molina in "Kiss of the Spider Woman"
Posted by pugetopolis at 5:52 AM
Thursday, January 24, 2013
—for Richard Blanco
“Better to have a granddaughter
who’s a whore than a grandson
who is un pato faggot like you”
—Richard Blanco, “Making a Man
Out of Me,” Who’s Yer Daddy?
Richard Blanco’s poem—
That he read that cold January
Day of the Inauguration
Caught America by surprise
Such a handsome Latino—
Born in Miami after Castro’s
Cuban Revolution and now
All these years later
But do things get better—
Does the abuse & bullying
Ever stop for our young gays
Exiling them to the Closet?
Did our Stonewall Riots—
And our Gay Revolution
Ever trickle down to the
Young exiles of today?
So much homophobia—
Like Blanco’s prejudicial
Guilting the young poet—
For being effeminate and
Gay back when he was
Just seven years old
Philip Larkin knew it—
In his “This Be The Verse”
How they fuck you up, your
Parents and your peer group
They mean to, they want to—
They fill you with the faults
They had and add some extra
Especially just for you
Perhaps the only solution—
Letting the older generation
Finally kick the fucking bucket
Let Whitman back in town.
Posted by pugetopolis at 7:06 AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
"A man once told me that you
step out of your door in the
morning, and you are already
in trouble. The only question
is are you on top of that trouble
or not?”—Walter Mosley,
Devil in a Blue Dress
They told me I was gonna be good as new. What they didn’t tell me was—I’d end up in a blue dress. A Devil in a Blue Dress…
They flew me to Paris—it was the only place where the surgeons could do such a thing. That’s how I ended up in a blue dress—with a you-know-what down there. Instead of what I used to have.
“as different as a
funeral piano and
electric congo drums”
“Songs from An Afro/Phone
and Belly Song, Black World
The surgeon was the best that money could buy, they said. Cosmetic surgery had come a long way since way back then—when all they did was to pull the wrinkles tight for an expensive Hollywood face-lift. That’s about all they could do.
Things had changed. Now they had stem-cell research—and different kinds of genetic reconstructive surgery. They could rebuild an aging broken body now—with new spare parts grown in test-tubes and huge reverse genetic engineering vats of swirling, stinky bio-chemicals.
That’s how my life as a Mickey Spillane detective in drag began all over again—shedding my previous existence as a rough-trade, no-nonsense, snarling Mike Hammer Private Eye Dick outta my hardcore pulp fiction tough guy days…
And now getting started all over again with a new life—posing as a Transvestite Private Dick in a Blue Dress. My last best-selling block-buster novel made into a movie—was “Kiss Me, Deadly” directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Ralph Meeker as the butchy private eye.
The only catch to this new deal I made with the devil was—I wouldn’t be a guy anymore. I’d end up a “Devil in a Blue Dress” instead.
“’cause it had come to me
in less time than it takes
to think”— Walter Mosley,
Devil in a Blue Dress
My whole reputation as a macho mystery writer was gonna go down the drain—no more Ralph Meeker sociopathic shoot-then-ask-questions later muy macho Private Dick.
In fact, I wouldn’t have a dick anymore at all—I’d be wearing a slinky chic sexy blue dress and no more private dick either, baby. I was gonna end up as a Transvestite Private Dick in a Blue Dress, honey.
It was either that or “Goodbye, Sayonara, Adios, Auf Wiedersehen, Chou, baby” and that was that. I told them I’d never do it—getting reborn as a Private Dick without a dick and a pussy instead…
My publisher laughed, the Hollywood moguls just smirked—I was too valuable an All American Best Selling Mystery Writer to lose, more successful than even Hemingway, Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe.
“After all,” they said, “your first paperback pulp fiction Mickey Spillane blockbuster best seller, “I, the Jury”—got us millions and climaxed with a really surprise ending.
“Yeah, sure—and WTF was that?” I said.
“You know,” the Hollywood mogul and Robert Aldrich said. “The Devil in the Blue Dress in “I, the Jury”—turns out to be a Transvestite Killer who gets it right in the fucking groin with a ’45 bullet, Ka-Bang!!!”
I nodded knowingly—something told me I was heading for a similar surprise ending too. A Ka-Bang right between my legs—and it wasn't gonna be pretty either with me as a reverse genetically-engineered Brain Transplant Transvestite Private Dick on the prowl that I’d end up becoming.
And sure enough—that’s how I ended up as a new improved version of tough-guy Mike Hammer doin' drag in a slinky smooth Devil’s Blue Dress.
Plus one other thing—I forgot to mention. My new persona was gonna be this chick named Daphne Monet—whose real name was Ruby. And Ruby was this swanky beautiful High Yellow Octoroon Lady—who was passing as white in high society. The same thing with me—I was gonna end up passing for white too. Except I was a white chick with a nice dark Creole cock...
Posted by pugetopolis at 5:39 AM
Monday, January 21, 2013
MULATTO KID BROTHER
I had this love-hate thing—
With my cute kid brother
Most kid brothers are just—
Stupid fucking pains in the butt
But young Tyrone was cute—
He was Black Chocolate Divinity!!!
He was tall, long and lanky—
And really good at basketball
He had this smooth sweet smile—
So Svelte the way he moved
Everything was a basketball court—
No matter what he was doing
He had these sexy slam shots—
That went straight thru my heart
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness—
Ran deep thru both Tyrone & me
Sometimes black genealogy—
Plays hide and seek with families
Hiding in the closet or like—
Hidden where it can’t be seen
Mother was a cute redhead—
A high yellow Chicago chick
I was fair-skinned too & my—
Pubes bright-orange like hers
But Tyrone was different—
His proud black genealogy showed
How could my young kid brother—
Sport a twelve inch piece of meat?
How could he be so sexy jet-black—
With a nice big uncut pink head?
Mother blamed her mother & father—
Especially her hung black chauffeur father
Or was it that Chicago black musician—
Young jazz saxophonist at the nightclub?
It was just your usual male incest—
Nothing more than some brotherly love
So what if it was male miscegenal—
Me in love with his big black meat?
I was full of penis envy for Tyrone—
I’m not ashamed to say so either
I felt short-changed with just six—
While Tyrone had a whole twelve inches
He knew I wanted it really bad—
So he played hard to get with me
From junior high on Tyrone did—
This nasty “Sixty-Nine” on himself lots
He’d let me WATCH sometimes but—
I wasn’t supposed to like TOUCH!
He didn’t need a nice cute girlfriend—
He had his own really hot Expert Lips
Tyrone did himself twice a fucking day—
Then spit out the cum just-for me
I hated Tyrone because he’d—
Like drive me up the fucking wall
He’d tease me with his #1 thing—
I really wanted and needed it bad
His exquisite ebony manhood tool—
The thing made me just drop dead
Sometimes he’d give me a long kiss—
Letting me taste his drooling wad
Oozing slowly outta his tight lips—
Just for me my Romeo kid brother
But I couldn’t get my lips on it—
His engorged penis endowment why?
He’d just shrug and say too queer—
A real mind–fuck for me for sure
Tyrone said his dick was worth $1000—
You got that much dough, Big Brother?
He jived about his Nice Sex Life—
But his big black veiny Penis be Taboo!!!
His wad in itself worth plenty, though—
Just the taste of him made me cream
Then one day Yolanda showed up—
But she wouldn’t give Tyrone a fuck
So that’s how we started doing 3-ways—
Yolanda getting Tyrone’s upper half
Me finally getting his tense lower half—
Her kissing upstairs with me down below
He didn’t come nice and smooth like—
More like riding a fucking bucking bronco
I must’ve sprained my neck a dozen times—
But Tyrone sprained his dick even more
Finally Yolanda was like ready to FUCK—
Which left me outta the Big Bad Picture
I followed him home from school—
I didn’t trust him one little bit at all
I knew the first Thing he’d do—
Get naked in bed & suck himself off
He’d beat off in the shower too—
Simply just a terrible waste of cum
He’d masturbate all the fucking time—
I had to be eternally cum-vigilant
Just thinking of Tyrone getting himself off—
Such a greedy little fucking kid brother
When he dropped outta school—
I thought good! Finally he’ll be all mine
But I was heart-broken & blue, oh man—
When he signed up to join the NAVY!!!
RAINY DAYZ LONELY NIGHTS
I saved some of Tyrone for a rainy day—
A Crème of Olay Jar full of his nice Cum
It lasted for a short time, my dears—
A quickie reminder of my Lost Love
Talk about nostalgic dinge déjà vu—
A tart spasm of you know who!
How could I ever forget Tyrone—
Even though he done flew the coop
But Tyrone was glad to ditch me—
He actually hated me that much
He joined the Navy just to get—
Outta town & away from my lips
It was my queenly penis envy—
Wanting every fucking inch of him
I guess there’s nothing worse than—
Having an older faggoty brother?
Posted by pugetopolis at 1:32 PM